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The Coming Biotech Age

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The Coming Biotech Age

The Business of Bio-Materials


15 min read
9 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

If “I don’t know much about biology,” is your anthem, then boy are you in for a surprise.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Scientific
  • Visionary


The convergence of genetics and materials science is about to change everything fast. Author Richard Oliver describes himself as a disciple of the brilliant Canadian futurist Marshall McLuhan, so you can expect a book rife with sweeping predictions and neologisms. Parental advisory: In this book, buzzwords proliferate like that lab experiment you started in high school and just couldn’t stop. To cut to the "bio" bottom line: The world as you know it will basically cease to exist in about five years. (Oh, that’s no surprise, but how can you make a buck off of it, right?) Well, give Oliver credit: He backs up his bio-ideas with solid bio-research, and you get the uncanny feeling that his bio-predictions are probably accurate, in spite of the annoying prefixes. After all, it wasn’t too long ago that a certain don north of the border was ridiculed for his zany description of an impending "Global Village." getAbstract recommends this book for anyone who could benefit from a user’s manual on the future. Indeed, you could say it’s a veritable bio-crystal ball.


The Brave New World of Bioterials

Red Alert! The Bioterials Age is coming fast, arriving in just about the time it takes you to, oh, say, dissect a frog. While chemistry and physics drove the technological revolution of the 20th century, the secrets of biology, genetics, and advanced materials science will create a new world you can barely imagine. Who cares about the genetic map of the fruit fly? Soon, you will. The changes to come will challenge nothing less than our very definition of life. Like it or not, it will confront you with decisions about your loved ones, your health, the environment, finances and business, the likes of which you never imagined. Within a single generation, virtually all companies will be transformed into bioterials companies, as cells trump electrons in the marketplace. The nearly completed mapping of the human genome, some 100,000 genes, will provide a "periodic table" of biology that will create economic opportunities of unimagined proportions. So hang on to your cell phone (which may soon actually be a cell phone) and get ready for a crash course in remedial high school biology.

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About the Author

Richard W. Oliver  is a professor at Vanderbilt University’s business school, and prior to that was vice president of marketing at Nortel. He serves on the Boards of Directors of six U.S. companies and maintains a worldwide consulting practice.

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