Special Report: Biotechnology's Growth And Divergence

Modern biotechnology stems from the recombinant DNA technology of the 1970s, but the discipline has grown far beyond that core. The people, products, and potentials of biotechnology have mushroomed from a handful of companies focused on a select few pharmaceuticals to hundreds of firms developing products for such diverse fields as forensics, food science, and environmental cleanup. Today, biotech consumers range from megacorporations to a couple at home confirming that a child is on the way.

Holly Ahern
Oct 14, 1990

Modern biotechnology stems from the recombinant DNA technology of the 1970s, but the discipline has grown far beyond that core. The people, products, and potentials of biotechnology have mushroomed from a handful of companies focused on a select few pharmaceuticals to hundreds of firms developing products for such diverse fields as forensics, food science, and environmental cleanup. Today, biotech consumers range from megacorporations to a couple at home confirming that a child is on the way.

The third International Biotechnology Expo & Scientific Conference (IBEX '90), taking place next week in San Mateo, Calif., will demonstrate how biotech has grown. This year's expo has triple the number of sessions held at the 1989 show.

The first biotechnologists were not very business oriented. A decade ago, a lot of us on the science side were very starry-eyed, and the corporate world ignored us to a large extent, says William R. Sharp,...