Biotechnology is when humans use their knowledge of biological processes to solve problems. One example is using DNA to solve a murder. Another example is improving plants to make them resistant to drought or allow plants to make vitamins that people in developing countries need. As with any new technology, with great power comes great responsibility.
To better understand biotechnology…
LET’S BREAK IT DOWN!
Artificial Selection is the process in which humans decide what traits they want an organism to have. Humans artificially select for traits in both plants and animals for many different reasons, which may include designing a specific kind of sheep that makes fluffy wool, or making plants that contain extra vitamins.
DNA and Genes
DNA is short for deoxyribonucleic acid and is the genetic material found in the cells of all living organisms. Genes are specific sections of DNA that hold the code for certain traits.
Gene Therapy is a relatively new medical treatment that can be used to treat certain disorders and diseases. Gene therapy can be done through adding genes or replacing genes. Either way, the goal is for the body to make more heathy cells in place of the ones that have been damaged.
Diabetes and Insulin
Diabetes encompasses a variety of disorders that affect an animal’s ability to produce insulin, the chemical that helps control blood sugar levels in the body. Insulin used to be harvested from the pancreas of cows and pigs for human use, but is now synthesized in high quantities using a biologically enhanced bacterium.
Careers in Science: Molecular Biologist
A molecular biologist is a scientist that studies things at the cellular and molecular level to figure out cellular processes. Molecular biologists can work in many different areas including; medical research, agricultural research, biomedical technology, and genetics.