Put simply, biotechnology is the practice of developing technology through the study of biology.
Through the utilisation of both biomolecular and cellular processes, technologies and products are created that assist in developing the overall health of our planet and our lives. We have been using the biological processes of microorganisms in the development and preservation of food products for more than 6,000 years - however, more recent biotechnological advances have been used to:
- Fight devastating and uncommon diseases
- Decrease and clean up our energy use
- Lower our environmental impact
- Create more efficient / effective industrial manufacturing processes
This has led the biotechnology industry to be segmented into two distinct markets: medical and agricultural.
Both of these markets have experienced revolutionary progress in research, business strategies and development programmes to uncover, change and create biomolecules and organisms through the use of biotechnology.
Presently, more than 250 biotechnology vaccines and healthcare products exist, many for diseases which were previously untreatable. Additionally, more than 13 million farmers worldwide use agricultural biotechnology to improve yields, prevent damage from pests and insects, and decrease their overall impact on the planet. More than 50 biorefineries are in development across North America to assess and perfect technologies that create chemicals and biofuels from renewable biomass, which assists in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Uses of Biotechnology
Recent developments in the biotechnology industry are being used to aid in overcoming some of the world’s most demanding challenges, such as:
- Fuelling the World – Biological procedures such as fermentation and the harnessing of biocatalysts such as yeast and enzymes are used by biotechnologists to create microscopic manufacturing plants. This is helping fuel the world by decreasing the use of and reliance on petrochemicals, reducing waste generation and water usage, and delving into the full potential of traditional biomass waste products.
- Healing the World – By using our own genetic makeup, biotechnology can guide research and save lives by developing more accurate methods for disease detection, decreasing the occurrence of infectious disease, and personalising treatments to the individual to lower health risks and minimise side effects.
- Feeding the World – Biotechnology has helped to make crops more insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant while also enabling the use of more environmentally-friendly farming practices. This helps feed the world by generating higher crop yields with far fewer inputs, creating foods free of toxins and allergens, and producing crops with improved nutrition profiles that help solve nutrient and vitamin deficiencies.
With all of this in mind, it is easy to see why biotechnology is such an ever-changing and dynamic industry, and why jobs within this sector are so highly sought-after. Roles within the biotechnology sector are very diverse, resulting in plenty of opportunities to choose from when entering the field. Here at HRS, we are constantly recruiting for jobs within this industry, so no matter where your interests lie, we are sure to have something for you.
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