A Snapshot View of the Future in Biotechnology and Medicine


As a pharmacist, one who follows biomedical research, and a writer, many people ask about biotechnology and what is on the horizon in medicine.  I am flattered and accept their questions as a compliment, but frankly, it is impossible to have all the answers.  Biotechnology research findings and breakthroughs are being discovered at an ever-increasing rate of speed.

A great book for one’s library for those interested in biotechnology and wish to profit from this scientific arena is Cracking the Code by Jim Mellon and Al Chalabi.  Many ask why is it now that biotechnology is growing so rapidly and producing such astonishing results.  The authors have produced a great answer to that often asked the question: “The short answer is that it has taken this long for computer processors to be able to handle the complex work required to study molecular biology and nanotechnology in a productive way.”

Ray Kurzweil wrote a book; The Singularity was Near in 2006.  Computer processing power is expected to the reach that of the human brain by 2020 according to Kurzweil.  Singularity is a term that describes the point in time when artificial intelligence surpasses that of human intelligence.  The author expects this to happen by 2045.

Microchips continue to become smaller, less expensive, and faster.  Injecting nanoprobes into the bloodstream of mice have successfully detected breast cancer in mice.

nanoprobeIrradiating or excising the cancer is easily performed before the destructive cells spread out of control.  Soon these probes will become a standard procedure in the annual physical exam.  Identifying and confronting disease states are easily performed.

Soon we will be able to grow new organs from our DNA; that is no more donor organs.  Synthetic biology is the new term to describe the efforts of researching DNA, the large molecule that contains all the genetic information of an organism.  Jim Mellon and Al Chalabi believe synthetic biology will become one of the biggest industries in the world.

Every day there is new findings, there is no doubt that we are living in exciting times in the discoveries brought forth by biotechnology.

future of biotechnology