What is Biotechnology?
biotechnology revolution, fueled by the sequencing of the human
genome, will affect every aspect of the way we live, from our environment,
to what we eat, to how we diagnose and treat illness. Already, biotechnology
has improved the quality of our lives. In the next decade, as the
pace of advances in biotechnology accelerate, the scope and volume
of biotechnology's effects will be even greater.
What is biotechnology? In its broadest definition, biotechnology
is the use of advances in molecular biology for applications in
human and animal health, agriculture, environment, and specialty
biochemical manufacturing. In the next century, the major driving
force for biotechnology will be the strategic use of genomic information.
With the completion of the human genome project, the subsequent
understanding of what these genes code for and how the products
of these genes relate and interact, will completely transform the
practice of medicine. It is now possible to translate discoveries
in bacteria, yeast, or fruit fly into important therapeutic targets
for drug discovery. DNA chip diagnostics, cell and gene therapy,
and tissue engineering will emerge over the next 10 years as important
Biotechnology--the interdisciplinary frontier between biology,
engineering, medicine and plant science--is also the scene of exciting
scientific and technological developments in many areas of science.
Important areas of development include: