Quiz 1: The Biotechnology Century and Its Workforce

Biology

The two historical examples of the applications of biotechnology are: 1) Fermentation: It is a process, which involves the use of microorganisms to make cheeses, yogurts, breads, and alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer. In the process of fermentation, the sugar is decomposed by some strains of yeast to derive energy, and in this process the ethanol or alcohol is produced by them as a waste product. 2) Selective breeding: Selective breeding has been used by humans for thousands of years as a biotechnology application to advance production of livestock and crops used for food purposes. In the selective breeding process, the organisms with necessary features are wittingly mated to produce offspring with the same desired characteristics. For example, cross-breeding plants that produce the sweetest, largest, and most tender ears of corn are developed. Similar breeding methods are used with farm animals including cows, turkeys, chickens, and pigs. Two current examples of application of biotechnology are: 1) Gene cloning: It is a technique, which provides the ability to identify and reproduce a gene of interest. 2) Genetic engineering: This technique provides the ability to manipulate the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) of an organism. Through this technique, scientists and researchers are able to combine the DNA from different sources.

Biotechnology will have a noteworthy impact on all our lives and that of upcoming generations. Biotechnology, like any tool, is being used to resolve some of our problems and deliver benefits to various sectors. The recombinant DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) technology (RDT) has significantly affected our everyday life. This technique is used to make many proteins of medical importance, including human growth hormone, insulin, and blood clotting factors. Many important areas of the biotechnology are dominated by the recombinant DNA technology. This RDT has generated hundreds of applications, including the development of food crops that produce greater yields of vegetables and fruits, disease resistant plants, and genetically engineered bacteria skilled of degrading environment pollutants. The recombinant DNA technology (RDT) is used for the production of the insulin for the treatment of diabetic patient. The diabetic patients have elevated blood sugar level due to impaired function or production of the insulin hormone. The diabetic patients are treated with the insulin synthesized in bacteria with the use of recombinant DNA technology. The only animal protein, which can be synthesized in bacteria, is the human insulin. With the use of RDT the insulin synthesized is absolutely identical to that of natural insulin molecule. This decrease the chances of complications arise as a result of antibody production against the insulin administration.

The area of biotechnology that involves using living microorganisms to clean up the environment is bioremediation. It is used to process and degrade a variety of manmade and natural substances, specifically those that add to environmental pollution. To clean up many environmental hazards that have been caused by industrial progress, bioremediation is used. Significant bioremediation processes rely on applications of microbial biotechnology.

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