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Biosecurity: The Opportunities and Threats of Industrialization and Personalization
Bull At Sci 2015;71(6):39-44
November 03, 2015
Biosecurity risks are likely to evolve a great deal over the next 10 years, in large part as a result of two ongoing and escalating trends in the biological sciences. The first is that the field is becoming industrialized and incorporated into diverse and strategically important sectors. Petroleum, essential to the manufacture of scores of goods from plastics to paints, is being gradually replaced by biological products as the basis for myriad commodities. Biological manufacturing is now the focus of big corporations, and nations are interested in growing their bio-economies. The second trend is toward greater personalization and individual control. Ever more powerful biological techniques are increasingly accessible to individuals who use them as they see fit. As a result of both shifts, the biological sciences will become even more prevalent, and their practitioners capable of manipulating genes and organisms on a scale not possible 10 years ago.