The Advances in Biotechnology

by : Russellm.stewart

There are plenty of explanations of what biotechnology is, but the simplest one is that it is a field of study where biology is the foundation on which different kinds of technology are developed. Biotechnology is the basis of many different kinds of research in the fields of environment, food science, robotics, agriculture and medicine.

We have always tried to manipulate and control the world, change it to suit our needs. We do that when we ferment beer, we do it when we culture bacteria, and now we have moved to new levels that would have been considered impossible a few decades back - we have cloned animals and research has turned to concepts like nucleotide-based organ regeneration.

As far back as 6000 BC, we had discovered biotechnology, though, of course, we did not call it that then. That was when people first discovered how to ferment fruit juice into alcohol. We went on to preserve fruits with sugar and meat with salt for sustenance in winter - another instance of early biotechnology. Of course, it has only been studied as a science recently.

About twenty years ago, the role of genetics in artificially creating proteins in a living being was discovered. DNA was discovered and molecular biology became a part of mainstream science. This was what gave rise to the study of biotechnology under that name.

The eighties saw technological advances being made in leaps and bounds. The same was true in the case of biotechnology. Use of biotechnology in the fields of medicine and biological research became very important and more common. The concept of transgenic organisms was discovered, which led to vast advancement in the fields of disease resistance and productivity rates. Now we have plant-generated pharmaceuticals and production of antibiotics and insulin, as a direct result of this research.

There are three categories in modern biotechnology. The first is red biotechnology. This concerns the making of substances used in medicine and pharmaceuticals, like vaccines, proteins, antibiotics and vitamins. Red biotechnology also deals with genome manipulation. The other two kinds of biotechnology are green and white biotechnology.

White Biotechnology is also called bio-manufacturing, or Grey Biotechnology. In this field, live organisms are changed and controlled to produce industrial chemicals. The organisms that White Biotechnology uses are moulds, enzymes, yeast and bacteria.

Green Biotechnology is important in agriculture - making better produce that stays fresh and lasts longer, and is more nutritious. This is something people have been doing for a long time - making sturdier crops, like cross-bred wheat for example.