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Biotechnology, in cost-benefit terms, has been improving by a factor of ten every year. The cost of deciphering the human genome has dropped from $3 billion in 2001 to about $1,000 today.  A process that took months ten years ago can now be completed in less than an hour.  And as biotechnology becomes more accessible, so do its life-improving applications.

New scientific discoveries and applications such as CRISPR now provide a way of making specific and precise changes to the DNA that is contained within living cells. This ability to ‘cut’ DNA in specific places is revolutionising the life sciences.  And CAR-T-cell therapies are offering treatments for cancer and diseases with efficacy rates never before dreamed of. 

Regenerative biotechnology offers the opportunity to replace surgery with biological stimulates which regenerate human tissue where once a transplant may have been needed, whilst other fields of biotech offer the chance to reengineer and rejuvenate human organs outside of the body.  Biotechnology is complex and challenging, yet its promise to improve human life is significant and is increasingly in reach. 

To Reduce Extreme Poverty, We Must Tackle Blindness

95 million people worldwide are affected by blindness or severe visual impairment due to cataracts according to the WHO. Nearly 90% of the world’s blind live in the poorest countries in the world. Cataracts, in particular, are disproportionately prevalent in low-and-middle-income countries, where they account for 50% of all blindness, compared to just 5% of blindness in the West.

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