How are you doing is one of the obvious question we ask when learnt that someone is either ill or not feeling good. As we move on a time might come where we might ask a person how your gene is doing to assess his health! Thanks to the vast research and expertise obtained in the field of biotechnology.
Biotechnology is not something new to mankind; it is an age old practice which has been refined repeatedly. It dates back to thousands of years ago when peoples started using living organisms such as microorganisms or their products in their daily life to benefit human community. It might be - to get a nice loaf of bread, to prepare wine, to cure illness, breed healthy animals to get a better offspring or to save and use a better seed to get a good crop. The application was huge!
In today's world the field has grown exponentially to meet the population needs. As we advance the refinement and variation in the process has a remarkable impact on the society leading to much more research to utilize a wide spectrum of nature. One of the main intentions in biotechnology is to reach the public and facilitate to live better. This can happen only when there is an interest and support generated in the community to encourage scientists to come up with more and more innovative ideas.
The need to create a better world has remarkably spread the awareness of what potential BT can provide in - medical field as in, cure for diseases, providing a better quality of life, increasing the availability of organs for transplant, understanding the causes of diseases, curing plant diseases and improving prosthetics or mechanical limbs, - addressing environmental issues like water pollution, developing crops that can endure the harsher conditions we can expect due to climate change, preventing the extinction of endangered animals and addressing food shortages.
As Edison quotes "I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others... I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent...." The need generated by mankind is always a good source for ideas. BT is proceeding towards to meet and personalize needs as in advancement in cosmetic surgery breakthroughs, ways to improve the look of their garden, ways to increase their fitness levels without expending effort, purifying waterways and drinking water and experiencing more consistent weather patterns or getting a personalized prescription to cure an illness!!
The advancement made in the medical field has reached the molecular level because of which a perfect unique character of a group is recorded and utilized. Personalized medicine is a glamorous field but still an emerging young one! It has shown huge promises in preventing illness, diagnosing diseases, developing various drugs to cure diseases. Currently the approach to cure or treat a disease is a generalized one across the population. If a particular person has been diagnosed with a particular disease, the approach to treat is based on the knowledge obtained by research across the entire population. Advancement at the molecular level has shown that it is not necessary that all individual respond identically to a particular mode of treatment. This is mainly due to the diverse genetic expression, environmental factors influencing every one. Thanks to the successful completion of the Human genome project in 2003 which has sequenced the entire human genome and identified that humans might be having approximately 22,000 to 23,000 genes on whose differential expression we survive everyday! The HGP provided crucial insights to the scientists work towards making treatment as personalized as disease.
Henceforth studies and clinical trial are being conducted all over the world to decrease the side effects of the drugs ,diagnose the disease in a early stage and further treat based on the gene expression level. Hence if the respective gene expression is normal you are doing great!
Biotechnology has a huge ethical issue to be dealt with and hence the personalized medicine, passing of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008 to overcome the challenges due to advancement in the respective area. Such guided limitation and advances in the field of biotechnology will be a boon to mankind.
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