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Harnessing Disruption to Move Forward with Biotech [Video]

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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As biotechnology evolves, it’s easier to imagine a future where a steak dinner would be produced in the laboratory and cell parts are replicated via 3-D printer. Scientific American is constantly exploring these frontlines of science and innovation. And this week I moderated a thought-provoking panel exploring how biotech and ICT (information and communications technology) may reshape the coming years as part of the Atlantic Council’s “2013 Strategic Foresight Forum: Harnessing Disruption” conference on December 9 and 10.

The focus of the conference was on disruptive technology and how to harness it for good, and Scientific American was a media partner. During my panel, top experts in the field weighed in on how breakthroughs in ICT will influence social inequality, the ethics of disclosing incidental findings in medical testing and bioterrorism risks.

Former Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig (now a vice chair at the RAND Corporation), futurist and author Ramez Naam, and Michael Nelson, a principal technology strategist from Microsoft, all offered their insights. Check out some of that conversation below:

Look here for last year’s panel.

About the Author: Dina Fine Maron is the associate editor for health and medicine at Scientific American. Follow on Twitter @Dina_Maron.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. Uncle.Al 2:36 pm 12/13/2013

    a steak dinner would be produced in the laboratory” Culture human meat and run at a fat profit. Sashimi-Green for the masses: long pig, high pork, hairless goat, Andes boar.

    Have you ever tasted Good’s buffers for tissue culture? Wuck. The cooked meat will taste like pap unless the Maillard reaction runs, meat lysine residues dehydratively reacted with reducing sugars or rancid fat aldehydes, then thermally cleaved to alkyl pyrazines and such. What Beltway lobotmite or diversity academic is in charge of this hornswoggle?

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  2. 2. gesimsek 5:06 pm 12/13/2013

    speaking of democratization, the agricultural revolution failed to give fish for everybody, the industrial revolution failed to teach everybody how to catch fish, hopefully, the biotech revolution will let people to DIY fish for themselves (without enslaving them with patent rights and hybrid seeds)

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  3. 3. scilo 7:23 pm 12/13/2013

    Too many people view this planet as they’re personal playground, or lab. Kill off the local foods and sell em man you factured stuff. What a capitolist’s dream come true.
    Coming next: Patented people traits! Human birth liscensed through Monsanto.
    What quality of arrogance has the human mind to devise replaciing nature with science? Apparently, God couldn’t stomach his creation either. Shall we do any better?

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