Whether you think of a mind-controlled prosthetic leg or nanobiotechnology, the developments in the field are unprecedented and remarkably revolutionary.
Evolution is as much the heart and soul of biotechnology as it is of human biology. This is visible in the constantly presented breakthroughs and advancements. Even the projected growth of the field is expected at 15.83% in 2021-2028.
The proportion can seem small if you focus on the number itself. However, when you factor in USD 752.88 billion global market size, you will see where the field is headed towards!
Top 5 Powerful Developments & Innovations in the Biotechnology Sector
Keep reading on to know how your day-to-day life has been optimized using innovations and developments in biotechnology!
Biotech Development 1: Gene Editing and Sequencing
From the severe Tay-Sachs disease to slow lurking breast cancer, gene mutations have been serious trouble makers for generations to come. Thankfully, the scientific innovations in biotechnology have grown the field by leaps and bounds to cater to the growth of the entire humanity.
Simple insertion and deletion in foreign DNA is old news. Now, the latest development can silence and replace the troubling gene to eliminate the genetic disease altogether.
One of the most radical innovations in the biotech field is CRISPR Cas9.
It is a genome-editing tool that enables geneticists to alter the gene sequence. The technology carries two key molecules, i.e., Enzyme Cas9 and RNA called guideRNA. So, radical development can not only cure a genetic disease that you might have but also remove the chances of occurrence in your offspring.
Note: Even though the technology is a brilliant addition to the biotech sector, the routine usage of human beings is still a challenge.
Biotech Development 2: Biomanufacturing
The usage of biotechnology is directly linked to enhancing the quality of human life. One such aspect of ensuring the same is in the form of biomanufacturing. Essentially, the concept focuses on the shift of ‘natural’ resources to lab-generated and programmable synthetic biology.
This technology has taken the world of biotechnology to the new heights of genetic engineering. The best part is that it’s just the beginning. The 145% increase in the global biotech IPO funding, at least, hints toward a future boom in the field.
Imagine the utilization of carbon emissions to be turned into industry-grade chemicals.
That’s precisely what UK-based startup Deep Branch uses gas fermentation to create single-cell protein. The company harvests the carbon from the environment and dries it with processing to convert it into a macronutrient. The tech-based firm aims to scale the food industry without affecting the ecological balance.
The most crucial part is that Deep Branch uses the protein for animal feed to provide optimum nutrition. So, the entire process not only becomes price-competitive but also generates 90% less carbon footprint than usual.
Biotech Development 3: Tissue Engineering
Have you ever wondered about the average waiting period for an organ transplant?
The statistic is only for kidney transplants. Unfortunately, the median waiting time varies depending on the organ needed. Now, it’s evident that the donors are scarce as compared to the needy.
To everyone’s relief, tissue engineering has arrived as a boon to humanity. Basically, the process combines engineering with life sciences to restore, maintain or improve tissue function. Moreover, the patients can have their cells isolated and expanded in-vitro for gene modification.
Previously limited to biomedical applications only, tissue engineering is now reaching out to different sections such as food and agriculture. One such pioneering organization is Aleph Farms. It is an Israeli startup that creates cultured meat.
The company isolates cells from healthy cows to convert them into lab-grown meat substitutes ethically and sustainably. Surprisingly, the organization grows real-like beef steaks without any need for animal slaughtering and carbon emissions.
Aleph Farms essentially provides a new angle to the food industry for meat consumption without taking any animal lives. It not only solves the age-old dilemma of ‘consumption vs. cost’ but also offers unique feeding ways. For instance, you can find their name in long-term space missions.
Biotech Development 4: Biosensors
If you’re a fitness enthusiast, you must be tracking your vitals quite frequently. However, there are specific intricate processes that require minute observation and monitoring.
For a long time, conventional sensors have taken the front seat to monitoring health. Since the start in the 1960s, these sensors have captured the market to offer insight into the current vital status. But the previous technology hasn’t been precise and stable.
Recent developments have increased the sensitivity limit of these biosensors, making them more efficient and accurate. Aptamers, affibodies, and molecule-based polymers have taken the place of classical ingredients for quick diagnosis, biomedical application, environmental monitoring, etc.
The advanced biosensor company, Sensible Medical, has created an innovative monitoring technology, ReDS. The remarkable device is an easy-to-use monitoring and management system for patients suffering from heart diseases and lung fluid accumulation.
The tech constantly monitors the fluid level and immediately alerts the doctors when a critical point is reached. It offers an end-to-end service that not only saves the lives of heart patients but also reduces the cost of readmission.
Biotech Development 5: Virtual and Augmented Reality Assistance
Augmented reality seems like a tech more suitable for visually creative domains, but it can do more.
Precisely, the technology morphs the digital and physical world to make it appear like a live experience. So, the same process can be used in the medical field to deal with intricate and complex surgeries.
The surgeons and doctors can see the 3-d model of the human body right in front of them without letting their imagination go wild. Moreover, the clear demonstration of the likely sickness causes and the medicinal impact can hugely help with prognosis and diagnosis alike.
On top of this, the patients can see their medical journey before they embark on one. So, the use of VR and AR can help them be at peace and comfortable with the entire process.
Central Vision Loss Assistance
Ocutrx technology is the pioneer creator of Oculenz, which uses augmented reality to assist patients with central vision loss.
The device maps the field of sight of the patients who have vision loss. After carefully observing the area, the technology marks the portions that the sufferer’s retina cannot see.
Now the device stores the information for pixel mapping. The processed images are projected on the inside of the VR glasses, which the healthy part of the retina sees.
On top of this, the device also keeps the patients’ physician in the loop and alerts when the disease progresses.
How Will Innovation and Development in Biotechnology Help the World?
The present state of advancement in the biotech field paves the way for future growth and, more importantly, optimized progress.
That’s to say, the current progress in the sector defines how political and social scenarios will pan out in the long run. For instance, the routine application of gene editing tools will demand a stronger focus on privacy-related legislation.
To better understand the future of biotech innovations, here are certain focus areas that can steer the world’s development.
Climate Change Related Innovations
Climate change is not merely a threat to the existence of human beings but also a substantial financial burden. The ever-increasing rise in climate disasters creates a challenging situation for governments to tackle. Besides, a huge of economic resources that could have been used for humanity’s welfare is getting redirected for mitigation efforts.
Keeping this in consideration, investment in climate-centric developments is the need of the hour.
Healthcare and Diet Improvements
Healthcare is a means to support the crucial resource, I.e., human beings. You can rightly assume that the wealth of a country is directly related to the well-being of its citizens. That’s why innovation in the medical sector is an effort to increase the overall productivity of the people.
Moreover, there’s a strong need for adding to the available food sources for masses, specifically protein.
Big Data Efforts
With gene sequencing and editing tools available, it’s highly important that geneticists can keep track of the modification. Gone are the days when merely a family’s medical history can help the physician for monitoring your health.
Now, it’s important that scientists can track the variety and after-effects of the sequencing to know what works the best.
1. What are the significant areas of biotechnology?
Currently, the biotechnology field is divided into 5 sectors, I.e., human, industrial, environmental, animal and plant. The focus of these areas is safe production, ecological balance, and human safety.
2. What are the possible future applications of biotechnology?
With such as dynamic growth of the field, there can’t be a limit to which biotechnology can see future growth. However, the most viable applications will be around personalized medicine, environmental remediation biofuels, etc.
Biotechnological developments and innovations have seen consistent growth in the last decade. From medical improvements to agricultural progress, the utilization of innovative tech has opened new avenues for the overall welfare. The staggering rate of experiments has reduced the average time of medicine development.
But, none of this is an independent event. These innovations rely on the past deficiency, the present need for growth, and the future requirement of sustainability. So, you can call the development a collaborative effort of various industries to improve people’s lives and economic stability.