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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, Development ...

biology
, 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 () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is a discovery as well as an invention. ...

science
s, such as
genomics Genomics is an interdisciplinary field of focusing on the structure, function, evolution, mapping, and editing of s. A genome is an organism's complete set of , including all of its genes as well as its hierarchical, three-dimensional structur ...
,
recombinant gene Image:recombinant formation of plasmids.svg, 280px, Construction of recombinant DNA, in which a foreign DNA fragment is inserted into a plasmid vector. In this example, the gene indicated by the white color is inactivated upon insertion of the forei ...
techniques, applied
immunology Immunology is a branch of biology and Medicine 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 d ...
, and development of
pharmaceutical A medication (also called medicament, 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 w ...
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 KARL (105.1 FM) is a radio station broadcasting a Classic Country format. Licensed to Tracy, Minnesota Tracy is a city in Lyon County, Minnesota Minnesota () is a U.S. state, state in the north central region of the United States. It ...
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 sec ...
of animals, cultivation of the plants, and "improvements" to these through breeding programs that employ
artificial selection This Chihuahua (dog), Chihuahua mixed-breed dog, mix and Great Dane shows the wide range of dog breed sizes created using selective breeding. Selective breeding (also called artificial selection) is the process by which humans use animal breed ...
and hybridization. Modern usage also includes
genetic engineering Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification or genetic manipulation, is the direct manipulation of an organism's gene In biology, a gene (from ''genos'' "...Wilhelm Johannsen coined the word gene to describe the Mendelian_in ...
as well as
cell
cell
and
tissue culture Tissue culture is the growth of tissues or cells Cell most often refers to: * Cell (biology), the functional basic unit of life Cell may also refer to: Closed spaces * Monastic cell, a small room, hut, or cave in which a monk or religious rec ...

tissue culture
technologies. The
American Chemical Society The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a scientific society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exists to promote an discipline (academia), academic discip ...
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 The European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB) was established by European scientists in 1978. It is a non-profit federation of national biotechnology associations, learned societies, universities, scientific institutes, biotechnology companies a ...
, 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 or BASIC may refer to: Science and technology * 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 ...
biological sciences Biology is the natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), organizes knowl ...

biological sciences
(e.g.
molecular biology Molecular biology is the branch of biology that seeks to understand the molecule, molecular basis of biological activity in and between Cell (biology), cells, including biomolecule, molecular synthesis, modification, mechanisms, and interaction ...
,
biochemistry Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of es within and relating to living s. A sub-discipline of both and , biochemistry may be divided into three fields: , and . Over the last decades of the 20th century, biochemistry has beco ...

biochemistry
,
cell biology Cell biology (also cellular biology or cytology) is a branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, ...
,
embryology Embryology (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mi ...
,
genetics Genetics is a branch 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, ...

genetics
,
microbiology Microbiology (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

microbiology
) and conversely provides methods to support and perform basic research in biology. Biotechnology is the
research and development Research and development (R&D, R+D), known in Europe as research and technological development (RTD), is the set of innovative activities undertaken by corporations or governments in developing new services or products and improving existing o ...
in the
laboratory A laboratory (; ; colloquially lab) is a facility that provides controlled conditions in which or technological research, s, and may be performed. Laboratory services are provided in a variety of settings: physicians' offices, clinics, hos ...

laboratory
using
bioinformatics Bioinformatics () is an field that develops methods and s for understanding data, in particular when the data sets are large and complex. As an interdisciplinary field of science, bioinformatics combines , , , and to analyze and interpret ...

bioinformatics
for exploration, extraction, exploitation and production from any
living organisms In 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 mecha ...
and any source of
biomass Biomass is plant or animal material used as fuel to produce electricity Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion Image:Leaving Yongsan Station.jpg, 300px, Motion involves a change in position ...

biomass
by means of
biochemical engineering upright=1.3, Bioreactor Biochemical engineering, also known as bioprocess engineering, is a field of study with roots stemming from chemical engineering upright=1.15, Chemical engineers design, construct and operate process plants ( fractionating c ...
where high value-added products could be planned (reproduced by
biosynthesis Biosynthesis is a multi-step, enzyme-Catalysis, catalyzed process where substrate (chemistry), substrates are converted into more complex Product (chemistry), products in living organisms. In biosynthesis, simple Chemical compound, compounds are mod ...

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 called medicament, 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 w ...
branch of biotechnology to prevent any undetected side-effects or safety concerns by using the products). The utilization of biological processes,
organisms In 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 me ...

organisms
or systems to produce products that are anticipated to improve human lives is termed biotechnology. By contrast,
bioengineering is a biological machine that utilizes protein dynamicsProtein Proteins are large biomolecules or macromolecules that are comprised of one or more long chains of amino acid residue (biochemistry), residues. Proteins perform a vast array of fun ...
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 Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more specializ ...

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 Chemical engineering is a certain type of which deals with the study of operation and design of chemical plants as well as methods of improving production. Chemical engineers develop economical commercial processes to convert raw material into u ...
such as
tissue engineering Tissue engineering is a biomedical engineering discipline that uses a combination of cells Cell most often refers to: * Cell (biology), the functional basic unit of life Cell may also refer to: Closed spaces * Monastic cell, a small room, ...
, biopharmaceutical engineering, and
genetic engineering Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification or genetic manipulation, is the direct manipulation of an organism's gene In biology, a gene (from ''genos'' "...Wilhelm Johannsen coined the word gene to describe the Mendelian_in ...
.


History

Although not normally what first comes to mind, many forms of human-derived
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

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 Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

Agriculture
has been theorized to have become the dominant way of producing food since the
Neolithic Revolution The Neolithic Revolution, or the (First) Agricultural Revolution, was the wide-scale transition of many human culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (Ameri ...
. 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 Fertilisation or fertilization (see spelling differences), also known as generative fertilisation, syngamy and impregnation, is the fusion of gametes to give rise to a new individual organism or offspring and initiate its development. Proc ...
, restore nitrogen, and control pests. Throughout the history of agriculture, farmers have inadvertently altered the genetics of their crops through introducing them to new environments and
breeding Breeding is sexual reproduction Sexual reproduction is a type of reproduction Reproduction (or procreation or breeding) is the biological process by which new individual organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ...
them with other plants — one of the first forms of biotechnology. These processes also were included in early
fermentation Fermentation is a metabolism, metabolic process that produces chemical changes in organic Substrate (chemistry), substrates through the action of enzymes. In biochemistry, it is narrowly defined as the extraction of energy from carbohydrates in ...
of
beer Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drinks in the world, and the third most popular drink overall after water and tea. Beer is brewing, brewed from cereal, cereal grains—most commonly from malted barley, though wh ...

beer
. These processes were introduced in early
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
,
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
,
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
and
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
, and still use the same basic biological methods. In
brewing Brewing is the production of beer Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In ph ...
, malted grains (containing
enzyme Enzymes () are proteins that act as biological catalysts (biocatalysts). Catalysts accelerate chemical reactions. The molecules upon which enzymes may act are called substrate (chemistry), substrates, and the enzyme converts the substrates in ...

enzyme
s) convert starch from grains into sugar and then adding specific
yeast Yeasts are eukaryotic Eukaryotes () are organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular ...

yeast
s to produce beer. In this process,
carbohydrate A carbohydrate () is a biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have its suckture solved by X-ray crystallography by Max Perutz and Sir John Cowdery Kendrew in 1958, for which they received a ...
s in the grains broke down into alcohols,e such as ethanol. Later, other cultures produced the process of
lactic acid fermentation One isomer of lactic acid Lactic acid fermentation is a metabolic process by which glucose or other hexose, six-carbon sugars (also, disaccharides of six-carbon sugars, e.g. sucrose or lactose) are converted into cellular energy and the metabolit ...

lactic acid fermentation
, which produced other preserved foods, such as
soy sauce Soy sauce (also called simply soy in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native ...

soy sauce
. Fermentation was also used in this time period to produce
leavened bread Bread is a staple food prepared from a dough of flour and water, usually by baking. Throughout recorded history, it has been a prominent food in large parts of the world. It is one of the oldest man-made foods, having been of significant import ...
. Although the process of fermentation was not fully understood until
Louis Pasteur Louis Pasteur (, ; 27 December 1822 – 28 September 1895) was a French chemist and microbiologist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, fermentation, microbial fermentation, and pasteurization. His research in chemi ...

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 Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that fu ...

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 Microbiology (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

microbiology
and explored ways of manufacturing specific products. In 1917,
Chaim Weizmann Chaim Azriel Weizmann ( he, חיים עזריאל ויצמן ', russian: Хаим Евзорович Вейцман, ''Khaim Evzorovich Veytsman''; 27 November 1874 – 9 November 1952) was a Russian-born biochemist, Zionist was the foun ...
first used a pure microbiological culture in an industrial process, that of manufacturing
corn starch Corn starch, maize starch, or cornflour (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial ...
using ''
Clostridium acetobutylicum ''Clostridium acetobutylicum'', ATCC 824, is a commercially valuable bacterium Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are a type of Cell (biology), biological cell. They constitute a large domain (biology), domain of proka ...

Clostridium acetobutylicum
,'' to produce
acetone Acetone, or propanone, is an organic compound , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, ...

acetone
, which the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
desperately needed to manufacture
explosive An explosive (or explosive material) is a reactive substance that contains a great amount of potential energy that can produce an explosion An explosion is a rapid expansion in volume Volume is a expressing the of enclosed by a . ...

explosive
s during
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
. Biotechnology has also led to the development of antibiotics. In 1928,
Alexander Fleming Sir Alexander Fleming (6 August 1881 – 11 March 1955) was a Scottish physician and microbiologist, best known for discovering the enzyme lysozyme and the world's first broadly effective antibiotic substance which he named penicillin. He dis ...

Alexander Fleming
discovered the mold ''
Penicillium ''Penicillium'' () is a genus of ascomycetous Ascomycota is a phylum of the kingdom Fungi that, together with the Basidiomycota, forms the subkingdom Dikarya. Its members are commonly known as the sac fungi or ascomycetes. It is the largest ...

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 Penicillins (P, PCN or PEN) are a group of originally obtained from ' s, principally ' and '. Most penicillins in clinical use are chemically synthesised from naturally-produced penicillins. A number of natural penicillins have been discov ...

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 W. Boyer Herbert Wayne "Herb" Boyer (born July 10, 1936) is an American Biotechnologist, researcher and entrepreneur in biotechnology. Along with Stanley Norman Cohen, Stanley N. Cohen and Paul Berg he discovered a method to coax bacteria into producing f ...

Herbert W. Boyer
(Univ. Calif. at San Francisco) and 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 The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the Federal judiciary of the United States, federal judiciary of the United States of America. It has ultimate and largely Procedures of the Supreme Court of the United ...

United States Supreme Court
ruled that a
genetically modified Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification or genetic manipulation, is the direct manipulation of an organism's gene In biology, a gene (from ''genos'' "...Wilhelm Johannsen coined the word gene to describe the Mendelian_in ...
microorganism A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes ...
could be
patent A patent is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depe ...

patent
ed in the case of ''
Diamond v. Chakrabarty ''Diamond v. Chakrabarty'', 447 U.S. 303 (1980), was a United States Supreme Court The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America The United States of A ...
''.Diamond v. Chakrabarty, 447 U.S. 303 (1980). No. 79-139
" ''
United States Supreme Court The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the Federal judiciary of the United States, federal judiciary of the United States of America. It has ultimate and largely Procedures of the Supreme Court of the United ...

United States Supreme Court
.'' June 16, 1980. Retrieved on May 4, 2007.
Indian-born Ananda Chakrabarty, working for
General Electric General Electric Company (GE) is an American Multinational corporation, multinational Conglomerate (company), conglomerate incorporated in New York State and headquartered in Boston. Until 2021, the company operated through GE Aviation, aviat ...
, had modified a bacterium (of the genus ''
Pseudomonas ''Pseudomonas'' is a genus of Gram-negative, Gammaproteobacteria, belonging to the family Pseudomonadaceae and containing 191 validly described species. The members of the genus demonstrate a great deal of Metabolism, metabolic diversity and conse ...

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 The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET, MOS-FET, or MOS FET), also known as the metal–oxide–silicon transistor (MOS transistor, or MOS), is a type of insulated-gate field-effect transistor that is fabricated by th ...

MOSFET
(metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor) was invented by
Mohamed M. Atalla Mohamed M. Atalla ( ar, محمد عطاالله; August 4, 1924 – December 30, 2009) was an Egyptian-American engineer, physical chemist Physical chemistry is the study of macroscopic The macroscopic scale is the length scale on which ...

Mohamed M. Atalla
and
Dawon Kahng Dawon Kahng ( ko, 강대원; May 4, 1931 – May 13, 1992) was a Korean-American electrical engineer and inventor, known for his work in solid-state electronics Solid-state electronics means semiconductor A semiconductor material has an el ...

Dawon Kahng
in 1959. Two years later, Leland C. Clark and Champ Lyons invented the first
biosensor A biosensor is an analytical device, used for the detection of a chemical substance, that combines a biological component with a physicochemical detector. The ''sensitive biological element'', e.g. tissue, microorganisms, organelle In cell bio ...
in 1962. Biosensor MOSFETs were later developed, and they have since been widely used to measure
physical Physical may refer to: *Physical examination, a regular overall check-up with a doctor *Physical (album), ''Physical'' (album), a 1981 album by Olivia Newton-John **Physical (Olivia Newton-John song), "Physical" (Olivia Newton-John song) *Physical ( ...

physical
,
chemical A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimately composed of atoms, which ...

chemical
,
biological Biology is the natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), organizes knowl ...

biological
and
environmental A biophysical environment is a life, biotic and Abiotic component, abiotic surrounding of an organism or population, and consequently includes the factors that have an influence in their survival, development, and evolution. A biophysical environ ...

environmental
parameters. The first BioFET was the
ion-sensitive field-effect transistor An ion-sensitive field-effect transistor (ISFET) is a field-effect transistor The field-effect transistor (FET) is a type of transistor file:MOSFET Structure.png, upright=1.4, Metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), showin ...
(ISFET), invented by
Piet Bergveld Piet Bergveld (; born 26 January 1940) is a Dutch electrical engineer. He was professor of biosensors A biosensor is an analytical device, used for the detection of a chemical substance, that combines a biological component with a physical chemi ...
in 1970. It is a special type of MOSFET, where the
metal gate A metal gate, in the context of a lateral metal–oxide–semiconductor (MOS) stack, is the gate electrode separated by an oxide from the transistor's channel – the gate material is made from a metal. In most MOS transistors since about the mid 1 ...
is replaced by an
ion An ion () is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ...
-sensitive
membrane A membrane is a selective barrier; it allows some things to pass through but stops others. Such things may be molecules, ions, or other small particles. Biological membranes include cell membranes (outer coverings of cells or organelles that all ...

membrane
,
electrolyte An electrolyte is a medium containing ions that is electrically conducting Electrical resistivity (also called specific electrical resistance or volume resistivity) is a fundamental property of a material that quantifies how strongly it resis ...

electrolyte
solution and
reference electrode A reference electrode is an electrode An electrode is an electrical conductor used to make contact with a nonmetallic part of a circuit (e.g. a semiconductor A semiconductor material has an Electrical resistivity and conductivity, electric ...
. The ISFET is widely used in
biomedical Biomedicine (also referred to as Western medicine, mainstream medicine or conventional medicine)
applications, such as the detection of DNA hybridization,
biomarker A biomarker, or biological marker is a measurable indicator Indicator may refer to: Biology * Indicator (genus), ''Indicator'' (genus), a genus of birds in the honeyguide family * Environmental indicator of environmental health (pressures, cond ...
detection from
blood Blood is a body fluid Body fluids, bodily fluids, or biofluids are liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric process, isochoric flow) refers t ...

blood
,
antibody An antibody (Ab), also known as an immunoglobulin (Ig), is a large, Y-shaped protein used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects such as pathogenic bacteria and Viral disease, viruses. The antibody recognizes a unique mo ...

antibody
detection,
glucose Glucose is a simple with the . Glucose is the most abundant , a subcategory of s. Glucose is mainly made by and most during from water and carbon dioxide, using energy from sunlight, where it is used to make in s, the most abundant carbohydr ...

glucose
measurement, sensing, and genetic technology. By the mid-1980s, other BioFETs had been developed, including the
gas sensor A gas detector is a device that detects the presence of gas Gas is one of the four fundamental states of matter In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Mo ...
FET (GASFET),
pressure sensor 200px, Miniature digital barometric pressure sensor A pressure sensor is a device for pressure measurement Pressure measurement is the analysis of an applied force by a fluid (liquid or gas) on a surface. Pressure is typically measured in ...
FET (PRESSFET),
chemical field-effect transistorA ChemFET is a chemically-sensitive field-effect transistor, that is a field-effect transistor used as a sensor for measuring chemical concentrations in chemical solution, solution. When the target analyte concentration changes, the current through t ...
(ChemFET), (REFET), enzyme-modified FET (ENFET) and immunologically modified FET (IMFET). By the early 2000s, BioFETs such as the DNA field-effect transistor (DNAFET), gene-modified FET (GenFET) and 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,
U.S. The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all ...

U.S.
population. Rising demand for biofuels is expected to be good news for the biotechnology sector, with the
Department of EnergyA Ministry of Energy or Department of Energy is a government department in some countries that typically oversees the production of fuel and electricity; in the United States, however, it manages nuclear weapons development and conducts energy-relate ...
estimating
ethanol Ethanol (also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, drinking alcohol, or simply alcohol) is an organic Organic may refer to: * Organic, of or relating to an organism, a living entity * Organic, of or relating to an anatomical organ (anatomy), ...

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 plastic Biodegradable plastics are plastic Plastics are a wide range of synthetic polymers, synthetic or semi-synthetic materials that use polymers as a main ingredient. Their Plasticity (physics), plasticity makes it possible for plastics to be Inject ...
s,
vegetable oil Vegetable oils, or vegetable fats, are oil An oil is any nonpolar In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, eleme ...
,
biofuel Biofuel is fuel that is produced through contemporary processes from biomass, rather than by the very slow geological processes involved in the formation of fossil fuels, such as oil. Since biomass technically can be used as a fuel directly (e. ...

biofuel
s), and
environmental A biophysical environment is a life, biotic and Abiotic component, abiotic surrounding of an organism or population, and consequently includes the factors that have an influence in their survival, development, and evolution. A biophysical environ ...

environmental
uses. For example, one application of biotechnology is the directed use of
microorganism A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes ...
s for the manufacture of organic products (examples include
beer Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drinks in the world, and the third most popular drink overall after water and tea. Beer is brewing, brewed from cereal, cereal grains—most commonly from malted barley, though wh ...

beer
and
milk Milk is a nutrient A nutrient is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composition * Matter, any ...

milk
products). Another example is using naturally present
bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are ubiquitous, mostly free-living organisms often consisting of one Cell (biology), biological cell. They constitute a large domain (biology), domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typ ...

bacteria
by the mining industry in
bioleaching Bioleaching is the extraction of metals from their ores through the use of living organisms. This is much cleaner than the traditional heap leaching using cyanide. Bioleaching is one of several applications within biohydrometallurgy and several meth ...
. Biotechnology is also used to recycle, treat waste, clean up sites contaminated by industrial activities (
bioremediation Bioremediation is a process used to treat Contamination, contaminated media, including water, soil and subsurface material, by altering environmental conditions to stimulate growth of Microorganism, microorganisms and degrade the target pollutants. ...
), and also to produce
biological weapons A culture of '' Bacillus anthracis'', the causative agent of anthrax.">anthrax.html" ;"title="Bacillus anthracis'', the causative agent of anthrax">Bacillus anthracis'', the causative agent of anthrax. A biological agent (also called bio-agent, ...
. A series of derived terms have been coined to identify several branches of biotechnology, for example: *
Bioinformatics Bioinformatics () is an interdisciplinary field that develops methods and software tools for understanding biology, biological data, in particular when the data sets are large and complex. As an interdisciplinary field of science, bioinformat ...

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 Yale University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two ...
.'' Retrieved on May 8, 2007.
Bioinformatics plays a key role in various areas, such as
functional genomics Functional genomics is a field of molecular biology Molecular biology is the branch of biology that seeks to understand the molecule, molecular basis of biological activity in and between Cell (biology), cells, including biomolecule, molecular s ...
,
structural genomics Structural genomics seeks to describe the 3-dimensional structure of every protein encoded by a given genome. This genome-based approach allows for a high-throughput method of structure determination by a combination of protein structure predictio ...
, and
proteomics Proteomics is the large-scale study of protein Proteins are large biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have its suckture solved by X-ray crystallography by Max Perutz and Sir John Co ...

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 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 Micropropagation or tissue culture is the practice of rapidly multiplying stock plant material to produce many progeny plants, using modern plant tissue culture Plant tissue culture is a collection of techniques used to maintain or grow plant c ...

micropropagation
. Another example is the designing of
transgenic plant A transgene is a gene that has been transferred naturally, or by any of a number of genetic engineering techniques from one organism to another. The introduction of a transgene, in a process known as transgenesis, has the potential to change the p ...
s 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 Industrial agriculture is a form of modern farming Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domest ...
. An example of this is the engineering of a plant to express a
pesticide Pesticides are substances that are meant to control pests Pest or The Pest may refer to: Science and medicine * Pest (organism), an animal or plant detrimental to humans or human concerns ** Weed, a plant considered undesirable * Infectious d ...
, thereby ending the need of external application of pesticides. An example of this would be
Bt corn Genetically modified maize (corn Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all wi ...
. 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 Biotics describe living or once living components of a community; for example organisms, such as animals and plants. Biotic may refer to: *Life, the condition of living organisms *Biology, the study of life *Biotic material, which is derived from l ...
and
abiotic stress Abiotic stress is the negative impact of non-living factors on the living organisms in a specific environment. The non-living variable must influence the environment beyond its normal range of variation to adversely affect the population performanc ...
, 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
microorganism A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes ...
s to clean and reduce waste. * Red biotechnology is the use of biotechnology in the medical and
pharmaceutical A medication (also called medicament, 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 w ...
industries, and health preservation. This branch involves the production of
vaccine A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity The adaptive immune system, also referred as the acquired immune system, is a subsystem of the immune system The immune system is a network of biological process ...

vaccine
s and
antibiotic An antibiotic is a type of antimicrobial An antimicrobial is an agent that kills microorganism A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system t ...
s, regenerative therapies, creation of artificial organs and new diagnostics of diseases. As well as the development of
hormones A hormone (from the Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 m ...
,
stem cells In multicellular organisms Multicellular organisms are organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodies the Life#Biology, properties o ...
,
antibodies An antibody (Ab), also known as an immunoglobulin (Ig), is a large, Y-shaped protein used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects such as pathogenic bacteria and Viral disease, viruses. The antibody recognizes a unique mo ...

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
industrial Industrial may also refer to: Industry * Industrial archaeology, the study of the history of the industry * Industrial engineering, engineering dealing with the optimization of complex industrial processes or systems * Industrial loan company, a f ...
processes. An example is the designing of an organism to produce a useful chemical. Another example is the using of
enzyme Enzymes () are proteins that act as biological catalysts (biocatalysts). Catalysts accelerate chemical reactions. The molecules upon which enzymes may act are called substrate (chemistry), substrates, and the enzyme converts the substrates in ...

enzyme
s as industrial
catalyst Catalysis () is the process of increasing the rate of a chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In cla ...

catalyst
s 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 Fermentation is a metabolism, metabolic process that produces chemical changes in organic Substrate (chemistry), substrates through the action of enzymes. In biochemistry, it is narrowly defined as the extraction of energy from carbohydrates in ...

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 Biodiversity is the biological variety and Genetic variability, variability of life, life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the Genetics, genetic, species, and ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity is usually greater near ...

biodiversity
and the remotion of pollutants. * Brown biotechnology is related to the management of arid lands and
desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of ...

desert
s. One application is the creation of enhanced seeds that resist extreme 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 Bioterrorism is terrorism involving the intentional release or dissemination of biological agents. These agents are bacteria, viruses, insects, fungi or toxins, and may be in a naturally occurring or a human-modified form, in much the same way a ...
or
biological weapons A culture of '' Bacillus anthracis'', the causative agent of anthrax.">anthrax.html" ;"title="Bacillus anthracis'', the causative agent of anthrax">Bacillus anthracis'', the causative agent of anthrax. A biological agent (also called bio-agent, ...
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 A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug Uncoated tablets, consisting of about 90% acetylsalicylic acid, along with a minor amount of inert fillers and binders. Aspir ...
discoveries and production, pharmacogenomics, and genetic testing (or
genetic screening Genetic testing, also known as DNA testing, is used to identify changes in DNA The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy i ...
). Pharmacogenomics (a combination of
pharmacology Pharmacology is a branch of medicine, biology and pharmaceutical sciences concerned with drug or medication action, where a drug may be defined as any artificial, natural, or endogenous (from within the body) molecule which exerts a biochemica ...
and
genomics Genomics is an interdisciplinary field of focusing on the structure, function, evolution, mapping, and editing of s. A genome is an organism's complete set of , including all of its genes as well as its hierarchical, three-dimensional structur ...
) is the technology that analyses how genetic makeup affects an individual's response to drugs. Researchers in the field investigate the influence of variation on drug responses in patients by correlating
gene expression Gene expression is the process by which information from a gene is used in the synthesis of a functional gene product that enables it to produce end products, protein or non-coding RNA, and ultimately affect a phenotype, as the final effect. The ...

gene expression
or
single-nucleotide polymorphism In genetics Genetics is a branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interacti ...
s with a drug's
efficacy Efficacy is the ability to perform a task to a satisfactory or expected degree. The word comes from the same roots as ''effectiveness Effectiveness is the capability of producing a desired result or the ability to produce desired output. When ...

efficacy
or
toxicity Toxicity is the degree to which a chemical substance or a particular mixture of substances can damage an organism. Toxicity can refer to the effect on a whole organism, such as an animal, bacteria, bacterium, or plant, as well as the effect on ...

toxicity
. The purpose of pharmacogenomics is to develop rational means to optimize drug therapy, with respect to the patients'
genotype The genotype of an organism is its complete set of genetic material. Genotype can also be used to refer to the or variants an individual carries in a particular gene or genetic location. The number of alleles an individual can have in a specific ...
, to ensure maximum efficacy with minimal
adverse effects An adverse effect is an undesired harmful effect resulting from a medication A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug used to medical diagnosis, diagnose, cure, therapy, t ...
. Such approaches promise the advent of "
personalized medicine Personalized medicine, also referred to as precision medicine, is a medical model Medical model is the term coined by psychiatrist R. D. Laing in his ''The Politics of the Family and Other Essays'' (1971), for the "set of procedures in which al ...
"; 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 moleculeWithin the fields of molecular biology Molecular biology is the branch of biology that seeks to understand the molecule, molecular basis of biological activity in and between Cell (biology), cells, including biomolecule, molecular synthesis, modi ...
pharmaceutical drugs 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 ...
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 Genentech, Inc., is an American biotechnology Biotechnology is a broad area of biology, involving the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make products. Depending on the tools and applications, it often overlaps with related scie ...

Genentech
developed synthetic humanized
insulin Insulin (, from Latin ''insula'', 'island') is a peptide hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreatic islets; it is considered to be the main Anabolism, anabolic hormone of the body. It regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and p ...

insulin
by joining its gene with a
plasmid A plasmid is a small, extrachromosomal DNA Extrachromosomal DNA (abbreviated ecDNA) is any DNA that is found off the chromosome A chromosome is a long DNA molecule with part or all of the genetic material of an organism. Most eukaryo ...
vector inserted into the bacterium ''
Escherichia coli ''Escherichia coli'' (),Wells, J. C. (2000) Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. Harlow ngland Pearson Education Ltd. also known as ''E. coli'' (), is a Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-negative, Facultative anaerobic organism, facultative anaer ...

Escherichia coli
''. Insulin, widely used for the treatment of diabetes, was previously extracted from the pancreas of
abattoir A slaughterhouse, also called abattoir (), is a facility where animals are slaughtered, most often (though not always) to provide food for humans. Slaughterhouses supply meat, which then becomes the responsibility of a packaging facility. Sla ...
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 Gene therapy is a medical Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descri ...

gene therapy
. The application of biotechnology to basic science (for example through the
Human Genome Project The Human Genome Project (''HGP'') was an international scientific research The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th cen ...
) 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, Development ...

biology
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 Genetic testing, also known as DNA testing, is used to identify changes in DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist o ...
allows the
diagnosis Diagnosis is the identification of the nature and cause of a certain phenomenon. Diagnosis is used in many different academic discipline, disciplines, with variations in the use of logic, analytics, and experience, to determine "causality, cause an ...
of vulnerabilities to inherited
diseases A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or function (biology), function of all or part of an organism, and that is not due to any immediate external injury. Diseases are often known to be medical ...
, and can also be used to determine a child's parentage (genetic mother and father) or in general a person's
ancestry An ancestor, also known as a forefather, fore-elder or a forebear, is a parent A parent is a caregiver of the offspring in their own species. In humans, a parent is the caretaker of a child (where "child" refers to offspring, not necessaril ...
. In addition to studying
chromosomes A chromosome is a long DNA molecule with part or all of the genome, genetic material of an organism. Most eukaryotic chromosomes include packaging proteins called histones which, aided by Chaperone (protein), chaperone proteins, bind to and D ...
to the level of individual genes, genetic testing in a broader sense includes
biochemical Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of chemical process In a scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and pr ...
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 A chromosome is a long DNA molecule with part or all of the genome, genetic material of an organism. Most eukaryotic chromosomes include packaging proteins called histones which, aided by Chaperone (protein), chaperone proteins, bind to and D ...
, 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 A genetic disorder is a health problem caused by one or more abnormalities in the genome In the fields of molecular biology Molecular biology is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and li ...
. 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 Genetic counseling is the process of advising individuals and families affected by or at risk of genetic disorders to help them understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease; this fi ...
.


Agriculture

Genetically modified crops Genetically modified crops (GM crops) are plants used in agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentism, sedentary human civilizatio ...
("GM crops", or "biotech crops") are plants used in
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

agriculture
, the
DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically neutral gro ...

DNA
of which has been modified with
genetic engineering Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification or genetic manipulation, is the direct manipulation of an organism's gene In biology, a gene (from ''genos'' "...Wilhelm Johannsen coined the word gene to describe the Mendelian_in ...
techniques. In most cases, the main aim is to introduce a new
trait Trait may refer to: * Phenotypic trait in biology, which involve genes and characteristics of organisms * Trait (computer programming), a model for structuring object-oriented programs (a template class in the C++ programming language) * Trait the ...
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 Herbicides (, ), also commonly known as weedkillers, are substances used to control unwanted plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, conv ...
), reduction of spoilage, or improving the nutrient profile of the crop. Examples in non-food crops include production of pharmaceutical agents,
biofuel Biofuel is fuel that is produced through contemporary processes from biomass, rather than by the very slow geological processes involved in the formation of fossil fuels, such as oil. Since biomass technically can be used as a fuel directly (e. ...

biofuel
s, and other industrially useful goods, as well as for
bioremediation Bioremediation is a process used to treat Contamination, contaminated media, including water, soil and subsurface material, by altering environmental conditions to stimulate growth of Microorganism, microorganisms and degrade the target pollutants. ...
. 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 Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
,
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
, Canada, China, Paraguay, Pakistan, South Africa, Uruguay, Bolivia, Australia, Philippines, Myanmar, Burkina Faso, Mexico and Spain.
Genetically modified food Genetically modified foods (GM foods), also known as genetically engineered foods (GE foods), or bioengineered foods are foods produced from organisms that have had changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering. Geneti ...
s are foods produced from
organism In 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 ...

organism
s that have had specific changes introduced into their
DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically neutral gro ...

DNA
with the methods of
genetic engineering Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification or genetic manipulation, is the direct manipulation of an organism's gene In biology, a gene (from ''genos'' "...Wilhelm Johannsen coined the word gene to describe the Mendelian_in ...
. 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 Selective breeding (also called artificial selection) is the process by which humans use animal breeding Animal breeding is a branch of animal science Animal science (also bioscience) is described as "studying the biology Biology i ...
and
mutation breeding Mutation breeding, sometimes referred to as "variation breeding", is the process of exposing seeds to chemicals or radiation in order to generate mutants with desirable traits to be bred with other cultivars. Plants created using mutagenesis are s ...
. Commercial sale of genetically modified foods began in 1994, when Calgene first marketed its
Flavr SavrFlavr Savr (also known as CGN-89564-2; pronounced "flavor saver"), a genetically modified tomato, was the first commercially grown genetically engineered food to be granted a license for human consumption. It was produced by the Californian company ...
delayed ripening tomato. To date most genetic modification of foods have primarily focused on cash crops in high demand by farmers such as
soybean The soybean, soy bean, or soya bean (''Glycine max'') is a species of legume A legume () is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation ...
,
corn Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American English, North American and Australian English), is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples of the Americas, indige ...
,
canola Canola oil is a vegetable oil derived from a variety of rapeseed that is low in erucic acid, as opposed to colza oil. There are both Edible oil, edible and industrial forms produced from the seed of any of several cultivars of the plant family ...

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 Scientific consensus is the collective judgment, position, and opinion of the community of scientist A scientist is a person who conducts scientific research The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method of acquiring ...
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 Industrial fermentation is the intentional use of fermentation Fermentation is a metabolic process that produces chemical changes in organic substrates through the action of enzyme Enzymes () are proteins that act as biological catalysts ...
. It includes the practice of using
cells Cell most often refers to: * Cell (biology), the functional basic unit of life Cell may also refer to: Closed spaces * Monastic cell, a small room, hut, or cave in which a monk or religious recluse lives * Prison cell, a room used to hold peopl ...
such as
microorganism A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes ...
s, or components of cells like
enzyme Enzymes () are proteins that act as biological catalysts (biocatalysts). Catalysts accelerate chemical reactions. The molecules upon which enzymes may act are called substrate (chemistry), substrates, and the enzyme converts the substrates in ...

enzyme
s, to generate industrially useful products in sectors such as chemicals, food and feed, detergents, paper and pulp, textiles and
biofuel Biofuel is fuel that is produced through contemporary processes from biomass, rather than by the very slow geological processes involved in the formation of fossil fuels, such as oil. Since biomass technically can be used as a fuel directly (e. ...

biofuel
s. In the current decades, significant progress has been done in creating 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
loss of biodiversity Biodiversity loss includes the extinction of species worldwide, as well as the local reduction or loss of species in a certain habitat, resulting in a loss of biological diversity. The latter phenomenon can be temporary or permanent, depending on w ...
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
risks In simple terms, risk is the possibility of something bad happening. Risk involves uncertainty about the effects/implications of an activity with respect to something that humans value (such as health, well-being, wealth, property or the environmen ...
associated with the use of
genetic engineering Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification or genetic manipulation, is the direct manipulation of an organism's gene In biology, a gene (from ''genos'' "...Wilhelm Johannsen coined the word gene to describe the Mendelian_in ...
technology, and the development and release of genetically modified organisms (GMO), including
genetically modified crops Genetically modified crops (GM crops) are plants used in agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentism, sedentary human civilizatio ...
and
genetically modified fish Genetically modified fish (GM fish) are organisms In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, mol ...
. 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 United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, comprising a lower body, the United States House of Representatives, House of Representatives, and an upper body, t ...

United States Congress
, the
National Institute of General Medical Sciences The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) supports basic research Research is "creativity, creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization, and analysi ...
(
National Institutes of Health The National Institutes of Health (NIH ) is the primary agency of the United States government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the United States ...
) (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 A graduate school (sometimes shortened to grad school) is a school that awards advanced academic degrees (e.g., master's degree, master's and doctorate, doctoral degrees) with the general requirement that students must have earned a previous U ...
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. A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, Ph.D., or DPhil; or ''doctor philosophiae'') is the most common at the highest academic level awarded following a course of study. PhDs are awarded for programs across the whole breadth of academic fields. Be ...
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 Life sciences industry