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CAREER OPPORTUNITY IN BIOTECHNOLOGY

The most contentious subject in today's era is "Biotechnology", popularly believed to be a research oriented science.  To define simply, it is the manipulation of biological processes to evolve reproducible methods and products to form a technology that can be commercialized.  Biotechnology uses living matter especially cells and bacteria in evolving industrial procedures.  The responsible use of biotechnology is essential for integration of economic, social and environmental benefits that is the prime requisite for evolution of significant research from classical sciences like traditional plant breeding, fermentation technologies to modern sciences equipped with advanced techniques like recombinant DNA technology, cell and molecular biology, genetic engineering and therapy.  These techniques are recurrently used to provide efficient synthesis systems producing low toxicity, biodegradable products, bio-energy sustainable systems and renewable resources.

The versatility of biotechnology is evidenced by its innumerable applications.  It can be categorised under three broad disciplines:   Medical Biotechnology, Environmental Biotechnology and Industrial Biotechnology.

1. Medical Biotechnology: 

Healthcare is our foremost concern and medical biotechnology offers tremendous scope for designing novel drugs, to produce vaccines, Pharmaceutical recombinant proteins like insulin, somatostatin, somatotrophin, and diagnostic products that help treat and prevent human diseases.  Most medical biotechnologist work in academic or industrial surroundings.  While industrial biotechnologist are involved in developing vaccines or drugs, the academic laboratories encourage professionals to conduct experiments as part of medical research studies.  The medical biotechnology field has helped commercialize insect-resistant crops, microbial pesticides, and environmental clean-up systems.

  • Genetic Engineering:

    Biotechnology's intervention in the area of animal husbandry has improved animal breeding leading to development of transgenic plants and animals.

    1. Clinical trials play a pivotal role in determining the success of various endeavors in the emerging and expanding field of biotechnology.  Designing efficient clinical trials save time & money thereby improving innumerable lives.
    2. Environmental Biotechnology

      It encompasses old issues of ecology such as waste gas and water management, composting, hazardous soil pollutants, bio-magnification that are now addressed with biotechnological solutions involving microbes that envisage abiotic and biotic factors.  It may be referred in the context of environmental protection since rapid urbanization and other developments have resulted in a polluted environment and depleted natural resources.

      Soil Bio-treatment  uses bacteria to degrade soil contaminates by ex situ (i.e above ground) or in situ (i.e in place, in ground) treatment based on the principle of soil composting.

      Waist gas & Water Treatment by biotechnology illustrates the current applications of microbes in control of waste gas emission.  The other aspect that can be addressed by bio filtration an expanding biotechnological application to maintain air quality by microbial metabolic processes arising from abatement of toxic volatile pollutants to the emission of annoying odors.

      Industrial/White Biotechnology uses micro-organisms, or their enzymes to make bio-based products such as food and feed, paper and pulp, textiles, chemicals, detergents, and bio-energy.

      Bio-fertilizers use microbes to enhance the quality of seeds, insecticides, pesticides & fertilizers that may be applied to grow plants in soil that promote growth by supplying primary nutrients to the host plant.

      Bio-fuels involves micro-organisms for improving energy production through a biological process of carbon fixation that coverts inorganic carbon into hydrocarbons.  Biomass can be transformed directly into liquid fuels called "bio-fuels, " unlike any other renewable energy sources.  The two types of bio-fuels in use today are biodiesel and ethanol.

      Microbial biotechnology comprises the genetic manipulation, exploitation, and alterations of microbes to make commercially valuable products wich includes fermentation both upstream and downstream processes.

      Green Chemistry commonly referred to as sustainable chemistry relates to the design of chemical products and protocols that decreases or eliminate the generation of perilous substances.

      Bioremediation uses microbes/super bugs to upgrade organic pollutant in groundwater, sludge, slurry, soil, and solids.  The microorganisms bread down these contaminants by using them as an energy source or co-metabolizing them with an energy source.
      Bioinstrumentation and Bioinformatics integrate all three disciplines.

      SCOPE OF EMPLOYMENT:

      There is great scope for employment in research laboratories run by the government as well as the corporate sectors.  The meteoric rise of biotechnology as a subject has led to it being one of the fast-growing sectors.  Bio technologists can find careers in government supported entities such as universities, research institutes, chemical industries, agricultural companies, aquaculture, and food manufacturers, & with pharmaceutical firms as research scientists/assistants.


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