What is Biotechnology?
Biotechnology is a technology which creates or produces various products using biological processes, living organisms or parts of them. This definition gives the answer to the question of what is Biotechnology. Further, the examples of processes that fall under the definition of Biotechnology (use of yeast, a living organism, to create the desired product) are brewing and baking bread.
In general, such conventional methods use living organisms in their natural state (or further produced by breeding), whereas the more modern form of Biotechnology typically requires a more sophisticated alteration of the organism or biological system.
Applications of Biotechnology
Earlier, the utilization of Biotechnology was confined to the manufacture of bread, alcoholic drinks, and livestock and crops of the crossbreed. Modern Biotechnology makes great use of developments in research, such as genetic engineering and recombinant DNA technology, and has increased the use of Biotechnology for human benefit and well-being. The applications of Biotechnology can be well studied by the help of Biotechnology notes for NEET pdf, which carries all the major points about Biotechnology.
1. Application of Biotechnology in Agriculture
The application of pesticides and fertilizers to improve crop production was used in the "Green Revolution." This has resulted in the heavy use of chemicals, thereby polluting the soil and the atmosphere, as well as other adverse consumer effects. The use of fertilizers and pesticides has been significantly reduced by the implementation of Biotechnology in agriculture.
The benefits of these genetically modified crops are mentioned below:-
Crops which are immune to insects and pests can be produced.
It is possible to increase the nutritional value of food.
Multiple folds increase the yield.
Reduce the use of chemicals and fertilizers that are toxic.
It is possible to make crops more tolerant of environmental stress.
Efficient utilisation of minerals by plants.
The increment in the yield can also be achieved by minimizing the maturing period.
Some Examples of Genetically Modified Crops
Flavr Savr Tomato: The gene which is responsible for the production of the polygalacturonase enzyme is removed. This enzyme is required for the degradation of pectin and the fruit's softening. The transgenic tomato variety will remain fresh for a longer period of time and maintain its flavour.
Pest resistant tobacco plant: The nematode named Meloidogyne incognita, lives in the root of tobacco plants as a parasite. By using the technique of RNA interference, the plant is made immune to infection. The nematode specific genes are inserted into the plant with the help of an Agrobacterium vector. The transgenic plant develops double-stranded RNA that silences the nematode's mRNA and is incapable of survival.
Virus resistant plants: The gene coding for the virus coat protein is passed to the host plant, resulting in plant species that are virus-resistant.
Bt. cotton, Bt. corn: An insecticidal enzyme, known as Bt toxin, produces Bacillus thuringiensis. The genome of some plants, such as cotton, maize, etc., contains these insect-specific Bt toxin genes.
Golden rice: It is a variety of rice that is enriched with Vitamin A.
2. Application of Biotechnology in Medicine
Gene Therapy: Gene therapy is used in order to correct genetic defects in embryos and infants. In order to restore the function of the defective gene, normal genes are transmitted to the embryo or a person with a faulty gene. In 1990, gene therapy was performed for the first time on a girl with adenosine deaminase (ADA) deficiency. This is caused by the deletion of the gene that encodes for ADA. Using a retroviral vector, functional adenosine deaminase cDNA is inserted into the lymphocytes removed from the patient's blood and then reintroduced into the body.
Production of enzymes, antibiotics, vaccines, and proteins: Many safe and therapeutic drugs have been made using recombinant DNA technology. These medicines do not cause an allergic reaction until and unless it is isolated from animal sources. Using plants, antibiotics are made. In plants, desired genes are integrated and targeted proteins are manufactured. Edible vaccines are also manufactured for certain diseases, such as measles, hepatitis B, and cholera.
Transgenic Animals: Those animals whose genes are modified to transmit a foreign gene are transgenic animals.
3. Environmental Application of Biotechnology
The list of environmental application of Biotechnology is given below:
Waste Management: In enzyme bioreactors, industrial and food waste is pretreated and eventually removed via the sewer system. It is possible to convert waste to biofuel. To produce biodegradable plastics, plant and vegetable materials can be degraded by microorganisms.
Energy Production: Using Biotechnology, bio-fuels and petroleum products are made. On a commercial scale, bio-diesel, bio-methane and ethanol are also produced. Biotechnology can also be useful in refining coal-and-petroleum'>coal and petroleum from undesirable impurities. It makes oil less costly and easy to refine.
Bioremediation: To degrade the target contaminants, microorganisms are intentionally added to water, soil, and other such sources. Bioprocessing helps in reduction of pollution by minimising the number of harmful gases that are released during the coal and oil combustion.
4. Application of Biotechnology in Industry:
By using Biotechnology, manufacturing processes can be made more effective and eco-friendly.
Enzymes can be made in large amounts through Biotechnology. This could be used in the form of biocatalyst for the production of several chemicals.
Genetically modified plants provide massive amounts of various commodities, such as starch, gasoline, pharmaceuticals.
In detergents, proteases are used.
Biotechnology and the use of microorganisms for the fermentation process are the basis of the processed food industry.
Production of fructose from glucose on a large scale can be done using cheap sources.
Corn may be used to synthesize chemicals in place of petroleum.
Biotechnology is useful in achieving improved product quality, such as warmer, stronger and unwrinkled cotton.
By destroying pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and insects, biopesticides act selectively. These are not as toxic as chemical pesticides.
The development of aquatic species by using biotechnological methods has significantly improved the quality and productivity of aquatic organisms.
Applications of Biotechnology is an important topic for Biotechnology NEET. In order to score more in the Biotechnology NEET questions, one can prefer the Biotechnology notes for NEET pdf.