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Biotechnology-History, Types, Scope, and Importance

October 21, 2022
written by Sidra Batool

Biotechnology is a branch of Biology that deals with the usage of living organisms to make helpful products to aid human life. It also deals with the development of techniques to solve problems and to improve the living standard of mankind.

Genetic engineering is a technique developed by biotechnology, that is being used to produce therapeutic proteins. Natural sciences and engineering sciences can be applied to achieve products and services based on the use of organisms, that’s what biotechnology is based on.

History Of Biotechnology

Plant cultivation is probably the first form of biotechnology. Humans have been working with nature for thousands of years to make their lives better. We’ve harnessed biological processes, starting with the first agricultural communities.

In the history of agriculture, farmers have inadvertently changed the genetic makeup of their crops by introducing them to new environments and breeding them with other plants. Throughout hundreds of years, one of the first forms of genetic engineering was developed.

Humans have been using the technique of selective breeding for thousands of years to increase the yield of crops and livestock for their food. In selective breeding, organisms with desirable characteristics are crossed to produce offspring that are the same as the parents.

Scientists in the early 20th century made a better understanding of microbes. This improved understanding led to the discovery of ways to make products. During WWI, Chaim Weizmann first used a pure microbiological culture in an industrial process, producing acetone, to make explosives.

Over the last six thousand years, humans have been making wine, beer, and cheese. Biotechnology has led to the development of antibiotics, and it continues to develop even more. When Alexander Fleming discovered the mold Penicillium, he was one of the first scientists to isolate penicillin from the mold.

In 1940, the first antibiotics were created when researchers used the chemical compound known as penicillin to cure someone infected with a deadly bacterial infection. Recombinant insulin became the first product made using genetic engineering to secure approval from the US. FDA was approved in 1982.

Recombinant versions of growth hormones, clotting factors, clot-dissolving medications, and other genetically engineered protein medications are available to help individuals who need them.

Today, biotechnology is not what was meant by those processes that began emerging in the 1960s and 1970s. One of the first biotech companies was founded by a drug company called “Genentech” in 1976.

Paul berg and his colleagues pioneered modern genetic engineering with their work on bacteria in the 1970s. Genetic engineering is thought of as having been born in 1971.

Herbert w. Boyer and Stanley n. Cohen significantly advanced the new technology of genetic engineering in 1972 by transferring genetic material into a bacterium, allowing it to replicate the foreign material.

A factor influencing the biotechnology sector’s success is stronger patent laws worldwide, as well as a need for drugs to improve aging, and ailing, US. Population.

On June 16, 1980, the United States Supreme Court ruled that genetically modified microorganisms could be patented in the case of Diamond v. Chakrabarty. This decision was a big boost for the biotechnology industry.

Father Of Biotechnology

Karoly Ereky was an agricultural engineer. He is believed to be the “father” of the field. The term fusion of biology and technology was created by him in 1919. He claimed that biology could be used to turn raw materials into useful products.

Types Of Biotechnology

There are the following types of biotechnology based on their applications in different fields:

Gold Biotechnology (Bioinformatics)

Bioinformatics is also known as computational biology, as it uses a computer to solve biological problems. It is used to create a database in genetics. For example, it is being used in structural genomics.

Blue Biotechnology

Blue biotechnology deals with the utilization of sea resources to create products for mankind. It is mostly used in the combustion and refining industries.

Green Biotechnology

Green biotechnology is used in agriculture, for example in the domestication of plants using micropropagation techniques. It is the next phase of the green revolution.

It can be used to fight hunger and disease by using technologies that allow plants to grow in conditions that are more favorable to them. It makes them resistant, to biotic and abiotic stresses.

Red Biotechnology

It deals with health-related fields. Red biotechnology has applications in health maintenance and preservation in the medical and pharmaceutical industries.

The production of medicines, vaccinations, regeneration therapies, the development of new diagnostics, and new research techniques are all part of this branch.

The development of new hormones, stem cells, and antibodies are among the many other things that have been done in the field of science.

White Biotechnology

White biotechnology, also known as industrial biotechnology, is biotechnology that’s used in industries. White biotechnology is an emerging field of production that uses fewer resources to produce a product.

In recent years, biotechnology has been playing an important role in manufacturing, as it can decrease energy consumption and environmental pollution.

Yellow Biotechnology

Yellow biotechnology refers to the use of biological methods to produce wine, cheese, and other foods like yogurt, and beer. The method of fermentation is used to create a variety of products.

It is the application of pesticides to insects. Various other approaches include approaches for the control of harmful insects, characterization, and use of active ingredients or genes of insects for research, and various other approaches.

Gray Biotechnology

Gray biotechnology involves environmental applications and deals with the maintenance of biodiversity and the removal of pollutants from the environment.

Brown Biotechnology

Brown biotechnology involves the management of arid land areas, water management, regenerative agriculture, and desert restoration.

An important use of brown biotechnology is the development of seeds that resists extreme environmental conditions of arid regions, related to the innovation, creation of agriculture techniques, and management of resources.

Violet Biotechnology

It deals with all the legal and ethical issues surrounding genetic engineering, there are those in support and against biotechnology.

Dark Biotechnology

The use of living organisms for bioterrorism is being dealt with under the umbrella of dark biotechnology. Bioterrorism or biological warfare uses viruses, bacteria, and other microbes to kill people and animals and contaminate crops, water, and food. Dark biotechnology means using bacteria and viruses to make people sick and die.

Famous Biotechnologists

In the last quarter century, biotechnology has grown into a global industry. Sometimes great achievers go largely unnoticed. But the great companies and leaders have names that stick in history and the great names are remembered for decades.

  • Károly Ereky
  • Wilhelm Roux
  • Maurice Lemoigne
  • Ludwig Haberlandt
  • Jean Purdy
  • Alexander Fleming
  • Paul Berg
  • Ananda Chakrabarty
  • Rudolf Jaenisch
  • Genentech

What Does A Biotechnologist Do?

They use biological organisms to create and improve products and processes. They study the genetic, chemical, and physical attributes of cells, tissues, and organisms and manipulate this study to develop techniques to develop living beings.

Biotechnologist work in the biopharmaceutical field producing protein drugs. There are several different roles within the field of drug development alone. They are also team leaders and help direct the scientific direction of the company.

They may be asked to provide detailed arguments for the proposed plan when writing business justifications.

Scope Of Biotechnology

Biotechnology is a combination of technology and the science of biology, so it has a wide range of fields to consider to pursue your career in:

  • Clinical technician
  • Microbiologist.
  • DNA analyst.
  • Researcher
  • Lab technologist
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturer.
  • Biomedical engineer
  • Biomedical equipment technician
  • Biological technicians
  • Chemical engineer

Importance of Biotechnology