You might have started to see the term biotechnology more often. That’s because it’s one of the rising professions. But what exactly is biotechnology?
It’s is the process of using the living biological systems found in organisms. The results are then used to make advancements in different fields and whatnot.
These fields range from the agriculture industry to the medical sector. Some people might think that biotech is only applied to medical areas, but it can be applied pretty much anywhere required. This field has many uses in chemical and drug production at a cellular level.
This article will give you an in-depth understanding of the types of biotechnology and some of its examples and applications. So, without any delay, let’s jump right into it!
Types of Biotechnology
There are four main types of biotechnology that will be looked at in-depth. These include the following:
- Medical Biotechnology
- Industrial Biotechnology
- Environmental Biotechnology
- Agriculture Biotechnology
Here are their detailed explanation, along with their examples.
1. Medical Biotechnology
Medical biotechnology deals with medicine and healthcare. It focuses on producing drugs, vaccines, medicine, and everything related to healthcare. Biotech has increased the value of the medical so much. But why is that?
Medical biotech produces drugs and medicines that help a patient’s suffering. Whether they suffer from heart disease or any pain, this type of biotech will help to remove it.
Up until a few years, medicine was very generic. There was one particular type that was assigned to everyone. However, the drawback to this was it didn’t work for everyone. Every individual has different body conditions, thus going through different reactions to the same medicine.
That is where medical biotechnology alleviated the stress on the medical field. Thanks to this, medicine can be produced according to someone’s genetics. Although there hasn’t been much work done on this yet, field workers are looking to work towards this particular goal.
Examples of Medical Biotechnology
Let’s take a look at a few of this type’s examples:
- Proteins to produce enzymes and treat heart diseases
2. Industrial Biotechnology
Industrial biotech is the largest branch of biotechnology for a few reasons. It focuses on numerous fields such as textile, food, and much more. The whole purpose of this type of biotech is to create new industrial processes using little to no natural resources.
This type has much potential and should be focused on way more. Since the Earth needs to preserve as many natural resources as possible, these processes can make a massive difference in the future.
Industrial biotechnology uses plants and bacteria to derive living cells. These cells then help to create the processes that require minimum resources. Another plus point here is that it produces way less waste than the regular procedure.
Up until now, there’s been a remarkable advancement in this field as well as GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). It makes the applications of industrial biotech way more diverse! Another difference that this field is working towards is decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.
Examples of Industrial Biotechnology
Here are a few examples of industrial biotech:
- Biocatalysts such as enzymes for synthesizing chemicals
- Bacterial enzymes
- Microorganisms for chemical production and manufacturing of new textiles
3. Agricultural Biotechnology
Agricultural biotechnology focuses on the production of crops and agricultural land. The main goal of this type of biotech is to enhance the growth and decrease the number of chemicals usually used in these types of processes.
They produce genetically grown plants either to increase crop yields or to mix the characteristics of specific plants. That is usually done by finding a particular aspect in one plant and identifying its gene.
This gene is then put into another plant so that when it grows, it’ll include the desired characteristic as well. Agricultural biotech is also used for animal breeding. It is done to improve fertility and whatnot.
Examples of Agricultural Biotechnology
Following are a few examples of the agricultural biotechnology field:
- Plant breeding
- Animal breeding
- Pest-resistant crops
4. Environmental Biotechnology
This type of biotechnology type deals with pollution and waste treatments. It basically advises procedures to clean up waste more efficiently than regular treatment procedures.
You might be wondering how that’s possible. Well, each organism has to intake nutrients to survive. They produce by-products in return. This particular field of scientists helps create nutrients that enhance the activity of bacteria. It already exists in the soil of a waste site, or new bacteria is added.
The purpose of bacteria is to ingest the waste and turn it into completely harmless by-products. After they’ve achieved this goal, the bacteria usually end up dying.
Examples of Environmental Biotechnology
There are specific applications of environmental biotech worth mentioning. They are as follows:
- Conversion of plants into biofuels
- Conversion of waste into energy sources
- Making industrial processes clean
Other Types of Biotechnology
Here is a brief overview of the other existing biotechnology types:
- Marine Biotechnology: Use of marine organisms for purposes like medicines, food supplements, etc. They are also used to produce alternative energy sources.
- Insects Biotechnology: Use of insects for medical or agricultural purposes. They also help to control pests so that they don’t damage crops.
- Desert Biotechnology: Use of desert-like soil to create better quality seeds.
- Bioinformatics: Use of computational procedures for better biological data analysis.
Biotechnology doesn’t target only one aspect, as you can see. It targets every single field, and it has the possibility of enhancing everything. When biotechnology further develops, we’ll see how helpful it is to solve our problems.
Some of these problems don’t even have a solution yet. But if you interlink your field with biotechnology, it can do wonders. It really is a rainbow of colors!
Also Read: Gene Therapy and Biotechnology