What have you heard about biotech? When we talk about biotech, we mean a diverse field of study which includes genomics, recombinant gene techniques, applied immunology, and development of pharmaceutical therapies and diagnostic tests. While most of us have heard of biotech in the abstract we may not have considered how biotech impacts us each day. While biotechnology might sound like something like rocket science, in truth it is all around you.
1. Biotech Hotspots
Instead of being found only in one location or one region we find that biotech companies are popping up across America. There are a number found in Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington DC but there are just as many biotech companies in California, Seattle, or Chicago. It is likely that there is some type of biotech firm that is providing jobs to your state right now. These companies also play a positive role in our local communities by increasing the tax base so that we have more money to fund schools, parks, and other projects. If we live in a college town, we may find our local university is partnering with such companies to help provide the skills and education needed to be part of this cutting-edge field.
2. Biotech and Our Food.
We might be surprised to learn how many times we interact with biotechnology daily. One of biotech’s big areas of study is around the food we eat and how it is produced. This role is especially important to help farmers make food using less water and pesticides, be better prepared for changes caused by global climate change, as well as helping develop ways to make the food that they make more nutritious. Biotech both supports our farmers and feeds our bodies.
3. Biotech and Our Homes
Many of the products we use in our homes have been made using biotech. We may not have thought about it, but biofuel is produced by fermenting plant-derived sugars to ethanol, or by converting plant-oils to biodiesel. And biotech is what we have to thank for bioplastics, the reason we can have disposable silverware that is compostable for our picnics. We also use many products that use biotech including in the creation of personal care products such as makeup, shampoos and skin care. Biotech lets us move towards using renewable products and away from using fossil fuels.
4. Biotech and Our Health
Many of us find that our doctors are already using biotech to help keep us and our loved ones happy and healthy. This can look like testing us for genetic abnormalities that might lead to illness or creating cancer treatments that are specific to our particular cancer’s genome and which have less side effects than traditional chemo or radiation. Each of our bodies behaves differently and biotech allows us to find treatments that are more likely to work for us.
Biotech can also be used to help us maintain our overall wellness. Biotech can help a nutritionist look at the microorganisms in our gut and determine what the best diet for us might be. Studying our hormone levels can help determine the best fitness routine for us and knowing when we are low on nutrients can help us pick food that will help give our bodies and minds a pick me up. The more we know about how our own bodies work the more likely we will be able to thrive.
5. Biotech and Disease Prevention
We also find that biotech is playing a key role in developing the vaccines that keep us safe long term. Biotech is allowing us to move away from vaccines that require weakened or inactivated viruses and move towards mRNA vaccines which use messenger RNA to teach our bodies to make a protein that triggers an immune response instead. This type of vaccine is safer for us than the traditional type because it gives our body the blue prints it needs instead of exposing us to the actual virus.
Biotech is also being used to stop the spread of disease at its source. For example biotech is developing mosquitoes which combat persistent insect-borne diseases such as Dengue fever, the Zika virus, and malaria. This has the potential to dramatically change the lives of those who live in areas of such diseases. It will be interesting to see what other advances that biotech can create in order to prevent the spread of disease.
While we may not normally think about biotech, it is everywhere we look. It can be found in our communities. It can be found helping make the food we eat and the personal care products we use. It also helps our doctors keep us healthy. It is good to know that no matter what biotech has our backs.
Article Submitted By Community Writer