Biotechnology is a technology that uses biological systems, living organisms, or pieces thereof, to develop or create a variety of products.


What is Biotechnology? | BIO

Biotechnology Definition

In its simplest form, biotechnology is a form of technology based upon biology. Biotechnologies harness cellular and biomolecular processes to create products and technologies that benefit Earth’s health and our lives. More than 6,000 years ago, we relied on the biological processes of microorganisms to produce food products such as bread and cheese and to preserve dairy products.

Examples of Biotechnology

Brewing and baking are examples of processes that fall under the category of biotechnology. For example Yeast, a living organism, is used in the process of making bread to make it. A traditional form of biotechnology, while still using living organisms, usually involves modifying them in a more advanced way (or even breeding them), while a modern form will involve modifying the system or organism to a greater degree.

In the 1970s, genetic engineering enabled research in biotechnology (and other areas such as medicine, biology, etc.) to develop rapidly, thanks in part to the ability to enhance the organisms’ genetic material (DNA).

The field of biotechnology today encompasses a wide range of disciplines (including genetics, biochemistry, and molecular biology). Every year, new products and technologies are developed within areas such as e.g. Biotechnology is useful in medicine (development of new medications), agriculture (genetic engineering of crops, biofuels, and healthy foods), and industrial biotech (production of chemicals, paper, textiles, and foods).

Types of Biotechnology

The colors of biotechnology in Venezuela: A bibliometric analysis -  ScienceDirect

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Different Biotechnology applications are grouped into seven different colors or RnD areas. 

  Biotechnology in red: A prominent part of this branch is health care and developing medicines, such as antibiotics, regenerative therapies, and artificial organs, according to the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

  Green biotechnology: More than 13 million farmers worldwide use it to fight pests, nourish their crops, and make them more resistant to microbes and extreme weather events.

  White biotechnology: To improve the efficiency and sustainability of the industry, the industrial branch works on improving manufacturing processes, developing biofuels, and introducing other technologies.

  Yellow biotechnology: It is a branch that studies food production, such as how to reduce saturated fat levels in cooking oils.

  Blue biotechnology: It involves the exploitation of marine resources to produce products such as aquaculture, cosmetics, and health care. It is also the branch that produces the majority of biofuels from microalgal biomass.

  Grey biotechnology: The scheme consists of restoring natural ecosystems that have been contaminated through bioremediation.

  Gold biotechnology: Its main responsibility is to obtain, store, analyze and separate biological data, especially regarding DNA sequences and amino acid sequences.

Application of Biotechnology

There are many places where we find biotechnological innovations in our daily lives, such as pharmacies and supermarkets. Moreover, in recent months, biotechnology has become one of the most important weapons against the COVID-19 global pandemic, as it gives us a better understanding of the virus’ genome and how our bodies’ defense mechanisms work.

Thus, biotechnology will be crucial to preventing and containing the spread of infectious diseases in the future. It has a variety of other uses as:

 Medicine

BIO-A: 11.6 The Basics of Marketing Biotechnology Products: 14.6.1  Marketing Biotechnology Products

Molecular identification and diagnostics have been developed through its alliance with genetic engineering, as well as gene therapies and vaccines like Hepatitis B.

  Industry

Halophiles, coming stars for industrial biotechnology - ScienceDirect

Biotechnology and smart materials are just beginning to revolutionize manufacturing. Concrete that self-heals may soon be available, as could plants that change color when they sense explosives, synthetic spider web clothing and footwear, etc.

  Food

Food Biotechnology: A Step Towards Improving Nutritional Quality of Food  for Asian Countries | Bentham Science

As well as genetically modified foods, biotechnology has also produced products such as WEMA as a way to combat hunger in Africa through crops resistant to droughts and certain insects.

  Environment

Laboratory of Environmental Biotechnology - Pathogenic bacteria

By utilizing the catabolic properties of microorganisms, fungi, plants, and enzymes in bioremediation processes, contaminated ecosystems can be restored.

Future of Biotechnology

Take control for a future for biotech | Communist Party of Britain  Marxist-Leninist

We use biotechnology in everything we do, from the clothes we wear to the food we eat, to the medicine we take to keep us healthy, and even the fuel we use to get around. Biotechnology already plays an important role in meeting our needs, and it will continue to do so. Despite an aging population, healthcare affordability, climate change, food insecurity, resource efficiency, and resource-efficient production, no other industry is more equipped to handle society’s ‘Grand Challenges,’ such as tackling an aging and ever-increasing population.


The benefits of biotechnology range from new drugs to prevent epidemics and fight rare diseases, to environmental and agricultural processes that use renewable energy and crops that can be grown in harsh climates and that ensure affordable and safe food.

Biotechnology must be supported by sound policy decisions that encourage innovation and risk-taking, as well as a public that is well informed about how biotech creates a healthier, greener, more productive, and more sustainable economy.

It provides millions of jobs and is worth trillions of pounds, so the goal now is to build on this momentum.

By using biotech medicine to treat and prevent chronic and everyday illnesses, biotech already benefits more than 350 million people around the world. By 2015, it is predicted that biotech will supply 50% of all medicines marketed.

As a more sustainable alternative to fossil fuels and a safer form of global energy, industrial biotechnology is helping to combat global warming. It has led to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to reduce 2.5 billion tonnes of C02 equivalent per year by 2030. It offers

In addition to reducing fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions, agricultural biotechnology produces food that is less toxic. It also offers new, improved, and adapted crops to reduce poverty and can increase food security for a growing global population.

At the moment, biotech is one of the most exciting industries. The biotechnology industry has the same potential to reward investors like no other sector, not to mention the patients whose lives will be improved by new drugs and treatments.

A career in biotech offers a wide range of opportunities from manufacturing to development to regulatory to commercial release so if you’re looking for a long-term career, you can’t go far wrong by exploring or advancing your career within the sector.

Biotechnology has a bright future. The day will come when breakthrough drugs will rob the world of cancer, AIDS, and Alzheimer’s; a day when there will be sustainable development that tackles energy, food, and environmental needs without putting the Earth’s resources at risk.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the future of biotechnology?

Biotechnology has a bright future. The day will come when breakthrough drugs will rob the world of cancer, AIDS, and Alzheimer’s; a day when there will be sustainable development that tackles energy, food, and environmental needs without putting the Earth’s resources at risk.

What are the types of biotechnology?

Medical biotechnology (red), industrial biotechnology (white), environmental biotechnology (green), and marine biotechnology (blue).

What is biotechnology used for?

The benefits of biotechnology range from new drugs to prevent epidemics and fight rare diseases, to environmental and agricultural processes that use renewable energy and crops that can be grown in harsh climates and that ensure affordable and safe food.

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