Pundits discuss biotech applications in terms of different colours. Red biotech is a metonym for biotechnology for medical purposes. White (or grey) biotech is for industrial application (like Novozýmes). Blue stands for aquatic uses, and the green variety is for agriculture and envionmental uses.

But what’s black biotech? Could be an Afro-American thing, like Anthony Mackie’s black biotech executive in Spike Lee’s She Hate Me. Could also be a black market of biotech stuff for terrorist uses.

Richard Gallagher, editor of The Scientist, suggests another use of the term: He speaks about black biotech as applications for replacing oil (the black gold), for example in the form of in situ refineries and power plants.

The colour spectrum hasn’t been used up yet. What about yellow, brown and purple biotech? Maybe magenta for life enhancement, in contrast to the Red Cross coloured medical one?

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