Our biosphere has an exploding population of over Seven Billion people. Add to this the other population of Fauna and Flora, that is harvested and exploited in various ways to meet the ever increasing demands of space, food,water,air and evolving quality of life and living. The Biosphere can support about three billion people .How do we manage this unstoppable growth of population. Is Covid like pandemic an answer? Is war a solution? Is restructuring of ecosystems, food chain and food web an answer? Will evolving art and craft of scientific studies and technological advancement help. Post Covid,can our educational institutions, Research centers indulge in brain storming centers to prioritise areas that must be emphasized to train our youth for change that are required in the next few decades. Should not Print and electronic media spend more time on these vital issues.We need experts to develop narratives, programs and modules to sensitize people in all societies globally. These issues have nothing to do with caste,religion,region,politics and related divisive issues. In fact,they relate to economics,trade ,commerce,industry,security of nations and well being of people.
Technologies that can have a long term impact on human society,ecosystems and well-being of people are needed. They will reshape and reset the hierarchical relations of our biosphere.
Nanobiotechnology which encompasses Genetic Engineering is an excellent area that have the capability to fight diseases,neutralise pathogenic microbes and develop ways and means to treat genetic disorders,potentials,immunity and facilitate production of designer babies,crops and animals .We are on the threshold of these.Genome mapping of humans have shown us the path to understand how gene expression helps appearance of different traits,shapes,sizes,and capabilities of humans as well as the specific gene loci whose aberration causes numerous genetic disorders from Thalassemia to haemophilia etc.Such Genomic maps have been prepared for crop plants and other cattle.This is one area where our youth needs to be trained.Genomic mapping should be taught both from theoretical as well as practical point of view in all of universities. It is an interdisciplinary area and has inputs from Physics,chemistry,life sciences and Engineering.Instrumentation and cheaper production of chemicals and glasswares along with ancillary facilities are needed.Industry should liaison with universities and research centers to support genomic mapping of specific plants and animals of their interest.For instance milch cattle,poultry,fish,goats,sheep’s and camel can be used as cash yielding entrepreneurship programs,so can wheat,rice,pulses,vegetables.
The area of genetic disorder is a matter of concern too.Babies with birth defects such as dyslexia,without hand and feet,eye,ear,neurological disorders,muscular dysfunction and blood vascular aberrations are creating problems of multiple dimensions for families and relationships.We have realised the importance of blood groups,dangers of interbreeding and of emerging incurable genetic disorders.We know how more than one child can affect the quality of life in a family,society and nation.
CrispRCas 9 technology will have profound effect on the shape of things to come in the coming two decades.This is an area of training for youth in all developing countries.This technology facilitates,gene repair,preparation of synthetic gene of known trait,gene replacement and gene substitution.In simple terms this technology acts like chemical scissors and glue.This enzyme can specifically cut a nucleotide sequence in a Identified DNA segment on specific auto-some or Sex chromosome.It can remove a nucleotide or specific nucleotide sequence,repair and reinsert,or substitute it by a synthetic gene of known character.Such genomic changes can be done at a point,in a segment or a very large segment of the DNA in a chromosome.Nucleotide sequences that code for specific proteins are appearing for sale to pharma companies to prepare clean drugs that would affect the target microbe,aberrant metabolite or would restore homeostatic conditions in body.They can be used to produce strong individuals,enhance traits and make life of an individual more productive and satisfying.
Debates are happening in the Scientific world about CrispRCas 9 technologies and their impact in terms of domination of Western world or of nations who would use it to reset and rebuild the ecosystems,flora fauna and human societies.Some religious groups want a ban on such research and they point to the upheaval it will cause.They think its effect will be worst than Covid.The concept of designer baby,disease free society,enhanced age will need lot of handling.What kind of political,administrative systems all be needed to handle such a population whose parentage is in laboratory.What psychological behaviour will they manifest?Will they obey social rituals,norms,religion and society?
Is CrispRCas 9 an answer to Covid like pandemics.It is true that this virus is produced by genetic Engineering and can be used by drugs or devices produced by similar nanobioengineering.
This article is aimed at receiving the attention of Scientists,leaders of biomedical sciences,pharma industries and of personnel of military Industrial complex.Our psychologists and behavioral scientists must gear up to these emerging challenges.