Biotechnology: using living organisms to solve problems
Biotechnology is a field of science and technology that uses living organisms or parts of living organisms to produce or modify products or to solve specific problems. This field includes many techniques, ranging from primitive practices, such as using yeast to make bread and beer, to sophisticated techniques of genetic engineering and other high-tech applications.
Here are a few applications of biotechnology:
- Medical biotechnology: Includes biological drug production, gene therapy, pharmacogenomics, etc. An example is the creation of insulin using bacteria that have been genetically modified to produce this protein.
- Agricultural biotechnology: Used to create genetically modified organisms (GMOs) with improved characteristics such as pest resistance or improved nutritional properties.
- Industrial biotechnology: Uses microorganisms to produce chemical compounds, such as bioplastics or biofuels.
- Environmental biotechnology: Used to solve environmental problems, e.g. to clean up polluted water or soil using microorganisms.
- Aquaculture biotechnology: Concentrates on the use of biotechnological methods to improve aquaculture, e.g. to improve fish growth.
With advances in technology, especially in genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics, the possibilities of biotechnology continue to expand, promising revolutionary changes in medicine, agriculture, industry, and many other fields.