Biotechnology :Interdisciplinary Science of Present Century

By: Ravi Dhande

BIOTECHNOLOGY is one of the most important applied interdisciplinary sciences of the 21st century. It is the trusted area that enables us to find the beneficial way of life. It was given BT (Biotechnology) for Bharat tomorrow, but the tomorrow has come and is now called as Bharat Today. This science has an invaluable outcome like transgenic varieties of plants e.g. transgenic cotton (BT-cotton), rice, tomato, tobacco, cauliflower, potato & banana. The animals like cow, buffalo, sheep (Dolly) etc are the transgenic outputs. It is the science by which, "One can play with gene and dances with the protein." Biotechnology has wide applications in various sectors like agriculture, medicine, environment and commercial industries. The development of transgenics as pesticide resistant, stress resistant and disease resistant varieties of agricultural crops is the immense outcome of biotechnology, whereas the synthesis of human insulin & blood protein in E.coli is the quantum jump of biotechnology.

The synthesis of vaccines, enzymes, antibiotics, dairy products and beverages are the products of biotech industries. Biochip based biological computer is the success of biotechnology.
Genetic engineering and Tissue culture are the important areas of biotechnology. Genetic engineering involves genetic manipulation and tissue culture involves aseptic cultivation of totipotent plant cell into plant clones under controlled atmospheric conditions. The totipotent animal stem cell is being used for skin culture at AIIMS, New Delhi.

PROFESSIONL COURSES IN BIOTECHNOLOGY
Postgraduate courses available in India are: M.Sc. Biotechnology, Agricultural Biotechnology, Animal Biotechnology, Marine Biotechnology, Medical Biotechnology, MBA Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering. A person willing to join the courses in biotechnology must have the background of biological sciences.

CAREER PROSPECTS
Biotechnology offers excellent prospects particularly in the area of medicine and agriculture. The qualified students are employed in leading businesses, pharmaceutical companies, chemical industries, bioprocess industries, agriculture based industries and in research. The research institutes for biotechnologists are NIV ( National Institute of Virology, Pune ), NARI ( National Aids Research Institute, Pune ), NCSC ( National Cell Science Centre , Pune ) , Serum Institute , Pune; Haffkins institute of toxicology, Mumbai; NEERI ( National Environmental Engineering and Research Institute, Nagpur ), CICR (Centre Institute for Cotton Research , Nagpur), CCRI (Central Citrus Research Institute , Nagpur), esteemed universities, institutes located in India & through out the world.

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