Learn BIOTECHNOLOGY With Me

Biotechnology, Genetic Engineering and Cloning in Biology.. Are they the same? These terms are easily confused by my students. Or maybe, these fields are not really understood by them. So, my dear students.. wait no more..

What is Biotechnology?

Biotechnology has been around almost as long as the human species. The first attempts at agriculture involved the spreading of seeds on the ground and the harvesting of the plants that grew from them. Over time they noticed that certain plants from the same species had superior characteristics. By selecting seeds from these desirable plants they were able to produce a greater amount of high quality food. Similar practices led to the development of many breeds of domestic animals. For example the domestic cow has been developed to produce good milk or meat. The biological processes of microorganisms were used for 6,000 years to make useful food products, such as bread and cheese, and to preserve dairy products and crops.
Early examples of biotechnology involved manipulating entire organisms. Today it is possible to manipulate organisms at the molecular level. During the 1960s and '70s the understanding of biology reached a point where began the use of the smallest parts of organisms, their cells and molecules, in addition to using whole organisms. The biological molecules most often used are nucleic acids, such as DNA, and proteins. The concept of the gene has changed from that of particles or 'unit characters' to that of segments of the DNA molecule. Bioengineering involves the manipulation of specific genes. For example the gene for human growth hormone can be extracted and inserted into bacteria that will in turn manufacture the hormone.

Biotechnology: A Collection of Technologies
Better meaning of the word biotechnology can be derived by simply changed singular noun to its plural form; 'biotechnologies', because biotechnology is a collection of technologies using cells and biological molecules.
Cells and molecules are extraordinarily specific in their interactions. Because of this specificity, the tools and techniques of biotechnology are quite precise and are tailored to operate in known, predictable ways. As a result, the products of biotechnology will be better targeted to solving specific problems, generating lesser side effects and having fewer unintended consequences. Specific, precise, and predictable are the words that best describe today's biotechnology.

What are some technologies included in Biotechnology?
  • Fermentation
  • Cell and Tissue Culture
  • Genetic Modification or recombinant DNA technology
  • Genetic engineering technology
  • Antisense technology
  • Protein engineering technology
  • Monoclonal antibody technology
  • Biosensor technology
  • DNA fingerprinting and diagnostic techniques
  • Biodegradation
Extracted from http://home.123india.com/nbsc/btech/intro.htm. Surf this website for more information on the technologies and their applications.. especially the Genetic Engineering Technology.
To know the history of biotechnology.. refer
http://www.biotechno.netfirms.com/Biotechnology.htm. Don't miss this tour!
More on Genetic Engineering
Genes and Genetic Engineering.. refer http://www.psrast.org/gefirstintro.htm.
Several web-definitions on Genetic Engineering..
  • Tools and techniques used to isolate one or more genes from an organism, modify the material obtained, and transfer it into another organism.
  • Scientific alteration of the structure of genetic material in a living organism. It involves the production and use of recombinant DNA and has been employed to create bacteria that synthesise insulin and other human proteins.
  • The science of altering and cloning genes to produce a new trait in an organism or to make a biological substance, such as a protein or hormone. Genetic engineering mainly involves the creation of recombinant DNA, which is then inserted into the genetic material of a cell or virus. (Don't confuse gene cloning with animal cloning. Refer below for better understanding on these.)
  • A deliberate, controlled manipulation of genes in an organism with the intention of making the organism better in some way.The result is a so-called genetically modified organism (GMO).
Surf this website
http://www.safe-food.org/-issue/ge.html to know more about the genetic engineering. Questions to be answered by this website..
What are the dangers?
Are government scientists concerned?
What do other scientists say?
Are the claims valid?
What do people want?
What is Cloning in Biology then?
..sorry later.

25 comments:

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上心 said...

文章很棒~感謝!!..................................................

家信 said...

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人生是故事的創造與遺忘。............................................................

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Make hay while the sun shines...................................................

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