What is Biotechnology, History of biotechnology, Applications of Biotechnology...


What is Biotechnology?

Biotechnology is a technology that involves use of microorganisms in order to make useful chemicals and products or to perform a specific task. It is mainly used in food science, medicine, agriculture etc.


History of biotechnology  


The term biotechnology was coined by Hungarian agricultural engineer called Karl Ereky foresaw. Back in 1919, Karl discovered the potentiality of bio molecules can have on lives of the human beings.  He was confident of a time when biology will turn into raw materials that can be used to prepare finished products.


Applications of Biotechnology


The applications of biotechnology in various fields are explained below-

  • Medical Biotechnology- It is specifically use to harness the benefits out of living cells and other cell materials in order to improve the health of humans. Basically it is used for finding cure for various incurable diseases and also prevent from the same. The science involved in this process includes the use of different techniques as well as extensive research. Maintaining human health is a challenge. Medical biotechnology is that tool which helps in understanding pathogen, and understanding the biology of human cell. The main moto here is to produce pharmaceutical drugs to overcome various diseases. The use of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) in this process helps to manipulate the genetic makeup and increase the production of characteristics the are immune to humans. 

Examples are vaccines, antibiotics etc.


  • Agricultural Biotechnology- This type of biotechnology involves genetically modified plants with a purpose of increasing the crop yields. It also includes putting extra emphasis upon introducing an advantage to some regions that have some kind of stress factor namely weather or pests. In some of the cases, agricultural biotechnology also involves doing experimentation in finding of a rare gene within another plant so as to gain desirable characteristics. Examples of agricultural biotechnology includes pest restraint crops, plant and animal breeding etc.


  • Industrial biotechnology- The proportional use of plants, algae, fungi and other microorganisms can be termed as industrial biotechnology. In order to produce industrial goods biological resources are used to deliver chemical materials along with the energy required. Industrial biotechnology is also known as White Biotechnology. Industrial biotechnology is also used in making bio based products in sectors like paper, textiles, biofuels and biogas. Industrial biotechnology has proved to be the most convincing, innovative approach towards the industrial growth. According to the latest data release with the help of industrial biotechnology new industrial processes can be considered for the industrial lab. Industrial biotechnology also helps in protecting the environment for environment sustainability.


  • Difference between Biology and Biotechnology


The fundamental difference between Biology and Biotechnology is that Biology is the study of plants, organisms including their chemical processes, physical structure etc. whereas Biotechnology in itself is an industry that applies the concepts of biology to the solution of real problems.


  • Major branches of Biotechnology


Biotechnology can be divided into various branches according to their use and specifications-


  1. Blue Biotechnology- This branch of biotechnology helps in protecting various marine organisms from harmful underwater diseases. It is basically associated with application of biological methods to freshwater organisms by developing new genetic medicines for making them environment resistant.
  2. Bioinformatics- It is the merging of computer and biotechnology. It is often called as computational biology. It is associated with analysis of data related to biotechnology. In short it is a combination of biology, computer science and information engineering to interpret biological data.
  3. White Biotechnology- This branch of biotechnology is applied and used in industries and its processes. Some of them includes biopolymers, invention of fibers for clothing industry etc.
  4. Gray Biotechnology- It is basically dedicated to environmental applications, and is mainly based on the maintenance of biodiversity along with removal of pollutants.
  5. Brown Biotechnology- This technology is associated with the management of deserts and arid lands. It centers around treatment of desert soils drawing from the species that are highly resistant to saline and dry soils.


  • List of Pros of Biotechnology
  1. It offers medical advancement. With the help of biotechnology, it becomes easier to involve the human genome in order to understand more about genetic diseases, creating effective treatments for them. It has also made it easier to explore reasons behind certain birth defects by understanding the importance of folic acid.
  2. Biotechnology helps in adding nutritional value to the food, people feed on. Necessary minerals and vitamins can be produced and this in turn reduces health issues related to lack of nutrients.
  3. With the help of this technology, plants become naturally resistant to pests that may affect the entire plantation.


  • List of cons of Biotechnology
  1. Biotechnology may lead to cross pollination to occur. Through this technology when the engineered plants come in contact with normal plants risk of unexpected cross pollination occur.
  2. The plants which are created through biotechnology will consume more of the soil’s resources, draining the land’s ability to support growth of plants in future.


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