Image of crystal ball

The Outlook for 2020 and Beyond

The crystal ball has had its ups and downs as a means of divination. Although it was esteemed by the Druids and other ancient peoples, the crystal ball fell into disrepute during the Middle Ages, only to enjoy a Renaissance during the, well, Renaissance. In those daring times, the crystal ball acquired a quasi-scientific status among academics, who would use it while hoping to communicate with angels. Purportedly, angels would convey their superior wisdom through fleeting visions to be perceived by crystal ball readers.

Today, the crystal ball is just a reminder that we still want glimpses of the future, visions conveyed by angels. That’s certainly the case for those of us in fast-changing fields such as biotechnology and genomics. So, where is our crystal ball? It’s right here—the January issue of GEN! In this special issue, we’re presenting visionary insights courtesy of 20 life sciences experts, both veteran scientists and emerging talents. They reward crystal ball gazing from multiple angles of view: genomics, proteomics, synthetic biology, cancer research, gene therapy, drug discovery, bioinformatics, artificial intelligence, and more.




UC Berkeley



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