What is Biotechnology?

Biotechnology is a field of science that uses biological processes found in living entities to make technological advances and adapt those technologies to various fields. Its applications are not limited to fields with living entities but the principles can be applied to other fields where information obtained from the biological perspective of an organism can be applied. In particular, biotechnology is vital when it is about the development of chemical and miniature tools as most of the biotechnological tools are used to study at the cellular level. Biotechnology is used in the following fields today:


Applications Of Biotechnology

Medical Biotechnology:

It focuses on medical and other living things diseases. Few examples of the applications are:

  • Vaccines – They are the chemicals that stimulate the system to fight better against pathogenic attacks.
  • Antibiotics – It is a cost-effective process as compared to the cell extraction process from animals and plants to synthesize antibodies on a larger scale.

Agricultural Biotechnology:
The study focus on the following fields.

  • Animal and plant breeding: Selective breeding involves choosing animals with the most desirable characteristics, allowing them to breed to produce offsprings with similar traits. Some of the desirable traits were – animals resistant to diseases, large animals, domestic animals to make farming all the more profitable.
  • Pest-resistant crops: Anti-pest traits expressing plants are developed using biotechnological principles which makes them resistant to pests. For instance, the Bacillus thuringiensis gene is transferred to crops. The fungus synthesizes an effective protein against pests.

Industrial Biotechnology:

The study covered are listed below:

  • Production of alcohol: It is one of the most popular and fundamental applications of biotechnology where beer is produced from barley(starch source), water, brewer’s yeast, and a flavoring agent. Two of the most commonly used tools in this field are microbes and enzymes.
  • Production of the first-generation biofuel through fermentation of sugars derived from plant sources to ethanol by the application of the same process used for alcohol production.
  • Its principles are used to make bioplastics from biopolymers that are extensively used in food packaging, sunglasses, mobile phone covers, etc.
  • The fermentation vat used to synthesize fabrics is the oldest known dyeing process. Fossil fuels yield polyesters which are used to make clothes, blankets, fabrics, carpets, and other household furnishings.
  • Ongoing projects permit biomass generated from algae to be reused to produce biopharmaceuticals, biogas, bioethanol, and compost that are utilized in the production of crops.
  • Extraction of nutraceuticals, namely, herbal products and dietary supplements from biorefineries and usage of special chemicals for fruits to ripen readily to be able to meet the demand-supply.

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