Accession Number:

ADA475300

Title:

Biotechnology Industry, 2006

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

INDUSTRIAL COLL OF THE ARMED FORCES WASHINGTON DC

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2006-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

31.0

Abstract:

The United States leads the world in biotechnology, centered on genetic engineering at the cellular or molecular level, a process which applies across a range of products in diverse industries, just as computer engineering does. The biotech industry is becoming a major player in many sectors, including medicine, agriculture, energy, defense, the environment, and nanotechnology. Genetically modified GM foods are feeding millions. GM bacteria and plants are cleaning up pollution quietly and cheaply. The nation depends on biotechnology for defense against terrorist attacks and pandemic influenzas. Stem cells promise the miracle of tissue regeneration. As an industry, though, biotechnology is still emerging, driven by the promise of research which for many companies has yet to yield products or profits. The industry relies on government to a surprising degree for support of basic science and for regulations that can either free up or stifle growth property rights patents, clinical trials, litigation relief, and ethical guidelines. Only an informed public will allow biotechnology to flourish, because it leans so strongly on legislation, because it is pushing into ethical dilemmas no one has faced before, and because it can either develop or defend against biological weapons and environmental risks. However, the shortage of U.S. scientists and engineers with advanced degrees in biotechnology means the industry depends on foreign researchers, which could easily threaten future preeminence. Establishing a National Biotechnology Council would facilitate federal collaboration. Biotechnology has already had an impact on our lives on an unprecedented scale, and there is every indication the future holds much more.

Subject Categories:

  • Biology
  • Biomedical Instrumentation and Bioengineering
  • Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems
  • Bionics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE