Saved by Science: The Hope and Promise of Synthetic Biology by Mark J Poznansky
My rating: (3.5 / 5)
With all the advances in Science in the last century, why are there still so many infectious diseases? Why haven’t we found cures for difficult cancers? Why hasn’t any major headway been made in the treatment of mental illness? Why did 36 million people die of hunger in 2019. How do we expect to feed the additional two to three billion people expected by 2050? And how do we intend to stop, and not only that butreverse, global warming and the climate crisis?
In Saved by Science, scientist Mark Poznansky examines the many crises facing humanity while encouraging us with the promise of an emerging solution: Synthetic Biology. This is the science of building simple organisms, or “biological apps,” to make manufacturing greener, energy production more sustainable, agriculture more robust, and medicine more powerful and precise. Synthetic biology is the marriage of the digital revolution with a revolution in biology and genomics; some have even called it “the fourth industrial revolution.”
[I received a copy through NetGalley and Pigeonhole, in exchange for an honest review.]
Quite an informative book on the current state of biology as well as extrapolation on what we could do in the future in regards to synthetic biology. Hopefully in the near future, too, because as far as I can see, starvation and climate change aren’t going anywhere soon.
The scientific explanations are easy to follow, so you don’t need a deep scientific background to get something out of this book. Will any of this happen? Maybe, maybe not, but envisioning the possibilities was made easy and, dare I say, exciting—the author seems to have an optimistic train of thought here, and it shines through. Even though there are concerns about certain things (GMOs, etc.), I must say my own outlook on this would veer more towards the positive than the negative, for sure. Shall we play with DNA? Is that our place? Maybe not, but it wasn’t our place either to pollute and wreck the planet, so maybe it’s time we do something about it.
If anything, I’d say it could’ve done with being a little longer, although a few parts were also slightly repetitive… so maybe a compromise here?
Conclusion: 3.5 stars
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