Biotechnology as a major field within science has led to many new companies copying the Genentech blueprint: having a small company creating commercially viable products to earn profits. This movement from a purely academic scope of research to a company thriving in an industrial market has become a popular choice for those interested in the sciences, offering more career opportunities. From the 1970s on, a number of companies would emerge to follow the example set by Genentech. This would result in a major growth of the field, located in California.
California has become the true center of biotechnology in the U.S, as the birth place of the industry as well as having numerous companies making products in a multitude of fields. Because of this environment, being surrounded by other biotech companies, a sense of innovation is greatly encouraged, as competition will enable a surge of creativity. This anthology details several examples of how California has become the epicenter of biotech, ranging from peculiar facts about the history of Californian biotech to present companies developing new products within the biotech field. The hotbed of innovation exhibited by the California environment is shown through the amount of diverse companies and novel products.
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While I was reading chapter 5 about Human Growth Hormone, I could not help but think about the drug’s modern day reputation in sports. It seems all too often stories about legendary sports players come out saying they used this type of performance enhancing drug at one point in their career. The way major sports leagues ban this substance gives it a mostly negative connotation, but can this substance help athletes in more honorable ways than just cheating? This ABC News article breaks down the possibilities of HGH in a deeper context. One of the topics deals with how the drug can be used to help better repair hurt player’s knees. When players tear their ACL, they can lose up to 20% of their power and agility from muscle shrinkage caused by a leakage of synovial fluid. The Michigan doctor’s hypothesis is that HGH will activate a protein called IGF-1, which stands for insulin like growth factor, that will foster muscle growth and deter another protein that stops growth. They are currently testing trials with men the ages 18-35 and should complete this process by 2017. The hope is that the men’s knees will be stronger years after the surgery and that they will be closer to the effectiveness they were at before the injury. If this ends up panning out, major sports leagues should consider the rules against HGH as its use this way could significantly help the careers of injured athletes.