(Noura Mohamed pharmacy education committee member)
Biotechnology has several definitions as:
It can be defined as using biological systems of living organisms or organisms themselves for technical advances in different fields.
The European Federation of Biotechnology defines biotechnology as the application of biochemistry, microbiology and engineering sciences in order to achieve the technological application of the capabilities of microorganisms and cultured tissue cells.
Applications of biotechnology
1- Medical biotechnology (Red biotechnology)
In this part biotechnology depends on using living cells and other cell materials for medical purposes for human health such as finding new drugs, studying pathogens and human cell biology and also involves the study of DNA and genetic makeup of cells.
Examples of medical biotechnology:
1- finding new vaccines.
2- Development of antibiotics
2- Agriculture biotechnology (green biotechnology)
In this field we focus on the development of the genetically modified plants with advantage growing.
Examples for agriculture biotechnology:
1- Pest resistant crops
As biotechnology provides crops naturally anti pest in stead of using pesticides like transferring fungus Bacillus thuringiensis gene to crops as it produces protein effective against pest such as European corn borer.
2- animal breeding
3- Industrial biotechnology (white biotechnology)
In this field biotechnology is applied in industrial purposes includes using enzymes or microorganisms to produce industrial useful products as food, chemicals, biofuel or biogas.
Examples for industrial biotechnology :
It depends on using enzymes produced by living organisms or manufacturing this desired enzyme using biotechnology.
It can be used in chemical production as manufacturing new plastics or textiles and developing new sources of energy such as biofuels.
In this process sugar can be fermented to acid to be used as an intermediate to produce other chemicals.
4- Marine biotechnology (blue biotechnology)
biological methods to marine and freshwater life. It uses marine organisms, and their derivatives, to increase seafood supply and safety and controls the proliferation of noxious water-borne organisms, and develops new drugs.
5- Environmental biotechnology (grey biotechnology)
Biotechnology focuses in this field on using living organisms like microbes or bacteria exist in the soil and stimulating their activity or adding bacteria that help in digesting the waste and removing pollutants and toxins from the soil and after consuming the waste bacteria die off or return to their normal population level in the environment.
Example for environmental biotechnology
In this process organic waste can be biologically degraded under controlled conditions and convert it into less or non toxic form.
Organisms can be exist in the media or isolated from somewhere else. They can be bacteria, fungi or plant that have physiological abilities to degrade and detoxify.