Biotechnology 101

This century has been called the “biotech century”, and with good reason. Our technology is becoming more sophisticated at an exponential rate. At the same time, technology is suffusing more aspects of our lives; how we learn, how we travel, how we communicate are all being transformed by technology. But perhaps the most profound technological transformations are taking place in the biological sciences.

Biotechnology research

Biotechnology – literally the application of technology to living organisms – is the bleeding edge of the technological transformation of this century. Technological progress might have changed many aspects of our lives, but these pale in comparison to the scale at which technology is set to change our biology. Cybernetics, nanotechnology, and genetics are all upending the old ways of thinking about the human body, as well as how we approach medicine. Early disease detection systems, gene sequencing, robotic surgeries, performance enhancing nutraceuticals; all of these products of biotechnology are already impacting the lives of millions of people.

The current main application for biotechnology is in medicine. The way we identify, diagnose, treat, and monitor illness is increasingly technological in nature (as opposed to the way doctors have historically used intuition and experience to almost “sense” a disease). Machine learning and artificial intelligence have been shown to drastically improve diagnostic accuracy, while advances in genetics have opened to the door to tremendous improvements in pharmaceutical therapies.

But biotechnology can potentially have a much wider impact than this, although changing medicine is hardly a small impact! Biotechnology has the potential to enhance multiple different aspects of human performance. Everything from cognitive function and mood to vision and sports performance can potentially be augmented, improved, and enhanced through the application of biotechnology.

This is largely what the Institute on Biotechnology and the Human Future intends to focus on – human enhancement through the application of cutting edge biotechnology. In doing so, we spend most of our time discussing the latest advances in nutraceutical research. We look at natural substances and their potential application for human enhancement. This includes substances which enhance cognition, vision, immune system function, gut microbiome health, and more.

Learn more about the most popular biotechnology products in use today from Open Health Tools: