Biotechnology is the industrial use of living organisms to manufacture food, drugs or other products. It happens to be the fastest growing applied science of our times. Very rapidly it is becoming the cornerstone of industrial development. Biotechnology involves the use of plant and animal cells and microbes in the manufacture of goods useful to mankind. But mainly,the career in biotechnology boom is due to genetic engineering, in which simple life forms are created to make entirely new products. Latest addition to the science has been the development of genetic engineering. In Genetic Engineering the principles of Biotechnology are used to modify the genome of microorganisms which are then used to produce insulin and other medically beneficial drugs.
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Some of the spectacular applications are in medicine, where antibodies can be made to diagnose and treat diseases, human insulin made widely available, and new vaccines found to ward off hitherto intractable infections, where it may soon be possible even to compensate for defective human genes. Biotechnology has an enormous range of other applications too:
- In the food industry from inducing cattle to grow faster.
- In the production of new enzymes for making cheeses
- In eradicating crop diseases
- In the making of foodstuffs that consist entirely of tiny organisms
- It can provide abundant energy from renewable resources such as alcohol for motor fuel.
Plastic, paints, and artificial fibres can be made by using enzymes instead of chemical processes
Anyone who wants to know how science is changing our world will need to know about the dramatic progress of biotechnology. The food processing industry has been able to touch greater heights due to Biotechnology. Biotech can greatly improve the nutritional value of even existing foods
Genetics is a 20th century science which has transformed the ancient craft of genetic engineering into a modern science-based technology. Genetics is the science of heredity that attempts to explain how characteristics are passed on from one generation to the next. The founder of genetics was Austrian biologist Gregor Mendel. Genetic engineering is the deliberate manipulation of heredity material by biochemical techniques. The aim of genetic engineering is to alter cells and organisms so that they can produce more and different chemicals or perform better new functions. The biotech boom has been truly sparked by the advent of genetic engineering. As with more familiar kinds of engineering, genetic engineering takes materials provided by nature, uses specialised knowledge and purpose-built tools to modify them in particular ways, and assembles the pieces to make the final structure. Plants grown for food could be given the ability to fix nitrogen perform better or new functions.
Nutrition is the science of food and its effect on human and animal life, health and disease. It involves the study of the basic nutrients required to sustain life, their bio-availability In foods and overall diet, and the effect upon them of cooking and storage. It is also concerned with dietary deficiency diseases. A dietician applies scientific principles of nutrition to the preparation of different kinds of food for people in good health as also those who are suffering from disease/illness. Nutritionists and dieticians plan nutrition programs and supervise the preparation and serving of meals. They are often responsible for promoting sound eating habits through education and research. They concerned with food and health in its widest sense and their work is preventive and therapeutic. They have to know about the food production and processing; social, economic and psychological factors that influence food choice; the digestion, absorption, and metabolism of food, its effect on nutritional well-being; how to treat disease and prevent nutrition-related problems.
DAIRY SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Developing better, more efficient ways of producing milk and milk products is the work of dairy technologists/scientists. Specifically, Dairy Technologists are concerned with the application of the various concepts of economics, bacteriology, engineering chemistry and physics, and to develop new and improved methods.
The work is essentially scientific and must be either in the field of research or its practical applications. There is much work in the dairy farms as there is in the facilities producing and processing dairy products. For those who are inclined, research and development functions are challenging. Operation Flood Programme which was the world’s largest integrated dairy development programme has made considerable progress in achieving its outlined objectives, thanks to efforts of Dairy technologists/scientists as also a number of other technical and managerial team players. There is a mix of government and private sector work options. So work environments, though not different, terms and conditions of employment may tend to be different.