Biology x Technology: Where the Sky’s the Limit

When we take inspiration from nature and combine it with the power of technology, there’s no limit as to what we can achieve

Published in
3 min readOct 18, 2021


Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Everyday, we hear about the cool new technology that’s going to revolutionize the world. Every new headline holds a new promise.

Elon Musk says Starlink will provide faster internet speeds on airlines

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But these technologies have their limits. Before any of you who are interested in these get very upset, let me clarify: these technologies are very interesting and hold a lot of potential.

But there’s one field that’s yet to be widely acknowledged by the general public—the field that combines biology and technology and is known as biotech.

When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense to take inspiration from biology, and as an extension nature, to build revolutionizing tech. After all, nature has had things figured out for millions of years now.

So how are these two combined? Let’s take a look.

Biotech can include an incredibly wide variety of fields including discovering new drugs and biologics, food technologies, environmental science, sustainable fuels, and many more. We’ll explore a few of these below.

🧬 The Medicine and Genetics Side

If you think about it, nearly everything going on in the medical research field involves biotechnology. This is everything from creating new diagnostic techniques using cutting-edge technology to the amazing field of synthetic biology.

I’ll be shining a light on synthetic biology because it’s a great example of biotech. It’s all about manipulating biology like you would code to end up with a biological product.

As this video puts it,

Synthetic biology refers to both the design & fabrication of biological components that do not exist in the natural world + the redesign & fabrication of existing biological systems.

This is a fairly broad definition so let’s get some examples to help us understand what synthetic biology can do.

For one, it allows us to engineer microbes so they produce perfume and biofuels. It also allows us to reengineer E. Coli to produce an anti-malaria drug. Or on a more fun note: we can create flowers that change color.

The sky really is the limit!

🥖 Food Technologies

Our population is growing quickly and is predicted to hit 9.7 billion in 2050. In a world where so many are going hungry and climate change poses immense risk to our food supply chains, how do we ensure that we’ll have food for decades to come?

Biotechnology to the rescue once again. Using genetic engineering—the combination of engineering and genetics that allows us to change the DNA of an organism—we could create crops that are more resistant to extreme climate conditions. In fact, we’ve already done that.

We could also create the ultimate superfood that gives us all of the nutrients we need and could help in the fight against world hunger.

An example of a food implementing this idea is “golden rice”, rice that is rich in a compound your body can convert to vitamin A. This makes it easier to get your nutrients in, especially in low-income areas that may not have the benefit of products like vitamin supplements.

The possibilities are endless.

🌱 Environmental Science

This branch of biotechnology encompasses lots such as how to deal with our pollution problem, recycling, and bioprocessing, just to name a few.

One example of a pollution solution is plants that are genetically engineered to take in more carbon dioxide. It sounds like science fiction, but it’s true and it may be a great temporary solution to climate change.

There you have it: a brief introduction to biotechnology and a few of its branches. Biotech is a rapidly growing field so if you’re interested in it, keep your eyes peeled for many new innovations to come!

Learn more about biotech at our workshop during Uberposition—a week-long hackathon for high school and college female and non-binary students! Sign up here.

This article was written and edited by Parmin Sedigh.




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