Biotechnology is a very huge field and its applications are widespread being utilized in variety of fields of science such as medicine, agriculture,bioinformatics,animal biotechnology,environment etc.
1. Biotechnology in Medicine
Healthcare biotechnology refers to a medicinal or diagnostic product or a vaccine that consists of, or has been produced in, living organisms and may be manufactured via recombinant technology. Today, the majority of innovative medicines, whether manufactured using biotechnology or via a chemical synthesis like a traditional small molecule medicine, as well as many diagnostic products, are made available by applying modern biotechnology in their development and/or manufacturing processes.
It is concluded that no field of science can be winning until it uses the techniques of biotechnology.
This field has offered opportunities to produce more nutritious and better tasting foods, higher crop yields and plants that are naturally protected from disease and insects.
Biotechnology is finding novel uses beyond food. For example, oilseed can be modified to produce fatty acids for detergents, substitute fuels and petrochemicals. Potatoes, tomatoes, rice, tobacco, lettuce, safflowers, and other plants have been genetically engineered to produce insulin and certain vaccines.
Genetic modifications have produced fruits that can ripen on the vine for better taste, yet have longer shelf lives through delayed pectin degradation. Tomatoes and other produce containing increased levels of certain nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and or beta carotene, and help protect against the risk of chronic diseases, such as some cancers and heart disease. Most of the today's hard cheese products are made with a biotech enzyme called chymosin. This is produced by genetically engineered bacteria which is considered more purer and plentiful than it’s naturally occurring counterpart, rennet, which is derived from calf stomach tissue. Monsanto Company successfully inserted a gene from a bacterium into the Russet Burbank potato. This gene increases the starch content of the potato. Higher starch content reduces oil absorption during frying, thereby lowering the cost of processing French fries and chips and reducing the fat content in the finished product. This product is still awaiting final development and approval.
In animals, biotechnology techniques are being used to improve genes and for pharmaceutical or industrial applications. Molecular biology techniques can help drive breeding programs by directing selection of superior animals. Animal cloning, through somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), allows for genetic replication of selected animals. Genetic engineering, using recombinant DNA, alters the genetic make up of the animal for selected purposes, including for producing therapeutic proteins in cows and goats.
Many animals also help by serving as models of disease. If an animal gets a disease that's similar to humans, we can use that animal to test treatments. Animals are often used to help us understand how new drugs will work and whether or not they'll be safe for humans and effective in treating disease. In agriculture, biotechnology methods such as genetic testing are used to identify the best animals for producing milk or meat and finding animals that are most resistant to disease. Biotechnology is also used to increase production of animal products such as milk or meat and we can work with animals to improve production of meat and milk, and produce products such as medicines in more cost effective ways.
Cloning: Dolly (5 July 1996) was a female domestic sheep, and the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell, using the process of nuclear transfer. She was cloned by Ian Wilmut and colleagues at the Roslin Institute and the biotechnology company PPL Therapeutics near Edinburgh in Scotland, the United Kingdom. She has been called "the world's most famous sheep". The cell used as the donor for the cloning of Dolly was taken from a mammary gland, and the production of a healthy clone therefore proved that a cell taken from a specific part of the body could recreate a whole individual. ,
This is an interdisciplinary field which addresses biological problems using computational techniques, and makes the rapid organization and analysis of biological data possible. Bioinformatics plays a key role in various areas, such as functional genomics, structural genomics, drug designing and proteomics, and forms a key component in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector.
5. Industrial Biotechnology
Industrial biotechnology applies the techniques of modern molecular biology to improve the efficiency and reduce the environmental impacts of industrial processes like textile, paper and pulp, and chemical manufacturing. For example industrial biotechnology companies develop biocatalysts, such as enzymes, to synthesize chemicals. Enzymes are proteins produced by all organisms. Using biotechnology, the desired enzyme can be manufactured in commercial quantities.
6. Biological Engineering
Biotechnological engineering or biological engineering is a branch of engineering that focuses on biotechnologies and biological science. It includes different disciplines such as biochemical engineering, biomedical engineering, bio-process engineering, bio system engineering and so on. Because of the novelty of the field, bioengineer is still not clearly defined. However, in general it is an integrated approach of fundamental biological sciences and traditional engineering principles.
This discipline makes use of transfer desirable genes, thereby permitting scientists to develop GEMs (Genetically engineered microbes) to address problems like pollution control, removing toxic wastes, recovery of metals from mining wastes and low grade ores, are just some of the categories that fall under this field.