Biotechnology is a prominent approach that involves using biological elements to solve problems scientifically. The application of living cells and microorganisms is now making our everyday life more sustainable.
The role of biotech is noticeable from the medicine we take to the food we eat. The biggest part that biotechnology is playing is in the production of drugs and therapeutic proteins.
We have mentioned a few ways below how biotechnology is improving our everyday life.
Manufacturing of Medicine and Vaccines
One of the biggest impacts of biotechnology is in the medicinal field. Especially, the role of biotechnology is hard to overlook when it comes to the manufacturing of vaccines.
We are now able to produce therapeutics medicines at a rapid rate. This has improved human health worldwide and we now have life saving vaccines against viruses and bacteria.
Structure-based engineering, conjugated nanoparticles, targeted immunotherapies, and messenger therapeutics are playing a vital role in such developments. What’s more intriguing is that biotech is helping us in identifying bio-threats and creating potential cures.
For example, Pichia pastoris is being used for recombinant protein production. This is a methylotrophic yeast that is commonly in immune vaccination.
Engineering Sustainable Food Production
The population of the world is growing at a rapid rate which is, in turn, creating food security challenges. The challenge of producing higher yields is putting pressure on the agricultural sector. This is another sector where biotechnology is playing its role.
Thanks to genetically modified crops, we are seeing rapid growth in per acre crop production.
With the help of food science and technological advancement for modified crops, we are seeing rapid growth per acre crop production.
Right now, biotech crops are preferred by the farmers as they grow fast and deliver more yield. Such crops are easy to manage and show resistance to pests. Moreover, they don’t require heavy tilling and can be grown in problematic soils as well.
Providing Alternative Fuels
Most of the world’s energy needs are being fulfilled by fossil fuels. But these are natural resources that are now depleting at a rapid rate. In fact, around half of the discovered hydrocarbon fuel has already been consumed.
This simply means that the world needs a new source of energy. And biotech is providing us with the answers to survive.
Scientists are working on biofuel and other energy resources to cope with the energy crisis. This is a solution that can fulfill the energy needs and reduce the production of greenhouse gasses.
Improving Soil and Water
When it comes to earthly resources, freshwater, and arable land are the two most important assets. However, these are also resources that are limited in quantity. And misappropriation of distribution and abusive use of these resources are now causing a shortage.
The scarcity of these resources means humans may not be able to survive for so long.
Thanks to the biotech advancements, we have now ways to restore the vitality and viability of these resources. Bio-augmentation, bio-regeneration, and bio-remediation are the technologies that are being used to restore land and water.
We can say that biotechnology is helping us restore and augment the potential of the earth’s resources.
Helping in Diagnostics and Prognostics
Biotechnology is helping the medical field by speeding diagnostics and prognostics. It has provided fast ways to diagnose microbial, genetic, and neurological diseases. We now have cheaper ways to diagnose cancerous diseases accurately.
Developments and improvements in nucleic acid amplification technologies like PCR have enabled scientists to diagnose viral diseases at early stages. This has also helped medical professionals fight the current pandemic.
Another key improvement in medical science due to biotech is the discovery of regenerative medicine. This involves the therapeutic use of stem cells to replace, repair, or regrow diseased and damaged cells.
The treatment and longevity of injury is the reason why regenerative medicine is being widely used. We are now capable of speeding up the regenerative process by using biomaterials and tissue engineering.
Scientists and researchers are now testing the possibility of replacing damaged human organs with functional ones. This has been only made possible by stem cell (including iPS) and tissue engineering technologies.
Using Sea-Water for Food Production
With the growing global population, the need for food production is rising. And our Earth is mostly covered by water i.e. around 70%. However, we have not been able to utilize this source to its full potential.
But with biotechnology, researchers are now working on growing food in the sea. Scientists are using photosynthetic biomass such as microalgae and macroalgae to promote ocean agriculture.
Reducing Waste Production
The world is facing serious waste problems and it has polluted our soils and waters. Biotech is offering eco-friendly solutions that can help us recover from this damage. Thanks to technical advancements, bio-refineries are now installed to turn waste into fuel and valuable chemicals.
This is not only reducing pollution but also lessening the burden on the drainage systems. Moreover, lower-cost inputs like waste heat and methane are being used to process the waste.
Scientists have discovered the Ideonella sakaiensis bacteria that feed on plastic. It grows on plastic waste and turns it into energy and carbon. This means we can now fight the growing plastic waste problem by using biotechnology solutions.
Using CO2 as Material
You will be surprised to read this but with biotech, we can now turn carbon dioxide into raw material. This is a solution that helps us cope with the threat of increasing CO2 levels.
Scientists are researching microbial organisms that have the ability to break down CO2. This means we will soon be able to convert carbon dioxide into fuel or other useful chemicals.
Helping in Genome Sequencing
The biggest achievement of biotechnology so far is perhaps genome sequencing. We know that there are around 3 billion base pairs in a genome. Researchers are now working to identify the genes that are prone to mutation.
This has helped scientists and medical professionals understand the human body. We are now aware of diseases that are caused by genes and can be avoided through gene treatment.
We hope you are now aware of the part that biotech is playing in today’s economy. The role of biotechnology in the medical, agricultural, and fuel industries is hard to neglect. It is not only helping us cope with diseases by providing cures but is also improving crop yields.