Biotechnology is a field that involves the use of living organisms or their products to develop or make new products and technologies. There have been numerous significant research and developmental achievements in applied biotechnology in recent years. These include:
- Genetically modified organisms (GMOs): GMOs are organisms that have had their DNA altered or modified using genetic engineering techniques. GMOs have been used to develop crops that are resistant to pests and diseases, which has helped to increase crop yields and reduce the need for pesticides.
- Microbial insecticides: Biotechnology has been used to develop microbial insecticides, which are insecticides made from living microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, or viruses. These insecticides are often more environmentally friendly than chemical insecticides and can be effective against a wide range of pests.
- Plant-derived vaccines: Biotechnology has also been used to develop plant-derived vaccines, which are vaccines produced using plants as a platform for vaccine production. Plant-derived vaccines can be cheaper and easier to produce than traditional vaccines and may be more stable at room temperature, making them well-suited for use in developing countries.
- Biopesticides: Biopesticides are pesticides made from natural materials such as plants, animals, or microorganisms. They are often less toxic and more environmentally friendly than traditional chemical pesticides and can be used to control pests in a variety of crops.
- Biofortified crops: Biotechnology has also been used to develop crops that are enhanced with additional nutrients, such as vitamin A, iron, and zinc. These “biofortified” crops can help to improve the nutritional value of diets in poorer communities, which may be lacking in essential nutrients.
- Bioremediation: Bioremediation is the use of microorganisms to clean up contaminated soils and waters. This can be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to remediate contaminated sites, which may be particularly relevant in poorer communities where resources for cleanup may be limited.