Biotechnology is defined as “any technological
application that uses biological systems, living organisms or derivatives thereof,
to make or modify products or processes for specific use”. In 1919, Hungarian
agricultural engineer Karl Ereky coined the term Biotechnology. Biotechnology
includes two major technologies, Genetic engineering and Chemical engineering.
Biotechnology has application in four major
industrial areas, including health care (medical) agriculture, industrial and
environment.Biotechnology techniques are used in the field of medicine for
diagnosis, prevention and treatment of different diseases. Production of
recombinant hormones, recombinant clotting factor VIII and recombinant
interferons have helped in the treatment of diseases. Recombinant vaccines have
been used to prevent various diseases. The recombinant vaccines are of three
types-subunit recombinant vaccines, attenuated recombinant vaccines and gene
Genetic defects could be corrected by a process
called Gene therapy. It is of two types somatic cell gene therapy and germline
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells found in
multicellular organisms. These cells are of two types -Embryonic stem cells and
adult stem cells. Stem cells have the ability to regenerate damaged and
diseased organs. Recombinant DNA technology, Polymerase chain reaction and
Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay are techniques that are reliable and help in
Transgenesis is the process of introduction of a
foreign gene into the genome of animals to create and maintain stable heritable
A biological product is a substance derived from
a living organism and used for the prevention or treatment of diseases.
Cloning is the process of producing genetically
identical individuals of an organism either naturally or artificially.
Advances in Biotechnology and their applications
are most frequently associated with controversies, ethical issues and concerns.
Statutory bodies are constituted to monitor and approve the biotechnological
processes and products.
Genetically modified organisms can play a
positive role in sustainable agriculture, forestry, aquaculture, bioremediation
and environmental management in developed and developing countries. Biosafety
guidelines have been formulated by many countries for DNA recombinant