Wednesday, April 30, 2008

'The Domestication of Biotechnology'

"There will be do-it-yourself kits for gardeners who will use genetic engineering to breed new varieties of roses and orchids. Also kits for lovers of pigeons and parrots and lizards and snakes to breed new varieties of pets. Breeders of dogs and cats will have their kits too. Domesticated biotechnology, once it gets into the hands of housewives and children, will give us an explosion of diversity of new living creatures, rather than the monoculture crops that the big corporations prefer."

-- Physicist Freeman J. Dyson, in his essay “Our Biotech Future” from the New York Review of Books, July 17, 2007. An audio except of Dyson delivering these remarks in a University of Michigan graduation speech was part of a recent episode of public radio's Radiolab from WNYC, which explored the "uneasy marriage between biology and engineering." (MP3 audio)

(Image: Dyson's homepage)

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