Biotechnology

Definition

The use of microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeasts, or biological substances, such as enzymes, to perform specific industrial or manufacturing processes. Applications include the production of certain drugs, synthetic hormones, and bulk foodstuffs as well as the bioconversion of organic waste and the use of genetically altered bacteria in the cleanup of oil spills.

DNA

Biotechnology wouldn't be possible without DNA. Scientist need the DNA to be able to genetically alter microorganisms. Biotechnology can be very useful in DNA testing. Scientists use a small strand of DNA called DNA probe. The probe will attach its self to the DNA that needs to be tested. The probe will let of radioactivity or something similar to signal its attachment. Once the probe is attached polymerase chain reaction will take place. This process creates more DNA to be tested. This can help scientists figure out which DNA strands causes different diseases.

Areas Biotechnology is Used

Medicine/Health

Biotechnology is used in medicine to create pharmaceutical drugs. The health industry was the first to genetically engineer a product. Insulin and penicillin are to examples. Insulin was made by combining Escherichia coli and plasmid. Penicillin was made by extracting penicllium from mold juice. A job in the medical field that uses biotechnology is a chemist. A chemist works with other scientists to create new drugs to help cure diseases of effectively treat symptoms.

Agriculture

Biotechnology is used in agriculture to make genetically modified plants. These plants can be resistance to pesticides, bugs, and bad environments. They can also be much more nutrient. A job in agriculture that uses biotechnology is a greenhouse technician. These people will treat any of the genetically engineered plants for any diseases. They will document status of the genetically modified plants.

Environmental Clean Up

Biotechnology is very helpful when cleaning up our environment. We can use microbes to kill harmful bacteria in things like sewage and chemical spills. There are types of fungi that are used to ease the process of making paper, which decrease the amount of chemicals used.

Food Science

A good job in food science would be a chemist. There is many places that are in desperate need of more and better food. A chemist would be able to modify crops and create better food for these starving people.

Genetics

A technical assistant is an example of a good biotech job in the genetics field. When doing this job you would extract DNA and study the DNA. You then try to figure out how to genetically modify the DNA to solve any problems.

Possible Negatives

Biotechnology has lots of possible negatives. These include high cost, breaking natural boundaries, antibiotic resistant bacteria, killing certain species, cancer, and different tasting crops.

North Carolina Ranking

North Carolina ranks fourth in biotechnology in the US. The top twelve are listed below.



California

Massachusetts

Maryland

North Carolina

Pennsylvania

New Jersey

New York

Washington

Georgia

Texas

Florida

Colorado

North Carolina Biotech Centers

The map of North Carolina show where the biotech facilities are. The locations are Durham, Raleigh, High Point, Winston Salem, Charlotte, Wilmington, Greenville, Fayetteville, and Asheville.