Biotechnology (“bios” is Greek for life and “technikos is Greek meaning involving human knowledge and skills). Biotechnology is simply technology based on biology. It combines cellular and bio-molecular processes to develop various forms of technologies and products. Biotechnology is a part of every part of the human life, in fields, that includes physiology, immunology, microbiology, genetics, biochemistry, medicine, agriculture, food science, environmental science, mining, chemical and bio-process engineering. Modern biotechnology is considered the scientific manipulation of living organisms at the molecular level to produce healthy foods and useful products.
Man has always used the art of biotechnology. For instance, the Egyptians discovered yeast could make breads and the Chinese discovered fermentation techniques for brewing and making cheese. Beginning more as a production of food, biotechnology now includes the advanced cellular and DNA technology to enhance nearly every aspect of our lifestyles. Modern biotechnology became a more popular field around the end of the 19th century because by then, Gregor Mendel’s work on genetics was accepted and fermentation along with other microbial processes was founded and accepted by microbiologists Robert Koch, Louis Pasteur, and Joseph Lister.
Then at the beginning of the 20th century, industry and agriculture fields began to experiment with biotechnology. Due to the success in these fields, by the mid-century, advances were being experimented with in genetics. The DNA discovery that carries the genetic code and the “double helix” structure was leading to the manipulation of DNA. Advancement came quickly through the manipulation of genetically engineered plants, animals, microbes, and products that continue to intrigue cellular scientists and researchers leading into the future of biotechnology.
The importance of biotechnology is vital because it provides the solutions to major global issues, like global warming, world hunger, and pollution. It provides advances in the medical field where vaccine production is ongoing and tissue engineering is rendering bio material products. Biotechnology is the reason for alternative energy sources, which stems from fossil fuel, carbon dioxide, and plant chemicals. For food sources for a growing world population, biotechnology research can find methods to fertilize and regenerate dry soil areas to grow valuable and healthy crops.
Another biotechnology field that is advancing in providing man a longer, healthier life, is healthcare. Using stem cells or other bio materials for regenerative medicines, gives way for healing injuries more rapidly, as well as replacing organs through tissue engineering. Genome screening is the future of biotechnology because its advancements can help in the screening of potential health problems. Biotechnology in the field of gene therapy and modify bacteria, is producing insulin for people with diabetes. Gene therapy research is helping to find the root causes to reduce or remove the effects of cancer, AIDS, and other diseases.
With amazing advancements in biotechnology, this field is still considered to be in its infancy. Every year, the World Congress on Biotechnology, brings together leaders in the field of science, researchers, and scholars to share their experiences. They compare, share, and support their recent advances, innovations, and they talk about coming trends. The common discussions in biotechnology are future developments that will continue to impact human health around the world. Biotechnology is being designed in a variety of fields to increase man’s lifespan, make cancer manageable, increase the quality of old age, and replace organs with genotype tissues, possibly by using 3D printers.
The Biotechnology of Tomorrow:
Biotechnology is a partnership that involves experts around the world, all sharing and working together to find ways to reduce inflammatory diseases, recognizing and destroying cancer, bacteria and other harmful viruses, such as the work in the study of Ibola. Continued work in biotechnology is used in researching and studying new compounds found in the rain forests of the world and in new ways to manufacture plant cells that can open the door for new drugs. As someone once said The future is always fiction until scientists make it reality. Bio technicians are enjoying playing with this emerging technology. Recently, researchers found a way to change a chicken’s beak into a snout, similar to that of their dino ancestors and geneticists are hoping to explore dino species DNA, all in the hope of reversing inherited diseases, cure cancer, etc. With these considerations, bioethic entities are asking the question, how far should we go – which is why biotechnology is being monitored to ensure that technological innovations are being socially and ethically responsible.