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BioRev

The Bio Revolution: Innovations transforming economies, societies, and our lives

An upcoming report that results from a yearlong research study finds that recent advances in biological science could transform economies and societies, and are already being applied in the response to COVID-19. But there are profound risks that need to be managed.


A Bio Revolution is underway that combines breakthroughs in biological sciences and advances in computing, artificial intelligence, and data analysis. As these innovations move from the lab into the marketplace, they could transform economies and our societies, from health and agriculture to consumer goods and energy, a new report from the McKinsey Global Institute finds. Capturing the enormous benefits will require a serious and sustained conversation about the profound risks and how to manage them.

From cell engineering with tools like CRISPR and gene editing, to bioengineering and human-machine interfaces, these new capabilities offer large opportunities for businesses across sectors. They will disrupt value chains, shift profit pools, and encourage new business models and players.

The capabilities can also accelerate the response to global challenges. Indeed, many of the advances are being applied to respond to the novel coronavirus—SARS-CoV-2. For example, scientists sequenced and published the virus’s genome within weeks after the virus was identified against months to sequence the SARS virus when it appeared in 2003.

The report is the result of a yearlong research project that catalogs and analyzes a pipeline of about 400 visible use cases in multiple industries, almost all scientifically feasible today.

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