Saved by Science by Mark J. Poznansky, ECW Press

Saved by Science: The Hope and Promise of Synthetic Biology

Poznansky, Mark J.

  • How can we accelerate the development of vaccines? How do we feed three billion people when 12 million died of hunger in 2019? Does synthetic biology hold the answer?

    With all the advances in science in the last century, why are there still so many infectious diseases? Why haven’t we found cures for difficult cancers? Why hasn’t any major progress been made in the treatment of mental illness? And how do we intend to stop, and not only that but reverse, global warming and the climate crisis?

    In Saved by Science, scientist Mark Poznansky examines the many crises facing humanity while encouraging us with the promise of an emerging solution: synthetic biology. This is the science of building simple organisms, or “biological apps,” to make manufacturing greener energy production more sustainable, agriculture more robust, and medicine more powerful and precise. Synthetic biology is the marriage of the digital revolution with a revolution in biology and genomics; some have even called it “the fourth industrial revolution.”

    Accessible and informative, Saved by Science provides readers with hope for the future if we trust in and support the future of science.


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  • Dr. Mark J. Poznansky, CM, OOnt, is a research scientist, science administrator, and science blogger. He is the past president and CEO of the Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI) and the founder of G2G Consulting Inc. He is a member of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of Ontario, and was CEO, president, and scientific director of Robarts Research Institute. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

  • Published: September 2020

    ISBN: 9781770415355

    Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.

    Pages: 224


“Energetic and optimistic . . . With sensible language and peer-reviewed research, the author explores the present and coming needs regarding global health care, food security, and pollution and examines the history of genetically modified organisms . . . Encouraging advances in biology delineated through accessible, inviting writing.” — Kirkus Reviews

Saved by Science is a terrific gateway into the fascinating world of synthetic biology. It outlines why we need these new genetic superpowers more than ever if we are to solve global challenges and continue our most exciting explorations, such as establishing thriving colonies on Mars. Mark Poznansky’s book is a tonic for anyone concerned about global hunger, energy, health, or climate. It turns out we've got the tools to address pretty much every challenge right at our fingertips — we just have to get to work.” — Andrew Hessel, founder and president of Humane Genomics

“Over the next few decades we will learn how to edit life-forms by altering their DNA, much as we now edit stories and books using ABC’s. Poznansky gives us a sense of what this might mean for medicine, food, climate, and a myriad of human endeavors and challenges. He does so with grace and ease, such that any curious mind can comprehend.” — Juan Enriquez, author of As the Future Catches You and co-author of Evolving Ourselves

“Synthetic biology promises to be the next important step in our application of DNA. Mark Poznansky not only introduces us to the incredible potential of constructing novel living organisms but also provides the context to ensure that the inevitable debate will be constructive.” — Jay Ingram, science writer and broadcaster