Set biotech free 🕊️
the way to a sustainable future is to release biotech into the wild
The evolution of the biotech industry over the past couple decades has been astounding, but one thing hasn’t changed much: the cost of doing biotech.
Making products like recombinant proteins or engineered strains is still as expensive as it was 20+ years ago. We haven’t worried much about these costs because biotech drugs are so valuable it doesn’t matter… and regulatory compliance is most of the cost anyway.
But now we have food, agriculture, textile, chemical, and energy bioproducts coming to market and we are still making them like pharma products. There is simply no way that this new wave of “sustainable” goods will live up to its name if the cost of production is so high.
To start, we must rethink biomanufacturing. Sterility is a fallacy. A lab is a glorified kitchen. Cheaper hardware must be co-opted from other industries and we need to redefine “Good Manufacturing Practices” for these new products.
But ultimately, we must engineer the living world.
The most efficient and sustainable bioproducts live all around us. Biology is powerful because it is autonomous, self-replicating, and only constrained by the resources made available to it. It requires no oversight, management, or maintenance.
Why are we trapping these microbes in steel tanks, when they are already crawling all over us? Why are we using high performance liquid chromatography, when we eat crude, unpurified bioproducts every day?
I want to live in a world where engineered bacteria make key vitamins in my gut, where my home grown tomato expresses a longevity drug, and where engineered super trees thrive in a hotter, drier world, sucking gigatons of carbon right out of the air.
We will only realize biotechnology’s true potential, when we release it into the wild.