Biotechnology at a Glance

Education Services / L’équipe des services d’éducation
1 May 2013

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What is Biotechnology?

Biotechnology is a business sector and scientific discipline which deals with the use of living organisms or their products in industrial processes to improve the quality of human life. It is not an industry per se, but rather a group of related technologies that is used by many industries.

Genetics: the science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms.

Molecular Biology: Science that studies the biochemical and molecular processes of cells, especially the processes of replication, transcription and translation.

Genomics: A study of the complete DNA sequences, or genomes, of living things. It includes the interaction of genomes with various environmental influences; it differs from classical biological research in its large scale, broad scope and intense reliance on bioinformatics.

Proteomics: A study of all the proteins that make up an organism, the way they interact, the changes that they undergo and the effects that they have within the organism.

Agricultural & Environmental Green Biotechnology




White Biotechnology


Food Processing

Industrial Chemicals


Human Health

Red Biotechnology

Human Health

Life Sciences


Tools of Biotechnology
  • Bioinformatics (advanced computer algorithms for analysis of DNA and protein sequences)
  • Methods of gene delivery (i.e., plasmids, gene guns)
  • Sequencing technology
  • Bioreactors, biosensors
  • Fermentation technology
  • DNA barcoding
Processes of Biotechnology?
  • Fermentation, food preservation, leavening
  • Recombinant DNA technologies
  • Extraction, separation
  • Large scale cell culture (bioreactors)
  • Bioremediation
  • Bioleaching, bioextraction, biosorption
Products of Agricultural Biotechnology
  • Herbicide & pest tolerant crops
  • Heat & drought tolerant crops
  • Vitamin & nutrient enhanced crops
  • Pest and disease tolerant trees
  • Horticultural plants with unique traits
  • Low lignin tree varieties for pulp and paper
  • Biomass from agricultural crop waste and forestry waste
Products of Industrial Biotechnology
  • Biofuels - bioethanol, biodiesel
  • Bioplastics
  • Biochemicals - solvents, lubricants, surfactants, emulsifiers
  • Enzymes - for a multitude of processes and products
  • Food preservatives, flavours, enrichers & fortifiers
  • Cosmetic Ingredients & fragrances
Products of Health Biotechnology
  • Vaccines, antibiotics, antibodies
  • Nutraceuticals - vitamin enhanced foods, probiotics
  • Stem cell therapies
  • Cells and tissues for regenerative medicine & research
  • Nanobiotechnology (i.e. miniature sensors & detection devices, Qdots, nanoparticles & nanoshells for drug delivery & therapy)

Education Services / L’équipe des services d’éducation

This content is provided through Let's Talk Science's Education Services team.

Ce contenu est fourni par l'équipe des services d'éducation de Parlons sciences.

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