Building a New Biology
Imagine generating a living thing of your own design, to your own specifications. Recently, researchers have developed powerful new technologies that allow life to be built from scratch. New, engineered organisms are being constructed to help cure cancer, produce renewable energy, and assemble living computers. Teenagers can now learn to program DNA just as they learn to program computers. But who will control these new biotechnologies? What good and bad possibilities seem likely to come true?
In this lecture, Endy discusses the science behind this new biology and the many factors that must be considered as research progresses, from practical issues like patents and copyrights, to the weighty implications of essentially creating life.