Economic Future

EDIT: Hey, if you agree with me about biotech, I made an entry at the Citizen’s Briefing Book on Change.gov called “Economic Prosperity Via Biotech Innovations”. Vote it up for me!

Oil has changed in price from over $140 a barrel to under $40 a barrel. Retail sales, while still over 100B larger than 10 years ago, declined for the first time since they started tracking, and much more so than anticipated. Citi is going down in flames, and the credit card companies have been eerily silent for some time now. Real estate is still dropping, even here in NYC.

I have a strong gut feeling we’re still not at the bottom yet. Which is a bad, bad, bad thing.

I think if the U.S. is to have any hope of economic recovery, we need to reinvest in science and technology, and most specifically in biotechnology and medicine. The FDA needs to be dismantled and reinvented, and pharmaceutical companies need to stop exerting influence over the government – wholesale deregulation is NOT what I’m advocating, but we need to start looking beyond our borders at how other nations are doing bioscience because we’ve just lost a decade or so of innovation and advancement due to corporate greed and religious special interest hogwash.

Research with stem cells needs to happen. Billions need to be invested into research in new medicines and therapies, and universities need to be funded to produce more biotech students. Nanomaterials that can enhance and enable new kinds of drug interactions should be developed. Biohackers are probably our nation’s most precious resource at this point – the new startup garage is the kitchen.

This is the next great frontier. Decoding genomes and creating new kinds of life from the parts with software VLSI style – that synthetic biology is the future.

4 Comments

  1. “doing bioscience because we’ve just lost a decade or so of innovation and advancement due to corporate greed and religious special interest hogwash.”

    Maybe you are right that we are behind on some fronts… stem cell research… however, in general we still harbor the industry and set most of its standards.

    Yes, we need advancements in medical, biomedical and scientific research. We also need to reduce our reliance on foreign oil. The pharmaceutical industry uses petroleum products to make drugs. How can we reduce our reliance on these drugs and make the best use of the smallest number of specifically targeted drugs? Acupuncture and medical meditation cost little money. For short examples, acupuncture has been shown to aide in drug addiction treatment, reduce nausea from chemotherapy and post operative nausea from anesthetics… why are we not widely utilizing this cost-effective treatment that harnesses a person’s own bio-medicine/energy medicine?

    • mik3cap

      I am down with your ideas – but no one is going to make billions and billions of dollars with acupuncture. They will do so however if they synthesize a bacterium that makes hydrogen, and that will simultaneously solve the oil reliance problem. Or maybe biohackers will invent soylent green and eliminate world hunger. Or maybe they’ll do something nobody even has the imagination for yet. Any way you look at it, synthetic biology is THE future, it’s the ultimate, tapping into the stuff of life itself.

      If we don’t make this investment immediately, as in right now, other countries will get out ahead of us and by then we might not have the money left to actually catch up. As it is, we haven’t won the iGEM contest at all yet – Slovenia is kicking ass in that one.