Power of Biotechnology
If we talk about the power of biotechnology, it can be said without any doubt that we cannot even realize the extent to which biotechnology can influence our lives. However, the influence can either be in positive or negative direction. Although most of the biotechnological innovations can serve humanity in immensely useful manner, there are also certain risks that are linked with adverse exploitation of this advanced technology.
Risks of Biological Weapons
One of the most common arguments that we hear against biotechnology is that it has weaponized biology and the world would see intentional epidemic outbreaks in future that would be initiated either by terrorist groups or state actors. It is rumored that world super-power already have assembled such deadly biological weapons which they could use upon will. As the availability of scientific publications has become extremely easy these days, it also increases the risk of unrighteous use of this knowledge by malicious groups.
Nevertheless, this one risky aspect of biotechnology cannot undermine the vast spectrum of applications offered by the proficient recombinant technology and genetic engineering. Though the risk of bioweapons cannot be ignored and ethical committees should develop stringent legislations to protect against such criminal acts; the hopeful note here is that we genetic engineering tools have enable scientists to rapidly invent the cure of any natural or man-made infections.
Benefits of Biotechnology
The positive aspect of biotechnology has been recently highlighted with the onset of global pandemic that most of us are experiencing for the first time in life. At the moment, the whole world is looking with hope towards biotechnology researchers and international biotech companies for finding an appropriate solution for COVID-19.
Biotech companies are working hard not only to develop accurate diagnostic assays, effective therapeutics but also mainstream efforts are inclined towards production of suitable vaccines that could treat affective patients with 100% surety. Biotech and pharmaceutical companies have currently shifted all their focus towards finding a probable solution with each company implementing its own strategy in order to develop the vaccine in minimum time and bring life back to normal in whole world.
We can certainly hope that struggle of these companies combined with efforts of academic and official biotech researchers will most likely yield an appropriate solution for the novel coronavirus pandemic within few months.
Apart from the present scenario, biotechnological advancements have facilitated us against several other lethal diseases such as polio, rotavirus by the development of suitable vaccines. According to given statistics, such immunization series have prevented nearly 33,000 casualties only in the United States.
Currently, research activities are focused on development of a vaccine for targeting different types of cancer cells including colorectal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer; the trials for these vaccines being at the final stages. It would be a great accomplishment for the biotech sector if it is able to win over a deadly disease like cancer.
While keeping in consideration the whole discussion, I believe that advancement in biotechnology have been much more benefitting than harmful for humankind. Biotechnology is not just a profession rather; it is a profession with the basic purpose of serving the society. With biological advances, we can hope to defeat Covid-19 or any other pandemic in future with ease and confidence.
by: Noor Ul Ain