Society as a whole benefits from open science, and we can certainly think of it as being critical in responsible research and innovation. It is useful to separate these to some degree, however, for the purpose of understanding whether and how the use of standards could influence the robustness of RRI and OS.
In the field of biotechnology and synthetic biology – which aims at studying living things from the point of view of engineering – standards are desirable, but it has yet to be proved that they can be widely adopted.
The monograph, coordinated by José Pío Beltrán, CSIC research professor at the Institute for Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology (CSIC-UPV), analyses biotechnological advances in plant production.
The new biotechnological approaches to the design of resistant crops will allow us to cut agricultural losses and reduce chemical inputs.
Biotechnological tools such as gene editing or synthetic biology will contribute to increase agricultural production in a sustainable way.
Twenty-first-century agriculture faces major challenges that urgently need to be answered. In the last decade, new breeding technologies have been developed that can help meet these challenges.
This monograph analyses the possibility of cultivating plants outside our planet Earth; presents advances in genome editing such as those that have allowed my laboratory to obtain seedless tomatoes; assesses strategies that should lead to more plentiful harvests using fewer resources; and explains biotechnological strategies to strengthen plants’ immune systems or to use them as biofactories in which we can harvest molecules of health or nutrition interest. Will that be enough? Will we make it in time?
It is clear that the term synthetic biology raises expectations, but it is no less true that it also causes concern. This article starts with a critique of the identification of cells as machines and discusses the current scope of synthetic biology and efforts to standardise it. We also outline some of the social implications of attempts to manufacture life.
Can humans control the future evolution of our species? Based on current knowledge in genetics, one can infer and extrapolate what may happen in the near future. After all, if we are to predict the future, we must first understand the foundations of our present.
During a period dominated by positivist thinking, metaphors seemed incompatible with science, at least for the most common manifestations of scientific discourse.