Bioplastics, made from biopolymers are already utilised in plastic food packaging, mobile phone cases, sunglasses, pens and personal care packaging for products such as shampoos and conditioners. People have been harnessing biological processes to improve their quality of life for some 10,000 years, beginning with the first agricultural communities. Biotechnology has been used in a rudimentary form since ancient brewers began using yeast cultures to make beer. A fledgling “biotech” industry began to coalesce in the mid- to late 1970s, led by Genentech, a pharmaceutical company established in 1976 by Robert A. Swanson and Herbert W. Boyer to commercialize the recombinant DNA technology pioneered by Boyer, Paul Berg, and Stanley N. Cohen. Extracted Cellulose Fibres are absorbent and tough, and can be extracted from raw materials for use in composites as a replacement for glass, and in many applications where absorbency is needed, such as use in nappies, cat litter and sanitary products. Key concerns about biotechnology include safeguarding technology, labeling, laws, regulations, patents, and research. The Biotech Markets: Medical and Agricultural. Synthetic insulin and synthetic growth hormone and diagnostic tests to detect various diseases are just some examples of how biotechnology is impacting medicine. Today, biotechnology researchers seek to discover the root molecular causes of disease and to intervene precisely at that level. biotechnology: the use of living organisms (especially microorganisms) in industrial, agricultural, medical, and other technological applications; The study of nucleic acids began with the discovery of DNA, progressed to the study of genes and small fragments, and has now exploded to the field of genomics. In the future, many different consumer products will contain materials derived from bio-based feedstocks. Biotechnology has also proved helpful in refining industrial processes, in environmental cleanup, and in agricultural production. Biorefineries can also extract neutraceuticals such as dietary supplements and herbal products, and specialist chemicals can even be used to help ripen fruit ready for sale. Selective breeding of animals such as horses and dogs has been going on for centuries. Biotechnology helps the industry develop new products, new processes and methods, as well as improve and build upon existing treatment options. Food biotechnology is the use of technology to modify the genes of our food sources. The most prominent approach used is genetic engineering, which enables scientists to tailor an organism’s DNA at will. Our food sources are animals, plants, and microorganisms. Traditionally, the industrial sugar used for microbial fermentation is extracted from cereal crops, however only a small proportion of the crop is used, as the majority of sugars are inaccessible to traditional processes. whole cells or isolated enzymes. The starch in the barley must be converted to sugar by enzymes (which are activated when the barley is malted) then fermented (the brewer’s yeast metabolises the sugars to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide). Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Sometimes this means producing therapeutic proteins that augment the body’s own supplies or that make up for genetic deficiencies, as in the first generation of biotech medications. Fluctuating oil prices, global reliance on fossil fuels and agricultural chemicals have ignited interest in farming algae. Britannica Kids Holiday Bundle! Biotechnology definition is - the manipulation (as through genetic engineering) of living organisms or their components to produce useful usually commercial products (such as pest resistant crops, new bacterial strains, or novel pharmaceuticals); also : any of various applications of biological science used in such manipulation. Some activists and consumer groups have called for bans on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or for labeling laws to inform consumers of the growing presence of GMOs in the food supply. Learn. Biochemicals may also be utilised in processes to formulate personal care products such as make up, shampoos and skin care. Biotechnology is a broad area of biology, involving the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make products.Depending on the tools and applications, it often overlaps with related scientific fields. DNA cloning. To find out more about how we can work together, please enter your details below. Biotech improves crop insect resistance, enhances crop herbicide tolerance and facilitates the use of more environmentally sustainable farming practices. Since then, dozens of genetically engineered protein medications have been commercialized around the world, including recombinant versions of growth hormone, clotting factors, proteins for stimulating the production of red and white blood cells, interferons, and clot-dissolving agents. Below are 10 ways industrial biotechnology is in our homes. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the land area planted in genetically modified crops increased dramatically, from 1.7 million hectares (4.2 million acres) in 1996 to 160 million hectares (395 million acres) by 2011. But such processes are not what is meant today by biotechnology, a term first widely applied to the molecular and cellular technologies that began to emerge in the 1960s and ’70s. Blending bio fuels into road transport fuel can reduce their carbon impact. What is industrial biotechnology? Biotechnology is an application oriented science using the principles of biological processes. 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