What is Biotechnology?

Biotechnology is a discipline that studies the Possibilities of using the the living Organisms, Their Systems or Their metabolic products to the solve Technological Problems view, as with the a well as with the the Possibility of Creating Company the living Organisms with the Necessary properties by Means of Genetic engineering .


Biotechnology is often the Called the use of Genetic engineering in the the XX-th – the XXI Centuries , But the TERM Also the Refers to a Wider complex of the Processes for Modifying Biological Organisms to the meet human Needs, starting with the modification of plants and animals through artificial selection and hybridization . It has been shown that it will be possible to improve the quality of food organisms.


Until 1971, the term “biotechnology” was used for the food industry and agriculture. Since 1970, scientists have used the term as applied to laboratory methods, such as the use of recombinant DNA and cell cultures grown in vitro .


Biotechnology is based on genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, embryology and cell biology.


History of biotechnology


Brewing was one of the first applications of biotechnology.


For the first time the term “biotechnology” was applied by the Hungarian engineer Carl Ereki in 1917 .


The use in industrial production of microorganisms or their Enzymes that provide the technological process has been known since ancient times, but systematic scientific research has significantly expanded the arsenal of methods and means of biotechnology.


Thus, in 1814, St. Petersburg academician K.S. Kirchhoff ( biography ) discovered the phenomenon of biological catalysis and tried biocatalytically to obtain sugar from available domestic raw materials (until the middle of the 19th century, sugar was obtained only from sugarcane ). In 1891 in the USA, the Japanese biochemist Dz. Takamine received the first patent on the use of enzyme preparations for industrial purposes: the scientist suggested using diastase for saccharification of plant waste.


At the beginning of the 20th century, the fermentation and microbiological industry was actively developing. During these years, the first attempts were made to establish the production of antibiotics, food concentrates derived from yeast, to control the fermentation of products of plant and animal origin.


The first antibiotic, penicillin , was able to be isolated and cleaned to an acceptable level in 1940 , which gave new challenges: finding and setting up industrial production of drugs produced by microorganisms, working to reduce the cost and increase the biosafety level of new drugs.


Types of biotechnology




Bioengineering (or biomedical engineering) is a discipline aimed at deepening knowledge in the field of engineering, biology and medicine and promoting human health through interdisciplinary research that combines engineering approaches with the achievements of biomedical science and clinical practice. Bioengineering / biomedical engineering is the application of technical approaches to solve medical problems in order to improve health protection. This engineering discipline is aimed at using knowledge and experience to find and solve problems of biology and medicine. Bioengineers work for the benefit of mankind, deal with living systems and apply advanced technologies to solve medical problems. Specialists in biomedical engineering can participate in the creation of instruments and equipment in the development of new procedures based on interdisciplinary knowledge, in research aimed at obtaining new information to solve new problems. Among the important achievements of bioengineering we can mention the development of artificial joints, magnetic resonance imaging, cardiac pacemakers, arthroscopy, angioplasty, skin bioengineering prostheses, kidney dialysis, cardiopulmonary bypass. Also one of the main areas of bioengineering research is the use of computer modeling techniques to create proteins with new properties, as well as to simulate the interaction of various compounds with cellular receptors in order to develop new pharmaceutical products (“drug design”). Among the important achievements of bioengineering we can mention the development of artificial joints, magnetic resonance imaging, cardiac pacemakers, arthroscopy, angioplasty, skin bioengineering prostheses, kidney dialysis, cardiopulmonary bypass. Also one of the main areas of bioengineering research is the use of computer modeling techniques to create proteins with new properties, as well as to simulate the interaction of various compounds with cellular receptors in order to develop new pharmaceutical products (“drug design”). Among the important achievements of bioengineering we can mention the development of artificial joints, magnetic resonance imaging, cardiac pacemakers, arthroscopy, angioplasty, skin bioengineering prostheses, kidney dialysis, cardiopulmonary bypass. Also one of the main areas of bioengineering research is the use of computer modeling techniques to create proteins with new properties, as well as to simulate the interaction of various compounds with cellular receptors in order to develop new pharmaceutical products (“drug design”).




Section of medicine that studies the theoretical positions with the body of man , its structure and function in normal and pathological , pathological conditions, methods of diagnosis , correction and treatment . Biomedicine includes accumulated knowledge and research, to a greater or lesser extent, general medicine , veterinary medicine , dentistry and the basic biological sciences, such as chemistry , biological chemistry , biology , histology , genetics , embryology ,anatomy , physiology , pathology , biomedical engineering , zoology , botany and microbiology .




Tracking, correcting, designing and controlling human biological systems at the molecular level using nanodevices and nanostructures. The world has already created a number of technologies for the nanomedical industry. These include targeted delivery of drugs to diseased cells, laboratories on a chip, new bactericides.




A pharmacology section that studies the physiological effects produced by substances of biological and biotechnological origin. In fact, biopharmacology is the fruit of the convergence of two traditional sciences – biotechnology , namely, its branch, which is called the “red”, medical biotechnology, and pharmacology , previously interested only in low molecular weight chemicals, as a result of mutual interest.


Objects of biopharmacological research – the study of biopharmaceuticals , planning for their production, organization of production. Biopharmacological remedies and means for the prevention of diseases are obtained using living biological systems, tissues of organisms and their derivatives, using biotechnology , that is, medicinal substances of biological and biotechnological origin.




A set of methods and approaches, including:


mathematical methods of computer analysis in comparative genomics (genomic bioinformatics);

development of algorithms and programs for predicting the spatial structure of proteins ( structural bioinformatics );

research strategies, relevant computational methodologies, as well as the overall management of the information complexity of biological systems.


Bioinformatics uses methods of applied mathematics , statistics and computer science . Bioinformatics is used in biochemistry , biophysics , ecology and other fields.


Sequence alignment


A bioinformatics method based on placing two or more sequences of DNA , RNA or protein monomers under each other in such a way that it is easy to see similar areas in these sequences. The similarity of the primary structures of the two molecules may reflect their functional, structural, or evolutionary relationships. Sequence alignment algorithms are also used in NLP .




Applied science is about the application in technical devices and systems of principles of organization, properties, functions and structures of living nature, that is, forms of living in nature and their industrial analogues. Simply put, bionics is a combination of biology and technology. Bionics considers biology and technology from a completely new angle, explaining which common features and differences exist in nature and technology.


There are:


biological bionics, which studies the processes occurring in biological systems;

theoretical bionics, which builds mathematical models of these processes;

technical bionics, applying models of theoretical bionics to solve engineering problems.

Bionics is closely related to biology , physics , chemistry , cybernetics and engineering sciences: electronics , navigation , communications , maritime affairs and others.




A set of methods for purifying water, soils and the atmosphere using the metabolic potential of biological objects – plants , fungi , insects , worms and other organisms .


Artificial selection


Selective approval for reproduction of animals, plants or other organisms with the aim of breeding new varieties and breeds. The predecessor and the main method of modern breeding . The result of artificial selection is a variety of plant varieties and animal breeds.




The appearance of a natural way or obtaining several genetically identical organisms by asexual (including vegetative ) reproduction. The term “cloning” in the same sense is often used in relation to cells of multicellular organisms. Cloning is also called obtaining several identical copies of hereditary molecules (molecular cloning). Finally, cloning is also often referred to as biotechnological methods used to artificially obtain clones of organisms, cells or molecules. A group of genetically identical organisms or cells is a clone.


Human cloning


The predicted methodology, consisting in the creation of an embryo and the subsequent cultivation from the embryo of people having the genotype of one or another individual, now existing or previously existing. While the technology of human cloning is not worked out. Currently, not a single case of human cloning has been recorded. And here rises a series of both theoretical and technical issues. However, today there are methods that allow us to say with a high degree of confidence that the main issue is technology. Fears cause such moments as a large percentage of failures during cloning and the associated possibility of the appearance of defective people. As well as issues of paternity, maternity, inheritance, marriage and many others. From the point of view of the main world religions ( Christianity ,Islam , Judaism ) human cloning is either a problematic act, or an act that goes beyond dogma and requires that theologians have a clear substantiation of one or another position of religious hierarchs . In some states, the use of these technologies in relation to a person is officially prohibited – France , Germany , Japan . These prohibitions, however, do not mean the intention of the legislators of these states to refrain from using human cloning in the future, after a detailed study of the molecular mechanisms of interaction of the cytoplasm. the oocyte – the recipient and the nucleus of the somatic cell – donor , as well as the improvement of the cloning technique itself .


Educational biotechnology


Educational biotechnology is used for the dissemination of biotechnology and training in this area. It develops interdisciplinary materials and educational strategies related to biotechnology (for example, production of recombinant protein) accessible to the whole society, including people with special needs, such as hearing and / or visual impairment.




The process of formation or production of hybrids , which is based on the integration of the genetic material of different cells in one cell. It can be carried out within one species (intraspecific hybridization) and between different systematic groups (distant hybridization, at which different genomes merge ). For the first generation hybrids are often characterized by heterosis , expressed in a better adaptability, higher fertility and the viability of the organisms. With distant hybridization, hybrids are often sterile .


Genetic Engineering


Substrates for the production of unicellular protein for different classes of microorganisms

Despite the fact that the first successful experiments on the transformation of exogenous DNA cells were performed as early as the 1940s by Avery , McLeod and McCarthy , the first commercial preparation of human recombinant insulin was obtained in early 1980 or 1982. The introduction of bacterial cells alien to the genome is carried out using the so-called. vector DNAs , such as plasmids present in bacterial cells, as well as bacteriophages and other mobile genetic elements can be used as vectors for transferring exogenous DNA into a recipient cell.


You can get a new gene:


Cutting it from the host’s genomic DNA using a restricting endonuclease that catalyzes the rupture of phosphodiester bonds between certain nitrogenous bases in DNA at sites with a specific nucleotide sequence;


Chemical enzymatic synthesis;


Synthesis of cDNA based on isolated matrix RNA using revertase and DNA polymerase enzymes , isolating a gene that does not contain insignificant sequences and is able to be expressed, provided that a suitable promoter sequence is selected in prokaryotic systems without subsequent modifications, which is most often necessary when transforming prokaryotic systems eukaryotic genes containing introns and exons .


After that, the vector DNA molecule is treated with a restriction enzyme in order to form a double-stranded break and the gene is inserted into the vector using a DNA ligase enzyme , and then the recipient cells, such as E. coli cells, are transformed with such recombinant molecules . When transformed using plasmid DNA as a vector, for example, it is necessary for the cells to be competent for the penetration of exogenous DNA into the cell, for which electroporation of the recipient cells is used, for example. After successful penetration into the cell, exogenous DNA begins to replicate and be expressed in the cell.


Transgenic plants


Transgenic plants are those plants that “transplanted” the genes of other organisms.


A potato that is resistant to the Colorado potato beetle was created by introducing a gene isolated from the genome of the soil of the Thuringian bacillus Bacillus thuringiensis , which produces the Cry protein , which is protoxin, in the intestines of insects, this protein dissolves and is activated to a true toxin, which has a destructive effect on larvae and imago of insects in humans and other warm-blooded animals, such a transformation of protoxin is impossible and, accordingly, this protein is non-toxic and safe for humans. Spraying spores of Bacillus thuringiensisused to protect plants and to obtain the first transgenic plant, but with low efficiency, the production of endotoxin inside the plant tissues significantly increased the effectiveness of protection, as well as increased economic efficiency due to the fact that the plant itself began to produce a protective protein. By transforming a potato plant with Agrobacterium tumefaciens , plants were obtained that synthesize this protein in the leaf mesophyll and other plant tissues and, accordingly, are not affected by the Colorado potato beetle. This approach is also used to create other agricultural plants that are resistant to various types of insects.


Transgenic animals


Pigs are most often used as transgenic animals . For example, there are pigs with human genes – they were bred as donors of human organs.


Japanese gene engineers introduced into the pig genome a spinach gene that produces the enzyme FAD2, which is capable of converting saturated fatty acids to linoleic , an unsaturated fatty acid. Modified pigs have 1/5 more unsaturated fatty acids than normal ones.


Green glowing pigs are transgenic pigs bred by a group of researchers from the National University of Taiwan by introducing a green fluorescent protein gene into the embryo’s DNA , borrowed from the fluorescent jellyfish Aequorea victoria . Then the embryo was implanted in the female pig. Piglets glow green in the dark and have a greenish tint to the skin and eyes in daylight. The main purpose of breeding such pigs, according to the researchers, is the possibility of visual observation of the development of tissues during stem cell transplantation.


Moral aspect


Many modern religious figures and some scientists warn the scientific community against being overly fascinated by such biotechnologies (in particular, biomedical technologies) such as genetic engineering , cloning , and various methods of artificial reproduction (such as IVF ).


A man in the face of the newest biomedical technologies , an article by V. N. Filyanova , Senior Researcher at RISI :


The problem of biotechnology is only a part of the problem of scientific technology, which is rooted in the orientation of European man towards the transformation of the world, the conquest of nature, which began in the era of the New Age. Biotechnologies, which are rapidly developing in recent decades, at first glance bring people closer to the realization of their long-held dream of overcoming diseases, eliminating physical problems, and achieving earthly immortality through human experience. But on the other hand, they give rise to completely new and unexpected problems that are not limited only to the consequences of the long-term use of genetically modified products, the deterioration of the human gene pool due to the birth of people born only thanks to the intervention of doctors and the latest technologies.

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