Biotechnology and its applications comprise of a broad spectrum including agriculture, genetically modified organisms, medicines, transgenics, etc. Biotechnology is an emerging field of research as it has the potential to solve many biological problems which could not be solved till now with conventional techniques. Let us now discuss the application of biotechnology in medicine in detail.
Application of Biotechnology in Medicine
Biotechnology has influenced healthcare sector immensely. It has changed the face of the medical field. The genetic engineering contributed more safe and effective treatments and medications. The application of biotechnology in the medical field began long back from the time of discovery of insulin. Let’s examine the application of biotechnology in medicine one by one.
Medical Biotechnology commonly deals with the use of recombinant DNA technology in various therapeutic. The advantage of using this technique is, it rules out the earlier problems of graft rejection or other immunological actions against the administered therapeutics. One of the most classic examples is – the production of insulin. Earlier, the insulin was manufactured from the pancreas of pigs and other cattle which constantly gave the problem of immunological reactions. Medical biotechnology gave the solution to it as genetically engineered insulin was manufactured with the help of E.coli. The insulin thus produced was compatible with the human body and manufacturing became efficient too.
Gene Therapy holds the most promising answer to the problem of genetic diseases. Gene therapy is used to treat a disease usually by the insertion of a normal gene or correct gene for the defective or inactive gene into a baby or an adult. This normal gene usually takes up the place of the defective or inactive gene and carries out its functions. The therapy has the highest chances of developing a permanent cure if introduced in the earliest stages of life.
Medical diagnosis is another application of biotechnology in the health sector. The symptoms caused by pathogens are the only indication that we are diseased. However, many will be late to diagnose this and the pathogen concentration might be already high by this time. Hence, an early diagnosis and knowledge of pathophysiology are essential for effective cure. This can be achieved with the help of techniques such as Recombinant DNA technology, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Enzyme-Linked Immuno-sorbent Assay (ELISA), etc. PCR amplify the pathogen before it starts to produce signs and symptoms.
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