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{{other uses|Biotechnology (disambiguation)}}{{short description|Use of living systems and organisms to develop or make useful products}}{{Use mdy dates|date=September 2018}}File:Insulincrystals.jpg|thumb|InsulinInsulinBiotechnology (commonly abbreviated as biotech) is the broad area of biology involving living systems and organisms to develop or make products, or "any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use" (UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Art. 2).Text of the CBD. Retrieved on March 20, 2013. Depending on the tools and applications, it often overlaps with the (related) fields of molecular biology, bio-engineering, biomedical engineering, biomanufacturing, molecular engineering, etc.For thousands of years, humankind has used biotechnology in agriculture, food production, and medicine."Incorporating Biotechnology into the Classroom What is Biotechnology?", from the curricula of the 'Incorporating Biotechnology into the High School Classroom through Arizona State University's BioREACH program', accessed on October 16, 2012). Retrieved on March 20, 2013. The term is largely believed to have been coined in 1919 by Hungarian engineer Károly Ereky. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, biotechnology has expanded to include new and diverse sciences such as genomics, recombinant gene techniques, applied immunology, and development of pharmaceutical therapies and diagnostic tests.


The wide concept of "biotech" or "biotechnology" encompasses a wide range of procedures for modifying living organisms according to human purposes, going back to domestication of animals, cultivation of the plants, and "improvements" to these through breeding programs that employ artificial selection and hybridization. Modern usage also includes genetic engineering as well as cell and tissue culture technologies. The American Chemical Society defines biotechnology as the application of biological organisms, systems, or processes by various industries to learning about the science of life and the improvement of the value of materials and organisms such as pharmaceuticals, crops, and livestock.Biotechnology {{webarchive|url= |date=November 7, 2012 }}. Retrieved on March 20, 2013. Per the European Federation of Biotechnology, biotechnology is the integration of natural science and organisms, cells, parts thereof, and molecular analogues for products and services.WEB,weblink Archived copy, December 29, 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink August 7, 2015, Biotechnology is based on the basic biological sciences (e.g. molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, embryology, genetics, microbiology) and conversely provides methods to support and perform basic research in biology.Biotechnology is the research and development in the laboratory using bioinformatics for exploration, extraction, exploitation and production from any living organisms and any source of biomass by means of biochemical engineering where high value-added products could be planned (reproduced by biosynthesis, for example), forecasted, formulated, developed, manufactured, and marketed for the purpose of sustainable operations (for the return from bottomless initial investment on R & D) and gaining durable patents rights (for exclusives rights for sales, and prior to this to receive national and international approval from the results on animal experiment and human experiment, especially on the pharmaceutical branch of biotechnology to prevent any undetected side-effects or safety concerns by using the products).weblink" title="">What is biotechnology?. Europabio. Retrieved on March 20, 2013.Key Biotechnology Indicators (December 2011). oecd.orgBiotechnology policies – Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Retrieved on March 20, 2013. The utilization of biological processes, organisms or systems to produce products that are anticipated to improve human lives is termed biotechnology.WEB,weblink History, scope and development of biotechnology,, en, 2018-10-30, By contrast, bioengineering is generally thought of as a related field that more heavily emphasizes higher systems approaches (not necessarily the altering or using of biological materials directly) for interfacing with and utilizing living things. Bioengineering is the application of the principles of engineering and natural sciences to tissues, cells and molecules. This can be considered as the use of knowledge from working with and manipulating biology to achieve a result that can improve functions in plants and animals.What Is Bioengineering? {{webarchive|url= |date=January 23, 2013 }}. Retrieved on March 20, 2013. Relatedly, biomedical engineering is an overlapping field that often draws upon and applies biotechnology (by various definitions), especially in certain sub-fields of biomedical or chemical engineering such as tissue engineering, biopharmaceutical engineering, and genetic engineering.


File:The Brewer designed and engraved in the Sixteenth. Century by J Amman.png|upright|thumb|BrewingBrewingAlthough not normally what first comes to mind, many forms of human-derived agriculture clearly fit the broad definition of "'utilizing a biotechnological system to make products". Indeed, the cultivation of plants may be viewed as the earliest biotechnological enterprise.Agriculture has been theorized to have become the dominant way of producing food since the Neolithic Revolution. Through early biotechnology, the earliest farmers selected and bred the best suited crops, having the highest yields, to produce enough food to support a growing population. As crops and fields became increasingly large and difficult to maintain, it was discovered that specific organisms and their by-products could effectively fertilize, restore nitrogen, and control pests. Throughout the history of agriculture, farmers have inadvertently altered the genetics of their crops through introducing them to new environments and breeding them with other plants — one of the first forms of biotechnology.These processes also were included in early fermentation of beer.See BOOK, Arnold, John P., vanc, 2005, Origin and History of Beer and Brewing: From Prehistoric Times to the Beginning of Brewing Science and Technology, Cleveland, Ohio, BeerBooks, 34, 978-0-9662084-1-2, 71834130, . These processes were introduced in early Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and India, and still use the same basic biological methods. In brewing, malted grains (containing enzymes) convert starch from grains into sugar and then adding specific yeasts to produce beer. In this process, carbohydrates in the grains broke down into alcohols, such as ethanol. Later, other cultures produced the process of lactic acid fermentation, which produced other preserved foods, such as soy sauce. Fermentation was also used in this time period to produce leavened bread. Although the process of fermentation was not fully understood until Louis Pasteur's work in 1857, it is still the first use of biotechnology to convert a food source into another form.Before the time of Charles Darwin's work and life, animal and plant scientists had already used selective breeding. Darwin added to that body of work with his scientific observations about the ability of science to change species. These accounts contributed to Darwin's theory of natural selection.JOURNAL,weblink Biotechnology, Cole-Turner, Ronald, vanc, 2003, Encyclopedia of Science and Religion, December 7, 2014, For thousands of years, humans have used selective breeding to improve production of crops and livestock to use them for food. In selective breeding, organisms with desirable characteristics are mated to produce offspring with the same characteristics. For example, this technique was used with corn to produce the largest and sweetest crops.BOOK, Thieman WJ, Palladino MA, Introduction to Biotechnology, Pearson/Benjamin Cummings, 2008, 978-0-321-49145-9, In the early twentieth century scientists gained a greater understanding of microbiology and explored ways of manufacturing specific products. In 1917, Chaim Weizmann first used a pure microbiological culture in an industrial process, that of manufacturing corn starch using Clostridium acetobutylicum, to produce acetone, which the United Kingdom desperately needed to manufacture explosives during World War I.BOOK, Springham D, Springham G, Moses V, Cape RE, Biotechnology: The Science and the Business,weblink 1999, CRC Press, 978-90-5702-407-8, 1, Biotechnology has also led to the development of antibiotics. In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered the mold Penicillium. His work led to the purification of the antibiotic compound formed by the mold by Howard Florey, Ernst Boris Chain and Norman Heatley – to form what we today know as penicillin. In 1940, penicillin became available for medicinal use to treat bacterial infections in humans.The field of modern biotechnology is generally thought of as having been born in 1971 when Paul Berg's (Stanford) experiments in gene splicing had early success. Herbert W. Boyer (Univ. Calif. at San Francisco) and Stanley N. Cohen (Stanford) significantly advanced the new technology in 1972 by transferring genetic material into a bacterium, such that the imported material would be reproduced. The commercial viability of a biotechnology industry was significantly expanded on June 16, 1980, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that a genetically modified microorganism could be patented in the case of Diamond v. Chakrabarty."Diamond v. Chakrabarty, 447 U.S. 303 (1980). No. 79-139." United States Supreme Court. June 16, 1980. Retrieved on May 4, 2007. Indian-born Ananda Chakrabarty, working for General Electric, had modified a bacterium (of the genus Pseudomonas) capable of breaking down crude oil, which he proposed to use in treating oil spills. (Chakrabarty's work did not involve gene manipulation but rather the transfer of entire organelles between strains of the Pseudomonas bacterium.Revenue in the industry is expected to grow by 12.9% in 2008.{{Update|section|date=October 2018}} Another factor influencing the biotechnology sector's success is improved intellectual property rights legislation—and enforcement—worldwide, as well as strengthened demand for medical and pharmaceutical products to cope with an ageing, and ailing, U.S. population.weblink" title="">VoIP Providers And Corn Farmers Can Expect To Have Bumper Years In 2008 And Beyond, According To The Latest Research Released By Business Information Analysts At IBISWorld. Los Angeles (March 19, 2008)Rising demand for biofuels is expected to be good news for the biotechnology sector, with the Department of Energy estimating ethanol usage could reduce U.S. petroleum-derived fuel consumption by up to 30% by 2030. The biotechnology sector has allowed the U.S. farming industry to rapidly increase its supply of corn and soybeans—the main inputs into biofuels—by developing genetically modified seeds that resist pests and drought. By increasing farm productivity, biotechnology boosts biofuel production.The Recession List — Top 10 Industries to Fly and Fl... (ith anincreasing share accounted for by ...),


File:Rose grown from tissue culture.jpg|thumb|upright|A roseroseBiotechnology has applications in four major industrial areas, including health care (medical), crop production and agriculture, non-food (industrial) uses of crops and other products (e.g. biodegradable plastics, vegetable oil, biofuels, and environmental uses).For example, one application of biotechnology is the directed use of microorganisms for the manufacture of organic products (examples include beer and milk products). Another example is using naturally present bacteria by the mining industry in bioleaching. Biotechnology is also used to recycle, treat waste, clean up sites contaminated by industrial activities (bioremediation), and also to produce biological weapons.A series of derived terms have been coined to identify several branches of biotechnology, for example:
  • Bioinformatics (also called "gold biotechnology") is an interdisciplinary field that addresses biological problems using computational techniques, and makes the rapid organization as well as analysis of biological data possible. The field may also be referred to as computational biology, and can be defined as, "conceptualizing biology in terms of molecules and then applying informatics techniques to understand and organize the information associated with these molecules, on a large scale."Gerstein, M. "Bioinformatics Introduction {{webarchive|url= |date=2007-06-16 }}." Yale University. Retrieved on May 8, 2007. Bioinformatics plays a key role in various areas, such as functional genomics, structural genomics, and proteomics, and forms a key component in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector.Siam, R. (2009). Biotechnology Research and Development in Academia: providing the foundation for Egypt's Biotechnology spectrum of colors. Sixteenth Annual American University in Cairo Research Conference, American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt. BMC Proceedings, 31–35.
  • Blue biotechnology is based on the exploitation of sea resources to create products and industrial applications. This branch of biotechnology is the most used for the industries of refining and combustion principally on the production of bio-oils with photosynthetic micro-algae.Biotech: true colours. (2009). TCE: The Chemical Engineer, (816), 26–31.
  • Green biotechnology is biotechnology applied to agricultural processes. An example would be the selection and domestication of plants via micropropagation. Another example is the designing of transgenic plants to grow under specific environments in the presence (or absence) of chemicals. One hope is that green biotechnology might produce more environmentally friendly solutions than traditional industrial agriculture. An example of this is the engineering of a plant to express a pesticide, thereby ending the need of external application of pesticides. An example of this would be Bt corn. Whether or not green biotechnology products such as this are ultimately more environmentally friendly is a topic of considerable debate.Kafarski, P. (2012). Rainbow Code of Biotechnology. CHEMIK. Wroclaw University It is commonly considered as the next phase of green revolution, which can be seen as a platform to eradicate world hunger by using technologies which enable the production of more fertile and resistant, towards biotic and abiotic stress, plants and ensures application of environmentally friendly fertilizers and the use of biopesticides, it is mainly focused on the development of agriculture. On the other hand, some of the uses of green biotechnology involve microorganisms to clean and reduce waste.Aldridge, S. (2009). The four colours of biotechnology: the biotechnology sector is occasionally described as a rainbow, with each sub sector having its own colour. But what do the different colours of biotechnology have to offer the pharmaceutical industry?. Pharmaceutical Technology Europe, (1). 12.
  • Red biotechnology is the use of biotechnology in the medical and pharmaceutical industries, and health preservation. This branch involves the production of vaccines and antibiotics, regenerative therapies, creation of artificial organs and new diagnostics of diseases. As well as the development of hormones, stem cells, antibodies, siRNA and diagnostic tests.
  • White biotechnology, also known as industrial biotechnology, is biotechnology applied to industrial processes. An example is the designing of an organism to produce a useful chemical. Another example is the using of enzymes as industrial catalysts to either produce valuable chemicals or destroy hazardous/polluting chemicals. White biotechnology tends to consume less in resources than traditional processes used to produce industrial goods.JOURNAL, Frazzetto G, White biotechnology, EMBO Reports, 4, 9, 835–7, September 2003, 12949582, 1326365, 10.1038/sj.embor.embor928, Frazzetto, G. (2003). White biotechnology. 21/03/2017, de EMBOpress Sitio
  • "Yellow biotechnology" refers to the use of biotechnology in food production, for example in making wine, cheese, and beer by fermentation. It has also been used to refer to biotechnology applied to insects. This includes biotechnology-based approaches for the control of harmful insects, the characterisation and utilisation of active ingredients or genes of insects for research, or application in agriculture and medicine and various other approaches.Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology, Volume 135 2013, Yellow Biotechnology I
  • Gray biotechnology is dedicated to environmental applications, and focused on the maintenance of biodiversity and the remotion of pollutants.
  • Brown biotechnology is related to the management of arid lands and deserts. One application is the creation of enhanced seeds that resist extreme environmental conditions of arid regions, which is related to the innovation, creation of agriculture techniques and management of resources.
  • Violet biotechnology is related to law, ethical and philosophical issues around biotechnology.
  • Dark biotechnology is the color associated with bioterrorism or biological weapons and biowarfare which uses microorganisms, and toxins to cause diseases and death in humans, livestock and crops.Edgar, J.D. (2004). The Colours of Biotechnology: Science, Development and Humankind. Electronic Journal of Biotechnology, (3), 01


In medicine, modern biotechnology has many applications in areas such as pharmaceutical drug discoveries and production, pharmacogenomics, and genetic testing (or genetic screening).File:Microarray2.gif|thumb|DNA microarrayDNA microarrayPharmacogenomics (a combination of pharmacology and genomics) is the technology that analyses how genetic makeup affects an individual's response to drugs.Ermak G. (2013) Modern Science & Future Medicine (second edition) Researchers in the field investigate the influence of genetic variation on drug responses in patients by correlating gene expression or single-nucleotide polymorphisms with a drug's efficacy or toxicity.JOURNAL, Wang L, Pharmacogenomics: a systems approach, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Systems Biology and Medicine, 2, 1, 3–22, 2010, 20836007, 3894835, 10.1002/wsbm.42, The purpose of pharmacogenomics is to develop rational means to optimize drug therapy, with respect to the patients' genotype, to ensure maximum efficacy with minimal adverse effects.JOURNAL, Becquemont L, Pharmacogenomics of adverse drug reactions: practical applications and perspectives, Pharmacogenomics, 10, 6, 961–9, June 2009, 19530963, 10.2217/pgs.09.37, Such approaches promise the advent of "personalized medicine"; in which drugs and drug combinations are optimized for each individual's unique genetic makeup.WEB,weblink Guidance for Industry Pharmacogenomic Data Submissions, March 2005, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, August 27, 2008, JOURNAL, Squassina A, Manchia M, Manolopoulos VG, Artac M, Lappa-Manakou C, Karkabouna S, Mitropoulos K, Del Zompo M, Patrinos GP, Realities and expectations of pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine: impact of translating genetic knowledge into clinical practice, Pharmacogenomics, 11, 8, 1149–67, August 2010, 20712531, 10.2217/pgs.10.97, File:InsulinHexamer.jpg|thumb|Computer-generated image of insulin hexamers highlighting the threefold symmetry, the zinc ions holding it together, and the histidinehistidineBiotechnology has contributed to the discovery and manufacturing of traditional small molecule pharmaceutical drugs as well as drugs that are the product of biotechnology – biopharmaceutics. Modern biotechnology can be used to manufacture existing medicines relatively easily and cheaply. The first genetically engineered products were medicines designed to treat human diseases. To cite one example, in 1978 Genentech developed synthetic humanized insulin by joining its gene with a plasmid vector inserted into the bacterium Escherichia coli. Insulin, widely used for the treatment of diabetes, was previously extracted from the pancreas of abattoir animals (cattle or pigs). The genetically engineered bacteria are able to produce large quantities of synthetic human insulin at relatively low cost.BOOK, Bains W, Genetic Engineering For Almost Everybody: What Does It Do? What Will It Do?, Penguin, 1987, 978-0-14-013501-5, 99,weblink registration, U.S. Department of State International Information Programs, "Frequently Asked Questions About Biotechnology", USIS Online; available from {{webarchive |url= |date=September 12, 2007 }}, accessed September 13, 2007. Cf. JOURNAL, Feldbaum C, Biotechnology. Some history should be repeated, Science, 295, 5557, 975, February 2002, 11834802, 10.1126/science.1069614, Biotechnology has also enabled emerging therapeutics like gene therapy. The application of biotechnology to basic science (for example through the Human Genome Project) has also dramatically improved our understanding of biology and as our scientific knowledge of normal and disease biology has increased, our ability to develop new medicines to treat previously untreatable diseases has increased as well.Genetic testing allows the genetic diagnosis of vulnerabilities to inherited diseases, and can also be used to determine a child's parentage (genetic mother and father) or in general a person's ancestry. In addition to studying chromosomes to the level of individual genes, genetic testing in a broader sense includes biochemical tests for the possible presence of genetic diseases, or mutant forms of genes associated with increased risk of developing genetic disorders. Genetic testing identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins.WEB,weblink What is genetic testing? – Genetics Home Reference,, May 30, 2011, June 7, 2011, Most of the time, testing is used to find changes that are associated with inherited disorders. The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person's chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder. As of 2011 several hundred genetic tests were in use.WEB,weblink Genetic Testing: MedlinePlus,, June 7, 2011, WEB,weblink Definitions of Genetic Testing, August 10, 2008, Definitions of Genetic Testing (Jorge Sequeiros and Bárbara Guimarães), EuroGentest Network of Excellence Project, September 11, 2008, dead,weblink" title="">weblink February 4, 2009, Since genetic testing may open up ethical or psychological problems, genetic testing is often accompanied by genetic counseling.


Genetically modified crops ("GM crops", or "biotech crops") are plants used in agriculture, the DNA of which has been modified with genetic engineering techniques. In most cases, the main aim is to introduce a new trait that does not occur naturally in the species. Biotechnology firms can contribute to future food security by improving the nutrition and viability of urban agriculture. Furthermore, the protection of intellectual property rights encourages private sector investment in agrobiotechnology. For example, in Illinois FARM Illinois (Food and Agriculture RoadMap for Illinois) is an initiative to develop and coordinate farmers, industry, research institutions, government, and nonprofits in pursuit of food and agriculture innovation. In addition, the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO) is a life sciences industry association with more than 500 life sciences companies, universities, academic institutions, service providers and others as members. The association describes its members as "dedicated to making Illinois and the surrounding Midwest one of the world’s top life sciences centers."WEB,weblink A FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ROADMAP FOR ILLINOIS, Mazany, Terry, May 19, 2015,, Examples in food crops include resistance to certain pests,Genetically Altered Potato Ok'd For Crops Lawrence Journal-World – May 6, 1995 diseases,BOOK, National Academy of Sciences, Transgenic Plants and World Agriculture, National Academy Press, Washington, 2001, stressful environmental conditions,WEB, Paarlburg, Robert, vanc,weblink Drought Tolerant GMO Maize in Africa, Anticipating Regulatory Hurdles,weblink" title="">weblink December 22, 2014, International Life Sciences Institute, January 2011, April 25, 2011, resistance to chemical treatments (e.g. resistance to a herbicideCarpenter J. & Gianessi L. (1999). Herbicide tolerant soybeans: Why growers are adopting Roundup Ready varieties. AgBioForum, 2(2), 65–72.), reduction of spoilage,JOURNAL, 10.3733/ca.v066n02p62,weblink Research and adoption of biotechnology strategies could improve California fruit and nut crops, 2012, Haroldsen, Victor M., Paulino, Gabriel, Chi-ham, Cecilia, Bennett, Alan B., vanc, California Agriculture, 66, 2, 62–69, dead,weblink" title="">weblink May 11, 2013, or improving the nutrient profile of the crop.About Golden Rice {{webarchive |url= |date=November 2, 2012 }}. Retrieved on March 20, 2013. Examples in non-food crops include production of pharmaceutical agents,Gali Weinreb and Koby Yeshayahou for Globes May 2, 2012. FDA approves Protalix Gaucher treatment {{webarchive|url= |date=May 29, 2013 }} biofuels,Carrington, Damien (January 19, 2012) GM microbe breakthrough paves way for large-scale seaweed farming for biofuels The Guardian. Retrieved March 12, 2012 and other industrially useful goods,JOURNAL, van Beilen JB, Poirier Y, Production of renewable polymers from crop plants, The Plant Journal, 54, 4, 684–701, May 2008, 18476872, 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2008.03431.x, as well as for bioremediation.Strange, Amy (September 20, 2011) Scientists engineer plants to eat toxic pollution The Irish Times. Retrieved September 20, 2011BOOK, Diaz E (editor)., Microbial Biodegradation: Genomics and Molecular Biology, 1st, Caister Academic Press, 2008,weblink 978-1-904455-17-2, Farmers have widely adopted GM technology. Between 1996 and 2011, the total surface area of land cultivated with GM crops had increased by a factor of 94, from {{convert|17000|km2|acre|sp=us}} to 1,600,000 km2 (395 million acres). 10% of the world's crop lands were planted with GM crops in 2010.WEB, James C, ISAAA Brief 43, Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2011, ISAAA Briefs, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), Ithaca, New York, 2011,weblink June 2, 2012, As of 2011, 11 different transgenic crops were grown commercially on 395 million acres (160 million hectares) in 29 countries such as the US, Brazil, Argentina, India, Canada, China, Paraguay, Pakistan, South Africa, Uruguay, Bolivia, Australia, Philippines, Myanmar, Burkina Faso, Mexico and Spain.Genetically modified foods are foods produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA with the methods of genetic engineering. These techniques have allowed for the introduction of new crop traits as well as a far greater control over a food's genetic structure than previously afforded by methods such as selective breeding and mutation breeding.GM Science Review First Report {{webarchive |url= |date=October 16, 2013 }}, Prepared by the UK GM Science Review panel (July 2003). Chairman Professor Sir David King, Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government, P 9 Commercial sale of genetically modified foods began in 1994, when Calgene first marketed its Flavr Savr delayed ripening tomato.WEB, James, Clive, vanc, Global Review of the Field Testing and Commercialization of Transgenic Plants: 1986 to 1995,weblink The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, July 17, 2010, 1996, To date most genetic modification of foods have primarily focused on cash crops in high demand by farmers such as soybean, corn, canola, and cotton seed oil. These have been engineered for resistance to pathogens and herbicides and better nutrient profiles. GM livestock have also been experimentally developed; in November 2013 none were available on the market,WEB,weblink Consumer Q&A,, March 6, 2009, December 29, 2012, but in 2015 the FDA approved the first GM salmon for commercial production and consumption.WEB, AquAdvantage Salmon,weblink FDA, July 20, 2018, There is a scientific consensusJOURNAL, Nicolia A, Manzo A, Veronesi F, Rosellini D, An overview of the last 10 years of genetically engineered crop safety research, Critical Reviews in Biotechnology, 34, 1, 77–88, March 2014, 24041244, 10.3109/07388551.2013.823595,weblink July 8, 2016,weblink" title="">weblink September 17, 2016, dead, WEB,weblink State of Food and Agriculture 2003–2004. Agricultural Biotechnology: Meeting the Needs of the Poor. Health and environmental impacts of transgenic crops, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, February 8, 2016, JOURNAL, Ronald P, Plant genetics, sustainable agriculture and global food security, Genetics, 188, 1, 11–20, May 2011, 21546547, 3120150, 10.1534/genetics.111.128553, JOURNAL, Domingo JL, Giné Bordonaba J, A literature review on the safety assessment of genetically modified plants, Environment International, 37, 4, 734–42, May 2011, 21296423, 10.1016/j.envint.2011.01.003, JOURNAL,weblink An Illusory Consensus behind GMO Health Assessment, Sheldon, Krimsky, vanc, Science, Technology, & Human Values, 883–914, 10.1177/0162243915598381, 2015, "I began this article with the testimonials from respected scientists that there is literally no scientific controversy over the health effects of GMOs. My investigation into the scientific literature tells another story.", 40, 6, July 8, 2016,weblink" title="">weblink February 7, 2016, dead, JOURNAL, Panchin AY, Tuzhikov AI, Published GMO studies find no evidence of harm when corrected for multiple comparisons, Critical Reviews in Biotechnology, 37, 2, 213–217, March 2017, 26767435, 10.3109/07388551.2015.1130684, JOURNAL, Yang YT, Chen B, Governing GMOs in the USA: science, law and public health, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 96, 6, 1851–5, April 2016, 26536836, 10.1002/jsfa.7523, that currently available food derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food,WEB,weblink Statement by the AAAS Board of Directors On Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods, American Association for the Advancement of Science, October 20, 2012, February 8, 2016, WEB,weblink AAAS Board of Directors: Legally Mandating GM Food Labels Could "Mislead and Falsely Alarm Consumers", Ginger, Pinholster, vanc, American Association for the Advancement of Science, October 25, 2012, February 8, 2016, BOOK,weblink A decade of EU-funded GMO research (2001–2010), Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. Biotechnologies, Agriculture, Food. European Commission, European Union., 10.2777/97784, 978-92-79-16344-9, February 8, 2016, 2010, WEB,weblink AMA Report on Genetically Modified Crops and Foods (online summary), American Medical Association, January 2001, March 19, 2016, WEB,weblink Report 2 of the Council on Science and Public Health (A-12): Labeling of Bioengineered Foods, American Medical Association, 2012, March 19, 2016, bot: unknown,weblink" title="">weblink September 7, 2012, WEB,weblink Restrictions on Genetically Modified Organisms: United States. Public and Scholarly Opinion, Library of Congress, June 9, 2015, February 8, 2016, BOOK,weblink Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (US), 149, 2016, May 19, 2016, but that each GM food must be tested on a case-by-case basis before introduction.WEB,weblink Frequently asked questions on genetically modified foods, World Health Organization, February 8, 2016, JOURNAL, Haslberger AG, Codex guidelines for GM foods include the analysis of unintended effects, Nature Biotechnology, 21, 7, 739–41, July 2003, 12833088, 10.1038/nbt0703-739, Some medical organizations, including the British Medical Association, advocate further caution based upon the precautionary principle:WEB,weblink Genetically modified foods and health: a second interim statement, British Medical Association, March 2004, March 21, 2016, Nonetheless, members of the public are much less likely than scientists to perceive GM foods as safe.WEB,weblink Public and Scientists' Views on Science and Society, Cary, Funk, Lee, Rainie, vanc, Pew Research Center, January 29, 2015, February 24, 2016, "The largest differences between the public and the AAAS scientists are found in beliefs about the safety of eating genetically modified (GM) foods. Nearly nine-in-ten (88%) scientists say it is generally safe to eat GM foods compared with 37% of the general public, a difference of 51 percentage points.", JOURNAL, Marris C, Public views on GMOs: deconstructing the myths. Stakeholders in the GMO debate often describe public opinion as irrational. But do they really understand the public?, EMBO Reports, 2, 7, 545–8, July 2001, 11463731, 1083956, 10.1093/embo-reports/kve142, WEB,weblink Public Perceptions of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Europe, December 2001, Final Report of the PABE research project, Commission of European Communities, February 24, 2016, JOURNAL, Scott SE, Inbar Y, Rozin P, Evidence for Absolute Moral Opposition to Genetically Modified Food in the United States, Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11, 3, 315–24, May 2016, 27217243, 10.1177/1745691615621275,weblink The legal and regulatory status of GM foods varies by country, with some nations banning or restricting them, and others permitting them with widely differing degrees of regulation.WEB,weblink Restrictions on Genetically Modified Organisms, Library of Congress, June 9, 2015, February 24, 2016, WEB,weblink FDA and Regulation of GMOs, Ramona, Bashshur, vanc, American Bar Association, February 2013, February 24, 2016, JOURNAL,weblink Over Half of E.U. Countries Are Opting Out of GMOs, Alexandra, Sifferlin, vanc, Time, October 3, 2015, WEB,weblink The Regulation of GMOs in Europe and the United States: A Case-Study of Contemporary European Regulatory Politics, Diahanna, Lynch, David, Vogel, vanc, Council on Foreign Relations, April 5, 2001, February 24, 2016, GM crops also provide a number of ecological benefits, if not used in excess.NEWS, Andrew, Pollack, vanc, New York Times, April 13, 2010,weblink Study Says Overuse Threatens Gains From Modified Crops, However, opponents have objected to GM crops per se on several grounds, including environmental concerns, whether food produced from GM crops is safe, whether GM crops are needed to address the world's food needs, and economic concerns raised by the fact these organisms are subject to intellectual property law.

{{visible anchor|Industrial|Industrial biotechnology}}

Industrial biotechnology (known mainly in Europe as white biotechnology) is the application of biotechnology for industrial purposes, including industrial fermentation. It includes the practice of using cells such as microorganisms, or components of cells like enzymes, to generate industrially useful products in sectors such as chemicals, food and feed, detergents, paper and pulp, textiles and biofuels.Industrial Biotechnology and Biomass Utilisation {{webarchive|url= |date=April 5, 2013 }} In the current decades, significant progress has been done in creating genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that enhance the diversity of applications and economical viability of industrial biotechnology. By using renewable raw materials to produce a variety of chemicals and fuels, industrial biotechnology is actively advancing towards lowering greenhouse gas emissions and moving away from a petrochemical-based economy.Industrial biotechnology, A powerful, innovative technology to mitigate climate change


The environment can be affected by biotechnologies, both positively and adversely. Vallero and others have argued that the difference between beneficial biotechnology (e.g.bioremediation is to clean up an oil spill or hazard chemical leak) versus the adverse effects stemming from biotechnological enterprises (e.g. flow of genetic material from transgenic organisms into wild strains) can be seen as applications and implications, respectively.Daniel A. Vallero, Environmental Biotechnology: A Biosystems Approach, Academic Press, Amsterdam, NV; {{ISBN|978-0-12-375089-1}}; 2010. Cleaning up environmental wastes is an example of an application of environmental biotechnology; whereas loss of biodiversity or loss of containment of a harmful microbe are examples of environmental implications of biotechnology.


The regulation of genetic engineering concerns approaches taken by governments to assess and manage the risks associated with the use of genetic engineering technology, and the development and release of genetically modified organisms (GMO), including genetically modified crops and genetically modified fish. There are differences in the regulation of GMOs between countries, with some of the most marked differences occurring between the USA and Europe.JOURNAL, Gaskell G, Bauer MW, Durant J, Allum NC, Worlds apart? The reception of genetically modified foods in Europe and the U.S, Science, 285, 5426, 384–7, July 1999, 10411496, 10.1126/science.285.5426.384, Regulation varies in a given country depending on the intended use of the products of the genetic engineering. For example, a crop not intended for food use is generally not reviewed by authorities responsible for food safety.WEB,weblink The History and Future of GM Potatoes, March 10, 2010, Potato Pro, The European Union differentiates between approval for cultivation within the EU and approval for import and processing. While only a few GMOs have been approved for cultivation in the EU a number of GMOs have been approved for import and processing.BOOK, Justus Wesseler, Wesseler J, Kalaitzandonakes N, 2011, Present and Future EU GMO policy, 23–332, Oskam A, Meesters G, Silvis H, EU Policy for Agriculture, Food and Rural Areas, 2nd, Wageningen, Wageningen Academic Publishers, The cultivation of GMOs has triggered a debate about coexistence of GM and non GM crops. Depending on the coexistence regulations, incentives for cultivation of GM crops differ.BOOK, Beckmann VC, Soregaroli J, Wesseler J, Justus Wesseler, 2011, Coexistence of genetically modified (GM) and non-modified (non GM) crops: Are the two main property rights regimes equivalent with respect to the coexistence value?, Genetically modified food and global welfare, Carter C, Moschini G, Sheldon I, 201–224, 10, Frontiers of Economics and Globalization Series, Bingley, UK, Emerald Group Publishing,


In 1988, after prompting from the United States Congress, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (National Institutes of Health) (NIGMS) instituted a funding mechanism for biotechnology training. Universities nationwide compete for these funds to establish Biotechnology Training Programs (BTPs). Each successful application is generally funded for five years then must be competitively renewed. Graduate students in turn compete for acceptance into a BTP; if accepted, then stipend, tuition and health insurance support is provided for two or three years during the course of their Ph.D. thesis work. Nineteen institutions offer NIGMS supported BTPs.WEB,weblink Biotechnology Predoctoral Training Program, December 18, 2013, October 28, 2014, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, Biotechnology training is also offered at the undergraduate level and in community colleges.

See also

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References and notes


Further reading

  • BOOK, Friedman, Yali, vanc, Building Biotechnology: Starting, Managing, and Understanding Biotechnology Companies,weblink Logos Press, Washington, DC, 2008, 978-0-9734676-3-5,
  • BOOK, Oliver, Richard W., vanc, The Coming Biotech Age, 978-0-07-135020-4, 2000,
  • JOURNAL, Powell, Walter W., White, Douglas R., Koput, Kenneth W., Owen-Smith, Jason, vanc, Network Dynamics and Field Evolution: The Growth of Interorganizational Collaboration in the Life Sciences, American Journal of Sociology, 110, 4, 1132–1205, 2005, 10.1086/421508,,weblink Viviana Zelizer Best Paper in Economic Sociology Award (2005–2006), American Sociological Association.
  • BOOK, Rasmussen, Nicolas, vanc, Gene Jockeys: Life Science and the rise of Biotech Enterprise, Baltimore, MD, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014,
  • BOOK, Zaid A, Hughes HG, Porceddu E, Nicholas F, Glossary of Biotechnology for Food and Agriculture — A Revised and Augmented Edition of the Glossary of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering. Available in English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Polish, Serbian, Vietnamese and Kazakh,weblink 2001, FAO, Rome, 978-92-5-104683-8,
  • WEB, Margriet F., Caswell, Keith O., Fuglie, Cassandra A., Klotz, vanc, United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, Agricultural Biotechnology: An Economic Perspective, Agricultural Economic Report, 1998,weblink

External links

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