Biotechnology is a type of technological advancement which incorporates the application of engineering principles and benefits the biological sciences. Biotechnology uses already existing biological processes and/or living organisms to complete tasks.
There are various areas of biotechnology which also tend to overlap with each other. The main areas include:
- Blue biotechnology: This type of biotechnology is used for aquatic environments and species.
- Green biotechnology: This form of biotechnology is applicable to the agricultural field.
- Red biotechnology: This kind of biotechnology applies to the medical field.
- White biotechnology: This biotechnology is used for industrial processes.
Currently, research is being conducted within all of these fields. For example, green biotechnology has been studying the development of transgenic crops, technologies to improve plant performance such as water-efficient plants and quality improvement technologies like creating plants with a higher nutritional value.
Another improvement for agriculture which has come about from biotechnology is pesticide replacement therapies. For example, biological pesticides, such as the bt toxin, are a method of pest control which is harmless to humans. In order to be successful, these toxins need to be ingested by the pest. For example, Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria, referred to as the bt toxin, is a poisonous endotoxin for pests which has been used to protect corn yields.
Biotechnology is critical to the future of all areas of science. Plant biology is dependent on further advancements being made in green biotechnology in order to improve plant growth, development and quality. Thus, it is evident that increased investments must be made in this applied field of biology so that solutions to these everyday problems can be created.