Saved by Science

By Mark J. Poznansky

Saved by Science
  • Currently 0 out of 5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thank you for rating this book!

You have already rated this book, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Log in to rate this book.


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 ... Read more



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.


Mark J. Poznansky

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.



The future of mankind is far from secure. I am among many who believe that humanity is in crisis; in particular, our personal health, the security of our food supply and the health of our environment all face potentially catastrophic challenges. Our health faces many unresolved dangers in the areas of cancer, infectious diseases and mental health. Rapid population growth and the many environmental challenges in our agricultural systems raise questions about how we will feed the world in the year 2050. Global warming and climate change are threatening our environments, and pollution is poisoning our land, lakes, rivers and oceans.

While these challenges are monumental and the future may appear bleak, there is hope. Imagine being able to:

  • Identify specific genetic mutations of a whole range of cancers and to develop personalized and specific therapies (i. e., cures), even at the patient’s bedside.
  • Modify the genetic mutation that predisposes people to suffer from schizophrenia, bipolar disease, severe depression or addictive disorders and to offer effective cures.
  • Respond to any viral outbreak (such as Ebola, Zika, AIDS, a nasty flu or COVID-19) with an effective vaccine produced in only days or even hours.
  • Grow nutritious, inexpensive, high-protein foods in the widest range of possible conditions of temperature, sunlight, water and fertility . . . or even on Mars.
  • Create real meat without killing animals or to produce real milk without milking cows.
  • Provide plants with nitrogen from the air instead of having to mine or chemically synthesize expensive nitrogen fertilizers.
  • Reverse global warming by removing carbon from the atmosphere and using it as an energy source or material for advanced manufacturing.
  • Use microbes to clean up lakes and rivers, removing lead, mercury and other toxic materials and returning our waterways to pristine condition.
  • Design specific microbes to clean up toxic-waste dumps, abandoned mines and industrial sites, and even to clean up disastrous oil spills.

A mere six or seven years ago, these imaginings would have been purely the stuff of science fiction. Today, we have realistic expectations that they’ll happen — and that they’ll be brought to market within a decade, maybe even less. These are the products of what some call the “fourth industrial revolution,” a marriage of computer science and newfound knowledge in biology, particularly genomics. This book is about that revolution, a new field of science called synthetic biology and the hope and promise that it offers for the future of mankind.




“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

“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

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

“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


Reader Reviews

Tell us what you think!

Sign Up or Sign In to add your review or comment.