Columbus, Ohio (April 1, 2021)—We live in an era of misinformation, mistrust and science skepticism. Yet, to resolve the challenges we face, we must drive innovative science-based solutions forward and emphasize science as a nonpartisan issue.
As leader of one of the world’s largest scientific R&D organizations, a big perk of my job is getting an insider’s view of solutions to tomorrow’s challenges. Subsequently, I’ve identified three science-driven fields that I believe will enable us to carve out a better and brighter future by protecting people and the planet.
No. 1: Biotechnology will protect us from future health threats
No one can argue that even the tiniest virus can make a worldwide impact. As we contend with COVID-19 mutations and administer vaccinations, we still have much to learn. For example, we must conduct an in-depth study of immunity to determine the longevity of protection and assess the potential need for booster vaccinations.
The incredible amount of data that has been generated and collected over the course of the pandemic will provide vital insights that aid the development of better diagnostics and treatments.
Biotechnology also has a pivotal role to play in proactively protecting us. Research by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a division of the U.S. Department of Defense, paved the way for expedited development of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as countermeasures that sequence a pathogen’s DNA and the host’s physiological response.
This enables scientists to catch and stop the next virus before it gains momentum. Countermeasures to both natural and weaponized threats are also in the works, including technologies that will predict viral evolution and spread.
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