Demand for Genomics

All companies ultimately serve people either directly (B2C) or indirectly via another business (B2B). When forecasting the sectors of greatest potential value creation, it helps to consider what people spend their money on.

Housing accounts for the largest spending category globally. But much of this goes towards rent and services, which are hard to disrupt with scalable startups. Revolutionary innovations in housing seem unlikely in the next decade.

The second, third, and fourth sectors of people’s spending are transportation, food, and health. All three will change a lot in the next 10 years. People will choose to spend a lot of their money on products that are based on genomics.


In transportation, electric vehicles with lithium batteries will dominate new auto sales. Microbes with engineered genes will help extract key battery metals like lithium and other rare elements.

Engineered plants will produce ethanol and synthetic microorganisms will produce biofuels for legacy engines. Other microorganisms will accumulate hydrogen for new internal combustion engine technology.


Future crops will be genetically engineered for higher yield and immunity to plant diseases and pests. They will be able to grow more food with less water than conventionally bred crops. That will allow people to earn a living producing food locally, even in the changing climate.

Engineered microbial fertilizers will deliver the key nutrients that plants need for photosynthesis. These will feed engineered wheat, soy, and rice plants, which provide most of the carbohydrate energy consumed by people and the animals that people eat. Livestock will be engineered to live healthier lives and provide more meat, milk, and eggs for the amount of food and water that the animals consume. They will also be immunized from diseases.

Some people will become accustomed to eating meat and dairy products grown from cultured animal cells and other alternative protein sources. Many people will also consume probiotic dietary supplements made from engineered microbes.


"A healthy person wants many things. A sick person wants just one."

Categories of diseases

1. Diseases we lament

2. Diseases we can treat

3. Diseases we can cure

4. Diseases we can prevent

Throughout the history of medicine, we have gradually moved disease down the list from one category to the next. In the next ten years, far more diseases will move down the list than at any time in history. Most of the most expensive and debilitating diseases will be eliminated.

The four most common human diseases are diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurodegernative diseases, and cancer. Genomic technologies will cure type 1 diabetes and treat type 2 diabetes. Heart diseases will have treatments and some cures. Neurodegenerative diseases will have genomic treatments and preventions. All cancers will be treated, some cured, and a few prevented by vaccination using genetic engineering.

The word cancer is very scary today like smallpox was in the early 1900s, AIDS was in the 1980s, and COVID was in 2020. But today's children will grow up in a world where our immune systems can defeat cancer like the common cold.

Even some especially crippling rare genetic diseases that today can only be lamented will be completely cured by gene therapies within 10 years.

In the clinic and the home, diagnostic devices and products based on genomic biomarkers will accurately identify acute diseases early.

Beyond handling the biggest and scariest diseases, engineered bacteria will deliver therapies for many common minor diseases. RNA and DNA vaccinations will provide immunity to harmful viruses. And, engineered viruses will deliver cures.

There will be high demand for the new ways of identifying, treating, curing, and preventing diseases that will only be possible using genomic technologies.


Plastic has changed our lives and society. From grocery bags to fabric to electronics to automobiles, plastic makes things strong, flexible, durable, and affordable. Plastics are made from polymers. Microbes are great at making polymers. With engineering, they can both produce and degrade polymers, creating a circular, upcycling economy.

Microbes can also extract valuable metals from brine. They can even precipitate calcium from solution to make gypsum and cement. The chemical and materials industries will start using biomaterials because they are safer for people, healthier for the planet, and can make some products better and cheaper than mining and drilling.


Companies earn profits by making things people want.

Across these massive industries, consumers will gladly spend large portions of their family budgets on new categories of products created from or enhanced by genomics. These domains of intense consumer spending thereby present huge opportunities for genomics startups.