Biotechnologies & Health Enhancement
Biotech promises to boost understanding of our bodies, unravelling the marvels of our brains. Marrying up new knowledge with new technologies could see cutting-edge therapies for cardiorespiratory and neurological diseases, amputees recovering the sense of touch and bionic hands that think for themselves. We could also see new ways of manufacturing biopharmaceuticals.
Explore other themes of FET research
Stories in Biotech & Health
A supercomputer will discover our future medicines
Can you imagine a future where an exascale computer discovers new drugs faster, cheaper and with lower failure rates than today?
Repairing the brain
European scientists are studying a new generation of neuro-prostheses. The target patients are people with motor disabilities due to brain injuries, such as stroke
Challenging Darwin: an ‘evolution machine’ for biomolecules
Improving the imperfect: photosynthesis for the future
Shake the hand that thinks for itself
A bionic hand which sees an object and reaches for it automatically without thought, is being trialled in British amputees. The prosthetic is fitted with a camera which takes a picture of the object in front of it, assesses its shape and size then triggers an appropriate grasping movement
Research projects in this field
The SimpleSkin project aims at starting the era of smart clothing. The idea is to incorporate advanced sensing systems into garments. This way it could be possibile to collect vast amounts of information on the physiological parameters of the wearer, such as pulse and breathing rate. This line of search is part of the effort towards the development of new-generation personal monitoring systems.
The FutureAgriculture projects aims at designing a synthetic enzyme to improve natural photorespiration in plants. This is pursued by combining disparate lines of investigation such as computational biology, microbiology and plant physiology. If successful, the project may significantly improve agricultural productivity and help feed billions of people worldwide.
The goal of EVOPROG is to design a machine capable of producing new biomolecules. The machine is based on the use of viruses, which modify the DNA of bacteria and make them produce the desired molecules. If successful, EVOPROG could significantly accelerate the development of new drugs and antibiotics.
The Brain Bow project focuses on the development of innovative neuroprostheses. The main goal is to restore neuronal connections and activity among in-vitro neurons by connecting them to an artificial system. This technique may be used in the future to treat the consequences of damages to the brain tissues caused by accidents or strokes.