Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Variants of Biotechnology

Biotechnology is the use of biological processes, organisms, or systems to manufacture products intended to improve the quality of human life. The earliest biotechnologists were farmers who developed improved species of plants and animals by cross pollenization or cross breeding. In recent years, biotechnology has expanded in sophistication, scope, and applicability in various sectors of modern economy.

The science of biotechnology can be broken down into different sub-disciplines called red, white, green, and blue.

Red biotechnology involves medical processes such as getting organisms to produce new drugs, or using stem cells to regenerate damaged human tissues and perhaps re-grow entire organs, designing of organisms to produce antibiotics, and the engineering of genetic cures through genomic manipulation, DNA fingerprinting to achieve advancements in understanding human evolution and origin of various diseases, tissue culture for detection of diseases etc. are examples of red biotechnology.

White biotechnology, also known as grey biotechnology, is biotechnology applied to industrial processes. An example is the designing of an organism to produce a useful chemical. White biotechnology tends to consume less in resources than traditional processes used to produce industrial goods. Fermentation process which is used for making bread and other eatables is an example of white biotechnology.

Green biotechnology is biotechnology applied to agricultural processes. An example is the designing of transgenic plants to grow under specific environmental conditions or in the presence (or absence) of certain agricultural chemicals. One hope is that green biotechnology might produce more environmentally friendly solutions than traditional industrial agriculture. An example of this is the engineering of a plant to express a pesticide, thereby eliminating the need for external application of pesticides. An example of this would be Bt corn. Green revolution in India is a successful example of green biotechnology, resulting in increased yield and productivity and self sufficiency in food production. Introduction of various biofertilsers and biopesticides are other examples of green biotechnology.

Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field which addresses biological problems using computational techniques. The field is also often referred to as computational biology. It plays a key role in various areas, such as functional genomics, structural genomics, and proteomics, and forms a key component in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector. This is the sunrise industry in the field with growth of IT industry.


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Sanjay Mishra said...

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