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Applications of Biotechnology in MedicineBY: Amna Adnan | Category: Others | Submitted: 2010-06-17 21:21:58
Biotechnology is a very vast field and its applications are used in various fields of science such as agriculture and medicine. Medicine is using biotechnology techniques so much in diagnosing and treating different diseases. It also gives opportunities for the people to protect themselves from dangerous diseases. The field of biotechnology, genetic engineering, has introduced techniques like gene therapy, recombinant DNA technology and polymerase chain reaction which use genes and DNA molecules to diagnose diseases and insert new and healthy genes in the body which replace the damaged cells. There are some applications of biotechnology which are playing their part in the field of medicine and giving good results:
By using the techniques of biotechnology, the drugs biopharmaceuticals were developed. There are no chemicals involved in the synthesis of these drugs, but microorganisms have made it possible to develop them. Large molecules of proteins are usually the source of biopharmaceuticals. They when targeted in the body attack the hidden mechanisms of the disease and destroy them. Now scientists are trying to develop such biopharmaceutical drugs which can be treated against the diseases like hepatitis, cancer and heart diseases.
These drugs are made by many ways and one method of developing such drugs is bioreactor. Bioreactor is a container which is used to grow microorganisms under the specific temperature and other required conditions. These microorganisms then make biopharmaceuticals. Though genetically modified plants and animals can also be used to make biopharmaceuticals but then there are various ethical and legal issues regarding these animals and plants.
Gene therapy is another technique of biotechnology which is used to treat and diagnose diseases like cancer and Parkinson's disease. The mechanism of this technique is that the healthy genes are targeted in the body which either destroy the damaged cells or replace them. In some cases, the healthy genes make corrections in the genetic information and that is how the genes start functioning in the favor of the body.
Pharmacogenomics is another genetically modified technique which is used to study the genetic information of an individual. It analyzes the body's response to certain drugs. It is the combination of pharmaceuticals and genomics. The aim of this field is to develop such drugs which are inserted in the individual according to the genetic information present in the individual.
Genetic testing is a technique of genetics which is used to determine the genetic diseases in parents, sex and carrier screening. The method of genetic testing is to use DNA probes which have the sequences similar to the mutated sequences. This technique is also used to identify the criminals and to test the paternity of the child.
It is concluded that no field of science can be successful until it uses the techniques of biotechnology. Scientists are working in the research area to develop new drugs and vaccines and are also finding cures for the diseases which were difficult to treat in the past decade. Biotechnology is a field of miracles.
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