28 January 2001 --
In an address on Biotechnology old and new, Ismail Serageldin sketched out to the students and faculty at the AUC the latest developments on the biotechnology front. He painted a vivid image of a world in remarkable transformation and where the new paradigms of biotechnology work especially in industry, is bringing major changes for the better on the environmental front. With improvements of from 3 to 10 times, biological processes are replacing many chemically based processes in industry. The use of such techniques as gene shuffling and biochip screening are already in wide use. Entire companies exist to provide a-la-carte enzymes for other companies. He also presented some of the new areas where the technology is taking us. From intelligent textiles, to DNA computing, from bio-wafers to neuro-chips, the future is exciting and is happening fast. The challenges will be in the ability to address the ethical issues and to ensure that the new science serves the needs of the many rather than being limited to increasing the luxuries of the few. It will require the fashioning of .. "wise constraints that make people free"!