If software “ate the world” last decade, biology will dominate the next. We need to think bigger to solve our most complex problems. Websites can’t reverse climate change, apps won’t cure malaria and you can’t eat software. Life’s code — DNA, not 1s and 0s — will be used to feed the world, fight antibiotic resistance, thwart biological warfare. By engineering biology we have the power to transform cells into living factories that sustainably grow things that waste less, last longer, fix themselves.
With its incredible power, engineering biology also requires deeper public education and begs more nuanced ethical questions. As we embark into this new era, we must grapple with the toughest questions to reach the greatest possibilities.
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.