Biotechnology is an interdisciplinary science including not only biology, but also subjects like mathematics, physics, chemistry and engineering. It is a blend of various technologies applied together to living cells for production of a particular product or for improving upon it. Its use and application ranges from fields like agriculture to industry (food, pharmaceutical, chemical, bioproducts, textiles etc.), medicine, nutrition, environmental conservation, animal sciences etc. making it one of the fastest growing fields. The work is generally carried out in the laboratories, as it is a scientific research oriented field. There are many applications of biotechnology such as developing various Medicines, Vaccines and Diagnostics, Increasing productivity, Improving energy production and conservation. Biotechnology’s intervention in the area of animal husbandry has improved animal breeding. It also helps to improve the quality of seeds, insecticides and fertilizers. Environmental biotechnology helps for pollution control and waste management. A Biotechnology career involves understanding how to manipulate living cells and / or bacteria which can lead to the development of new medicines, improving energy conservation and advancements in autoimmune diseases. Career possibilities are endless in the rapidly-expanding discipline of biotechnology.
Biotechnology Nature of Job The nature of work of biotechnologists, being interdisciplinary, requires working together of people from different fields such as Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Molecular biology, Immunology, Genetics, Engineering, Food Science, Agriculture etc. Some of the fields where biotechnology studies are applicable are as follows :
I. Medicine & Healthcare : Biotechnology’s application in this area has helped in the development of various medicines, vaccines and diagnostics. The remarkable development work carried out by biotechnologists in this field has led to improvement in the methods of diagnosis, medicines and vaccinations for diseases which once thought were incurable are no more a cause of worry, which has been a blessing for humankind.
II. Industrial Research & Development : Both the government and the private sector employ biotechnologists. They conduct research and development work, for increasing productivity, improving energy production and conservation, minimizing pollution and industrial waste etc. Biotechnologists also find opportunities at places involving activities like chemical processes, genetic engineering, textile development, cosmetic development etc..
III. Agriculture & Animal Husbandry : Indian economy is very much dependent on agriculture and biotechnologists have made major advancements in this area. Over the years, the agricultural output has been improving, owing to the improvements in the quality of seeds, insecticides and fertilizers. The latest technologies like micro propagation and tissue culture has further helped agriculturists to overcome problems like soil imbalances, genetic breeding and crop diseases. Biotechnologists are also encouraging a shift from chemically prepared fertilizers and insecticides to biochemicals and bioinsecticides. Biotechnology’s intervention in the area of animal husbandry has improved animal breeding. Numerous kinds of genetically engineered, high yielding animal breeds have come up which has increased the output of dairy products as well as the meat products. India has in fact, become the largest milk producer in the world.
IV. Environment : Environmental biotechnology has become another area of extensive work due to the dangers brought about by increasing levels of environmental pollution. A lot of hard work is being done to protect our environment. In this field, the job of a biotechnologist spans from checking industrial air pollution levels, treatment of industrial waste to recycling of sewage sludge.