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Engineering Branches (Biotechnology)
Biotechnology is technology based on biology, especially when used in agriculture, food science, and medicine.
Of the many different definitions available, the one formulated by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity is one of the broadest:
Biotechnology is any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use.
One section of biotechnology is the directed use of organisms for the manufacture of organic products (examples include beer, milk-products, and skin). Naturally present bacteria are utilized by the mining industry in bioleaching. Biotechnology is also used to recycle, treat waste, clean up sites contaminated by industrial activities (bioremediation).
There are also applications of biotechnology that do not use living organisms. Examples are DNA microarrays used in genetics and radioactive tracers used in medicine.
Modern biotechnology is often associated with the use of genetically altered microorganisms such as E. coli or yeast for the production of substances like insulin or antibiotics. It can also refer to transgenic animals or transgenic plants, such as Bt corn. Genetically altered Mammalian cells, such as Chinese Hamster ovarian cells, are also widely used to manufacture pharmaceuticals. Another promising new biotechnology application is the development of plant-made pharmaceuticals.
Biotechnology is also commonly associated with breakthroughs in new medical therapies and diagnostic devices.
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