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FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPT OF BIOTECHNOLOGY AND GENETIC ENGINEERING

by | Mar 26, 2022 | Biotechnology

BIOTECHNOLOGY: CONCEPT

Biotechnology is an integration of biology and technology. It is concerned with the exploitation of biological components for the large-scale production of substances of human use by manipulating their genetic composition.

The European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB) has defined technology as ‘the integrated use of biochemistry, microbiology, cell biology, and engineering sciences to achieve the technological application of capability of microorganisms cells and parts thereof.’

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GENETIC ENGINEERING 

Genetic engineering is the process of manipulating the genome of a living cell for industrial or medical purposes. Sometimes we refer to Genetic engineering as “Recombinant DNA technology.” Genetic engineering is the technique that involves identification, isolation of genes of interest, and their transformation in the host cell with the help of a suitable vector to form clone DNA.

HISTORY OF BIOTECHNOLOGY 

Karl Ereky a Hungarian engineer coined the term Biotechnology in 1917 to describe the large-scale production of sugar beet as food for pigs. The biotechnology developed in the two phases:

1. Traditional Biotechnology

It is ancient biotechnology that was developed by our ancestors for making curd, bread, wine, beer, and vinegar. These are micro-mediated processes and are also used in every house and also at the industrial level.

Traditional biotechnology takes advantage of the microorganism’s natural ability to do what it does. It makes up a huge and growing world market that is growing worldwide.

2. Modern Biotechnology

The establishment of Modern biotechnology as an independent branch took place in 1973. It embraces several interdisciplinary areas such as biology, physics, chemistry,  math, statistics, computer science, engineering, management, and law. It is associated with the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) produced by isolating and transferring desired DNA segments into the specific host.

  • 1953: JD Watson and FHC Crick discovered the ‘Double strand model of DNA’.
  • 1961: Jacob and Monad had given the operon model
  • 1975: Kohler came across Cytoplasmic hybridization.
  • 2000: Cloned sheep ‘Dolly’, the first GMO, was developed.
  • 2010: Craig vendor successfully demonstrated the ‘Replicated genome’.

BREAKTHROUGH OF GENETIC ENGINEERING

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s research center in Singapore has developed a technology that breakthroughs genetic engineering and can manufacture chemicals used in urban farming. This new technology will result in cheaper, more accurate, and compatible DNA engineering methods. The Guanine/Thymine (GT) technology is used to assemble to reuse genetic material. This technique is used to determine the DNA parts with 90% accuracy.

SCOPE OF GENETIC ENGINEERING

Genetic engineering uses technology to alter the genome of a living organism for medical or industrial use. The organism generated through genetic engineering is known as Genetically Modified Organisms.

GENETIC ENGINEERING

  • In the Medical field, gene therapy has also been used to treat cancer, inherited diseases, and autoimmune disorders. It also helps produce insulins, interferons, monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, human growth hormones, and many more drugs.
  • In the food industry, it helps produce a wide variety of bread and wine using the fermentation process
  • Genetic engineering in agriculture has accelerated plant breeding and enhanced crop production. Many genetically engineered herbicide and pesticide-resistant crops have been generated through it.
  • Genetic engineering is developing gene-editing technology to modify the genomes and alter organisms’ genetic material to produce Genetically modified organisms.
  • To create genetically altered bacteria that are environmentally friendly to eliminate the usage of pesticides that cause pollution. Creation of fungus by genetic engineering.
  • Biocontrol of plant diseases and the use of bacteria and amoeba as insect pests.

CONCLUSION

The commercialization of many genetic engineering research and development efforts has already been done. Moreover, the private sector is also becoming more engaged in biotechnological research now. Some corporations have developed biotechnology, while others have established technology wings for the same.

 

 

Author

  • The author has done a master's in Environmental science and is currently working as chief Environmental Advisor with New Delhi State Government.

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