CREATING A BETTER FUTURE WITH BIOTECHNOLOGY
Biotechnology is defined as the deliberate manipulation of the biological systems to efficiently create products that are useful for humans and, at the same time, to effectively manage environmental waste. From the DNA cloning demonstration exhibited by Cohen and Boyer in their Stanford lab in 1973, biotechnology has become much more complex and far-reaching.
Two of biotechnology’s biggest markets are in agriculture and medicine. To date, more than 250 bio healthcare products and vaccines have been developed to improve the lives of people, especially in treating diseases that were once untreatable.
In the same way, a wide range of biotechnology products is helping millions of farmers all over the world by increasing crop yields, reducing the impact of farming on the environment, and preventing damage caused by pests and insects.
ADVANCES IN BIOTECHNOLOGY
The techniques and applications in biotechnology have greatly evolved to address the needs and problems we have today. Biotechnology has helped us have a safer and cleaner environment, more efficient manufacturing processes, fight hunger, create new medicines and treatments to combat rare and debilitating diseases, and reduce our environmental footprint.
Some of the techniques in biotechnology that have greatly impacted our lives and our society are:
- Gene cloning:
By creating a large number of copies of a particular gene or DNA, scientists will be able to study the characteristics and function of a specific gene, find out how mutations affect the gene’s function and create large concentrations of proteins that are produced by that gene.
- DNA sequencing:
This biotechnology technique has enabled scientists to determine which genes cause rare and debilitating genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Biomolecule labeling and detection:
Also called fluorescent tag, this technique is useful in tagging and labeling antibodies, amino acids, proteins, and other biomolecules.
- Directed mutagenesis:
This process modifies the genes or DNA coding to take a closer look at the structure and function of proteins. Through this process, harmful bacteria strands will either be contained or destroyed to stop it from spreading.
- RNA interference:
RNAi plays a significant role in the regulation of gene expression. It also shows promise as a therapeutic approach for treating autoimmune diseases, cancers, viral infections, and dominant genetic disorders.
- Nucleic acid amplification:
This is used to detect a specific virus or bacterium in a blood, tissue, or bodily fluid specimen. Through this technique, the window period is shortened allowing medical experts to immediately give the necessary treatment the person needs.
Biotechnology has greatly made an impact in our lives, even in the least expected areas. Its applications can be seen in the coffee you drink, the cornflakes you eat, and in the other food products, you use every day. Because of this, it is not surprising that learning biotechnology has become very valuable and a career in this field one of the most sought after these days.
Not only is learning biotechnology one of the most satisfying careers but it is also one of the most well-paid. According to PayScale, the median salary of a research scientist in biotechnology is $81K per year while a biochemist earns between $44K – $58K per year.
THE FUTURE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY
There are still a lot of ethical debate going on about biotechnology, especially about genome editing. On the other hand, the rapid advances in technology make the future of biotechnology very exciting. These advances can increase food production, increase the nutritional value, and could even create organs for transplant.
It can even make us independent from fossil resources for our fuels as scientists develop materials and chemicals from renewable biomass. More so, it can also help address various health challenges that the aging population is experiencing.
WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP?
With the rate of how fast technology is going, biotechnology will become as common as the smartphone or the Internet. Biotech companies and ventures will also increase. If you want to explore more opportunities in this field, meet with us and let’s discuss where your skills and potentials can take you. We will help you to effectively communicate those skills to potential clients and companies that will need them.