When now modify living organisms like flowers or

When it was first introduced, biotechnology
was used for forensics, medicine, and agriculture. Over the last century, it
has evolved from growing plants as a reliable source of food, to domesticating
animals. As society has advanced, so have our needs, values, or priorities
regarding how different technologies may impact us. The progress of using
biotechnology may be affected in some parts of the world due to moral and
ethical views involving culture or religion. Freeman Dyson’s, “Our Biotech
Future,” discusses how biotechnology can help our world’s development by the
end of the 21st century.  (Dyson, 2007) He also argues, biotechnology
holds the answers to resolve social issues by introducing wealth to stabilize poorer
economies in the world. He envisions a balance between urban and rural
populations, by using green technology to achieve economic stability. When
mentioned in the essay green technology involves biology, while gray technology
refers to physics and chemistry. “Green technology will use land and sunlight
as its primary sources of raw materials and energy.” (Dyson, 2007) Overall, biotechnology
fundamentally aims to meet our human needs or demands to enjoy an improved
quality of life.

 

            Biology
is constantly evolving, and discoveries are growing at an exponential rate. “Biology
is now bigger than physics, as measured by the size of budgets, the size of the
workforce, or the output of major discoveries; and biology is likely to remain
the biggest part of science through the twenty-first century.” (Dyson, 2007) For
instance, biologists and bio-engineers can now modify living organisms like
flowers or animals using genetic engineering.

            “We
can imagine that in the future, when we have mastered the art of           genetically engineered plants, we may
breed new crop plants that have        leaves
made of silicon, converting sunlight into chemical energy with ten        times the efficiency of natural plants.”
(Dyson, 2007)

If biotechnology were used to implement
these changes to our ecosystem, it would positively affect global warming. An
innovation like this would help maintain the earth’s ozone layer, rather than
continuing to use harmful energy such as oil.

 

            Technology
is a fast growing industry, and is growing at an exponential rate while also
becoming more accessible around the world. Dyson writes that there will be do
it yourself kits available for everyday use. This means items that are set-aside
for professionals or trained individuals could now fall into the hands of an
average person. The possibilities are endless when it comes to the negative
aspect of biotechnology. For instance, once it becomes accessible through
domestication, there will be those who may use it unlawfully, or for negative
purposes. However, wrongdoing may be inevitable, easy access to certain
substances, or chemicals may provoke those looking to offend to develop worse
ways of harm. Although there are negative aspects, the positives should be
highlighted too. For instance as Dyson explains, “bringing wealth to the
villages means bringing jobs other than farming.”

Therefore, if biotechnology is integrated
into agriculture this could lead to increase in available jobs. Society will
prosper by introducing certain aspects of biotechnology, however it should be
carefully monitored to avoid damaging our ecosystem.

 

 

            Dyson’s
stance is, future generations will have to, “create restrictions and place checks
on genetic experimentation.” (Dyson, 2007) Presently, biotechnology has already
been introduced to our daily lives. We have genetically modified organisms in
our food, and in other consumable products. Furthermore, we have begun to modify
organisms through breeding, such as our pets. However, some genetically
engineered organisms are still too new for us to fully understand. In addition,
it is hard to observe the affect on our human bodies, since we are constantly
evolving as a species. It has been suggested over time certain traits can be
identified as undesirable, thus with the correct modification these traits
could be eliminated. (McLaren, 2005) However, this implies we know what traits
are desirable to create an organism that would otherwise be impossible. For
instance, the plants with black leaves that will absorb more sunlight mentioned
in Dyson’s article. This could be problematic because we are unable to observe
the consequences of these new organisms in ourselves, or in the environment.