Defining Biotechnology


6 Δεκ 2012 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 8 μήνες)

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Defining Biotechnology

Taken from Textbook: Biotechnology
Science for the New Millennium,
Ellyn Daugherty, 2007

Defining Biotechnology

Biotechnology is the study and
manipulation of living things or
their component molecules,
cells, tissues, or organs.

Techniques used in Biotechnology

Recombinant DNA (
) technology
Cutting and recombining DNA molecules

Polymerase Chain Reaction
: Copying short
pieces of DNA

: Producing identical copies

Biotechnology also uses
old practices like
fermentation and
selective breeding.

Products available because of

Biotechnology is a relatively new term

since 1970s.

Human insulin
for diabetes


for removing stains from


for recognizing and fighting
certain diseases

Specialty apparel (stonewashed denim jeans)

Goal of Biotechnology

To manufacture a product that is useful to

Ex. A new variety of tomato

A goat that produces a human pharmaceutical

An organ, such as a human ear grown on a
mouse’s back

A molecule, such as human growth hormone.

Fields of Biotechnology

Researchers in biotechnology apply lab
techniques from the fields of biology,
chemistry, and physics.

They use mathematics and computer
skills to process and analyze data.

Biotechnology Workers and
Biotechnology Workplace

Biotechnology is practiced in several
different settings as follows:



government agencies


Biotech Workers

Scientific staff
like scientists, research associates,
and lab technicians who conduct basic research.

Nonscientific staff
like administrators, clerical
workers, and sales and marketing reps that
support research and product development to
ensure the success of a product in the

Biotechnology Companies

Most biotech companies fall into one of the
following four categories based on the
products they make and sell

Pharmaceutical products

Agricultural products

Industrial products

Research or production instruments,
reagents, or data.

Some biotech companies sell their
services rather than a specific
product. E.g. Integrated Genomics,
Inc. has customers who hire them
to sequence DNA molecules.

Goal of Every Biotech Company

To produce and sell commercial
profit” products.

This allows companies to retain
valuable employees and continue to
invest in the research and
development (R&D) of future

Biotechnology Workers and the
Biotechnology Workplace

Taken from Textbook: Biotechnology Science for the
New Millennium, Ellyn Daugherty, 2007

University and Government Research

Not all biotechnologists work at “for
profit” biotech

Some biotechnologists work in university labs or at
government agencies conducting “pure science” research.

Many of the experimental techniques and scientific
methodologies used in these facilities (university labs &
government) are the same as those used at biotechnology

The major difference between these workplaces is that
companies must provide a product or a service that results
in earnings; while a nonprofit research facility does not

All Types of Biotech Workplaces use
the “Scientific Method”

Scientific Method
is a collective term for the
techniques that scientific researchers use to
provide data and gather evidence to answer
scientific questions. The following is


Observing a scientific phenomenon
increases curiosity.

Formulate a scientific question
The question
must be

“Scientific Method”

Develop a hypothesis
Predict the results of
experimentation based on past

Plan an experiment
Design a controlled
experiment with measurable data.

Conduct experiments
Do multiple replications
of the experiment.

Analyze data and report results
Analyze data
in light of expected results. Report final results
in notebooks and scientific journals.

Funding and Reporting Results

University and government researchers apply
for grants form industry, foundations, or the
government to pay for the research they do.

The data/results that come out of these
funded research projects are shared through
scientific journal magazines articles or at
scientific meetings.

This type of open sharing of scientific
information is made available for “the public

Example of “Public Good”

Dr. Carol
, Professor of Biology at the University
of San Francisco; experimented for several years to
understand how organisms develop from an embryo
into an adult. They used fruit flies in their experiments
because fly development has some parallels with
human development. This research lead to new
discoveries in adult male fertility.

By publicly describing their results, this invites other
scientists from around the world to scrutinize their
work and design further experiments to find out even
more about development(other whatever topic the
scientists is studying).

Topics being Studied around the world

Universities and government labs are
currently working on:

HIV (human immunodeficiency syndrome,



As well as improvement in crop yields.


The Gladstone Institute at the University of California,
San Francisco
is an academic research facility focused
on studying

and viral therapies.

: a particle containing a protein coat and
genetic material (DNA or RNA) that is not living and
requires a host to replicate.

Scientists conducting pure or
applied science
can use
the results to further research or to provide
information for the development of new products.

Applied Science
: the practice of utilizing scientific
knowledge for practical purposes, including the
manufacture of a product.


Researchers at US government laboratories,
such as the
National Institute of Health
and the
Centers for Disease Control and
(CDC), along with researchers at
many universities, use biotechnology research
techniques when looking for treatments for
major diseases, including heart disease,
cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

More Biotechnology Applications

Forensic Scientists
most work in police
departments. They use biotechnology lab
procedures, such as DNA fingerprinting
(identification of a person’s unique DNA code),
when they analyze evidence from a crime

Example: The OJ Simpson trial, in which the
famous exfootball player was accused of
murdering his exwife and her companion,
demonstrated how DNA from blood cells could be
used (or, some say, misused) as evidence in a
criminal case.


This is an example of the
results of a DNA
fingerprinting procedure
(Gel Electrophoresis)

Take a look at the banding

Can you tell which suspect
was at the crime scene?

More Biotechnology Applications

may use similar DNA fingerprinting
techniques to identify plant or animal breeding
partners to control parentage for protected or
endangered species.

Example: Whooping cranes are severely endangered
birds. In 2000, the total North American population of
whooping cranes was estimated at only 30! Due to
intense breeding programs in
isconsin and Canada,
including DNA testing of all the remaining whooping
cranes, the population had increased to almost 200
birds by 2005. results of DNA tests help scientists
determine which birds should be allowed to breed to
genetic diversity*
in the population.

More Biotechnology Applications

genetic diversity
through selective
breeding is important because it increases the
chances of the whole species survival.

Genetic Diversity*
Differences in the DNA
code from organism to organism.

More Biotechnology Applications

Wildlife biologists and custom agents identify illegally
transported or poached animals through biotechnology

Examples: Rhinoceros horns, bear gall bladders, and exotic
birds from South Pacific, all considered “black market”
items, have been identified using DNA fingerprinting
studies similar to those used in human DNA studies.

Evolutionary biologists use molecules of organisms to
illustrate common ancestry among various organisms.

Example: After DNA and protein analysis , the red panda of
China was shown to be more closely related to the raccoon
than to the well known black
white panda “bear.”

4 Major Domains of Biotechnology

1) Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology

2) Medical/Pharmaceutical

3) Agricultural

4) Diagnostic/Research Biotechnology

Major Domains of Biotechnology

Industrial and Environmental


Fermented foods and

Genetically engineered
proteins for industry

identification/fingerprinting of
endangered species



Biosensors, bioterrorism, and


Medicines from plants,
animals, fungi

Medicines from genetically
engineered cells

Monoclonal and polyclonal

Vaccine and gene therapy

Prosthetics, artificial or
engineered organs and tissues

Designer drugs and

Major Domains of Biotechnology



Breeding of livestock and plant

Aquaculture and marine

Horticultural products

Asexual plant propagation and
plant tissue culture

Transgenic plants an animals

Production of plant fibers

Pharmaceuticals in genetically
engineered plant crops

DNA and protein synthesis

DNA and protein sequencing,

Genetic testing and screening

DNA identification and DNA
fingerprinting, forensics

Bioinformatics, microarrays

Polymerase chain reaction

ELISA, Western Blots, protein
identification, purification


A Future in Biotech…?

The number of biotech companies is growing

These companies need both scientific and
nonscientific support positions, such as in
marketing, legal, financial, human resources,
public relations, computer technology, data
analysis, and transportation.

The biotech filed continues to grow at an
impressive rate with opportunities for all kinds of
employees with all kinds of interests in the
science and business of biotechnology.