Biotechnology is a science that studies the possibility of using living organisms or their metabolic products to cope with certain technological problems. With the help of biotechnology, certain human needs are met. Among them, there are:
- the development of medicines;
- modification or creation of new species of plants and animals, which increases the quality of food products.
Biotechnology in modern medicine
Biotechnology, as a science, has established itself in the early 70s. It all started with genetic engineering, when scientists were able to transfer genetic material from one organism to another without performing sexual processes. For this, recombinant DNA or rDNA was used. This method is used to change or improve a particular organism.
You need the following to create an rDNA molecule:
- extract a DNA molecule from an animal or plant cell;
- process the isolated cell and plasmid, and then mix them;
- the altered plasmid is transferred into the bacterium, which in turn multiplies the copies of the code that were introduced into it.
Medical biotechnology is divided into 2 large groups:
- diagnostic, which, in turn, are: chemical (determination of diagnostic substances and metabolic parameters); physical (determination of the physical body fields);
Medical biotechnology includes such production processes during which biological objects or medical substances are created. These are enzymes, vitamins, antibiotics, individual microbial polysaccharidesю Such substances can be used as independent agents or as auxiliary agents in the creation of various dosage forms, amino acids.
Biotechnology methods are used:
- to produce human insulin through genetically modified bacteria;
- to create erythropoietin (a hormone that stimulates the formation of red blood cells in the bone marrow.
In the future, medical genetics will be able not only to prevent the birth of inferior children by diagnosing genetic diseases, but also to carry out gene transplantation to solve the existing problem.
Biotechnology in the future will give humanity huge opportunities not only in medicine, but also in other areas of modern sciences.
Biotechnology in modern science
Biotechnology in modern science is of great benefit. Due to the discovery of genetic engineering, it became possible to develop new varieties of plants and animal breeds that will benefit agriculture.
The study of biotechnology is associated not only with the sciences of the biological direction. In microelectronics, field effect ion-selective transistors (HpaI) have been developed.
Biotechnology is essential to enhance oil recovery from oil reservoirs. The most developed area is the use of biotechnology in ecology for the treatment of industrial and domestic wastewater.
Many other disciplines have contributed to the development of biotechnology, which is why biotechnology should be classified as a complex science.
Another reason for the active study and improvement of knowledge in biotechnology was the issue of the lack (or future deficit) of socio-economic needs.
There are such problems in the world as:
- lack of fresh or treated water (in some countries);
- pollution of the environment with various chemicals;
- shortage of energy resources;
- the need to improve and get completely new environmentally friendly materials and products;
- raising the level of medicine.
Scientists are confident that it is possible to solve these and many other problems with the help of biotechnology.
Basic typical technological methods of modern biotechnology
Biotechnology can be distinguished not only as a science, but also as a sphere of human practical activity, which is responsible for the production of various types of products with the participation of living organisms or their cells.
The theoretical basis for biotechnology at one time was such a science as genetics. This happened in the XX century. But practically biotechnology was based on the microbiological industry.
The microbiological industry, in turn, received a strong impetus in development after the discovery and active antibiotics’ production.
The objects with which biotechnology works are viruses, bacteria, various representatives of flora and fauna, fungi, as well as organelles and isolated cells.
Visual biotechnology. Genetic and cell engineering
Genetic and cellular engineering combined with biochemistry are the main areas of modern biotechnology. Cellular engineering is the cultivation of cells of various living organisms (plants, animals, bacteria) under special conditions, various kinds of research on them (combination, extraction or transplantation).
The most successful is plant cell engineering. With the help of plant cell engineering, it became possible to accelerate breeding processes, which makes it possible to develop new varieties of agricultural crops. Now the breeding of a new variety has been reduced from 11 years to 3-4 years.
Genetic engineering is a department of molecular biology in which they study and isolate genes from the cells of living organisms, after which they are manipulated to achieve a specific goal. The main tools that are used in genetic engineering are enzymes and vectors.
Biotechnology in the modern world and human life
The potential that biotechnology opens up for humans is great not only in fundamental science, but also in other spheres of activity and fields of knowledge. With the use of biotechnological methods, the mass production of all the necessary proteins has become possible.
Processes for receiving fermentation products have become much simpler. In the future, biotechnology will improve animals and plants. Scientists are considering options for fighting hereditary diseases using genetic engineering.
Genetic engineering, as the main direction in biotechnology, significantly accelerates the solution of the problem of food, agricultural, energy and environmental crises.
Biotechnology has the greatest impact on medicine and pharmaceuticals. It is predicted that in the future it will be possible to diagnose and treat those diseases that have the status of “incurable”.