What is biotechnology?
Biotechnology comes from 3 words, namely Bios which means life, Teknos which means application, and Logos which means Science. In other words, biotechnology is a branch of biological science that studies the use of living things to produce goods or services that are beneficial to humans.
History and development of biotechnology
The application of biotechnology has been done by our ancestors since thousands of years ago. The development itself can be classified into 3 periods, namely:
Period of Traditional Biotechnology (6000 BC)
Characterized by the use of microbes (fermentation) for the processing or preservation of food and beverages. This period lasted before 1800 AD beginning with yeast-based brewing conducted by the Babylonian people. In addition to be**er, there are also foods and drinks that are processed through the fermentation process. Examples: bread, tempeh, tapai (tapay or tape), sake, oncom, and soy sauce. However, ancient people did not know the term biotechnology, because there is no science that explains about it.
Period of Scientific Biotechnology (1800 BC – mid-19th century)
Humans are beginning to realize that the fermentation process does not just happen. Armed with curiosity, they conduct research using scientific principles. The result is the discovery of enzymes from yeast extracts that can convert sugar into alcohol. Followed by the use of the term biotechnology by Karl Ereky in 1919. During this period, biotechnological results were not only food, but also drugs, such as antibiotics and penicillin.
Modern Biotechnology Period (after world war II – present)
The times are growing, human needs are increasing. There are efforts to produce food and medicine through more effective and efficient processes. Modern biotechnology began with the discovery of the restriction endonuclease enzyme. This enzyme allows us to cut and insert DNA into living things.
Types of biotechnology
Biotechnology is divided into 2 types. There is conventional biotechnology and there is also modern biotechnology. Then, what the hell is the difference? Let’s check one-on-one, come on!
1. Conventional biotechnology
Conventional biotechnology is biotechnology that utilizes living things or microorganisms directly, and generally as a whole to produce or modify products in certain ways, principles, and technologies.
Characteristics of conventional biotechnology include:
- Utilizing microorganisms directly and completely.
- Utilizing natural means or principles generally use the principle of fermentation.
- Using simple tools and materials.
- It does not require any special skills in its manufacture.
- The scale of production is small and the cost used is relatively cheaper.
Examples of conventional biotechnology, namely yogurt, nata de coco, tempeh, tapay, and soy sauce.
Scope of Biotechnology
- Genetic engineering, covering plants and animals.
- Biotechnology in the field of industry, including food and beverages.
- Reproductive biotechnology, animals, plants and humans.
- Biotechnology of medicine, pharmacy, or medicine.
- Biotechnology in agriculture.
- Biotechnology in the mining industry.
Application of biotechnology
Red biotechnology is an application of biotechnology in the medical field, such as for producing drugs and vaccines, the use of stem cells for regenerative medicine, as well as gene therapy to treat genetic diseases.
White or gray biotechnology
White or gray biotechnology is biotechnology that is applied in industrial fields, such as the development and production of new compounds as well as the creation of renewable energy sources, the production of enzymes for industrial waste treatment, and brewing yeast.
Green biotechnology is the application of biotechnology in agriculture and animal husbandry, such as producing pest-resistant crops, foodstuffs with higher nutritional content, and plants that produce useful drugs or compounds.
Blue biotechnology is a biotechnological application to waters that control processes that occur in aquatic environments, such as aquaculture to grow finned fish or shellfish under controlled conditions as a food source, the development of disease-resistant oysters, and vaccines to fight the viruses that attack salmon and other fish.
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