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Biotechnology and Its Applications Study Guide

Biotechnology uses existing biological systems and organisms to produce desirable products with superior traits. This is the biotechnology short definition. There are multiple applications of biotechnology. Read this to find out.

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Introduction:

Biotechnology is a wonderful science involved in developing new and innovative products. These products are derived from different biological existing organisms or systems. Biotechnology has constantly evolved over the years. From a simple process of making sourdough bread or setting yogurt to making fabric using biological organisms' biotechnology has come a long way. It has helped modify existing systems and give an advanced organism or system that is better resistant and effective.

Principles of Biotechnology

Biotechnology is based on simple procedures, and it uses genetic engineering at its core. It modifies the genetic makeup of the organism, and changes are expressed. This is based on recombinant DNA technology and is currently being used widely. This article explains how biotechnology applications are carried out.

  • The first step is the isolation of DNA. This is extracted from the donor organism and sets the pace for the rest of the recombination process.
  • The second step is DNA fragmentation. This is done by adding restriction endonucleases on the isolated DNA fragment and obtaining the desirable pieces of DNA.
  • The next step is glycation of desired fragments of DNA into the vector. This vector is responsible for carrying the fragment and transferring it for transcription.
  • In the next step, the recombinant DNA is transferred to the host and is then transferred into the nutrient medium.
  • The next step is the placement of the transformed cells in a desirable nutrient medium. This is an enriched nutrient medium that allows optimal growth at the correct time.
  • The last and final step of genetic engineering is to extract the desired product with recombinant DNA and utilization.

Agriculture and Biotechnology

Biotechnology is widely used in agriculture. This is a major application of biotech. The Indian green revolution can be attributed to the uses of biotechnology. It has helped in forming several resistant crops which are not spoilt by parasitic infections, climatic conditions, and other harm-causing agents which may cause the disease in plants.

Transgenic purple tomato Source

The application of Biotechnology in agriculture has also given way to organic agriculture, genetically engineered crops, and high-yielding crop varieties. The green revolution was a turning point for Indian agriculture, and with almost tripling in the production of various crops, it helped in increasing the food security of the nation.

The current agriculture research is also working with biotechnology to produce crops with a higher crop yield. These are suitable to grow in regions they wouldn't normally grow in. It helps in mitigating the stress on the plant and makes it resistant. It also helps in introducing desirable characteristics.

The most commercially produced pest-resistant crop that has been given by agricultural biotechnology is BT cotton. The fungus Bacillus Thuringiensis is known for causing disease in the plant. It produces a BT protein, which is highly effective against pests such as corn borer. This is a widely used application of biotech.

Medicine and Biotechnology

Applications of Biotechnology in medicine are discussed below:

  • The usage of recombinant DNA technology has given rise to the production of multiple treatment methods, vaccines, and therapeutic drugs.
  • These drugs are highly effective, can be mass-produced, and are safe. They have helped in treating multiple disease conditions. These drugs help in solving the problems of humankind better.
  • Biotechnology is also used in multiple gene therapies. This is especially useful in the treatment of genetic disorders. Early intervention can help in preventing major disorders.
  • Several testing technologies also use biotechnology, and ELISA and PCR are common examples.

Insulin production Source

Antibiotic and Biotechnology

Biotechnology is also used for antibiotic production. It has helped further the research and production of several antibiotic drugs and made the treatment of several diseases possible. Antibiotics are genetically engineered by biotechnology. This is a very cost-effective method and can be mass-produced. Antibiotics present an important note on biotechnology.

Biotech and Plant Breeding

Another gray area that the application of biotechnology has explored is selective breeding. Selective breeding is the practice of introducing desirable traits in a plant. The resulting offspring has all the added desirable traits. Biotechnology has given rise to plants that are resistant to disease and are easy to grow, and highly profitable.

Creating a transgenic crop Source

This is based on the genomic understanding of different traits and to check whether the desired traits are expressed in the way they are needed. An example of this would be a hybrid of tomato and potato plants.

Biotechnology in Industry

Biotechnology is also widely used in industries to produce various enzymes, paper, pulp chemicals, and textiles. It uses microorganisms for cell components like enzymes to produce food, chemicals, detergents, paper, biofuels, and biogas. It is efficient and takes care of the environmental impact of industries. This is a basic biotechnology product application.

Another great example of industrial biotechnology is the development of biocatalysts. Another example of the application of biotech is the fermentation that is carried out in the industry.

Types of Study in Biotechnology

Biotechnology is classified into different branches using a color-coded system:

  • Gold Biotechnology refers to computational biology and helps address different biological issues using computational techniques.
  • Red biotechnology refers to biopharma and is involved in developing new drug therapies and Diagnostic techniques and why it is used.
  • White Biotechnology refers to industrial biotech and is used for producing processes and products which are sustainable and environmentally friendly.
  • Grey biotechnology refers to the different environmental applications of biotech.

Conclusion:

  • Biotechnology is a very diverse field.
  • Constant research and development are helping give superior varieties of multiple organisms and systems.
  • Biotechnology applications are in numerous fields, namely Agriculture, Medicine, and other Industries.

FAQs:

1. What is biotechnology and its application?

Biotechnology is the science of developing new systems and organisms from previously existing organisms.

2. What are the 11 applications of biotechnology?

Biotechnology is used in crop production, better yielding crop varieties, paper production, fabric production, pulp production, drug therapies, Diagnostic methods, detergent production, biocatalyst production, biogas products, and antibiotic production.

3. What are the 5 types of biotechnology?

Gold, grey, white, green, and red are 5 major types of biotechnology.

4. What is the main purpose of biotechnology?

The purpose of biotechnology is to obtain organisms and systems of superior quality and have desirable characteristics.

5. Which tyoe of biotechnology is the best?

All forms of biotechnology are widely used and best. The usage depends on requirements and desired outcomes.

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Sources:

  1. Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues in Biotechnology (ELSI). https://flexbooks.ck12.org/cbook/ck-12-biology-flexbook-2.0/section/3.15/primary/lesson/ethical-legal-and-social-issues-of-biotechnology-bio/ Accessed 11 Dec, 2021.
  2. Biotechnology Applications. https://flexbooks.ck12.org/cbook/ck-12-biology-flexbook-2.0/section/3.14/primary/lesson/biotechnology-applications-bio/ Accessed 11 Dec, 2021.
  3. Biotechnology. https://www.britannica.com/technology/biotechnology Accessed 11 Dec, 2021.
  4. Biotechnology and its Applications. https://www.drishtiias.com/to-the-points/paper3/biotechnology-and-its-applications Accessed 11 Dec, 2021.
  5. Application Of Biotechnology In Medicine. https://byjus.com/biology/application-biotechnology-medicine/ Accessed 11 Dec, 2021.