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BIOTECHNOLOGY MAN AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Peter A. John (BSc. MSc) – Environmental Microbiologist/ Biotechnologist


Department of Microbiology
University of Calabar
Calabar - Nigeria.
peanijo@yahoo.com
234-802-385-486-9
234-803-969-389-7

Abstract
The advent of biotechnology in our today’s society has gone a long way alleviating man’s problems in the area of
food production and general agro-industrial activities. Before now, there were several m ethods of producing
materials to satisfy man’s needs. These methods were r ather more expensive time demanding and technical to
achieve than just getting through easily. With the recent advancement in science and technology, Biotechnology
as a scientific trouble-shooting tool is employed to solve man’s problem s. This involves the use of biological
techniques to achieve a better and m ore readily available solution to technological problems. Major advantages
of this concept is in food production to cater for the daily growing worlds population, effective managem ent of
the envir onment and best and alternative process of producing man’s daily needs. The survival of this aspect of
science has been observed to be powered by molecular biology. Biotechnology implements the concepts in
molecular biology, while molecular biology enables the achievement of biotechnological practices.

Biotechnology; a two-in-one concept, which may be Ethanol engines and even steam engine are being
desc ribed as the employment of biological and used as environmentally friendly alternative.
engineering concept to reduce technologic al problems
is known as a useful tool in our society today. It is a Flaring of gas to the detriment our health is a thing
better alternative to the previously employed that can be alleviated if proper concepts are used
techniques and has been found to be comparatively alongs ide biotechnological conc ept to achieve this.
economical. It is a better alternative to achieving great Gas reused is not a preferred practice in this part our
success in food production, suc h as single c ell protein of our world, due to our climate, which may cause fire
(SCP) and other known food and feed supplement. It is out break. Due to our carelessness and reduc ed
also found to be a better alternative to the previous awarenes s, conversion of this gas may result to
practice, in the area of environmental management, hazard or life destruction.
such as remediation, augmentation, deterioration,
degradation, recycling/ reuse etc. “We must always bear in mind that trying to keep the
environment pollutant-free can be achieved effectively
Biotechnology is observed to be a major binding agent, by reduc ing to zero level the pollutants from the
which tailors few other important areas in science and process”.
engineering, suc h as Microbiology, Chemistry, Civil
Engineering, Environmental science and Engineering. Waste accumulation also has remained a major
This has been seen to have clear interlink, whic h problem and project, which has remain unsolved till
makes it possible for these areas of s pecialization to date. The invention of waste derived fuel (WDF),
interact for a common goal. happens to be a solution to waste hazards. Every
waste generated both toxic and non-toxic c an be
Main managed effectively, if only the required method is
The living standard in most countries in the world today employed. The earlier we embrace the concept and
has necessitated the use of the more economical practic e of biotechnology the better for us.
conc ept in biotec hnology. Various alternatives whic h
are proffered by the use of this conc ept can be used as The world right from creation is a closed system if not
safety route to better life. isolated, but we have neglected this fact. The is in line
with the fact that in any closed or isolated system, the
In Nigeria and other countries, crude oil has remained term recycling is best used. Product from other
the sole source of fuel and energy, but a different thing processes can be used as raw material in other
is obtainable in other advance countries of the world, processes, which is line with the “waste-to-wealth”
where better and more economical alternative are concept. This comes up to justify a better and more
used. Putting our delicate environment in mind, we may elaborate definition of waste; “as any temporarily
not be too friendly with our environment if most unwanted matter to a producing system”. This
biotechnological principles are not employed. From therefore refers that importance can be attached to
ratting, one can see that sole dependant on crude oil as the said waste with time.
the only and sustainable source of fuel and energy may
be detrimental to our health and our environment. A In biotechnology, the believe stands that nothing is a
clear example can be traced to ethanol as better and waste, but a raw material for another proces s. With
economical source of fuel and energy. the existence of diverse and various types of
microbial life-forms, more of cell-mediated-process
World advancement today also grows alongside with are made possible, in a very economical manner.
the current inventions in biotechnology. Though they are freely existing, they require special;
attention to get them in appreciable quantity.
Chemical production from microbial mediated processes can also be achieved through effective biotechnological
processes. Biotechnology can also be employed in forensic sciences for crime tracing and detectio ns. This aspect of
science remains limitless, as its concepts can be used in very many areas of discipline.

There are good relevance and relationship between other aspect of engineering and pure and applied sciences and
biotechnology. To an extent, biote chnology stands out as the key and trouble shooting tool to other areas in science
and engineering. It has also gone a long way alleviating the economical problems, its effect is felt every where.
The Figure below illustrates the position of biotechnology in the midst of other fields of discipline.

Economics

Engineering
Agriculture

Science
Biotechnology
Health

Environment Industries

Research

The more we put more interest in biotechnology the better for us. This is so because it offers the best option to
economic development and increased standard of leaving. Other than these, it also offers the best environmentally
friendly alternative to various industrial and economic practices.

The prediction for the future is that Biotechnology will be given more preference because of the economical cost of
practicing to bring about comfort to man’s daily activities. Other than that, it is also environmentally friendly, with very
little or no known harm to man kind. The issue of effective waste management will be achieved and sustained
through the practice of Biotechnological concepts.

Today, Biotechnology has greater impact on global activities and the inter-relationship of different fields of
disciplines.

BIOTECHNOLOGY HAS COME TO STAY.

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