Biotechnology, put simply, is a field that makes use of biological organisms and systems to engineer new products. These products can help in improving our lifestyles and in maintaining a healthy environment around us, and thus protecting our planet.
While recently Biotechnology has assumed a greater importance, it isn’t a new field. It’s really been around for thousands of years. One of the most popular usages of biotechnology, that dates back to the ancient times, is the production of beer using fermentation techniques. This process involves the use of living organisms such as yeast, in its natural form, to induce a biochemical reaction in food products. In fact, the process has remained unchanged till date.
Most modern biotechnologically engineered products make use of scientifically modified versions of living systems. As researchers learnt how genetic material of organisms could be modified, the field of biotechnology began to advance with new disciplines including genomics, immunology etc. It has found applications in healthcare, agriculture, environmental usage and other products (biofuels, and plastic among others).
And, like with so much else, the pandemic has highlighted the scope and importance of biotechnology.