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    What Is Biotechnology And Its Applications

    Edited By Team Careers360 | Updated on May 26, 2023 12:25 PM IST

    What Is Biotechnology And Its Applications

    “Our world is built on biology and once we begin to understand it, it then becomes a technology”
    - Ryan Bethencourt

    The Ministry of Science and Technology in India has a department called the Department of Biotechnology that is in charge of managing research and commercialization in the fields of contemporary biology and biotechnology in India. Biotechnology is indeed the beautiful manifestation of biology with engineering, technologies, and industries. It will not be wrong to say that biology is the hypothesis and biotechnology has now become the experiment as well as a result of this hypothesis. So, how exactly does biotechnology function? Biotechnology deals with techniques of using live organisms or enzymes from organisms to produce products and processes useful to humans. By this definition, a lot of activities would come under the purview of biotechnology, such as making curd, bread or wine, and other microbe-mediated processes. However, biotechnology is briefly restricted to such of those processes which use genetically modified organisms to achieve the same on a larger scale. Now, this is where biotechnology becomes an offshoot of biology because it involves the genetic modification of an existing organism and using the genetically modified organism for human welfare.

    Is biotechnology all about modifying the genome of organisms? Well, in order to answer this question, we will have to look into the definition of biotechnology provided by the European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB), that incorporates both the traditional view and modern view on the biotechnology:

    ‘The integration of natural science and organisms, cells, parts thereof, and molecular analogues for products and services.

    Medical biotechnology is a field of medicine that conducts research, produces pharmaceutical and diagnostic products using living cells and cell materials. These products help treat and prevent diseases.

    Also, Read | Biotechnology and Its Applications

    Biotechnology and Its application example

    Biotechnology and its application gained momentum during the last quarter of the 20th century. Since then, it has been used and applied in food processing, plant breeding, therapeutics and enzymes, biofortification, extraction of metals, cleaning of oil spills, biorefinery and bioenergy, drug discovery and development, vaccines development and the particulars to this list would be added as the understanding of biotechnology would proceed.

    Therefore, as you would proceed to read chapter biotechnology and its applications, you would thoroughly understand the underlying principles, procedures, and public response to the same. You would also get an insight into the applications of biotechnology.

    Also, Read | Biology Class 10: Is Biotechnology The Future?

    As fas as the NEET exam is concerned (which is also our primary reason to read this chapter!) the chapter on biotechnology and its applications comes with an approximate 7% weightage. As questions are based on the procedures and practical implications, it would be futile to mug-up the concepts. So, you will have to proceed with developing a pristine understanding. Also, the chapter of the molecular basis of inheritance would need a brush-up as many related concepts would be used in biotechnology. We shall initially follow the NCERT textbook for class 12 to learn the basics and then read from additional books to gather information. Degrees such as BSc in Biotechnology, MSc Biotechnology, and B.Tech. Biotechnology (biotechnology engineering) can be pursued to explore the field more.

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    So, let’s get started with the exploration of an amazing world of biotechnological sorcery!

    Notes on Biotechnology and Its Applications

    It is beyond discussion that biotech is an applied field. There are numerous advancements that biotechnology has achieved. However, before going into the practical aspects of biotechnology, it is better to understand the principles and procedures of biotechnology. Once this understanding is established, you will be able to well comprehend how biotechnology is applied in real sense.

    Notes on Biotechnology and Its Applications

    Also Read| NCERT solutions for class 12 biology chapter 12 biotechnology and its applications

    1. Biotechnology: Principles And Processes

    The principles of biotechnology as grouped under two broad categories:

    • Genetic Engineering: Engineering refers to the process of designing, building, modifying machine and structure. When applied to the living organisms to modify their genetic makeup, we end up with genetic engineering. Genetic engineering can be defined as the techniques to alter the genetic material so as to obtain a desirable trait/property of an organism.

    • Bioprocess engineering: This principle of biotechnology deals with the maintenance of microbial-free environment to prevent contamination and to enable the growth of only the desired microbe/eukaryotic cell in large quantities for the manufacture of biotechnological products like antibiotics, vaccines, enzymes, etc.

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    Also read| NCERT solutions for class 12 biology chapter 11 biotechnology principles and processes

    Biotechnology is also referred to as recombinant-DNA technology. This is so because the host organism’s DNA is modified using a bacterial or viral DNA (called vector). You would be surprised to find that the basic methodology of biotechnology, that would be introduced to you in this chapter, can be used in several thousand procedures. These steps of biotechnology can be summarised as:

    (i) identification of DNA with desirable genes;
    (ii) introduction of the identified DNA into the host;
    (iii) maintenance of introduced DNA in the host and transfer of the DNA to its progeny.

    Also, read| B.Tech In Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering: Courses, Fees, Scope, Careers

    Hence, let us look at the content of the chapter biotechnology processes and principles:

    • Tools of recombinant DNA technology: restriction enzymes, separation, and isolation of DNA fragments, gel electrophoresis, cloning vectors, the origin of replication, selectable markers, vectors for cloning genes in plants and animals, competent host.

    • Processes of recombinant DNA technology: isolation of genetic material, cutting of DNA at a specific location, amplification of the gene of interest using PCR, insertion of recombinant DNA into the host organism, obtaining the foreign gene product, downstream processing.

    This chapter of biotechnology processes and principles deals with the tools and procedures to follow the basic steps of biotechnology. According to the nature of the application, these procedures can change but the basic principle remains the same.

    Also Read | NCERT exemplar Class 12 Biology solutions chapter 12 - Biotechnology and its Application

    2. Biotechnology and Its Application:

    Although the applications of biotechnology deserve lifetime attention, we shall understand the popular and umbrella-applications in this chapter. Umbrella-applications are those under which a variety of applications can develop. The scope of research in biotechnological applications can be summarised into the following three areas:

    (i) Providing the best catalyst in the form of the improved organism usually a microbe or pure enzyme.
    (ii) Creating optimal conditions through engineering for a catalyst to act, and
    (iii) Downstream processing technologies to purify the protein/organic compound.

    Bacteria DNA

    Let us look into the topics of biotechnology and its application that are basically the efforts to improve the quality of human life, especially in the field of food production and health.

    • Biotechnological application in agriculture: uses of genetically modified organisms in order to:

    • make crops more tolerant to abiotic stresses (cold, drought, salt, heat).

    • reduce reliance on chemical pesticides (pest-resistant crops).

    • reduce post-harvest losses.

    • increase the efficiency of mineral usage by plants (this prevents early exhaustion of fertility of soil).

    • enhance the nutritional value of food, e.g., golden rice, i.e., Vitamin ‘A’ enriched rice

    • to create tailor-made plants to supply alternative resources to industries, in the form of starches, fuels and pharmaceuticals

    • Production of Bt Cotton and pest-resistant tobacco based on the process of RNA interference (RNAi).

    • Biotechnological applications in medicine: genetically engineered insulin, gene therapy - ADA deficiency, molecular diagnosis- use of PCR, ELISA, radioactive probes in diagnosis.

    • Transgenic animals: to study normal physiology and development, the study of disease, biological products, vaccine safety, and chemical safety techniques.

    • Ethical Issue and biopiracy

    Popular Views on Biotechnology and Its Applications:

    There are numerous and varied ethical issues associated with biotechnology and its applications. For example, Bt cotton comes with a bacterial gene. Since it's a commercial crop, its usage is not subjected to many restrictions but the same is not true in the case of Bt brinjal. In India, the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) decides on the research and market launch of any genetically modified product. Recently, DMH-11, a genetically modified variety of mustard that restricted self-fertilization to prevent inbreeding depression, was not authorized to be commercially used by GEAC. Many NGOs and civil societies also have concerns and reservations regarding the uses of genetically modified organisms.

    There cannot be doubt over these reservations, but at the same time, biotechnology applications cannot be subjected to dubious restrictions. The scientific community, scholars, students and government bodies will have to play an active role in order to alleviate the popular concern and the people will also have to be inclusive regarding the same. There is a need to come up with a common platform where issues can be discussed because we all agree to the fact that biotechnological advancements are highly needed for the betterment of several aspects of human lives.

    Biotechnology Examples

    Alcoholic beverages like beer and wine, biodiesel, detergents, sugar, biodegradable plastic, and textiles are a few of the more popular ones. Biotechnology is used to make all of your processed foods, medications, cosmetics, and personal care products.

    Tips on Biotechnology and Its Applications:

    • Focus on understanding the concepts rather than mugging up.

    • Correlate the applications with the current scenario.

    • Solve previous years’ questions to gather an insight into the pattern of questions.

    • Read NCERT textbook for class 12 for building basics.

    Books to Refer for Biotechnology and Its Applications:

    • The NCERT textbook for class 12

    • A Textbook of CBSE Biology for Class 12 by Sarita Aggarwal

    • Trueman’s Elementary Biology Volume 2

    Biology Units-wise Notes for Medical Exams

    Topics from Biotechnology and Its Applications

    • Principles and process of Biotechnology: Genetic engineering (Recombinant DNA technology) ( NEET, AIIMS MBBS, 2+ More )

    • (71 concepts)

    • Transgenic Animals ( NEET, AIIMS MBBS, 2+ More )

    • (4 concepts)

    • Application of Biotechnology in health and agriculture: Human insulin and vaccine production, gene therapy ( NEET, AIIMS MBBS, 2+ More )

    • (15 concepts)

    • Biosafety issues-Biopiracy and patents ( NEET, AIIMS MBBS, 2+ More )

    • (5 concepts)

    • Genetically modified organisms-Bt crops ( NEET, AIIMS MBBS, 2+ More )

    • (1 concept)

    • Biotechnology: Principles & Processes ( NEET, AIIMS MBBS, 2+ More )

    • (17 concepts)

    • Biotechnology & Its Applications ( NEET, AIIMS MBBS, 2+ More )

    • (15 concepts)

    Also, check for | NCERT 2023 – NCERT Solutions, Books, Syllabus, NCERT Exemplar Problems with Solutions

    Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

    1. A foreign DNA and plasmid cut by the same restriction endonuclease can be joined to form a recombinant plasmid using

    Ligase - These enzymes form phosphodiester bonds between adjacent nucleotides and covalently link two fragments of double-stranded DNA. Ligase are enzymes that join two phosphodiester bonds thus, forming recombinant plasmid.

    2. Which of the following is a restriction endonuclease?
    • Option 1) Hind II

    •  Option 2) Protease

    •  Option 3) DNase I

    •  Option 4) RNase

    •  Answer: Option 1) Hind II

    • Restriction Endonuclease - These enzymes cleave DNA only within or near the specific base sequence. These sequences are called recognition sites. They are of three types RE- I, RE-II and RE-III.

    • - wherein 1st Restriction enzyme (Hind II) was used in RDT.   Hind II are restriction endonucleases because they cleave DNA at specific sequences within the DNA strand.

    3. Which part of the tobacco plant is infected by Meloidogyne incognita?
    • Option 1) Flower

    •  Option 2) Leaf

    •  Option 3) Stem

    • Option 4) Root

    • Answer: Option 4) Root

    • Antisense RNA -

    • It is a single stranded RNA that is complementary to a protein coding messenger RNA (mRNA) that hybridize with it and blocks protein translation.

    • - wherein

    • This method is also known as Gene knock down. RNA I (Interference RNA) is also used for same purpose

    •  Roots of the tobacco plants are infected. RNA I (Interference RNA) method is used to develop resistance against infection.

    4. How many types of biotechnology are there?

    Modern biotechnology's five branches—human, environmental, industrial, animal, and plant—help us fight hunger and disease, produce goods more safely, cleanly, and effectively, lessen our impact on the environment, and conserve energy.


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    Advertising managers consult with the financial department to plan a marketing strategy schedule and cost estimates. We often see advertisements that attract us a lot, not every advertisement is just to promote a business but some of them provide a social message as well. There was an advertisement for a washing machine brand that implies a story that even a man can do household activities. And of course, how could we even forget those jingles which we often sing while working?

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    Photography is considered both a science and an art, an artistic means of expression in which the camera replaces the pen. In a career as a photographer, an individual is hired to capture the moments of public and private events, such as press conferences or weddings, or may also work inside a studio, where people go to get their picture clicked. Photography is divided into many streams each generating numerous career opportunities in photography. With the boom in advertising, media, and the fashion industry, photography has emerged as a lucrative and thrilling career option for many Indian youths.

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    Social Media Manager

    A career as social media manager involves implementing the company’s or brand’s marketing plan across all social media channels. Social media managers help in building or improving a brand’s or a company’s website traffic, build brand awareness, create and implement marketing and brand strategy. Social media managers are key to important social communication as well.

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    Product Manager

    A Product Manager is a professional responsible for product planning and marketing. He or she manages the product throughout the Product Life Cycle, gathering and prioritising the product. A product manager job description includes defining the product vision and working closely with team members of other departments to deliver winning products.  

    3 Jobs Available
    Quality Controller

    A quality controller plays a crucial role in an organisation. He or she is responsible for performing quality checks on manufactured products. He or she identifies the defects in a product and rejects the product. 

    A quality controller records detailed information about products with defects and sends it to the supervisor or plant manager to take necessary actions to improve the production process.

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    Production Manager

    Production Manager Job Description: A Production Manager is responsible for ensuring smooth running of manufacturing processes in an efficient manner. He or she plans and organises production schedules. The role of Production Manager involves estimation, negotiation on budget and timescales with the clients and managers. 

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    Team Lead

    A Team Leader is a professional responsible for guiding, monitoring and leading the entire group. He or she is responsible for motivating team members by providing a pleasant work environment to them and inspiring positive communication. A Team Leader contributes to the achievement of the organisation’s goals. He or she improves the confidence, product knowledge and communication skills of the team members and empowers them.

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    Quality Systems Manager

    A Quality Systems Manager is a professional responsible for developing strategies, processes, policies, standards and systems concerning the company as well as operations of its supply chain. It includes auditing to ensure compliance. It could also be carried out by a third party. 

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    A career as a merchandiser requires one to promote specific products and services of one or different brands, to increase the in-house sales of the store. Merchandising job focuses on enticing the customers to enter the store and hence increasing their chances of buying a product. Although the buyer is the one who selects the lines, it all depends on the merchandiser on how much money a buyer will spend, how many lines will be purchased, and what will be the quantity of those lines. In a career as merchandiser, one is required to closely work with the display staff in order to decide in what way a product would be displayed so that sales can be maximised. In small brands or local retail stores, a merchandiser is responsible for both merchandising and buying. 

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    Procurement Manager

    The procurement Manager is also known as  Purchasing Manager. The role of the Procurement Manager is to source products and services for a company. A Procurement Manager is involved in developing a purchasing strategy, including the company's budget and the supplies as well as the vendors who can provide goods and services to the company. His or her ultimate goal is to bring the right products or services at the right time with cost-effectiveness. 

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    Production Planner

    Individuals who opt for a career as a production planner are professionals who are responsible for ensuring goods manufactured by the employing company are cost-effective and meets quality specifications including ensuring the availability of ready to distribute stock in a timely fashion manner. 

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    Information Security Manager

    Individuals in the information security manager career path involves in overseeing and controlling all aspects of computer security. The IT security manager job description includes planning and carrying out security measures to protect the business data and information from corruption, theft, unauthorised access, and deliberate attack 

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    Computer Programmer

    Careers in computer programming primarily refer to the systematic act of writing code and moreover include wider computer science areas. The word 'programmer' or 'coder' has entered into practice with the growing number of newly self-taught tech enthusiasts. Computer programming careers involve the use of designs created by software developers and engineers and transforming them into commands that can be implemented by computers. These commands result in regular usage of social media sites, word-processing applications and browsers.

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    Product Manager

    A Product Manager is a professional responsible for product planning and marketing. He or she manages the product throughout the Product Life Cycle, gathering and prioritising the product. A product manager job description includes defining the product vision and working closely with team members of other departments to deliver winning products.  

    3 Jobs Available
    ITSM Manager

    ITSM Manager is a professional responsible for heading the ITSM (Information Technology Service Management) or (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) processes. He or she ensures that operation management provides appropriate resource levels for problem resolutions. The ITSM Manager oversees the level of prioritisation for the problems, critical incidents, planned as well as proactive tasks. 

    3 Jobs Available
    .NET Developer

    .NET Developer Job Description: A .NET Developer is a professional responsible for producing code using .NET languages. He or she is a software developer who uses the .NET technologies platform to create various applications. Dot NET Developer job comes with the responsibility of  creating, designing and developing applications using .NET languages such as VB and C#. 

    2 Jobs Available
    Corporate Executive

    Are you searching for a Corporate Executive job description? A Corporate Executive role comes with administrative duties. He or she provides support to the leadership of the organisation. A Corporate Executive fulfils the business purpose and ensures its financial stability. In this article, we are going to discuss how to become corporate executive.

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    DevOps Architect

    A DevOps Architect is responsible for defining a systematic solution that fits the best across technical, operational and and management standards. He or she generates an organised solution by examining a large system environment and selects appropriate application frameworks in order to deal with the system’s difficulties. 

    2 Jobs Available
    Cloud Solution Architect

    Individuals who are interested in working as a Cloud Administration should have the necessary technical skills to handle various tasks related to computing. These include the design and implementation of cloud computing services, as well as the maintenance of their own. Aside from being able to program multiple programming languages, such as Ruby, Python, and Java, individuals also need a degree in computer science.

    2 Jobs Available
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