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.
Biotechnological research has made significant progress; however, some of its results are controversial because of their health and environmental risks, and these limit their application because of the precautionary measures applied to them.
The latest biotechnology applications allow for faster and cheaper gene editing than ever before. Many people are calling for a public debate on these issues, including the social, cultural and ethical implications of these applications.
The communication of biotechnology has played a key role in recent years. The great advances made and the speed with which new genetic editing techniques are implemented raise enormous expectations but also concerns.
The latest Mètode monograph shows the importance of communication and popularisation in the field of biotechnology.