Biotechnology Facts

Biotechnology Facts
As the etymology of its name implies, biotechnology is the field of study that looks at the practical industrial applications of living things. Depending on the area of application, biotechnology often overlaps with other fields, including biomedical engineering.
Interesting Biotechnology Facts:
Biotechnology is not a new field, although its intentional use is comparatively new.
Humans have unknowingly used biotechnology practices for thousands of years, specifically in farming and pharmaceuticals.
Even in the Neolithic period, early humans incorporated a very broad definition of biotechnology in their newfound agricultural attempts.
By the broad definition of the field, early civilizations' brewing and fermenting of alcohol, specifically by the Egyptians, Chinese, and Indians, and the use of yeast in bread making by many civilizations would fall under biotechnology.
The term "biotechnology" is thought to have been first used in 1919 by Karoly Ereky.
As new practices in biotechnology occur, additional subfields of the science have been created, including genomics, gene therapy, immunology, and more.
By some standards, early practices in farming that utilized selective breeding could also be considered biotechnology.
Perhaps the most crucial application of biotechnology of its era was the production of antibiotics to fight infection.
Even today, researchers are continuing to improve upon biofuels in order to cut down on fossil fuel mining and greenhouse gas emissions.
There are four major areas of biotechnology study and application.
These are medical, agriculture, non-food agriculture, and environmental applications.
While pharmaceuticals like antibiotics, insulin, and vaccines can be considered biotechnology uses, innovations like gene therapy and gene suppression would also meet that definition.
Non-food agriculture uses apply to things like the creation of plants to produce plastics, and enzymes or single-celled organisms for industrial fermentation and the production of textiles.
Some environmental applications of biotechnology include uses microbes to clean up an oil spill or fungal or algae outbreak.
Through the efforts of the US Congress and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences under the National Institutes of Health, biotechnology has become a sought-after field of study in many major universities.
Biotechnology does have its critics, as there is currently a movement to ban and avoid genetically modified foods grown through genetically altered agriculture.
A labeling system was implemented in the US that requires genetically altered produce to be labeled as such.


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