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Biotechnology


Latest significant advancements in biotechnology. Reporting on the far-reaching impacts of biotechnology on society and humanity.

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​​Ray Kurzweil: Our Health Is About to Be Radically Transformed

Ray Kurzweil is an inventor, thinker, and futurist famous for forecasting the pace of technology and predicting the world of tomorrow. In this video, Kurzweil dives into the exciting and quick-moving field of biotechnology. Ever...

Here Are the Microsurgeons That Will Soon Roam Our Bodies

On a crisp fall evening in 2006, Dr. Sylvain Martel held his breath as a technician slipped an anesthetized pig into a whirling fMRI machine. His eyes stared intently at a computer screen, which...

7 Big Tech Trends That Are Changing the Way We Make Things

Manufacturing is dirty, dull, and outmoded. It’s a slow-moving industry stuck in the past as new technologies out of Silicon Valley threaten to upend it. Stereotypes are fun, and misleading. Let’s not forget manufacturing is...

3D Printed Medical Implants That Fit the Body Perfectly Are on the Way

Bioprinting new organs and tissues could make transplants available and affordable for all, but is still decades away. In the meantime, scientists have re-purposed the technology to 3D print biocompatible high-precision silicone implants instead. Soft...

These Cells Are Engineered to Be Controlled by a Smartphone

To Dr. Mark Gomelsky, a professor at the University of Wyoming, genetically engineered therapeutic cells are like troops on a mission. The first act is training. Using genetic editing tools such as CRISPR, scientists can...

Scientists Create the Most Successful Artificial Womb Yet

Among modern medicine's achievements, one of the most dramatic has been a steep reduction in infant mortality. Yet, even today, there are exceptions. Babies born prematurely often have to battle to stay alive. Our best...

Scientists Hacked a Cell’s DNA and Made a Biocomputer Out of It

Our brains are often compared to computers, but in truth, the billions of cells in our bodies may be a better analogy. The squishy sacks of goop may seem a far cry from rigid...

The Weird World of Cyborg Animals Is Here

Roboticists frequently turn to nature for inspiration for their inventions, reverse engineering the traits that evolution has developed over millennia. Others are taking a shortcut by simply integrating modern technology with living animals. The idea...

Long Extinct Species to Be Revived in the Lab With Powerful New Tools

Bringing extinct species back to life isn’t a science fiction fantasy anymore, even if the technology isn’t quite ready for prime time. The newest buzz around the topic of de-extinction is actually a revival of...

How Fully Synthetic Complex Life Just Got a Lot Closer

From domestication to selective breeding and right up to DNA editing, humans have long sought to bend the genetic makeup of animals and plants to our needs. Now an international team has taken a...

3 Exciting Biotech Trends to Watch Closely in 2017

As I start to look at the emerging trends of 2017 from the vantage of IndieBio, where we see hundreds of biotech startup applications and technologies per year, a few key themes are already emerging....

Are We Ready for Cyborgs? The Tech Is on Its Way

Are we ready for cyborgs? More specifically, people with implants that enhance beyond the superficially cosmetic and into the realms of evolved beings? Jorge Pelegrín-Borondo (Universidad de La Rioja), Eva Reinares-Lara (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos)...

Would You Want a Dog That Was Genetically Engineered to Be Healthier?

“Dogs have more genetic diseases than any other species on the planet.” David Ishee told me this early in our conversation. His claim makes sense: there’s no other animal that humans have purposefully bred...

5 of the World’s Strangest Creatures Aren’t Just Weird—They’re Really Useful Too

Living life on the edge isn’t just a motto for extreme athletes. Our planet is literally crawling with organisms that have somehow adapted to living in extreme environments, from the frigid waters surrounding Antarctica to...

This One-Cent Lab-on-a-Chip Can Diagnose Cancer and Infections

  Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. —Arthur C Clarke Medical diagnostics often feels like magic to me. With just a few drops of blood, doctors can quickly decipher a patient’s general health status—are biomarker...

Talking to a Computer May Soon Be Enough to Diagnose Illness

In recent years, technology has been producing more and more novel ways to diagnose and treat illness. Urine tests will soon be able to detect cancer. Smartphone apps can diagnose STIs. Chatbots can provide...

The Ethics of Organoids: Scientists Weigh in on New Mini-Organs

Growing organs in the lab is an enduring sci-fi trope, but as stem cell technology brings it ever closer to reality, scientists are beginning to contemplate the ethics governing disembodied human tissue. So-called organoids have...

Stem Cells Are Poised to Change Health and Medicine Forever

We are at the cusp of a stem cell revolution. Understanding and harnessing these unique cells may unlock breakthroughs in longevity and therapeutic solutions to all kinds of chronic diseases and regenerative opportunities. Last month, I...

Aging and Death Are the Evolutionary Price of Complexity

Life’s ever-repeating cycles of birth and death are among the most fundamental principles of nature. An organism starts out as a single cell that grows and divides, develops into an embryo, matures and reaches...

How Babies in the UK Can Now Legally Have DNA From Three People

From the beginning of time, conception has been a two-person process. Even in cases where there would have been a medical or genetic benefit to pulling in a third person, science hadn’t advanced enough...

The Technologies We’re Most Fired Up to Watch in 2017

Covering technology is exhilarating. Each year is filled with unforeseen surprises—advances we thought were years away, unexpected technology applications (like AI used for mental healthcare), and unlikely startups reimagining entire markets. These breakthroughs keep Singularity Hub's...

This Playful Lab-in-a-Box Will Teach You How to Reprogram Life

We’re in the midst of a life sciences revolution. The natural world, including our own bodies, is becoming malleable in a completely unprecedented way. Today, we have the ability to turn any human cell...

What Happens When Tech Takes Control of Evolution?

Over the span of a few billion years, diversity of life has flourished on Earth through the process of natural selection. Then, not long ago (relatively), human intelligence evolved. For the first time one species,...

Bioprinting Is One Step Closer to Making a Human Kidney

Bioprinting has been all over the news in the past several years with headline-worthy breakthroughs like printed human skin, synthetic bones, and even a fully functional mouse thyroid gland. 3D printing paved the way for bioprinting thanks to...

Lung Cancer Patient First to Undergo CRISPR Gene Editing

The CRISPR-Cas9 “drag-and-drop” gene editing technique has been used in its first human trial, reports Nature. Scientists at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China began a trial last month to treat a lung cancer patient....

Nanobionic Implant Transforms Spinach Into a Bomb Detector

"The trees, the flowers, the plants grow in silence… silence gives us a new perspective." –Mother Teresa When I think about plants, chatterbox isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But below the surface of...

New ‘Thinking Soil’ Fixes Concrete Foundations Using Engineered Bacteria

How stable are the buildings where we live and work? Our homes rest on concrete foundations about a foot thick and twelve feet deep. The foundations of skyscrapers can be up to 20 feet thick and...

Pill Packing 100 Billion Designer Bacteria Could Be Tested Next Year

Bacteria are among the oldest life forms on Earth and exist nearly everywhere; in the soil, water, deep in the earth’s crust and in our own bodies. Actually, there are at least as many...

Printable Organs Will Put an End to Transplant Lists

A woman living on a dialysis machine is grown a new kidney using her own cells. A father struggling with age-related vision loss has his eyesight restored. A soldier suffers extensive burns and has...

Why the World Is Better Than Ever—and Will Get Better Still

If you read or watch the news, you’ll likely think the world is falling to pieces. Trends like terrorism, climate change, and a growing population straining the planet’s finite resources can easily lead you...

First Dinosaur Brain Fossil Suggests They May Have Been Smarter Than We Thought

Dinosaurs have a fearsome reputation for their hunting abilities but less so when it comes to their intelligence. This is partly due to the fact that many species have long been thought to have...

Medicine Will Advance More in the Next 10 Years Than It Did in the Last 100

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, recently announced a $3 billion effort to cure all disease during the lifetime of their daughter, Max. Earlier this year, Silicon Valley billionaire Sean Parker donated $250...

Mice Born From Artificial Eggs a ‘Stunning Achievement’

Last month, a team of British scientists successfully made healthy, fertile mice from pseudo-egg cells that resembled fertilized embryos. The story made waves: compared to normal egg cells, the pseudo-eggs were more similar to...

Can DNA Hard Drives Solve Our Looming Data Storage Crisis?

The idea of storing digital data in DNA seems like science fiction. At first glance, it might not seem obvious that a molecule can store data. The term “data storage” conjures up images of...

The Astonishing Healthcare Tech of the Future Is Arriving

This week in San Diego, Singularity University hosted its annual Exponential Medicine conference. The conference aims to connect the dots between healthcare disciplines and cutting-edge tech by convening medical practitioners, technologists, entrepreneurs, and over...

How We’ll Stop Future Pandemics? Engineer Vaccines From the Ground Up

In 1918, the bloodiest war in history to that point ended. It was also the year another war began. Instead of humans killing one another, it was nature’s turn to wreak havoc. With an estimated...

We’ll Soon Trust AI More Than Doctors to Diagnose Disease

It probably goes without saying, but medicine has improved a lot in modern times. No one would willingly go back to the days of sketchy anesthetics and experimental surgery. We know a lot more about...

Writing the First Human Genome by 2026 Is Synthetic Biology’s Grand Challenge

A “top secret" meeting of scientists was held at the Langone Medical Center on Halloween 2015. Their aim? To kickstart a new Human Genome Project and build a functional human genome from the base...

3 DNA Technologies That Will Forever Change Your Home Life

You’ve likely heard that the DNA revolution is here, but we’ve yet to see it manifest in our daily lives and homes. Speaking at this year’s Exponential Medicine conference, Raymond McCauley talked about how our...

Tomorrow’s Healthcare Is Here Today: Exponential Medicine Begins in San Diego

Anyone who says fully digitized medicine is off on a 10-year horizon is wrong. The future of medicine and healthcare is here today. If you need proof, can you guess what Stanford University’s top gastroenterologist...

Hacking Our Senses Will Transform How We Experience the World

For millennia the human experience has been governed by five senses, but advances in neuroscience and technology may soon give us a far broader perspective. What counts as a sense in the first place is...

Designer Babies and the New Technology of Having Children

Recently, we looked at how exponential tech impacts sex and dating. In this post, we'll look at: Reproduction without sex Freezing your eggs to extend your reproductive timeline Designer babies Making babies without eggs Imagine a...

No Technology Thrives Alone: Progress Is All About Convergence

15 years ago, Ray Kurzweil published one of the most significant essays in the history of futurism: “The Law of Accelerating Returns.” This piece showcased the immense power of exponential technology versus linear technology...

New Smart Tattoos Let You Control Your Phone Using Your Skin

In a recent post about biohacking, I wrote about people who have implanted chips into their bodies to benefit their health, simplify their lives, or connect themselves to an external network. Though some have...

4 Reasons Why You Should Experience Exponential Medicine 2016

Are you looking to address challenges, understand the cutting edge, and contribute to the future of health and medicine? Join Singularity University and 500 selected participants from across the healthcare and technology spectrum this...

Mind-Controlled Nanobots Used to Release Chemicals in Living Cockroaches

This is wild: a team of Israeli scientists developed a contraption that uses a person’s brain waves to remotely control DNA-based nanorobots  — while the nanobots were inside a living cockroach. When prompted by...

Cultured Meat Will Remain a Distant Dream Unless We Do These 4 Things

In 2013 the world’s first cell-cultured hamburger was cooked and tasted live on air. Following that event, there have been many mentions of cultured meat in the media. With all this discussion and publicity, it’s easy...

Living Eye Implant Uses Lab-Grown Cells to Restore Sight

Our eyes are one of our most complex body parts, made up of numerous delicate cell structures that work together seamlessly to allow us to see. Conditions like far-sightedness, glaucoma, and cataracts are widespread,...

Is Evolution Over? Synthetic Biology Anticipates Nature’s Next Steps

Some biological processes are so central to life as we know it that it’s tempting to assume all the key innovations in biochemistry have already happened. Processes like photosynthesis and glycolysis have existed for millennia...

The 21st Century Is a Wild Time to Be Alive

Last week in San Francisco, Singularity University hosted its first-ever Global Summit. In three days, we heard over 100 science and technology experts give talks in more categories than one human mind can fully...

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