It is called biotechnology to the use of living cells for the production and optimization of medicines, food and other products useful for human being . The notion also refers to the study of this technique and its applications.
It can be said that biotechnology is focused on the analysis of living organisms for, through the technology , take advantage of its resources and capabilities. The pharmaceutical industry, agriculture and food production are some of the fields that appeal to biotechnology to improve their supply.
In other words, biotechnology consists in applying the knowledge of engineering and of others sciences to use biological agents in the treatment of organic or even inorganic resources. This allows to obtain or modify different types of products.
It is possible to differentiate between different biotechnology classes. When applied to agricultural production, we talk about green biotechnology (which allows the development of transgenic plants, for example). The red biotechnology , meanwhile, is used in the medicine (such as when vaccines or antibiotics are generated from microorganisms).
The blue biotechnology supposes the application of this discipline in an aquatic environment while the white biotechnology It is linked to the industry in general.
There are numerous processes that can be carried out thanks to biotechnology. The biodegradation It consists in the use of microorganisms for the decomposition of a substance. The bioremediation , on the other hand, involves the use of these organisms to recover a place whose natural conditions were affected by pollution or by another factor.
Advantages of biotechnology
One of the main advantages of biotechnology is that it allows to obtain a greater performance Of crops. This is because the use of genetically modified organisms gives them a higher level of nutrition without increasing resources, and the result is a decrease in the likelihood of losses due to pests or diseases, two factors that often ruin many crops per year. .
Another advantage is a marked decrease in the use of pesticides, something that occurs naturally as a logical consequence of the genetic modification of an organism to make it more resistant to a particular pest. This not only represents a savings of money and resources, but also a reduction of the risks associated with pesticides.
Food manufactured using biotechnology has a value nutritional greater than the others, thanks to the possibility of adding proteins and vitamins, in addition to reducing the proportions of toxins and natural allergens. It is also worth mentioning the versatility of these crops, which can be carried out in a wider range of conditions and, therefore, are more suitable for less favored countries.
Disadvantages of biotechnology
Although at first the concept of biotechnology and all its applications may have great appeal, they also carry certain disadvantages. One of the negative consequences of its use to increase crop yield is the reduction of workforce , a problem that has been plaguing millions of workers for decades and opposing them to the mechanization of industrial processes.
On the other hand, given that access to technologies related to this type of production requires large sums of money, in addition to land that meets certain terms Very specific, low-income farmers cannot compete with large companies, and this adds even more unemployment.
From a purely biological point of view, the transfer of toxins From one organism to another can lead to the emergence of new toxins, among other phenomena that can lead to allergic reactions.