Point of View: A transatlantic perspective on 20 emerging issues in biological engineering

Peer-reviewed paper by Bonnie Wintle, Catherine Rhodes, Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh, Christian R. Boehm, William Sutherland, Robert Doubleday, Jennifer C Molloy, Piers Millett, Laura Adam, Rainer Breitling, Rob Carlson, Rocco Casagrande, Malcolm Dando, Eric Drexler, Brett Edwards, Tol Ellis, Nicholas G Evans, Richard Hammond, Jim Haseloff, Linda Kahl, Todd Kuiken, Benjamin R Lichman, Colette A Matthewman, Johnathan A Napier, Nicola J Patron, Edward Perello, Philip Shapira, Joyce Tait, Eriko Takano
Published on 15 November 2017


Advances in biological engineering are likely to have substantial impacts on global society. To explore these potential impacts we ran a horizon scanning exercise to capture a range of perspectives on the opportunities and risks presented by biological engineering. We first identified 70 potential issues, and then used an iterative process to prioritise 20 issues that we considered to be emerging, to have potential global impact, and to be relatively unknown outside the field of biological engineering. The issues identified may be of interest to researchers, businesses and policy makers in sectors such as health, energy, agriculture and the environment.


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