As it appears, synthetic biology originates from Big Pharma. In 2019, Big Pharma was already investing $1.2 trillion USD per year in synthetic biology (1000 billion USD per year). Big Pharma appears to be funneling their money to synthetic biology.
Big pharma raises bet on biotech as frontier for growth
https://www.ft.com/content/80a21ca2-136 ... f78404524e
A special about synthetic biology in the Economist (Redesigning Life, April 6, 2019) predicted that synthetic biology will be the most important thing in science in this century and presented it as a natural and inevitable part of human evolution.
The report presents synthetic biology as an unguided practice, primarily driven by the short-term financial self-interest of companies. People (companies) will try to control the genetic fabric of nature and are already well on their way.Remaking Life Means Automating Biology
Those Given to Grand Statements About the Future Often ProClaim This to Be The Century of Biology in The Same Way That The 20th Century was that of Physics and the 19th Century was that of Chemistry. ...
Humans Have Been Turning Biology to Their Own Purposes For More Than 10,000 Years. ...
Reprogramming Nature is extremely convoluted, having evolved with no intention or guidance. But if you could synthesize Nature, Life Could Be Transformed Into Something More Amenable to An Engineering Approach, with Well Defined Standard Parts.
Biotechnology is Already A Bigger Business Than Many People Realize. Rob Carlson Of Bianceconomy Capital, An Investment Company, Calculates That Money Made From Creatures Which Have Been Genetically Engineered Accounted For About 2% or American GDP in 2017.
With humans, Big Pharma had to endure a certain scrutiny. Severe fraud and corruption still happened, but there was a level of oversight.
The following research by professor John P. A. Ioannidis (Stanford University) shows that the short term financial interest of companies can result in profound corruption of science.
Effectiveness of antidepressants: an evidence myth constructed from a thousand randomized trials?
The corruption for financial motives goes far. Some time ago it was revealed that the publisher of The Lancet (Elsevier) published 6 fake scientific journals for pharmaceutical companies, to mislead scientists and doctors in the financial interest of companies.
Companies serve short term financial profit with a simple mindset: "if you don't do it, another company will. Either take a billion USD extra or lose the fight to survive.".Reputational damage for medical publisher Elsevier, which publishes The Lancet, among others. Last week the Dutch-English company admitted that from 2000 to 2005 it had published six fake journals that were issued for scientific journals. In reality, they were marketing magazines paid for by pharmaceutical companies. The papers published in Australia had names such as Australasian Journal of General Practice and Australasian Journal of Bone & Joint Medicine. The magazines look solid, also because the name Elsevier is prominent on the front page and the sponsor's name is not.
In the case of humans (medicine) there may be pretty strong ethical forces at play, although obviously not (yet) efficient enough to prevent the cited profound corruption.
What if companies are let on the loose for a synthetic biology revolution? Who will speak for the plants and animals? The potential for damage may be much greater as there will logically be less control and oversight. Unlike with people, companies do not have to be afraid of mass Class Action lawsuits with penalties of several billions of USD per case.
Making money on disease creates an incentive to promote disease with chronic disease as the ideal situation. Essentially, with their massive often ill gotten funds, Big Pharma invests into bio-tech to secure further growth. The origin of the synthetic biology industry may be corruption for a large part.
A multi-trillion USD practice is difficult to undo or change.
Is a synthetic biology revolution justifiable with a solid intelligent/theoretical concept? Or could it be that it is based on a doubtful belief or dogma that happens to provide a great profit-growth potential for Big Pharma-like companies?
With the risks of exponential growth, an error may cause a disaster for the human species or nature on earth. That is why it can be important to think before a synthetic biology revolution is started instead of leaving companies run dumb with a short-term profit incentive.
From the perspective of Big Pharma. Maybe they only want to continue to grow, to repeat history through uncontrolled maximum progress for science, the potential essence of their existence derived from their origin.
The Economist reported that synthetic biology, while still in its infancy, already has a turnover of $ 400 billion USD per year in the USA (2% of American GDP).
It is an unimaginable great power that directly affects the well-being of animals and plants on a very large scale. The investment of $ 1.2 trillion USD per year will increase the impact in the coming years, which may lead to new exponential growth risks.
The biggest problem may be that the synthetic biology revolution disappeared from the sight of people. Big Pharma operated on people with families who provided supervision and control.
What are the consequences when Big Pharma-like companies operate on Nature that cannot speak for itself?
Humans figuratively speaking started out of a cave and when weighing the potential for natural disaster against not making progress sufficiently fast could be in favor of the latter by definition. I can see from a political perspective that simply enabling Big Pharma companies to create research capacity sufficiently fast by any means would be in favor of humanity. In the case of a major species threatening event, the capacity of Big Pharma can be 100% dedicated to solving the problem.
At present times however, an argument could be that humans should evolve and put intelligence before practice.
The potential for exponential growth could heighten the risk of letting Big Pharma-like companies run dumb with synthetic biology. A mistake can potentially cause a disaster for the human species or even nature on earth.
What is your opinion on the synthetic biology revolution? Does it have a sound theoretical foundation and will it serve human evolution in the best way?