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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Scientists and Salesmen: the New Ownership of Biotech

Author
item Niemira, Brendan

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 14, 2005
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: The biotech revolution grew out of private enterprise and publicly funded effort, sometimes competing, sometimes cooperating, but always intertwined. The Human Genome Project, perhaps the canonical example of this public/private duality, will be reviewed as a case study. Since the evolution of biotechnology from the focus on genomes to the current post-genomic or proteomic era, new applications of biotechnology are maturing ever more rapidly in the global marketplace. Efforts to use the flood of information and novel techniques to balance profit and the public good are also emerging. This essay will review some of the current advances in biotech, such as the advent of high-density microarrays and the development of organismic physiology analysis using total genome expression analysis. The field of nutrigenomics will be discussed in depth, particularly as it relates to the potential for genetic modification of foods to improve human health and longevity by altering gene expressions within humans. Finally, this essay will attempt to discuss some of the ways these advances are being received by the public, and contrast the potential successes and pitfalls of direct manipulation of human gene expression (e.g. by targeted gene therapy) vs. via indirect manipulation (e.g. nutritional and/or nutrigenomic interventions).

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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