What is Biotechnology?

The use of biology to develop technologies and products for the welfare of human beings is known as Biotechnology. It has various applications in different fields such as Therapeutics, Diagnostics, Processed Food, Waste Management, Energy Production, genetically modified crops etc.

Different Branches of Biotechnology

  • The use of biotechnology in medicine is known as Medicinal Biotechnology

Application of medicinal biotechnology

Fig.1. Application of medicinal biotechnology

For Example: This helps in formation of genetically modified insulin known as Humulin. This helps in treatment of large number of diabetes patients. 

Human insulin production

Fig. 2. Human insulin production

  • The use of biotechnology in agriculture is known as green biotechnology. Biotechnology had contributed a lot towards the upliftment of agriculture. The organisms formed after manipulation of genetic content is known as Genetically Modified Organisms such as Crops, Animals, Plants, Fungi, Bacteria etc. Genetically Modified crops are formed by manipulation of DNA to introduce new trait into the crops. These manipulations are done to introduce traits such as Pest Resistance, Insect Resistance, Weed Resistance etc.

  • Biotechnology in production of antibiotics: Plants are used to develop antibiotics for humans as well as for animal use. It helps in production of antibiotics, Vaccines and Artificial hormones for hormone therapies.

  • Biotechnology in diagnosis: It helps in disease diagnosis by various techniques such as ELISA, PCR, Recombinant DNA technology. ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay) is based on antigen and antibody reaction to detect different diseases. PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) is technique to amplify specific DNA segment. This helps to detect HIV in AIDS patients. 

Applications of biotechnology in agriculture

Fig.3. Applications of biotechnology in agriculture

  • It helps in improving the quality and quantity of fishes. Through biotechnology, fishes are induced to breed via gonadotropin releasing hormone. This is known as Blue Biotechnology.

  • Red Biotechnology includes designing of organisms to produce antibiotics and includes methods for genetic cure.

  • Genetic engineering is defined as the direct manipulation of genome of an organism. It involves the transfer of new genes to improve the function or trait. The most important technique of genetic engineering is gene cloning.

  • Industrial Biotechnology is the application of biotechnology for industrial purposes, including industrial fermentation. It includes the use of cells such as micro-organisms, or components of cells like enzymes, to generate industrially useful such as chemicals, food and feed, detergents, paper and pulp, textiles and biofuels

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