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Biopharma GMO bacteria to Therapeutic Innovations

There are ethical and responsible ways to use genetic engineering technology. Meg and I disagree with GMO foods because of their unknown safety, but there is a positive side of genetic engineering!

In the life sciences, innovative companies have been making designer drugs using genetically engineered bacteria. This genetic engineering is where ethical technology of the GMO sector exists. 

Manufacturing insulin or mono-clonal antibody drugs, genetically engineered bacteria are at the core of an applied life science technology that is saving my wife though the production of insulin, and keeping my mother from going blind with eye injections of hormone deactivating biologic drug that prevents blood vessels from growing behind her retina. 

Some drugs are very hard to make via synthetic chemical routes. Making THC, the psychosis inducing component of cannabis for example can be a daunting chemical engineering task. MDMA is a lot easier to make because far fewer chemical steps are required. Simple drugs are crude because they affect different people different. These small molecules like alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and methamphetamine affect some people more than others. Biologic drugs are complicated to make, so genetically modifying a bacteria is often the easiest and only practical way to make these complex drugs. 

In medicine one of the big goals is custom made medicines. After the emergence of the Human Genome project, a new displine called informatics emerged, creating knowledge about the genetic code. Related technologies have allowed innovative life science companies to create novel drugs from bacterial that have a modified gene set. Genetic engineering can alter the chemical processing steps happening inside the bacteria so that a novel drug can be produced as a metabolic output of the bacterias chemical processes.

At the chemical level all life is coded via CTAG, a set of 4 instructions that forms all the DNA and RNA of life. Technically there are 5 instructions if you include U on the RNA set, but all RNA is transcribed from DNA, so the original information on the DNA is written in 4 base codes. The code of life is in sharp contrast to the binary 1 and 0 codes of digital computers. 

Using computer to understand life at a more detailed and finite level allows scientists to collaborate with eachother across space and time. For example, if a new imagining technology is developed, the imagining technology will be adapted to many different applications across a few different sectors. If a new approaches to molecular biological manipulation is developed in one lab, the methods are cloned and tried in other labs, eventually if there is good promise they become commercialized products, technologies and innovations. 

Crude pharmacology drugs have nasty side effects in certain populations that cannot metabolize or handle the drugs properly. Every year someone is going to drop dead after they take a ibuprofen for the first time, that person unknowingly possessing a deadly allergy to ibuprofen. Another person will eat peanuts for the first time and start suffocating as their immune system produces a cyclone of reactive processes to combate the peanut compounds that person is allergic too. One of the main goals of biologic medicines is to produce natural compounds that the body can intrinsically handle with its metabolic processes with minimal side effects in fewer people for greater safety and effectiveness. 

What causes allergies, autoimmune dieseases, cancers, aging and death? To tackle these questions we have to look at what is happening at the cellular chemical signaling level and the genetic chemical transcription level. We need to use these powered ideas from science to gain new insight, understandings so that new innovations and solutions to diseases that plague society can be created!  

Science is all about building knowledge, knowledge that can be used in applied technology as creative innovative new and improving solutions to problems that have escaped solving because of a lack of knowledge. In the life sciences we can see many powerful ideas from science interacting. Using genetically engineered bacteria to improve the lives of people that are already alive is the ethical side of GMO. 

At the end of the day ethics are important because in an ethical world people are better able to collaborate. This is why America and Western Europe have done so well, and why many countries in Africa have not. To make a country flourish, you need a culture that creates the conditions for ongoing collaboration and innovation, where intellectual rights are protected for both arts and sciences.

There is a book called the Lever of Riches by Joel Mokyr who explains in great detail how the innovations in the history of science and technology created unparalleled shared wealth in Europe. Think about what Information Technology is doing to democratize wealth in India today to see another example of how innovations are creating shared wealth and prosperity!

Most technologies are a doubled edged sword, good in the hands of ethical people, and dangerous in the hands of crazy people. You can think about knives, pens, guns, batts, sticks, a bow and arrow, these inanimate objects only become dangerous to innocent people where these object controlled by a crazy person. This is why GMO is a mixed bag. When you think about an innovative science company like Monsanto, you can see that spraying millions gallons of a carcinogen on food crops is not their most ethical division. When they genetically engineer a systemic pesticide into the fabric of life with GMO Corn, GMO Soy, GMO potatoes, you might also wonder about resulting food safety of consuming these products. But not all GMO technology is bad. Monsanto pioneered the genetically modification of bacteria for the production of biologic medicines that help people. This is the part of Monsanto that Meg and I appreciate, we hope that it flourishes, and that more innovation that improve the lives of people result from the enhancement of this kind of GMO technology.

Companies are ultimately just made of people. The kinds of people in the company, and what those people are thinking about, this is what makes up the ethical core of a corporation. If bad people dominate a corporation, the corporation with do unethical things, reflective of the bad people. If you examined a supposedly unethical company, you would find a whole bunch of different kinds of people. 50 shades of grey of confusion, goodness, badness, ethics and morality. If you take a gallon of white paint and add two drops of red to it, the whole gallon becomes pink. Meg and I are like little drops of green light. No battery where you put us, we will contaminate the system with positive ideas, kindness, truth, and light. You can become a beacon of light to those in your lives by looking at everyone you encounter though super intelligent eyes of forgiving love. This is what makes the difference in an ethical person. Yes you can teach other people virtues, we can remake evil corporation into ethical business entities. We have the power to remake the world as we see fit. Using science and technology to improve the lives of people should be the way forward!

We are all in this together here on earth! Lets collaborate, share ideas, be kind and generous, helpful and nice, intelligent and curious, talkative and friendly! What the world is like today and what the would will be like tomorrow is all dependent on what each person in the world is thinking about! That is why I named by blog Thinking About It. If you can win over the hearts and minds of other people you can change the world! 

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