Wednesday, December 23, 2009
overall view of applications of biotechnology-FOB- 8th chapter- btechbiotechnology- 1st year
Biotechnology has applications in four major industrial areas, including health care (medical), crop production and agriculture, non food (industrial) uses of crops and other products (e.g. biodegradable plastics, vegetable oil, biofuels), and environmental uses.
For example, one application of biotechnology is the directed use of organisms for the manufacture of organic products (examples include beer and milk products). Another example is using naturally present bacteria by the mining industry in bioleaching. Biotechnology is also used to recycle, treat waste, clean up sites contaminated by industrial activities (bioremediation), and also to produce biological weapons.
A series of derived terms have been coined to identify several branches of biotechnology, for example:
* Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field which addresses biological problems using computational techniques, and makes the rapid organization and analysis of biological data possible. The field may also be referred to as computational biology, and can be defined as, "conceptualizing biology in terms of molecules and then applying informatics techniques to understand and organize the information associated with these molecules, on a large scale." Bioinformatics plays a key role in various areas, such as functional genomics, structural genomics, and proteomics, and forms a key component in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector.
* Blue biotechnology is a term that has been used to describe the marine and aquatic applications of biotechnology, but its use is relatively rare.
* Green biotechnology is biotechnology applied to agricultural processes. An example would be the selection and domestication of plants via micropropagation. Another example is the designing of transgenic plants to grow under specific environments in the presence (or absence) of chemicals. One hope is that green biotechnology might produce more environmentally friendly solutions than traditional industrial agriculture. An example of this is the engineering of a plant to express a pesticide, thereby ending the need of external application of pesticides. An example of this would be Bt corn. Whether or not green biotechnology products such as this are ultimately more environmentally friendly is a topic of considerable debate.
* Red biotechnology is applied to medical processes. Some examples are the designing of organisms to produce antibiotics, and the engineering of genetic cures through genetic manipulation.
* White biotechnology, also known as industrial biotechnology, is biotechnology applied to industrial processes. An example is the designing of an organism to produce a useful chemical. Another example is the using of enzymes as industrial catalysts to either produce valuable chemicals or destroy hazardous/polluting chemicals. White biotechnology tends to consume less in resources than traditional processes used to produce industrial goods. The investments and economic output of all of these types of applied biotechnologies form what has been described as the bioeconomy.
Biotechnology also proves its immense applications at every step of human life such as, health care, crop improvement, development of valuable products and abatement of environmental problems. The book is comprised of fourteen chapters based on updated information on various aspects of biotechnology e.g. microbiology, biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, molecular biology, physiology and tissue engineering, environment, health, where biotechnology finds tremendous application. All the chapters have been written by eminent academics and well known scientists in the field, thus ensuring a good balance between theory and practice. The information covered in the book are focused on following aspects: Applications of biotechnology in exploitation of microbial diversity.
Abatement of environmental problems and pollution control using biotechnological approaches. Utility of biotechnology in public health care, human welfare and medical biology. Applications of biotechnology in crop improvement and development of resistant crops. Use of biotechnology in conservation of biological resources. Assessment of hazardous compounds in the environment. Use of biotechnology in remediation of diseases and drug designing. Further extensive illustration and highlighting of major applications of biotechnology make this book invaluable to biotechnologist, microbiologist as well as students dealing with applied microbiology, industrial microbiology, metabolic engineering, environmental biotechnology, stress biotechnology and cell and tissue engineering.