How is modern biotechnology used

Biotechnology: molecule by molecule for innovation

The blueprint of life

Biotechnology researches entire organisms such as bacteria, plants, animals or humans as well as cells and enzymes with regard to their genetic information, the so-called genome. Scientists try to understand the genome and its functions, because the better they succeed in doing this, the more extensively biological processes can be modified or applied biotechnologically. Genome research is therefore one of the platform technologies of modern biotechnology.

Through biotechnology, humans expand their knowledge of the building blocks and processes of life. This allows drugs to be developed, for example insulin for the treatment of diabetes or interferons for the treatment of hepatitis B and C or multiple sclerosis. Biotechnology is also used in diagnostics, as it allows even the smallest traces of the genetic information of a pathogen to be detected at an early stage. Thanks to biotechnology, farmers can grow their crops with a secure yield, while factories can produce more efficient and resource-saving products.

Biotechnology of the future

Advances in information technology will make it possible to develop a complete, digital model of the multiple interactions within a cell. In this way, cells can be displayed and simulated on the computer, so that one can intervene in complex metabolic pathways even more specifically. This allows plants to be modified in such a way that the composition of the oils obtained from them changes and they can be better used in certain areas. In addition, biotechnology helps to protect the environment by, for example, the targeted breakdown of pollutants in the soil by microorganisms.

Genetically determined hereditary diseases such as cancer can be researched more precisely with biotechnology and detected earlier. The risk of a hereditary disease is reduced and the therapies could be targeted at the site of origin. In the near future, complex tissues or entire organs can also be cultivated or the growth and new formation of tissue in the body can be stimulated.