By Paul Darrel O. Meneses from FJCPPhA, Philippines - IPSF Public Health Committee - Humanitarian Team Member and Policy Committee Member
Biotechnology is increasingly receiving a lot of attention and wherever we go, it becomes a term we've become familiar with for the past few months. Now, individuals and experts from all fields collaborate to evaluate biotechnology through articles, social networking sites, seminars, and forums even with the COVID-19 pandemic. As time passes, biotechnology is getting more and more involved into our lives and it is possible that every aspects of our lives can be determined by biotechnology. In different aspects, from food and even to the wellbeing of animal life, biotechnology has contributed to our lives. It has help us limitlessly and as a result, not everyone is worried about It.
Since the beginning of mankind, people have been using biotechnology. Egyptians baked leavened bread with yeasts, China developed brewing and cheese fermentation processes and Aztecs made cakes with Spirulina algae. If the majority of people today think about biotechnology, they are presumably worried of recombinant DNA. Although a great deal of contemporary biotechnology deals with DNA modification, conventional biotechnology started long before we even learned about genes or chromosomes. What started as food production recipes now incorporates technology that enhances everything from agriculture to pharmaceuticals. We begun at the end of the 19th century with what we think of as modern biotechnology. By that time, Mendel's genetic studies had ended, and Koch, Pasteur and Lister had formed institutes of research into fermentation along with other microbial processes.
In the early 20th century, biotechnology began to be embedded in manufacturing and agriculture. For starters, the increasing automotive industry used fermentation processes to manufacture solvents for acetone and paint. Significant breakthroughs in genetics influence biological science by the middle of the century. Watson and Crick also identified the finding that DNA includes the genetic code and the "double helix" structure. New techniques for manipulating DNA were soon developed. The future of biotechnology is characterized by genetically-engineered plants, bacteria, animals and products like insulin. In the international project developed by the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health, The Human Genome Project", the significance of the latest genetics culminated to "map the human genome". The research aimed at defining the composition of the entirety of the human genome, with its three billion basis pairs and about 22,000 genes. This awareness allowed scientists to recognise, avoid and treat multiple genetically engineered diseases.
A couple of decades ago, debates begun on the ethical impacts of recombinant experiments. The first Director of the Office of Human Genome Research at the NIH was named by James Watsón. With great detail, he recommended to research the ethical, legal and social ramifications of a project a portion of the human genome budget. With the advance of genetic findings, it is of utmost importance to monitor the use of information. Researchers are also cooperating with scholars to help them not only to decide what we should do, but also what genetic information can do. In various fields, including agriculture, medicinal uses, biological remediation, and forensics, modern biotechnology is currently being used in a route where DNA sequencing is popular.
Biotechnology is so wide-ranging that it has the opportunities of using this technique virtually every business. In such fields as pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, textiles, aquaculture, fisheries, plastics, household goods, environmental clean-up, food processing and forensics for each of these, advances are being carried out. Biotechnology allows these businesses, often with faster speed, potency and versatility, to produce new or improved goods. Biotechnology has a big future potential.
- Raju P. (2016, August 31). "World History of Modern Biotechnology and its Applications". Retrieved from https://www.tsijournals.com/articles/world-history-of-modern-biotechnology-and-its-applications.html
- Atlas Biyoteknoloji (n.d.). "Brief History of Biotechnology". Retrieved from http://www.atlasbiyo.com/en/sayfa_32_brief-history-of-biotechnology.html
- Lone Star College (n.d.). "History of Biotechnology". Retrieved from https://www.lonestar.edu/history-of-biotechnology.htm