6 expert essays on the future of biotech


What exactly is biotechnology, and how could it change our approach to human health? As the age of big data transforms the potential of this emerging field, members of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Biotechnology tell you everything you need to know. What if your doctor could predict your heart attack before you had it – and prevent it? Or what if we could cure a child's cancer by exploiting the bacteria in their gut? These types of biotechnology solutions aimed at improving human health are already being explored. As more and more data (so called "big data") is available across disparate domains such as electronic health records, genomics, metabolomics, and even life-style information, further insights and opportunities for biotechnology will become apparent. However, to achieve the maximal potential both technical and ethical issues will need to be addressed. As we look to the future, let's first revisit previous examples of where combining data with scientific understanding has led to new health solutions. Biotechnology is a rapidly changing field that continues to transform both in scope and impact. Karl Ereky first coined the term biotechnology in 1919.

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