Things to know about biotechnology

The term biotechnology is an umbrella term for a variety of processes, products and methods. Looking at the definition, biotechnology is an application of science and technology to living organisms, the modification of living and non-living matter, the production of goods, the provision of services, as well as other areas. Thus, biotechnology is very diverse and is not limited to just one area. This article shows the essential aspects of biotechnology.

Fields of application of biotechnology

Biotechnologists research microorganisms, plants, animals and humans down to small cells and molecules. For decades, mankind has been using living microorganisms to produce beer, wine or bread, for example. In today’s applied biotechnology, the methods of molecular biology are predominantly used. The foundations for these process technologies were laid as early as the 18th and 19th centuries. Even then, the first enzymes were discovered as biocatalysts. Bacteria also served as producers of active substances in medicine.

Today, biotechnology is a broadly diversified field. Process technologies are used to develop new drugs, cultivate plant varieties or produce detergents and cosmetics. In order to distinguish the individual fields of application, biotechnology has been divided into 3 colors. Red for medicine, green for agriculture and white for industry.

Red biotechnology

Red biotechnology finds its application in medicine. The foundations for medical biotechnology were established only a few decades ago. Genetic information is the blueprint of all life processes. With the help of biotechnology, researchers can track down diseases and develop much more targeted drugs for them. The goal of biotechnology in medicine is to use biological molecules for therapeutic purposes. Genome research and proteome research are the most important platform technologies in biotechnology.

Green biotechnology

Green biotechnology finds its application in agriculture. Modern agriculture would hardly be possible today without biotechnology. The basis for this was plant genome research, which deals with the breeding of new plant varieties. The genetic optimization of plants has always been a goal of mankind. Even in earlier times, farmers were concerned with the issues of crossing and backcrossing plants. Today, genetic modification contributes, for example, to the fact that we have sweet apples and large corn cobs.

White biotechnology

Biotechnology is usually behind products such as detergents or creams. The possibilities offered by biotechnology help industry to work in a more environmentally friendly way that conserves resources. This applies, for example, to foods such as bread, cheese, beer and wine. But biotechnology is also behind the development of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, vitamins, detergents and cleaning agents. Biotechnology is also used in the finishing of textiles, leather and paper.

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