Biotechnology is the science of making use of living organisms and
their constituents to produce services and goods.
are produced by manipulating and modifying
organisms, usually at molecular level. It is a vast discipline and has
numerous practical applications in agriculture, medicine and industry.
Biotechnology brings together the knowledge, procedures and
practices a large array of disciplines including genetics, molecular
biology, biochemistry, embryology, cellular biology, biochemistry,
immunology, cell biology and more. It also spans across other fields
such as chemical engineering, information technology, and robotics.
Just in the territory of agriculture, applications of the field can be
witnessed in the form of modified agricultural produce including
improve yield from crops, better immunity of crops to environmental
stresses, enhanced nutritional qualities of food crops, qualitative
improvements in texture, taste or appearance of food items, decreased
dependence on pesticides, fertilizers and other agrochemicals,
production of new substances in crops, etc.
Perhaps the most fascinating developments of biotechnology
appeared in medicine where it finds applications in pharmacogenomics,
genetic testing, pharmaceutical drug production and gene therapy.
As the discipline has evovled different classifications of it based on applications have also surfaced, some of them are:
This term refers to the discipline's
applications in agricultural processes. An example is growing of food
crops with enhanced nutritional content.
Bioinformatics is yet another interdisciplinary field that entails solving biological problems using computer
applications, and is used to quickly organize and analyze biological
This term refers to biotechnology's marine and aquatic applications applications.
This one refers to its applications in medical processes. For
instance, production of organisms to produce antibiotics, or providing
genetic cures by means of genomic manipulation.
It refers to biotechnology used in industrial
instance designing an organism to produce a needed chemical compound.
All final products derived from biotechnological processes and any
intermediate ingredients used to make the final products are known as
Types of Biological Products
Also known as immunoglobulins, antibodies are gamma globulin proteins
found in blood and several other bodily fluids of vertebrates
(including humans). The function of these proteins is to act as a
constituent of the immune system by identifying and neutralizing
foreign objects, such as bacteria and viruses, that invade our bodies.
Antibodies are produced by a type of white blood cell known as a "B
cell." Structuraly, comprising heavy chains, antibodies are of many
types and are grouped into different isotypes depending upon which
heavy chain they comprise.
The term assay refers to a procedure by which a property or
concentration of substance used in a laboratory is measured. A large
number for biological and medical purposes exist e.g. competitive
protein binding assay, bioassay, antigen capture assay, immunoassay,
stem cell assay, microbiological assay, and many more types. For
instance typical assays for researching proteins' interactions with DNA
include, DNase footprinting assay, filter binding assay, gel shift
assay. An example of Assays meant to study how toxic a compound is to
cells typically entails MTT assay, SRB (Sulforhodamine B) assay. Assay
systems on the other hand refers to tools and kits meant to conduct
such an analysis.
Proteins are large molecules that assist living organisms in their
structure, function, and regulation of the body's organs, tissues and
cells. There are different types of proteins and each of which has a
specialized function. They are also the main components of
muscles, skin, and other parts of the body. Additionally, they also
serves as a sources of energy for the body. In case of cells, proteins
are the chief actors that govern the myriad cellular acivities
specified by the information contained in the genes. Enzymes too are a
type of proteins that aid in accomplishing various functions such as
metabolism, catabolism, DNA repair, DNA replication, and RNA synthesis.
Antibodies are themselves proteins with the funtion of protecting the
body by binding them around antigens, or any foreign substances inside
the body, and destroy them.
When it’s about medicinal formulations and equipment for use in
biotechnology, it's the quality which determines how effective and safe the
final products will be. The importance of the quality of biotechnology
products can’t be overemphasized. The following tips would help you to
procure quality biotechnology product supplies.
1.Establish the integrity of the source prior placing the order.
2.Establish a list of approved suppliers.
3.Require that any alternative source of supply provides the following as a minimum:
a.A pedigree back to the previous source
b.Certification that it is not a diverted product
c.Certification that any actions by the alternative
source will not alter any original manufacture warranties or
d.Certification that the product has been stored and handled consistent with product labeling requirements
4.Be wary if a product is being offered at an unusually cheap price.
5.Check for signs of a removed or switched product label
6.Check for subtle changes in the product’s package (compare with
previously purchased products), notwithstanding legitimate parallel
7.Look for variations in the size of the container (compare with
previously purchased products), not withstanding legitimate parallel
8.Look for differences in container length, diameters and shapes.
9.Examine for variations in diameters of bottle openings or lids.
10.Examine for variations in the thickness of glass or plastic containers and for variations in container color tints.
11.Compare the physical characteristics of the product
Biotechnology is a fast growing and a dynamic sector of the medical industry
. After World War
II the industry has been pursued with large investments in capital for
research and developments. Thousands of new companies have mushroomed
to formulate find new solutions and products based on biotechnology and
is has also become the mainstay of the healthcare industry. The rate of
expansion in the industry is comparable only to the information
Biotechnology garners so much interest due to the fact that it has
numerous applications. For instance in healthcare it is pursued to
develop new medicines and drug compounds. Furthermore, its industrial
uses entail development of new solvents or applications to be used in
new processes and technologies. Additionally, it continues to be used
in the agricultural sector where it helps to create hybrid crops,
enhance crop productions, grains, etc.
A lot of small and medium–sized biotech firms are owned by or are
associated with larger players. For the most part, the major share of
the industry is held by enterprises that were the original founders. At
the same time the capital requirements for research and development is
huge and hence its not uncommon to find venture capital firms with
The magnitude and the growth trends of the industry can be ascertained
by observing the US biotech industy, which has a major stake in the
world's market. The U.S. biotech industry has grown at an annual rate
of about 14%. Forecasts predict the worth of the industry revenues to
touch US $150 billion by 2010.
Back in 2002 itself, there were about 1500 biotechnology firms in the
U.S. And about 350, out of which were publicly held. The market
capitalization for the year 2006 was valued at US $400 billion.
Aside from the US the other countries with large investments in
biotechnology research include Switzerland, Belgium, Germany,
Australia, Denmark and New Zealand.