Biotechnology is applied field of biology that uses biological process and techniques for the maximum benefit of man. Biotechnology uses basic biological science like genetics, animal cell culture, cell biology, microbiology, and molecular biology along with other branches of science like chemical engineering, information technology, bioprocessing and biorobotics. In 1917, Biotechnology was first coined by Karl Ereky.
Biotechnology is used in many fields like preventing, diagnosis and cure of disease, DNA profiling, preserving plant and animals from extinction, organ culture, plant tissue culture, production of transgenic animals and plants, and also in production of commercial products like alcohol, beverages.
Production of Genes, Hormones, Vaccines:
1. Gene of interest is extracted from the genome by the help of restriction enzymes.
2. Gene of interest is then inserted into the cloning vector such as plasmid, cosmid with the help of ligase enzyme.
3. Cloned vector are then introduced into the host cell and transformed host cell are selected and cultured in fermentors.
4. Desired products are then extracted using downstream process.
Using the same procedure hormones is produced. Hormones are chemical messengers that help in transporting signals from one cell to another cell. For example human insulin is being produced using genetic engineering technique known as humulin.
Interferons interfere in transmission of viral genome from one cell to another and also it inhibits the cell division of abnormal cells. Interferons are produced using the recombinant DNA technology is used to treat cancer patients. Interferons improved the quality of life of cancer patients.
Vaccines are also produced using recombinant DNA technology. Vaccines provide immunity against a particular disease by evoking the immune system of human or animals. Vaccines for rabies, malaria, hepatitis B, polio virus and also small pox are produced using biotechnology.
Vitamins and Organic Acid:
Vitamin B12 or riboflavin and also precursor for vitamin A are also produced using genetic engineering techniques.
Organic acids like citric acid, lactic acid are also produced. These organic acids are used in cosmetic industry, food industry and also in pharmaceutical industry.
Alcohols are also produced in large quantities using genetic engineering techniques. Alcohols are used as solvent extracts, liquid fuel, and also as beverage.
Antibiotics are also produced against microorganisms which cause diseases like fever, pneumonia, cholera and other infections in humans.
Enzymes are also produced, extracted, immobilized using recombinant DNA technology. These enzymes are used in treatment of genetic disorders, medical diagnosis, and synthesis of proteins, peptides and also amino acids.
Plant biotechnology techniques are used
1. Cryopreservation of germ plasm
2. Clonal propagation
3. Breaking dormancy
4. Producing disease free plants
5. Somatic hybrid plants
6. Synthetic seed production
7. Early flowering
8. Overcoming self sterility
Biotechnology is also used in producing transgenic animals with
1. increased nutritional value
2. Disease resistant animals
3. To produce good quality fishes with greater content of protein
Prevention, Diagnosis and Cure of Disease:
1. Biotechnology and its techniques are used in the production of vaccines and immunogenic proteins which help preventing diseases.
2. Biotechnology and its techniques are used in the production of DNA probes, monoclonal antibodies, and antenatal diagnosis.
3. Biotechnology technique known as gene therapy are used in curing genetic disorders.
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