What is Biotechnology?

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  2. March 24, 2014 3:20 am

What is Biotechnology?

Biotechnology can be thought of as the manipulation of various biological systems and organisms for the more effective processing or manufacture of products that help people and the environment. Living organisms have developed a spectacular array of capabilities; by choosing the correct organism, an amazing variety of products can be produced. These products include pharmaceuticals, fuel, and food; however, these applications are merely the beginning.

Those in biotechnology apply chemistry, mathematics, physics, and even engineering to make the best use of these biological systems. Many traditional industries have already undergone evolution due to biotechnology; fermentation and food processing are two examples. New technology has developed for the production of antibiotics, hormones, food and other energy source, and the processing of waste materials.

Biotechnology has been around for a long time; the making of yeast, bread, and yogurt are some of the earliest examples. More recently, the development of tools and techniques to take advantage of an organism’s genetics has greatly increased the capabilities of the biotechnology field. For example, a plant’s genetic map can be used to determine which genes determine that plant’s need for water. A drought resistant crop can be developed in this way.

In a sense, biotechnology can simply be viewed as ‘applied biology’. It is the application of biological organisms, systems, and knowledge to best utilize biology for the betterment of mankind.

Biotechnology is a rapidly growing field with diverse educational and employment opportunities for those with an interest and the right background. This area has almost unlimited potential. Please view the other pages on this website for more detailed information about this exciting field of applied science.


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