"The challenge for the next decade will be to integrate molecular engineering and computing to make complex systems," says George Church, a professor of genetics at Harvard Med. By integrating great advances in computing power to biological processes, we can deliver drugs more effectively, engineer crops, cure cancer and engineer bacteria to carry out our bidding. We can even change the normal course of economic development in depressed nations. Synthetically engineering parasite-resistant crops or photosynthetic organisms that churn out biomass, we can alter the economic landscape. "As costs drop, such technology will allow developing nations to leapfrog fertilizer-wasting, fossil-fuel-intensive and disease-rife farming for cleaner, more efficient systems, just as they are leapfrogging costly landlines in favour of mobile-phone networks."