The Definition Of Biotechnology Biology Essay

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Biotechnology is the name that has been given a very wide range of agricultural, industrial and medical technologies, the organisms eg, microbes, plants or animals or parts of living organisms to use (eg, isolated cells or proteins) to deliver new products.

Although the term biotechnology to a much older and broader technology refers to as genetic engineering, are the methods of genetic engineering of such importance that the two terms have become virtually synonymous, particularly in the U.S..

Definition GM food

Genetically modified (GM) food is produced from plants or animals whose genes have been modified in the laboratory by scientists. All living organisms have genes in their DNA. They are the chemical blueprints for the creation and preservation of life. By modifying the genes, scientists can alter the characteristics of an organism. It could be that we boost for example, income, larger muscles and make our crops and animals resistant to diseases. GM shall hold them opportunities.

However, the technology is still in its infancy. Very few crops have been altered by the new methods, and there are in the UK to buy products made from GM food animals. And none of the GM crops that are currently grown commercially around the world contain, transmitted from animals or humans genes. Some will argue that this new technology "unnatural". Others stress the commonality that exists between the species-by vermin and worms to monkeys and humans, we share many of the same genes.

Origins of Biotechnology

The origins of biotechnology reach far back into the early history of mankind. For thousands of years have been unconscious and on a purely empirical approach used biological processes (alcohol fermentation, fermented food, tanning, etc.).

Since the investigations of Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch in the second half of the 19th Century, we know that these are microbial processes. The way was clear for the targeted development of other microbial and enzymattischer processes in the food industry and in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.

Former names of this discipline as "Zymotechnik" or "Technical Biology" were. Today's commonly used terms "biotechnology" and "biotechnology" made ​​their first appearance at the time and during the First World War.

Even at this early period of industrial biotechnology could the leaders of the new science guided by the idea to go over the technical use of biological systems in an efficient, selective and environmentally friendly use of limited resources.

The idea of ​​the careful use of resources, then, was one of the driving forces behind the development of industrial biotechnology, long before the concept was raised in expanded form for today globally accepted strategy of "sustainable development".

(Origins of biotechnology)

Since Pasteur numerous, already classic biotechnological processes in industrial production have kept their collection. The period since the Second World War was marked especially by the development and introduction of microbial production processes for antibiotics, vitamins, amino acids, nucleotides and enzymes.

With the introduction of genetic engineering in 1973 and cell culture techniques for higher organisms the classical biotechnology has undergone a dramatic expansion of their facilities and thereby obtain a large additional potential for innovation. A significant portion of this potential at the output of the 20 Century already implemented in the health sector (new therapeutics and diagnostics), while the practical implementation of the new findings in other areas (nutrition, environment, supply of raw materials or specialty chemicals) are partly is still in a start-up phase. Thanks to genetic engineering can now be targeted genetic interventions in production organisms useful metabolic properties increased (amplified), optimized (targeted mutated) or be introduced across the species barrier from another organism (transgenic organisms).

This may e.g. productivity classical microbial processes can be further improved. As a new production systems today, especially in the manufacture of therapeutically active

(Origins of biotechnology)

In agriculture get transgenic plants, eg with built-in disease or stress resistance of growing importance, especially in longer-term concepts of greening (reduction of chemical expenses) and the introduction of sustainable production.

In the interest of humanity and the environment, it is important to seize the opportunities of modern biotechnology, without taking irresponsible risks.

Jessica Klein, Bianca Köhler, Jens Edinger

New test method for GM foods

Basically for a suitably equipped laboratory analysis is needed. In Austria, for example, the Federal Environment Agency, the federal agencies for food testing in the individual states and the privately operated testing laboratory test Ã-kolab based in Vienna. With the so-called screening process elements are detected, which are typically located in nearly all GM crops.

Using this method, it is proven that it is a gene plant acts or portions of a gene plant in a food.

(New test method for GM foods)

Since the screening process does not provide 100 percent proof must for watertight protection of the result is always a specific test be performed. For each change made to a plant genetic manipulation of its own detection methods is necessary. Thus, for the GM Round-Up Ready soybeans, a separate test is required, the same applies for the gene construct in insect-resistant maize Bt 176 for which a different test must be carried out as for the insect-resistant Bt 11 corn, etc.

The producers of GM crops are so far not legally obligated to give at public or private information about the built-in test labs in their plant genetic constructs. The publication of this information, which enable the laboratories to specifically detect a gene plant, they deny with the reference to "confidential business information". In order for the test lab can still make the statement that it is this and no other gene plant, they have to painstakingly develop detection methods themselves.

The result: Before the inspection bodies have appropriate detection methods, GM crops are often undetected for years and mostly unmarked on the market.

Ina All Cornelia Ruhe, Dirk Stobbe

What are the main techniques of Plant Biotechnology?

Plant tissue culture is the handling of cell cultures or tissue on specially designed nutrients. In appropriate circumstances, a whole plant to be renewed by each single cell and allow the rapid production of many identical plants. Tissue culture is an essential tool in modern cell culturing. Since it was first developed in the early sixties, is plant tissue culture have become the basis of plant breeding and crop quality were created for nurseries. So far the success has been limited in this area.

Genetic engineering is the controlled modification of the genetic material (DNA) by artificial means. It builds on the capabilities of researchers to locate specific parts of the DNA with special enzymes that cut DNA at precise locations. Selected DNA fragments can then be introduced into plant cells.

Ballistic impregnation is an unlikely-sounding method that has achieved some success with cereals and other crops. It includes, to be introduced into the plant DNA to adhere to tiny gold or tungsten particles and then (like bullets) to fire into the cellular tissue.

(What are theMain techniques of Plant Biotechnology?)

Electroporation works best with plant cell tissues that do not have cell walls. Micro-to millisecond pulses of a strong electric field can cause the short-term appearance of tiny pores in the plant cells, thereby allowing the DNA to penetrate from a surrounding solution.

A newer but similar method uses microscopic crystals in order to drill holes into the plant cells, wherein the DNA again penetrates them.

Another new approach is the direct injection of DNA into chloroplasts have their own DNA. Chloroplast DNA is usually found only in the female parts of the plant and not in pollen. Which means that the plants that have been modified by this technology, not its introduced genes can be transferred through pollen.

Antisense technology is used to "" neutralizing "is used of the actions of specific non-desirable genes. The same technique can be used to combat the activity of plant viruses, wherein it provides a means to control the viral infection. Antisense technology is the basis for many of the current applications of plant biotechnology.

Sascha Semar, Damian Bienek, Simon Sponsors

Food security: marker genes

The current generation of genetically modified organisms sometimes contains "marker" genes. These are the short, easy to determined sequences of the DNA which is to explain allow researchers which organisms have taken up the introduced genes. Among the issues that the regulators have found, is the question of whether the marker genes allow their receivers to form a new protein, and if so, which levels of this protein could be expected in the food. This protein could have any adverse effects?

The food safety department of the World Health Organisation and the OECD Working Group has considered specifically the resulting security aspects. The need of the marker genes was recognized.

The presence of the marker genes in the food itself was not considered a security risk.

The new introduction and the rubber stamping of corn with a bacterial marker that conveys resistance to the antibiotic ampicillin, generated new fears, particularly in the European Union.

Natalya down Hauer, Björn Walter, Jessica Flörchinger

Food safety: Veterinary medicine and animal welfare

The traditional animal breeding has done much to improve the productivity and welfare of the Nutzviehs. Changes in properties such as maturity, fecundity and the distribution of muscle tissue can be perceived in many modern species are compared with their wild ancestors and ancient domestic species.

The majority of the features of the cattle is used by many genes, each controlled with a small effect. Just which genes should be modified to improve animal welfare or health is, therefore, difficult to predict, and the change of the animals by genetic engineering is still in its infancy.

This area requires very careful consideration and careful consideration. Increasingly unlikely to be accepted by the administration or the public developments in livestock production, endangering the welfare requirements. There are currently no products of animal biotechnology in food stores, yet we know of possible applications, introduce them somewhere in the world. Retailers in the UK are already pursuing a specific policy regarding biotechnology and animal welfare.

In the immediate future, the greatest benefit is likely to be seen in the development of new diagnostic tools, vaccines and therapeutic agents for veterinary medicine.

(Food safety:Veterinary medicine and animal welfare)

Looking into the future, could the real benefits of improved animal production can be seen in the third world. For example, one day it may be possible to incorporate disease resistance in otherwise susceptible animals. There are far more advanced animal genome projects that explore the representation of the entire genome. The bovine genome project, for example, could result in resistance to trypanosomiasis from their naturally resistant African counterparts is inserted into more productive breeds of cattle.

Luza Zimmernink, Tim Risler

Safety of Genetically Modified


1973 achieved the first genetic modification of a bacterium. Subsequently, in Asilomar, California discusses the risks of genetic engineering. The following guidelines developed this international conference, formed the basis for safe working with genetically modified organisms. Since then, they have been adapted to the latest findings. Accordance with the classification "no risk", "low", "moderate risk" and "high risk" have different respected high security requirements and go through registration or licensing procedures.

(safety in genetic engineering)

Gene Technology Act

The Gene Technology Act stipulates that genetically modified organisms, and thus foods that consist of such may be released only and placed on the market if the necessary approval has been obtained and if this way, judging by the state of knowledge, no unacceptable harmful effects on life and health, as well as other people enter the environment.

Security Level 1

Genetically engineered plants are Registration required. You will need the consent of the authority. After a period of 30 days can be started to work and the implementation of so-called "other works of Biosafety Level 1" is registration and advertisement free.

Security Level 2

GMOs are no longer subject to the unconditional approval requirement, but only a notification procedure. However, you can work only after a period of 45 days. The implementation of so-called "additional work level 2" is registered.

Security level 3 & 4

There is an authorization of genetically engineered plants. The implementation of so-called "additional work level 3 & 4" also requires a permit.

Petra Buntrock, Maike Hornig

Biotechnology -The EU and the United States compared

By the rapid pace of change in biotechnology raised ethical and economic challenges continue to create barriers between researchers in the U.S. and the EU. While the progress in biotechnology research is progressing on both sides of the Atlantic, there are large differences in public opinion regarding new scientific developments in this field.

A barrier is the view of some Americans that Europe 'against science' is. New findings from a new Euro barometer survey show that the majority of Europeans against bioengineered food created is skeptical - this may be because only a handful of Europeans GM food has been offered, had reinforced the incentive for consumers. However, despite the perceived skepticism of European consumers, EU investment in biotechnology research with the United States are at a level in excess of $ 2 million per year.

Regulatory policy is now clearly divided between the American approach, which entrusted the monitoring of new food and drug developments to the laws and implementing agencies, and the European approach, which created separate statutory provisions for the products of biotechnology research. This separation did not result from a division of expert opinions, but from public pressure, the calls for an independent security guarantee of new developments, this causes was from events such as the BSE crisis and the growing influence of political parties 'green' in Europe.

The GM food controversy

Advantages of the use of GM

Increase crop yields to feed the world

Increase the tolerance of crops to adverse growing conditions, eg drought

Improve the nutrient composition of crops, eg Increasing the protein content of rice

Resistance to pests and reducing the use of pesticides, ie conservation

Improve the sensory properties of food, for example, Flavor, consistency

Improve the manufacture, in order to reduce loss of food and reduce the costs during transport and storage,

Elimination of allergenic properties in some foods

Disadvantages of Using GM

Unintended change of similar species in the adjacent panels, which could be pollinated.

The equilibrium of ecosystems, disturbing, as can some animals are losing their habitat when farmland is expanded.

An opportunity to create extremely insensitive pests when DNA is altered.

The initial genetic structure of both animals and plants will be disturbed

Vegetarians might due to religious, health or other reasons misgivings plants containing genes from animals.

There is still no scientific and medical

Evidence showing that GM food for human consumption

is not secure.