Within the fifteen years since the birth of MAGI Group, we wanted to interview some of the guests and speakers of the event. As in the case of Professor Gary Robert Marks, Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel and International Bioethical Study Group
“The Big Bang of biotechnology is combining big data, AI and data mining with healthcare and genomics. This will impart much of biotechnology’s future”.
“As I have shown in my lecture at MAGI conference, the future of biotechnology will offer many opportunities, as it will combine various independent fields, notably the very important one that of information engineering, and work in symbiosis with various biotechnology fields. As I mentioned the future alphabet of much of biotechnology will consist of 01AGCT. I mentioned that the 20th century was space exploration whereas 21st century will be that of human exploration. My lecture lists many examples focussed on diagnostics and healthcare. The world economy will be based on large part on the achievements of biotechnology, including what I call the hi-tech of biotechnology. Much of this is seen in my yearly conference (except under COVID) Bio-X, where X is all the combinatorial fields attached to biotechnology such as bio-entrepreneurship, bio-sensors, bio-chips etc. 21st century foods will be defined by biotechnology (ex. 3D printed meat), intelligent functional materials (3D printed hybrid biogels), healthcare”.
“Our department was created around 1998-2000 as a pioneering department as its name shows: The Department of Biotechnology Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering. I was part of the design of the course load for the first and graduate degrees. There are still to this date few departments around the world offering biotechnology out of Engineering. We have a totally interdisciplinary faculty members (chemists, theoretical physicists, chemical engineers or biotechnology engineers (our early graduates!), microbiologists, immunologists, nanotechnologists, etc…) who have produced crops of students with skills to work in multidisciplinary environments. Intel took many of graduates which they found to be excellent workers! Our graduates have gone to become entrepreneurs, project managers, and with time grew to prominent positions. So yes a relationship between biotechnology and engineering is fundamental and creates a symbiosis of disciplines which in our new world of multidisciplinary research is fruitful”.
“Yes absolutely! Green science is finding a foothold in many scientific endeavours even driving new directions in science. Our group has pioneered using bamboo dust waste as a material for removing toxicants from water. The idea here is that the dust can then be bio-remediated or used as fuel, thus providing multiple use. Point-of-Care devices are becoming more pervasive, thus bringing a potential of large waste to the environment, however, more and more the use of bio-materials are being tested in order to increase the recyclable part in the aforementioned tests. We are working on 3D inks that are pure biological molecules such as hydrogels, which can be covalently modified to carry various affinities or hybrid functionalities, thus imparting the bio-printed materials specific targeted properties! There is little we can not do in order to do Green-directed innovation!”.