Biotechnology is a popular trend that can be found in various aspects of our everyday lives. While it is true biotechnology is a very complicated concept to grasp, it is also one of the most promising technologies to be found today. Biotechnology will help our society address some of its greatest challenges moving forward. Below are some very common use cases for biotechnology most people will have come in contact with already.
It is anything but surprising to learn biotechnology has made a big impact on the medical sector over the past few years. Biotechnology, or more specifically, bio-processing, is used to develop new pharmaceuticals which are often difficult to produce due to purity quality control requirements. Some of the more popular biotech pharmaceuticals include Remicade, Rituxan, Prevarn, and Avastin.
Very few consumers give fabrics a second thought, other than to determine whether the material would rub against the skin. Interestingly enough, most fabrics are dyed through a “fermentation vat” process. Biochemicals are very common in the production of dyes, polyester, and nylon. It is evident there is some form of biotechnology involved in every piece of synthetic clothing we wear today.
Even though biofuel is not as popular as it could be, the concept holds a lot of merit for the future. Biodiesel helps reduce the carbon impact, which is of great importance to the future of our species. To produce biofuel, one needs specific plant-derived sugars which are then fermented using biotechnology to create ethanol. Further advances in the development of biofuel will see the introducing of alternative compounds to jet fuel.
It may come as a surprise to find out Goodyear Tire is actively exploring the boundaries of biotechnology. Through a partnership with Genencor, the company is researching synthetic rubber created out of – mostly – renewable raw materials. In doing so, the company hopes to replace the crude oil requirements necessary to produce a single passenger tie.
As unusual as it may sound, some of the foods we consume on a regular basis are a direct result of biotechnology. Most of the products used in food and [soft] drinks are processed using biochemicals. Sweeteners, flavors and acidity regulators found in nearly every product are just a few examples of how biotechnology is affecting our daily lives. Even the packaging used by supermarkets is made of biochemicals.
It appears very few people are aware of what can be found in alcoholic beverages these days. The production process of alcohol is a clear example of industrial biotechnology. This process involves converting starch to sugar and fermenting the yeast. Both parts are biotechnology in its simplest form. There is a lot more to the beer in a bottle than meets the eye, that much is certain.
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