Biotechnology: Still Fueling Controversy
April 21, 2006
As America responds to its oil addiction, the biotech industry is once again promising to save the world. And this time, they just might mean it.
BIO 2006, the annual convention of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, held last week in Chicago. Nearly 20,000 attendees converged on the city to hawk new technologies, hook up with investment opportunities, or pitch their city or state as the perfect destination for the burgeoning biotech and life-science sector, which, according to the Department of Commerce, will comprise 18 percent of the U.S. GDP by 2020, or nearly 3 trillion dollars. And this year, "biofuels" -- renewable fuels made from plant materials -- were the center of attention, with biodiesel and ethanol as the industry's two leading hopes for spurring renewed interest and investment.