Relation of Biotechnology with other Branches of Sciences
Following are some of the field s where biotechnology innovations are playing important roles:
1. Tissue Culture Techniques in Biotechnology:
An important aspect of all biotechnology processes is the culture of either the microorganism or plant or animal cells or tissues and organs in artificial media. While members in culture are used in recombinant DNA technology and in variety of industrial processes, plant cells and tissues are used for a variety of genetic manupulation. For example , another culture is used for haploid breeding , gametic and somatic cell or tissue culture are used for tapping gametoclonal and Somaclonal variation or for production of artificial seeds. Transformation of protoplast in culture leads to production of useful transgenic plants.
2. Gene Technology as a Tool for Biotechnology:
Most biotechnology companies make use of gene technology or genetic engineering which involves recombinant DNA and gene cloning. Most recently, extensive use of newly discovered polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has also been made for gene technology.
3. Hybridization and Monoclonal Antibodies in Biotechnology:
Rapid progress has been made in hybridoma technique and monoclonal antibodies which is extremely used in human health care. Enzyme conjugated antibodies are being used for detection of viruses both in plants and animals using ELISA test. Immunotixins are being produced from gene fusion so that the toxic drugs meant for killing tumour cells may be carried to the target sites with the help of specific antibodies.
4. Biotechnology in Medicine:
In the field of medicine, insulin and interferon synthesized by bacteria have already been released for use. A large number of vaccines for immunization against deadly diseases, DNA probes and monoclonal antibodies for diagnosis of various disease, and human growth hormone and other pharmaceutical drugs for treatment of disease are being released.
5. Biotechnology and Protein Engineering:
Protein engineering will lead to production of superior enzymes and storage proteins. Biochemistry has also provided us with remarkable in the form of immobilized enzymes system, which allowed the production of variety of substances. E.g. High- fructose corn syrup using an immobilized enzyme, glucose isomerase.
6. Biotechnology in Agriculture:
Biotechnology has also revolutionized research activities in the area of agriculture which include following:
i) Plant cell, tissue and organ culture.
ii) Genetic engineering leading to transformation followed by regeneration of plants to give transgenic plants carrying desirable traits like disease resistance, insect resistance and herbicide resistance.
iii) Somatic hybrids between sexually incompatible species permitting transfer of desirable traits from wild or unrelated species to our crop plants.
iv) Transgenic animals produced in mice, pigs, goats, chicken, cows, etc. It is suggested that some of these will eventually be used as bioreactor to produce drugs through their milk, blood or urine, this area has sometimes been described as molecular farming.
7. Biotechnology and Environment:
Biotechnology methods have been devised for some environmental problems like i) Pollution control ii) depletion of natural resources for non-renewable energy. iii) restoration of degraded lands and iv) biodiversity conservation. For instance, microbes are being developed to be used as bio pesticides, bio fertilizers. Biosensors etc and for recovery of metals, cleaning of spilled oils, etc.