“Bio-hacking” makes it possible to produce milk without cows and eggs without chickens. So-called synthetic biology could revolutionize food systems to more sustainably feed 7 billion,” says Hannes Sjoblad, a Swedish bio-hacker activist and Chief Disruption Officer at Epicenter in Stockholm.
Bio-hacking applies technology in creative ways to change biological systems like cells, plants, animals – and Homo sapiens. Hannes Sjoblad believes bio-hacking can revolutionize food production systems to help sustainably feed a growing global population.
According to Hannes Sjoblad, “the current food production systems on the planet simply cannot sustain 7 billion inhabitants who would like to have the type of diet that you and I are used to. The current way of doing things is not sustainable. We are over-fishing, we are polluting, we’re cutting down rain-forests to feed beef cows – it’s absolutely not sustainable. And for me, the solution is not politics. The solution is not a citizen or a consumer activism. The solution must be technology.”
He believes using digital biology technique to produce milk in-vitro for instance, and that “we can make the milk production process 10 to 100 times more energy-efficient. Entrepreneurs can modify the genes of yeast cells to make them produce milk. So we can now produce milk without cows.” There are now a lot of startups in this field that is called Digital Biology or Synthetic Biology.
“Bio-hacking is a fairly new practice that could lead to major changes in our life. You could call it citizen or do-it-your-self biology. It takes place in small labs — mostly non-university — where all sorts of people get together to explore biology. That could mean figuring out how the DNA in plants affects their growth, or how to manipulate genes from another source to make a plant glow in the dark. It often is aimed at producing a product, like the chairs and building blocks that artist Philip Ross makes by feeding mushrooms a meal of sawdust or peanut shavings. It is experimenting on the cheap, usually without the benefit of a fancy university laboratory, and it often involves DNA and genes. If you don’t know enough biology to take part at first, you learn it along the way.” Explained Spencer Michels, a correspondent and producer in the San Francisco office of the PBS News Hour.
Source: DW, PBS