The rapid rise of biotechnology: causes, effects
In a post-industrial society, the ideas of bold science fiction writers were embodied: robotics, multifunctional gadgets. Now you don’t have to wait a century for a living organism to acquire new properties and qualities – the inventors of biotechnology have achieved a quick result by applying methods of science and technology to microorganisms.
A promising direction is the development of cellular (genetic) engineering. By changing the characteristics of one cell and planting it mechanically into an organ, scientists achieve the degeneration of the whole organism. The main reason for the development of biotechnology is the desire to increase the duration and quality of human life. And on this way there was a long-awaited breakthrough.
Biotechnological companies work in different fields, it is customary to distinguish their areas of work in colors: “white” industrial or “green” agricultural biotechnology and services, as well as red – medicine, pharmacology.
- Medicine. Genetic engineering deals with the alteration of DNA, the cloning of an entire organism or organs, and the creation of chimeras (combining the DNA of several species individuals). The result of the development of this area is the transplantation of artificial organs, new drugs and vaccines for diseases that were previously considered incurable.
- Industry. The widespread use of biotechnological methods is observed in the development of the food industry (vitamins, nutritional supplements, new foods for diabetics, vegans, etc.), the production of detergents and cosmetics (the production of hypoallergenic, environmentally friendly products).
- Agriculture. New plant varieties and animal breeds, means of protection against diseases and pests.
The growing confidence in the industry is confirmed by the fact that its financing is increasing every year, including through private investors.
Features of modern development
The most promising areas of biotech development are:
- Breeding new strains of beneficial microorganisms;
- Application of results to protect the environment (for example, replacing plastic with environmentally friendly materials that can decompose over several years);
- Development of drugs for incurable diseases (cancer, Alzheimer’s, others).
Particular attention is paid to the moral and ethical aspects when it comes to studies of the human genome.
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