Biotech advancements are saving lives and changing the world. From COVID-19 to CAR-T therapies for cells. These technologies are behind burgers made of plant material which “bleed” biological enzymes in detergents that remove the stains, and then direct to consumers a genetic testing ancestry service.
It is vital to establish regulations for governance as the pace of technological advancements in biotechnology increases. The future regulation should not be either restricting (i.e. restricting useful techniques) or too broad (i.e. prohibiting activities that involve viruses, even though the purpose is to prevent the creation of terrorist threats).
Continuing advances in agricultural biotechnology offer the potential to greatly increase the quantity and quality of food through genetically engineered crops that can resist disease or insects and adapt to environmental stresses. However, there are likely to be negative environmental impacts.
In addition, biotechnology has created new opportunities for nefarious actors and hostile states to produce pathogens that could intentionally infect people or negatively impact agricultural supply chains. The world has witnessed disturbing precedents, such as laboratory accidents, the deliberate release of living organisms, and the use of biological weapons.
While a number of important research and regulation efforts are in progress but there is more to be done. This includes establishing an international, scientifically-based body to study and evaluate the risks, as well creating more robust risk assessment tools for these innovative technologies. This includes incorporating the most recent developments in artificial intelligence which is advancing in a number of sectors and aiding in streamlined processes like drug discovery.