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Understanding Our Bodies

From genetics to physiology, the many branches of biology have much to tell us about
what the human body is made up of, how it works, and how its affected by what we
eat, the air we breath, and every other aspect of the world around us. It can help us
prevent, cure, and even eliminate disease. It can even teach us to become stronger and
faster or lose weight.
Treating Disease
Biology as a whole is one of the cornerstones of all forms of modern healthcare. The
field known as pharmacology is literally medicine. It deals with researching and
creating everything from over-the-counter pain relievers to prescription drugs for
depression.
Immunology studies our immune system and how it reacts to all sorts of different
threats. Pathology diagnoses diseases and what causes them, as well as what they do
to the body. Virology does the same for the many different viruses that may seek to do
us harm.
Dont even get us started on biologys role in the study of genetics and DNA.
Scientists are now able to pinpoint exactly where certain predispositions to certain
diseases exists without our biological makeup, how theyre passed from generation to
generation, and even working on breakthroughs to remove undesirable traits from
people on a molecular level. Its absolutely fascinating to think of the endless
possibilities that biology is gradually opening the door for when it comes to our
health.
Proper Nutrition
By knowing how our body works and what it reacts positively to, nutritionists are able
to devise the perfect diet for our needs whether that be losing weight or gaining it,
fueling heavy exercise or just an office job. Its all about proteins, fats, carbohydrates,
and other key nutrients, how our body breaks them down, and where they fit into the
equation of our overall health. This is the main concern of biochemistry.
For instance, were aware that sugar provides an energy spike but leads to a rough
crash afterwards because of the way our body digests it and turns it into something we

can use. We also know it can create unwanted fat deposits and do some bad things to
our teeth. These are all things dealt with by nutritional biology.
When you make the decision to eat healthier youre actually putting aspects of
biology to work without even knowing it.
Exercise Science
Next time you watch sports, remember that youre seeing biologys influence in
action. The athletes competing are capable of such amazing feats of speed and
strength partially because of our understanding the human body through anatomy and
other branches of biology. Scientists have used this knowledge to create the methods
of training that help propel our sports stars to incredible heights.
And it goes beyond lifting weights to build muscle or running to develop endurance.
Physiologists get into the nitty gritty about how and why our muscles react to stress.
They discover what causes us to become dehydrated. Or what provides us with the
energy to run marathons or dunk a basketball.
On the surface, you might just think you run out of breath when you run too far. But
for exercise physiologists, theyre not content with such a basic explanation. Theyve
dug deep to realize exactly how our body uses oxygen and the complex series of
reactions that make us tired. To learn more about the science of exercise, youll want
to take a look at this well-reviewed course.
Understanding Our Environment

Humans arent the only living things biology is concerned with. It also tells us all
about plants and animals how they live, what theyre made up of, and how they
interact with mankind and each other. This enables us to make the most of our planets
natural resources while trying to minimize the impact we have on the environment.
Conservationism
By understanding how nature really works and what allows it to flourish, were able
to pinpoint what ways we might cause harm to it and look for more environmentally
friendly menthods of doing things. Ecology, for example, studies the relationship

between animals, plants, and the environment, helping us understand how the things
humans and other animals do can hurt or help Mother Nature.
Conservation biology measures extinction rates and analyzes how each species fits
within the ecosystem to identify which animals are crucial to maintaining balance. But
evolutionary biology also helps us understand how things have evolved over time and
that not every species can survive for the long haul.
Scientists are even working with economists to determine natural capital, or the
economic value of our environment and wildlife to make things more tangible to
businessmen and world leaders. We rely so heavily on all the things we get from the
environment food, oxygen, shelter, fuel that it only makes sense to get a better
understanding of how to keep it thriving
If youd like to do your part to help the environment, give this course on growing your
own permaculture garden a try.
Using Natural Resources
A huge part of maintaining our environment is finding the best ways to harness the
Earths natural resources in ways that are safe, efficient, and dont cause too much
damage to nature. This includes everything from drilling oil to chopping down trees.
The great things about trees and other renewable resources is the fact that they can
grow back or replenish themselves naturally over time. But not if theyre cut, burned,
or mined too quickly and aggressively. Biology helps us find a balance between taking
advantage of the tools we have while not destroying those same tools for future
generations.
Through studying the best ways to fuel our needs for energy and materials, were also
able to find ways to make the most out of what we have and even find alternatives that
work just as well. For example, using corn to create ethanol fuel as a potential
replacement or supplement to the oil we currently use to power our cars.
Harvesting Food
Plants are living organisms just like the rest of us, meaning biology takes an interest in
them too. Agrobiology deals specifically with determining the best soil conditions to

deliver nutrients to plants to make them grow big and strong. This can have a
significant impact on a farmers crop yields.
Botany, the branch of biology that deals with the study of plants, is how we know
what plants we can eat in the first place. Unless you want to go around tasting every
berry and fruit you come across to see which ones are good to eat, wed recommend
relying on our biology experts to tell us whats what. The science also plays a huge
role in raising livestock like cows and chickens. By utilizing some of that nutrition we
talked about earlier and applying it to farm animals, were able to get them nice and
big so they provide plenty of meat and fertilizer.
Fishing, too. Theres marine biology and freshwater biology, among others, to teach
us what fish are where and how good they are to eat. Theres even a field of biology
dedicated to just studying fish, but we wont make you try to pronounce that one. And
sure, our ancestors were catching fish long before they understood the intricacies of
science but that doesnt mean we dont benefit greatly from it with more efficient
fishing methods, bigger hauls, and even fish farming.
Its Literally Everywhere

The information biology has taught us is present in everything we know. Look in the
mirror. Your ability to identify the parts of your face can be credited to anatomy. What
you eat for lunch was influenced by biology and put on your plate with the help of
biology .
The medication or vitamins you take daily, your exercise routine it all comes back to
that fundamental science weve been telling you about. Pay attention to all the things
you do today and see if you can point out their connection to biology. And if you want
to connect it to your business by embracing the growing biotechnology industry, this
course will show you how.

Biotechnology is the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make products, or "any
technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms or derivatives thereof, to
make or modify products or processes for specific use" (UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Art.
2).[1] Depending on the tools and applications, it often overlaps with the (related) fields
of bioengineering,biomedical engineering, etc.

For thousands of years, humankind has used biotechnology in agriculture, food production,
and medicine.[2] The term is largely believed to have been coined in 1919 by
Hungarian engineer Kroly Ereky. In the late 20th and early 21st century, biotechnology has
expanded to include new and diverse sciences such as genomics, recombinant gene techniques,
applied immunology, and development ofpharmaceutical therapies and diagnostic tests.[2]

History:
Although not normally what first comes to mind, many forms of human-derived agriculture clearly fit
the broad definition of "'utilizing a biotechnological system to make products". Indeed, the cultivation
of plants may be viewed as the earliest biotechnological enterprise.
Agriculture has been theorized to have become the dominant way of producing food since
the Neolithic Revolution. Through early biotechnology, the earliest farmers selected and bred the
best suited crops, having the highest yields, to produce enough food to support a growing
population. As crops and fields became increasingly large and difficult to maintain, it was discovered
that specific organisms and their by-products could effectively fertilize, restore nitrogen, and control
pests. Throughout the history of agriculture, farmers have inadvertently altered the genetics of their
crops through introducing them to new environments and breeding them with other plants one of
the first forms of biotechnology.

Bioinformatics
Bioinformatics is the application of computer technology to the management of
biological information. Computers are used to gather, store, analyze and integrate
biological and genetic information which can then be applied to gene-based drug
discovery and development.

Technology is a process and a body of knowledge as much as a collection


of artifacts. Biology is no differentand we are just beginning to
comprehend the challenges inherent in the next stage of biology as a
human technology. It is this critical moment, with its wide-ranging
implications, that Robert Carlsonconsiders in Biology Is Technology.
He offers a uniquely informed perspective on the endeavors that
contribute to current progress in this areathe science of biological
systems and the technology used to manipulate them.

In a number of case studies, Carlson demonstrates that the development


of new mathematical, computational, and laboratory tools will facilitate
the engineering of biological artifactsup to and including organisms
and ecosystems. Exploring how this will happen, with reference to past
technological advances, he explains how objects are constructed
virtually, tested using sophisticated mathematical models, and finally
constructed in the real world.
Such rapid increases in the power, availability, and application of
biotechnology raise obvious questions about who gets to use it, and to
what end. Carlsons thoughtful analysis offers rare insight into our
choices about how to develop biological technologies and how these
choices will determine the pace and effectiveness of innovation as a
public good.
The field of biotechnology has exploded in recent years with many discoveries and
applications that promises solutions to some of todays most pressing issues such
as biofuels and environmental remediation. However, human has used organisms
and facilitated their evolution for thousands of years. The practice of artificial
selection and domestication of plants and animals dates back 9000-10000 years.
Around 4000 B.C., it was known that Egyptians used yeast to ferment their food.
This resulted in the creation of many new food products including bread, cheese,
and wine.
ADVANTAGES:
(1) Bioinformatics. Makes the rapid organization and analysis of biological data possible, via
interdisciplinary approaches which address biological problems using computational techniques. The field
may also be referred to as computational biology, and can be defined as, "conceptualizing biology in
terms of molecules, and then applying informatics techniques to understand and organize the information
associated with these molecules, on a large scale." Bioinformatics plays a key role in various areas, such
as functional genomics, structural genomics, and proteomics, and forms a key component in the
biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector.
(2) Blue biotechnology. Marine and aquatic applications of biotechnology, used to improve cleanup of toxic
spills, improve yields of fisheries, etc.
(3) Green biotechnology. Agricultural uses of biotechnology, such as the selection and domestication of
plants via micropropagation, designing transgenic plants to grow under specific environmental conditions
or in the presence (or absence) of certain agricultural chemicals, development of more environmentally
friendly solutions than traditional industrial agriculture (e.g., the engineering of a plant to express a

pesticide, thereby eliminating the need for external application of pesticides, like Bt corn). Among the
benefits are crops with better taste, texture, appearance, aroma, nutrition, yield, robustness in adverse
environmental conditions, and resistance to herbs, fungi, and pests.
(4) Red biotechnology. Application of biotechnology to medicine, including the designing of organisms to
produce antibiotics, and the engineering of genetic cures through genomic manipulation. Other areas:
(a) Drug production. Genetically altered mammalian cells, such as Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells,
are also used to manufacture certain pharmaceuticals. Another promising new biotechnology application
is the development of plant-made pharmaceuticals. A genetically engineered bacterium produces vast
quantities of synthetic human insulin at relatively low cost. Biotechnology has also made it possible to
cheaply produce human growth hormone, clotting factors for hemophiliacs, fertility drugs, erythropoietin,
and other drugs.
(b) Pharmacogenomics. The study of how genetic inheritance affects an individual's response to drugs, in
order to design tailor-made medicines adapted uniquely to each persons genetic makeup, based on the
proteins, enzymes and RNA molecules that are associated with specific genes and diseases, to optimize
drug dosage, maximize therapeutic effects, and decrease damage to nearby healthy cells.
Pharmacogenomics should also significantly expedite the drug discovery process.
(c) Gene therapy. Treating or even curing of genetic and acquired diseases like cancer and AIDS by using
normal genes to supplement or replace defective genes, or to bolster a normal function such as
immunity.
(d) Genetic testing. DNA probes can be injected that will bind to any mutated sequences in a human's
genome, flagging the mutation. DNA sequences in a diseased patient can also be compared to healthy
individuals in order to determine the genetic cause of a malady (e.g., carrier screening, confirmational
diagnosis of symptomatic individuals, forensic/identity testing, newborn screening, prenatal diagnostic
screening, presymptomatic testing for estimating the risk of developing disorders).
(e) Improved vaccines. Vaccines can be developed that will elicit the immune response without the
attendant risks of infection, and that will be relatively inexpensive, stable, easy to store, and capable of
being engineered to carry several strains of pathogen simultaneously.
(f) Biopharmaceuticals. By using computer-generated images of complex molecules such as proteins, the
underlying mechanisms and pathways of a malady can be better understood and targeted.
(g) New medical therapies. Biotechnology has led to treatments for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, cancers,
arthritis, haemophilia, bone fractures, multiple sclerosis, and cardiovascular disorders.
(h) Diagnostics. The biotechnology industry has also been instrumental in developing molecular
diagnostic devices that can be used to define the target patient population for a given biopharmaceutical.
Herceptin, for example, was the first drug approved for use with a matching diagnostic test and is used to
treat breast cancer in women whose cancer cells express the protein HER2.
(5) White biotechnology. Also known as industrial biotechnology. Exemplified by the designing of an
organism to produce a useful chemical, the use of enzymes as industrial catalysts to either produce
valuable chemicals or destroy hazardous/polluting chemicals, and the development of biotechnological
processes that consume fewer resources than traditional processes used to produce industrial goods.
(4) Bioeconomics. Investment in applied biotechnologies to increase economic output

DISADVANTAGES:
(1) Loss of privacy. Medical and genetic information is more likely to be stored and shared.
(2) Discrimination. Private insurers, employers, and governmental entities are more likely to discriminate
against people who have genetic or medical anomalies, especially if such information is available in
databases.
(3) Cloning. Reproductive cloning could create "Frankensteins" or result in eugenic practices. Therapeutic
cloning is also regarded as unethical by some groups, primarily religious organizations.
(4) Transformations of wild species. Exposure of wild species to genetically modified crops or domestic
livestock could cause "super species" to evolve with resistance to pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides.
(5) Loss of biodiversity. Development of genetically modified crops or domestic livestock could reduce
genetic variety among both domesticated and wild species.
(6) Harmful chemicals. Although biotechnology will generate many new and valuable chemicals, some
chemicals with unknown or damaging environmental impacts are likely to be developed.
Source(s):http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biotechnolo...
LAlawMedMBA 7 years ago

The wide concept of "biotech" or "biotechnology" encompasses a wide range of procedures for
modifying living organisms according to human purposes, going back todomestication of animals,
cultivation of plants, and "improvements" to these through breeding programs that employ artificial
selection and hybridization. Modern usage also includes genetic engineering as well
as cell and tissue culture technologies. The American Chemical Society defines biotechnology as the
application of biological organisms, systems, or processes by various industries to learning about the
science of life and the improvement of the value of materials and organisms such as
pharmaceuticals, crops, and livestock.[3] As per European Federation of Biotechnology,
Biotechnology is the integration of natural science and organisms, cells, parts thereof, and molecular
analogues for products and services.[4] Biotechnology also writes on the pure biological sciences
(animal cell culture, biochemistry, cell biology, embryology, genetics, microbiology, andmolecular
biology). In many instances, it is also dependent on knowledge and methods from outside the
sphere of biology including:

bioinformatics, a new brand of computer science

bioprocess engineering

biorobotics

chemical engineering

Conversely, modern biological sciences (including even concepts such as molecular ecology) are
intimately entwined and heavily dependent on the methods developed through biotechnology and
what is commonly thought of as the life sciences industry. Biotechnology is the research and
development in the laboratory using bioinformatics for exploration, extraction, exploitation and
production from any living organisms and any source of biomass by means of biochemical
engineering where high value-added products could be planned (reproduced by biosynthesis, for
example), forecasted, formulated, developed, manufactured and marketed for the purpose of
sustainable operations (for the return from bottomless initial investment on R & D) and gaining
durable patents rights (for exclusives rights for sales, and prior to this to receive national and
international approval from the results on animal experiment and human experiment, especially on
the pharmaceutical branch of biotechnology to prevent any undetected side-effects or safety
concerns by using the products).[5][6][7]
By contrast, bioengineering is generally thought of as a related field that more heavily emphasizes
higher systems approaches (not necessarily the altering or using of biological materials directly) for
interfacing with and utilizing living things. Bioengineering is the application of the principles of
engineering and natural sciences to tissues, cells and molecules. This can be considered as the use
of knowledge from working with and manipulating biology to achieve a result that can improve
functions in plants and animals.[8]Relatedly, biomedical engineering is an overlapping field that often
draws upon and applies biotechnology (by various definitions), especially in certain sub-fields of
biomedical and/or chemical engineering such as tissue engineering, biopharmaceutical engineering,
and genetic engineering.

History[edit]

Brewing was an early application of biotechnology

Main article: History of biotechnology


Although not normally what first comes to mind, many forms of human-derived agriculture clearly fit
the broad definition of "'utilizing a biotechnological system to make products". Indeed, the cultivation
of plants may be viewed as the earliest biotechnological enterprise.
Agriculture has been theorized to have become the dominant way of producing food since
the Neolithic Revolution. Through early biotechnology, the earliest farmers selected and bred the
best suited crops, having the highest yields, to produce enough food to support a growing
population. As crops and fields became increasingly large and difficult to maintain, it was discovered
that specific organisms and their by-products could effectively fertilize, restore nitrogen, and control
pests. Throughout the history of agriculture, farmers have inadvertently altered the genetics of their
crops through introducing them to new environments and breeding them with other plants one of
the first forms of biotechnology.
These processes also were included in early fermentation of beer.[9] These processes were
introduced in early Mesopotamia, Egypt,China and India, and still use the same basic biological
methods. In brewing, malted grains (containing enzymes) convert starch from grains into sugar and
then adding specific yeasts to produce beer. In this process, carbohydrates in the grains were
broken down into alcohols such as ethanol. Later other cultures produced the process of lactic acid
fermentation which allowed the fermentation and preservation of other forms of food, such as soy
sauce. Fermentation was also used in this time period to produce leavened bread. Although the
process of fermentation was not fully understood until Louis Pasteur's work in 1857, it is still the first
use of biotechnology to convert a food source into another form.
Before the time of Charles Darwin's work and life, animal and plant scientists had already used
selective breeding. Darwin added to that body of work with his scientific observations about the

ability of science to change species. These accounts contributed to Darwin's theory of natural
selection.[10]
For thousands of years, humans have used selective breeding to improve production of crops and
livestock to use them for food. In selective breeding, organisms with desirable characteristics are
mated to produce offspring with the same characteristics. For example, this technique was used with
corn to produce the largest and sweetest crops.[11]
In the early twentieth century scientists gained a greater understanding of microbiology and explored
ways of manufacturing specific products. In 1917, Chaim Weizmann first used a pure microbiological
culture in an industrial process, that of manufacturing corn starch using Clostridium
acetobutylicum, to produce acetone, which the United Kingdomdesperately needed to
manufacture explosives during World War I.[12]
Biotechnology has also led to the development of antibiotics. In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered
the mold Penicillium. His work led to the purification of the antibiotic compound formed by the mold
by Howard Florey, Ernst Boris Chain and Norman Heatley - to form what we today know as penicillin.
In 1940, penicillin became available for medicinal use to treat bacterial infections in humans. [11]
The field of modern biotechnology is generally thought of as having been born in 1971 when Paul
Berg's (Stanford) experiments in gene splicing had early success. Herbert W. Boyer (Univ. Calif. at
San Francisco) and Stanley N. Cohen (Stanford) significantly advanced the new technology in 1972
by transferring genetic material into a bacterium, such that the imported material would be
reproduced. The commercial viability of a biotechnology industry was significantly expanded on June
16, 1980, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that a genetically
modified microorganism could be patented in the case of Diamond v. Chakrabarty.[13] Indian-born
Ananda Chakrabarty, working forGeneral Electric, had modified a bacterium (of
the Pseudomonas genus) capable of breaking down crude oil, which he proposed to use in treating
oil spills. (Chakrabarty's work did not involve gene manipulation but rather the transfer of entire
organelles between strains of the Pseudomonas bacterium.
Revenue in the industry is expected to grow by 12.9% in 2008. Another factor influencing the
biotechnology sector's success is improved intellectual property rights legislationand enforcement
worldwide, as well as strengthened demand for medical and pharmaceutical products to cope with
an ageing, and ailing, U.S. population.[14]
Rising demand for biofuels is expected to be good news for the biotechnology sector, with
the Department of Energy estimating ethanol usage could reduce U.S. petroleum-derived fuel
consumption by up to 30% by 2030. The biotechnology sector has allowed the U.S. farming industry
to rapidly increase its supply of corn and soybeansthe main inputs into biofuelsby developing
genetically modified seeds which are resistant to pests and drought. By boosting farm productivity,
biotechnology plays a crucial role in ensuring that biofuel production targets are met. [15]

Examples[edit]
Importance: Biotechnology is a technology based on biology. This article talks
about the importance of biotechnology in our lives.
The world we have live has been suffering for so long and humanity is facing an enormous problem
on the excessive usage of natural resources. The energy we have been purging from these
resources is diminishing and is now critically endangered for future use. Not only that but sudden
changes to our environment brought tragedies and disaster that leaves mark for a lifetime. People
has intelligently abuse our nature.

Its strange to know that most of the educated people regardless of gender are unaware of the
importance of biotechnology in any aspects of our society, even though it is crystal clear that its
technological value has foreseen for a long time to motivate the upcoming generations. It is certain
that human existence and survival on the coming days rest on the development and rapidly
advancement of biotechnology.
Because of the advancement of thorough researched and development, the importance of
biotechnology has come to existence. It is a field in biology that is extensively used in engineering,
medicine, science and technology, agriculture and other valuable form of applications. Biotechnology
can be a great solution to mankind struggles. So, what does its all about? Briefly, it is merely an
applied principles of chemistry, physics and engineering comprise into biological structure.
Application in modern era includes the field of genetic engineering. It is the usage of this technology
to culture cells and tissues for the modification living organism for human purposes. By this, the
importance of biotechnology in agriculture increases the crop production which makes it double or
even higher than normal harvest. It has the ability to give biological protection from disease and
pests, so a minor necessity for chemical insecticides. Biotechnology is capable of conveying genetic
qualities of the crops that can withstand the changing climate condition, obtain an increase of
nutritional qualities. This will provide the farmers a healthy lifestyle due to the less exposure of
chemical residues and eventually give a higher profit.
Benefits of biotechnology can also be experienced in the medical institution. Its technological
application includes pharmaceutical products and medicines, and human therapy. It helps produced
large quantity of protein for nutritional supplements and insulin for diabetic patient treatment. The

gene therapy, in which is the most successful result of biotechnology research use to cure aids and
cancer.
Application on biotechnology can be seen in industrial plant and factories. They are used to give an
improved effectiveness and competence in production process while reducing the impact to the
environmental issues. Waste products can be treated and recycled as a help to preserve natural
resources.
It is beyond expectation on what the biotechnology has accomplished and reached in just a matter of
time. Humanity has just start to comprehend and recognized the endless opportunities it has open.
As technology assures to provide solution to every frightening problem we face every now and then,
so is mankind is expecting a more develop biotechnology in the future. A technology that is more
reliable and firm. This is the importance of biotechnology; revolution of the future technology.
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