Would you eat glow-in-the-dark crops? What about an apple that doesn’t brown? Those are just a few of the products that may line grocery store shelves in the not-too-distant future.Biotechnology has long been heralded as the Next Big Thing that will change our world and solve many of its problems. And if a recent post on its official blog is any indication, even the State Department seems to be signing on. Norman Borlaug, the green revolution agronomist whose work is said to have saved roughly a billion lives to date, would be proud.If the biotech revolution is like the infotech revolution—one great eruption instead of a series of steps—it could change society at every level. As the State Department notes, some of the technologies may solve relatively small problems, like food waste in American schools. Some other recent advances include the use of bacteria in mining, the production of crops with radically higher yields, and the development of urine-based malaria testing that is both minimally invasive and dirt cheap.Historically, technology is why pessimists about the future of humanity have been wrong: they fail to account for our irrepressible ingenuity. And as we have repeatedly pointed out, climate models which assume that future energy production will remain as dirty as it is now are making a fundamentally wrong assumption. And those who predicted wars would erupt over freshwater don’t seem so prescient any more. Expect more such embarrassments for doomsayers in the future as biotechnological innovation takes off.
Biotech BlossomsBiotech Revolution Is Picking up Steam