A Future Bright and Dark

Lynn C. Klotz and Edward J. Sylvester

in Breeding Bio Insecurity

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780226444055
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226444079 | DOI:
A Future Bright and Dark

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Discoveries in molecular biology are changing the understanding of human complexity and unraveling these newfound complexities requires emerging disciplines such as systems biology. Some strategies of basic research and drug discovery and development could easily be turned toward bioweaponry with the technology already available. The Human Genome Project set one of the most ambitious goals in the history of science, to understand the “book” of instructions that makes human, and the books for other living things ranging from the ubiquitous bacterium E. coli and brewers yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, to the deadly smallpox virus, Variola major. The nature of science itself, always seeks the simplest possible explanation for all the critical evidence found in unraveling any conundrum, but which has a way of finding ever new mind-numbing complications. The enormous complexity of the living world that hinders advance in medicine also hinders the fearful aspects of biological warfare and now is the time to develop biology for our benefit and not our destruction.

Keywords: molecular biology; human complexity; systems biology; drug discovery; bioweaponry; Human Genome Project; medicine

Chapter.  7801 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biotechnology

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