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Biotechnology is a broad area of
biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanisms, Developmenta ...
, involving the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make products. Depending on the tools and applications, it often overlaps with related scientific fields. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, biotechnology has expanded to include new and diverse
science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the u ...
s, such as
genomics Genomics is an interdisciplinary field of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactio ...
, recombinant gene techniques, applied
immunology Immunology is a branch of biology that covers the study of immune systems in all organisms. Immunology charts, measures, and contextualizes the Physiology, physiological functioning of the immune system in states of both health and diseases; ma ...
, and development of
pharmaceutical A medication (also referred to as medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug File:Aspirine macro shot.jpg, Uncoated aspirin Tablet (pharmacy), tablets, consisting of about 90% acetylsalicylic acid, along with a ...
therapies and
diagnostic tests A medical test is a medical procedure performed to detect, diagnose, or monitor diseases, disease processes, susceptibility, or to determine a course of treatment. Medical tests such as, physical and visual exams, diagnostic imaging, genetic ...
. The term ''biotechnology'' was first used by Karl Ereky in 1919, meaning the production of products from raw materials with the aid of living organisms.


Definition

The wide concept of biotechnology encompasses a wide range of procedures for modifying living organisms according to human purposes, going back to
domestication Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secure a more predictable supply of resources from that seco ...
of animals, cultivation of the plants, and "improvements" to these through breeding programs that employ artificial selection and hybridization. Modern usage also includes genetic engineering as well as cell and
tissue culture Flasks containing tissue culture growth medium which provides nourishment for the growing of cells. Tissue culture is the growth of tissue (biology), tissues or cell (biology), cells in an artificial medium separate from the parent organism. This t ...
technologies. The
American Chemical Society The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a scientific society based in the United States that supports scientific inquiry in the field of chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical ...
defines biotechnology as the application of biological organisms, systems, or processes by various industries to learning about the science of life and the improvement of the value of materials and organisms such as pharmaceuticals, crops, and livestock. Per the European Federation of Biotechnology, biotechnology is the integration of natural science and organisms, cells, parts thereof, and molecular analogues for products and services. Biotechnology is based on the
basic BASIC (Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is a family of General-purpose programming language, general-purpose, high-level programming languages whose design philosophy emphasizes ease of use. The original version was designed by ...
biological sciences (e.g. molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, embryology, genetics, microbiology) and conversely provides methods to support and perform basic research in biology. Biotechnology is the research and development in the laboratory using bioinformatics for exploration, extraction, exploitation and production from any living organisms and any source of biomass by means of biochemical engineering where high value-added products could be planned (reproduced by biosynthesis, for example), forecasted, formulated, developed, manufactured, and marketed for the purpose of sustainable operations (for the return from bottomless initial investment on R & D) and gaining durable patents rights (for exclusives rights for sales, and prior to this to receive national and international approval from the results on animal experiment and human experiment, especially on the
pharmaceutical A medication (also referred to as medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug File:Aspirine macro shot.jpg, Uncoated aspirin Tablet (pharmacy), tablets, consisting of about 90% acetylsalicylic acid, along with a ...
branch of biotechnology to prevent any undetected side-effects or safety concerns by using the products). The utilization of biological processes, Organism, organisms or systems to produce products that are anticipated to improve human lives is termed biotechnology. By contrast, bioengineering is generally thought of as a related field that more heavily emphasizes higher systems approaches (not necessarily the altering or using of biological materials ''directly'') for interfacing with and utilizing living things. Bioengineering is the application of the principles of engineering and natural sciences to tissues, cells and molecules. This can be considered as the use of knowledge from working with and manipulating biology to achieve a result that can improve functions in plants and animals. Relatedly, biomedical engineering is an overlapping field that often draws upon and applies ''biotechnology'' (by various definitions), especially in certain sub-fields of biomedical or chemical engineering such as tissue engineering, pharmaceutical engineering, biopharmaceutical engineering, and genetic engineering.


History

Although not normally what first comes to mind, many forms of human-derived agriculture clearly fit the broad definition of "'utilizing a biotechnological system to make products". Indeed, the cultivation of plants may be viewed as the earliest biotechnological enterprise. Agriculture has been theorized to have become the dominant way of producing food since the Neolithic Revolution. Through early biotechnology, the earliest farmers selected and bred the best-suited crops, having the highest yields, to produce enough food to support a growing population. As crops and fields became increasingly large and difficult to maintain, it was discovered that specific organisms and their by-products could effectively fertilize, nitrogen fixation, restore nitrogen, and pesticide, control pests. Throughout the history of agriculture, farmers have inadvertently altered the genetics of their crops through introducing them to new environments and plant breeding, breeding them with other plants — one of the first forms of biotechnology. These processes also were included in early Fermentation (biochemistry), fermentation of beer. These processes were introduced in early Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and India, and still use the same basic biological methods. In brewing, malted grains (containing enzymes) convert starch from grains into sugar and then adding specific yeasts to produce beer. In this process, carbohydrates in the grains broke down into alcohols,e such as ethanol. Later, other cultures produced the process of lactic acid fermentation, which produced other preserved foods, such as soy sauce. Fermentation was also used in this time period to produce leavened bread. Although the process of fermentation was not fully understood until Louis Pasteur's work in 1857, it is still the first use of biotechnology to convert a food source into another form. Before the time of Charles Darwin's work and life, animal and plant scientists had already used selective breeding. Darwin added to that body of work with his scientific observations about the ability of science to change species. These accounts contributed to Darwin's theory of natural selection. For thousands of years, humans have used selective breeding to improve the production of crops and livestock to use them for food. In selective breeding, organisms with desirable characteristics are mated to produce offspring with the same characteristics. For example, this technique was used with corn to produce the largest and sweetest crops. In the early twentieth century scientists gained a greater understanding of microbiology and explored ways of manufacturing specific products. In 1917, Chaim Weizmann first used a pure microbiological culture in an industrial process, that of manufacturing corn starch using ''Clostridium acetobutylicum,'' to produce acetone, which the United Kingdom desperately needed to manufacture explosives during World War I. Biotechnology has also led to the development of antibiotics. In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered the mold ''Penicillium''. His work led to the purification of the antibiotic compound formed by the mold by Howard Florey, Ernst Boris Chain and Norman Heatley – to form what we today know as penicillin. In 1940, penicillin became available for medicinal use to treat bacterial infections in humans. The field of modern biotechnology is generally thought of as having been born in 1971 when Paul Berg's (Stanford) experiments in gene splicing had early success. Herbert Boyer, Herbert W. Boyer (Univ. Calif. at San Francisco) and Stanley Norman Cohen, Stanley N. Cohen (Stanford) significantly advanced the new technology in 1972 by transferring genetic material into a bacterium, such that the imported material would be reproduced. The commercial viability of a biotechnology industry was significantly expanded on June 16, 1980, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that a genetic engineering, genetically modified microorganism could be patented in the case of ''Diamond v. Chakrabarty''.Diamond v. Chakrabarty, 447 U.S. 303 (1980). No. 79-139
" ''United States Supreme Court.'' June 16, 1980. Retrieved on May 4, 2007.
Indian-born Ananda Mohan Chakrabarty, Ananda Chakrabarty, working for General Electric, had modified a bacterium (of the genus ''Pseudomonas'') capable of breaking down crude oil, which he proposed to use in treating oil spills. (Chakrabarty's work did not involve gene manipulation but rather the transfer of entire organelles between strains of the ''Pseudomonas'' bacterium. The MOSFET (metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor) was invented by Mohamed M. Atalla and Dawon Kahng in 1959. Two years later, Leland C. Clark and Champ Lyons invented the first biosensor in 1962. Bio-FET, Biosensor MOSFETs were later developed, and they have since been widely used to measure physics, physical, chemistry, chemical, biological and environmental parameters. The first BioFET was the ion-sensitive field-effect transistor (ISFET), invented by Piet Bergveld in 1970. It is a special type of MOSFET, where the metal gate is replaced by an ion-sensitive membrane, electrolyte solution and reference electrode. The ISFET is widely used in biomedical applications, such as the detection of DNA hybridization, biomarker detection from blood, antibody detection, glucose measurement, pH sensing, and genetic technology. By the mid-1980s, other BioFETs had been developed, including the gas sensor FET (GASFET), pressure sensor FET (PRESSFET), chemical field-effect transistor (ChemFET), ISFET, reference ISFET (REFET), enzyme-modified FET (ENFET) and immunologically modified FET (IMFET). By the early 2000s, BioFETs such as the DNA field-effect transistor (DNAFET), Genetically modified, gene-modified FET (GenFET) and Membrane potential, cell-potential BioFET (CPFET) had been developed. A factor influencing the biotechnology sector's success is improved intellectual property rights legislation—and enforcement—worldwide, as well as strengthened demand for medical and pharmaceutical products to cope with an ageing, and ailing, United States, U.S. population. Rising demand for biofuels is expected to be good news for the biotechnology sector, with the United States Department of Energy, Department of Energy estimating ethanol usage could reduce U.S. petroleum-derived fuel consumption by up to 30% by 2030. The biotechnology sector has allowed the U.S. farming industry to rapidly increase its supply of corn and soybeans—the main inputs into biofuels—by developing genetically modified seeds that resist pests and drought. By increasing farm productivity, biotechnology boosts biofuel production.


Examples

Biotechnology has applications in four major industrial areas, including health care (medical), crop production and agriculture, non-food (industrial) uses of crops and other products (e.g. biodegradable plastics, vegetable oil, biofuels), and environmental uses. For example, one application of biotechnology is the directed use of microorganisms for the manufacture of organic products (examples include beer and milk products). Another example is using naturally present bacteria by the mining industry in bioleaching. Biotechnology is also used to recycle, treat waste, clean up sites contaminated by industrial activities (bioremediation), and also to produce biological warfare, biological weapons. A series of derived terms have been coined to identify several branches of biotechnology, for example: * Bioinformatics (also called "gold biotechnology") is an interdisciplinary field that addresses biological problems using computational techniques, and makes the rapid organization as well as analysis of biological data possible. The field may also be referred to as ''computational biology'', and can be defined as, "conceptualizing biology in terms of molecules and then applying informatics techniques to understand and organize the information associated with these molecules, on a large scale."Gerstein, M.
Bioinformatics Introduction
." ''Yale University.'' Retrieved on May 8, 2007.
Bioinformatics plays a key role in various areas, such as functional genomics, structural genomics, and proteomics, and forms a key component in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector.Siam, R. (2009). Biotechnology Research and Development in Academia: providing the foundation for Egypt's Biotechnology spectrum of colors. Sixteenth Annual American University in Cairo Research Conference, American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt. BMC Proceedings, 31–35. * Blue biotechnology is based on the exploitation of sea resources to create products and industrial applications. This branch of biotechnology is the most used for the industries of refining and combustion principally on the production of Biofuel, bio-oils with photosynthetic micro-algae.Biotech: true colours. (2009). TCE: The Chemical Engineer, (816), 26–31. * Green biotechnology is biotechnology applied to agricultural processes. An example would be the selection and domestication of plants via micropropagation. Another example is the designing of transgenic plants to grow under specific environments in the presence (or absence) of chemicals. One hope is that green biotechnology might produce more environmentally friendly solutions than traditional industrial agriculture. An example of this is the engineering of a plant to express a pesticide, thereby ending the need of external application of pesticides. An example of this would be Transgenic maize, Bt corn. Whether or not green biotechnology products such as this are ultimately more environmentally friendly is a topic of considerable debate.Kafarski, P. (2012)
Rainbow Code of Biotechnology
CHEMIK. Wroclaw University
It is commonly considered as the next phase of green revolution, which can be seen as a platform to eradicate world hunger by using technologies which enable the production of more fertile and resistant, towards biotic stress, biotic and abiotic stress, plants and ensures application of environmentally friendly fertilizers and the use of biopesticides, it is mainly focused on the development of agriculture. On the other hand, some of the uses of green biotechnology involve microorganisms to clean and reduce waste. * Red biotechnology is the use of biotechnology in the medical and
pharmaceutical A medication (also referred to as medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug File:Aspirine macro shot.jpg, Uncoated aspirin Tablet (pharmacy), tablets, consisting of about 90% acetylsalicylic acid, along with a ...
industries, and health preservation. This branch involves the production of vaccines and antibiotics, regenerative therapies, creation of artificial organs and new diagnostics of diseases. As well as the development of hormones, stem cells, antibodies, siRNA and
diagnostic tests A medical test is a medical procedure performed to detect, diagnose, or monitor diseases, disease processes, susceptibility, or to determine a course of treatment. Medical tests such as, physical and visual exams, diagnostic imaging, genetic ...
. * White biotechnology, also known as industrial biotechnology, is biotechnology applied to Manufacturing, industrial processes. An example is the designing of an organism to produce a useful chemical. Another example is the using of enzymes as industrial catalysts to either produce valuable chemicals or destroy hazardous/polluting chemicals. White biotechnology tends to consume less in resources than traditional processes used to produce industrial goods.Frazzetto, G. (2003)
White biotechnology
March 21, 2017, de EMBOpress Sitio
* "Yellow biotechnology" refers to the use of biotechnology in food production, for example in making wine, cheese, and beer by fermentation. It has also been used to refer to biotechnology applied to insects. This includes biotechnology-based approaches for the control of harmful insects, the characterisation and utilisation of active ingredients or genes of insects for research, or application in agriculture and medicine and various other approaches.Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology
Volume 135 2013, Yellow Biotechnology I
* Gray biotechnology is dedicated to environmental applications, and focused on the maintenance of biodiversity and the remotion of pollutants. * Brown biotechnology is related to the management of arid lands and deserts. One application is the creation of enhanced seeds that resist extreme desert climate, environmental conditions of arid regions, which is related to the innovation, creation of agriculture techniques and management of resources. * Violet biotechnology is related to law, ethical and philosophical issues around biotechnology. * Dark biotechnology is the color associated with bioterrorism or biological weapons and biowarfare which uses microorganisms, and toxins to cause diseases and death in humans, livestock and crops.


Medicine

In medicine, modern biotechnology has many applications in areas such as pharmaceutical drug discoveries and production, pharmacogenomics, and genetic testing (or Genetic testing, genetic screening). Pharmacogenomics (a combination of pharmacology and
genomics Genomics is an interdisciplinary field of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactio ...
) is the technology that analyses how genetic makeup affects an individual's response to drugs. Researchers in the field investigate the influence of genetics, genetic variation on drug responses in patients by correlating gene expression or single-nucleotide polymorphisms with a drug's efficacy or toxicity. The purpose of pharmacogenomics is to develop rational means to optimize drug therapy, with respect to the patients' genotype, to ensure maximum efficacy with minimal adverse effect (medicine), adverse effects. Such approaches promise the advent of "personalized medicine"; in which drugs and drug combinations are optimized for each individual's unique genetic makeup. Biotechnology has contributed to the discovery and manufacturing of traditional small molecule pharmaceutical drugs as well as drugs that are the product of biotechnology – biopharmaceutics. Modern biotechnology can be used to manufacture existing medicines relatively easily and cheaply. The first genetically engineered products were medicines designed to treat human diseases. To cite one example, in 1978 Genentech developed synthetic humanized insulin by joining its gene with a plasmid vector inserted into the bacterium ''Escherichia coli''. Insulin, widely used for the treatment of diabetes, was previously extracted from the pancreas of abattoir animals (cattle or pigs). The genetically engineered bacteria are able to produce large quantities of synthetic human insulin at relatively low cost.U.S. Department of State International Information Programs, "Frequently Asked Questions About Biotechnology", USIS Online; available fro
USinfo.state.gov
, accessed September 13, 2007. Cf.
Biotechnology has also enabled emerging therapeutics like gene therapy. The application of biotechnology to basic science (for example through the Human Genome Project) has also dramatically improved our understanding of
biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanisms, Developmenta ...
and as our scientific knowledge of normal and disease biology has increased, our ability to develop new medicines to treat previously untreatable diseases has increased as well. Genetic testing allows the Genetics, genetic medical diagnosis, diagnosis of vulnerabilities to inherited diseases, and can also be used to determine a child's parentage (genetic mother and father) or in general a person's ancestry. In addition to studying chromosomes to the level of individual genes, genetic testing in a broader sense includes biochemical tests for the possible presence of genetic diseases, or mutant forms of genes associated with increased risk of developing genetic disorders. Genetic testing identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins. Most of the time, testing is used to find changes that are associated with inherited disorders. The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person's chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder. As of 2011 several hundred genetic tests were in use. Since genetic testing may open up ethical or psychological problems, genetic testing is often accompanied by genetic counseling.


Agriculture

Genetically modified crops ("GM crops", or "biotech crops") are plants used in agriculture, the DNA of which has been modified with genetic engineering techniques. In most cases, the main aim is to introduce a new trait (biology), trait that does not occur naturally in the species. Biotechnology firms can contribute to future food security by improving the nutrition and viability of urban agriculture. Furthermore, the protection of intellectual property rights encourages private sector investment in agrobiotechnology. For example, in Illinois FARM Illinois (Food and Agriculture RoadMap for Illinois) is an initiative to develop and coordinate farmers, industry, research institutions, government, and nonprofits in pursuit of food and agriculture innovation. In addition, the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO) is a life sciences industry association with more than 500 life sciences companies, universities, academic institutions, service providers and others as members. The association describes its members as "dedicated to making Illinois and the surrounding Midwest one of the world’s top life sciences centers." Examples in food crops include resistance to certain pests,Genetically Altered Potato Ok'd For Crops
Lawrence Journal-World – May 6, 1995
diseases, stressful environmental conditions, resistance to chemical treatments (e.g. resistance to a herbicide), reduction of spoilage, or improving the nutrient profile of the crop. Examples in non-food crops include production of Plant manufactured pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical agents, biofuels, and other industrially useful goods, as well as for bioremediation. Farmers have widely adopted GM technology. Between 1996 and 2011, the total surface area of land cultivated with GM crops had increased by a factor of 94, from to 1,600,000 km2 (395 million acres). 10% of the world's crop lands were planted with GM crops in 2010. As of 2011, 11 different transgenic crops were grown commercially on 395 million acres (160 million hectares) in 29 countries such as the US, Brazil, Argentina, India, Canada, China, Paraguay, Pakistan, South Africa, Uruguay, Bolivia, Australia, Philippines, Myanmar, Burkina Faso, Mexico and Spain. Genetically modified foods are foods produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA with the methods of genetic engineering. These techniques have allowed for the introduction of new crop traits as well as a far greater control over a food's genetic structure than previously afforded by methods such as selective breeding and mutation breeding. Commercial sale of genetically modified foods began in 1994, when Calgene first marketed its Flavr Savr delayed ripening tomato. To date most genetic modification of foods have primarily focused on cash crops in high demand by farmers such as Transgenic soybean, soybean, Transgenic maize, corn, canola, and cotton seed oil. These have been engineered for resistance to pathogens and herbicides and better nutrient profiles. GM livestock have also been experimentally developed; in November 2013 none were available on the market, but in 2015 the FDA approved the first GM salmon for commercial production and consumption. There is a scientific consensus that currently available food derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food, but that each GM food needs to be tested on a case-by-case basis before introduction. Nonetheless, members of the public are much less likely than scientists to perceive GM foods as safe. The legal and regulatory status of GM foods varies by country, with some nations banning or restricting them, and others permitting them with widely differing degrees of regulation. GM crops also provide a number of ecological benefits, if not used in excess. However, opponents have objected to GM crops per se on several grounds, including environmental concerns, whether food produced from GM crops is safe, whether GM crops are needed to address the world's food needs, and economic concerns raised by the fact these organisms are subject to intellectual property law.


Industrial biotechnology (known mainly in Europe as white biotechnology) is the application of biotechnology for industrial purposes, including industrial fermentation. It includes the practice of using Cell (biology), cells such as microorganisms, or components of cells like enzymes, to generate Industry (manufacturing), industrially useful products in sectors such as chemicals, food and feed, detergents, paper and pulp, textiles and biofuels. In the current decades, significant progress has been done in creating Genetically modified organism, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that enhance the diversity of applications and economical viability of industrial biotechnology. By using renewable raw materials to produce a variety of chemicals and fuels, industrial biotechnology is actively advancing towards lowering greenhouse gas emissions and moving away from a petrochemical-based economy.


Environmental

The environment can be affected by biotechnologies, both positively and adversely. Vallero and others have argued that the difference between beneficial biotechnology (e.g.bioremediation is to clean up an oil spill or hazard chemical leak) versus the adverse effects stemming from biotechnological enterprises (e.g. flow of genetic material from transgenic organisms into wild strains) can be seen as applications and implications, respectively. Cleaning up environmental wastes is an example of an application of environmental biotechnology; whereas Biodiversity loss, loss of biodiversity or loss of containment of a harmful microbe are examples of environmental implications of biotechnology.


Regulation

The regulation of genetic engineering concerns approaches taken by governments to assess and manage the Biotechnology risk, risks associated with the use of genetic engineering technology, and the development and release of genetically modified organisms (GMO), including genetically modified crops and genetically modified fish. There are differences in the regulation of GMOs between countries, with some of the most marked differences occurring between the US and Europe. Regulation varies in a given country depending on the intended use of the products of the genetic engineering. For example, a crop not intended for food use is generally not reviewed by authorities responsible for food safety. The European Union differentiates between approval for cultivation within the EU and approval for import and processing. While only a few GMOs have been approved for cultivation in the EU a number of GMOs have been approved for import and processing. The cultivation of GMOs has triggered a debate about the coexistence of GM and non-GM crops. Depending on the coexistence regulations, incentives for the cultivation of GM crops differ.


Learning

In 1988, after prompting from the United States Congress, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (National Institutes of Health) (NIGMS) instituted a funding mechanism for biotechnology training. Universities nationwide compete for these funds to establish Biotechnology Training Programs (BTPs). Each successful application is generally funded for five years then must be competitively renewed. Graduate students in turn compete for acceptance into a BTP; if accepted, then stipend, tuition and health insurance support are provided for two or three years during the course of their Ph.D. thesis work. Nineteen institutions offer NIGMS supported BTPs. Biotechnology training is also offered at the undergraduate level and in community colleges.


References and notes


External links


Foundation for Biotechnology Awareness and Education

A report on Agricultural Biotechnology
focusing on the impacts of "Green" Biotechnology with a special emphasis on economic aspects. fao.org.
US Economic Benefits of Biotechnology to Business and Society
NOAA Economics, economics.noaa.gov
Database of the Safety and Benefits of Biotechnology
– a database of peer-reviewed scientific papers and the safety and benefits of biotechnology.
What is Biotechnology? – A curated collection of resources about the people, places and technologies that have enabled biotechnology to transform the world we live in today
{{Authority control Biotechnology, Life sciences industry