Author(s)Goldberg, Joseph E.
Carter, Anna L.
Cofer, Robin D.
Contributor(s)INDUSTRIAL COLL OF THE ARMED FORCES WASHINGTON DC
Government and Political Science
Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology
Biomedical Instrumentation and Bioengineering
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
DUAL USE TECHNOLOGY
STEM CELL RESEARCH
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AbstractThe United States is the world leader in all aspects of the biotechnology industry and biotechnology is quickly becoming a major industrial player in the United States and globally. The biotech arena touches multiple facets of a number of industries: medicine, agriculture, aquaculture, forestry, defense, and others. Biotechnology is still an immature industry that has yet to reach its potential, but will likely have an impact on almost every aspect of the U.S. economy and way of life in the future. With the mapping of the human genome, medical discoveries occur daily -- pure science, new medicines, and genetically enhanced products designed to save lives. Biotech agriculture is a possible solution in the face of increasing global population to food shortages that will not be met by the "Green Revolution" of the past century. Biotechnology holds promise for a cleaner environment through genetically engineered plants and targeted bioremediation. Biotechnology is greatly affected by government investment in basic science, regulation, and product approval processes, which drives a unique business model. While the United States is the world leader, international competitors are gaining ground. Biomedical technologies have the potential to relieve human suffering and solve a range of societal problems. However, some of these technologies are controversial, such as stem cell research and cloning, and raise ethical, moral, and social issues. Potential dual use of biotechnology complicates the effort to craft effective non-proliferation policies and mitigate bio-weapons threats. Biotechnology has the potential to revolutionize all aspects of U.S. daily life over the next two decades, in much the same way information technology did during the previous two decades.
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