By Elijah Imlay

The Role of DNA in Biotechnology

DNA is a crucial component in the process of biotechnology. During biotechnology, the DNA of an organism is often modified in order to allow the organism to change. DNA is sometimes modified to help an organism grow faster or in an unfamiliar environment.

The Use of Biotechnology in DNA Testing

Biotechnology and DNA sequencing is immenesly helpful in DNA testing because it "allows us to perform DNA tests to determine paternity, to calculate the probability of developing a genetic disorder, and even to identify a missing person or murderer" (Better Living Through Biotechnology). Biotechnology allows for more precise and accurate DNA testing.

The Use of Biotechnology in the Health Industry

Biotechnology has played a huge part in the mass production of penicillin. Soon after it was discovered, penicillin became very popular and was in high demand. To meet these demands, scientists have used biotechnology to alter the make-up of penicillin as well as the environment in which it grows. Biotechnology is also used in the production of insulin. This involves the manipulation of human DNA and plasmids. These are just two of the many examples of biotechnology in the medical industry.

The Use of Biotechnology in Agriculture

Biotechnology is a prominent component in modern agriculture. Crops are often genetically modified in order to allow them to grow larger or adapt to certain environments that they would not normally be able to adapt to.

The Use of Biotechnology in Bioremediation

Biotechnology is used in bioremediation, or environmental clean-up. Advances in biotechnology have allowed scientists to effectively decontaminate air, as well as groundwater. Biotechnology has also been used in the field of bioremediation to develop biocatalys that help to speed up the process of decontamination.

Potential Negative Impacts of Biotechnlogy

Biotechnology is, with no doubt, an incredible scientific achievement. However, biotechnolgy can also be very unpredictable, especially as it relates to agriculture. For example, when genes from one species are combined with genes from an infecting virus, it may cause that virus to become even more infectious. In some cases, this can lead to the development of certain cancers. Also, when genes are transferred, it may result in new toxins and allergens in the genetically modified crop.

Animal Technicians - What do they do?

Animal technicians play a very important role in the field of agricultural biotechnology. Animal technicians are the people who take care of the animals for research, as well as testing. This career involves taking care of any animal, from mice to monkeys. On occasion, Animal technicians will help scientists in conducting certain experiments. Also, they may have to perform certain medical procedures on the animals that they are taking care of.

Biotechnology Companies in North Carolina

There are biotechnology company scattered throughout the state of North Carolina. However, there are very few in the northwestern part of the state. It is important to note that the counties of Forsyth, Guilford, Orange, Durham, Mecklenburg, and New Hanover all have at least 7 biotechnology companies within them.

North Carolina's National Rank in Biotechnology in Comparison to Other US States

As of September 2013, North Carolina is ranked #9 of the top ten biotechnology employment leaders, according to BIOtechNOW. The first eight leaders are, in descending order, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, and New York. North Carolina did, however, beat out Indiana, who took the #10 spot.