Nature has an abundance of resources to satisfy human needs. However, with a continuously growing population, it is hard to fulfill every single requirement of human civilisation.
Here comes the necessity of advanced technology such as biotechnology to produce products beyond the capacity of natural methods. This article contains important biotechnology UPSC notes, which can be helpful for aspirants of competitive exams.
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What is Biotechnology?
It is an advanced technology that comprises techniques of utilizing living organisms or their body parts to create or develop new products. For instance, baking bread using yeast or making yogurt with the help of lactic acid bacteria comes under biotechnology.
These traditional methods utilize the living organisms in their original or developed form. In contrast, modern biotechnology uses a more modified form of them. Moreover, it deals with biological and biopharmaceutical productions on an industrial scale.
Application of Biotechnology
- The biotechnological applications utilize genetically tweaked microbes such as fungi and bacteria, animals and plants.
- These applications include diagnostics, therapeutics, bioremediation, processed food, energy production, genetically improved crops for agriculture and waste treatment.
Tools of Biotechnology
The means of biotechnology are as follows:
It is a part of molecular biology that involves altering or manipulating the formation of genetic materials such as DNA and RNA. This technique changes the host organism’s phenotype. Genetic information remains preserved in asexual reproductions. On the other hand, sexual reproduction allows a variation.
It is known to create multiple identical duplicates of a DNA fragment, organism or cell. It is an asexual type of reproduction by transferring alien DNA into another organism. This DNA becomes a part of the chromosome, capable of replicating.
It involves DNA molecules scientists form in the laboratory by recombining DNA fragments from different sources. It becomes possible due to the same chemical formation of DNA molecules from various sources.
Biotechnology in Agriculture
- Biotechnology has brought an alternative to traditional farming via genetically improved organisms.
- Genetically improvised biopesticides such as Bt toxin have been used to replace insecticides.
- Genetically modified crops or plants are insects and infection resistant.
Biotechnology in Medicine
- Genetically manipulated Insulin has been helpful to manage symptoms of onset diabetes in adults.
- Gene therapy is a group of methods to correct gene defects and cure hereditary diseases.
- The attempt to treat adenosine deaminase (ADA) deficiency is successful with biotechnology’s help.
- Molecular diagnosis is being conducted for effective examination and treatment of diseases.
- Experts are using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to detect HIV AIDS.
Biotechnology in Animal Treatment
- Transgenic animals are a product of biotechnology that are helping to examine and understand the physiology and development of animals.
- They are also helpful to study thoroughly on animal diseases.
- In addition, they produce biological products by recombining a specific part of DNA. These biological products are essential to treat several human diseases at low costs.
- On top of that, scientists can utilize them to test vaccines and chemical safety reactions.
Biotechnology in India
The Department of Biotechnology under the Ministry of Science and Technology administers most programs of the biotechnology sector in India. Its objectives are as follows:
- Provide resources, infrastructure and services in research areas.
- Implement biosafety guidelines for recombinant DNA products and genetically tweaked organisms.
- Conduct programs based on biotechnology to benefit society.
- Build an information network in the national and international scientific community for India’s Bioinformatics mission.
Besides, India’s Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) works under India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC). It is responsible for administering activities regarding dangerous recombinants and microorganisms in industrial production and research centres.
That is all for every essential information for biotechnology UPSC notes that can help aspiring candidates. They can follow these details accompanied with other recent news to amp up their preparation.
Aspirants can visit the linked article and get details about the upcoming government exams that comprise current affairs and general awareness as an important topic in the syllabus.
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Frequently Asked Questions on Biotechnology
What is a transgenic organism?
Transgenic organisms are the result of genetic modifications of DNA from different genomes or species.
What are the 4 primary classifications of biotechnology?
The 4 primary types of biotechnology are as follows-
- White or industrial biotechnology
- Red or medical biotechnology
- Blue or marine biotechnology
- Green or environmental biotechnology