If you’re an entrepreneur and follow the entrepreneurship circle, you must have come across the term “biotech companies” at least once. There are so many startups popping up that offer biotechnology services for industrial and medical use and many of them have proper recognition and generous funding.
However, regardless of this recent surge in investment in the biotech sector and the promotion of bio-technical resources, many don’t understand the importance of biotechnology and the role it has played in our lives. This guide will aim at educating you on the field and inform you of the promising future that biotech has to offer.
WHAT IS BIOTECHNOLOGY?
Simply put, biotechnology uses living microorganisms to create products that we use in our everyday lives. In fact, the “technology” has been around for centuries and one product has been produced for 5000 years using biotechnology and is still used today; beer! There are so many other products used today that involve biotechnology including detergent and plastic. In ancient times, the applications were mostly limited to livestock and agriculture.
As in ancient times, biotech services are still used for agricultural applications. One of the most common uses in the field is increasing crop yield and producing more pest-resistant crops. Biotechnology is directly responsible for increased crop yields and reduced wastage and has been one of the driving factors allowing us to be able to feed an ever-growing population.
Biotechnology is also used in the production of various biofuels including ethanol and biogas. In fact, considering that a natural process is at play with the use of microorganisms, the impact on the environment during fuel production is also significantly reduced in comparison to other fuel production facilities. Although, it should be noted that this scientific use of natural organisms has also led to the production of a very environmentally destructive product in the form of plastic bags.
In modern times, scientists have taken the application of biotechnology beyond agriculture, livestock, and everyday consumer products. Biotechnology has also led to the production of several different medications, some for severely debilitating conditions. Humira is used to treat arthritis, Enbrel is used to treat various autoimmune diseases, and Rituxan, which stands as a groundbreaking development, is used in cancer treatment to slow down the growth of tumors.
In fact, biotech contributions to the field of medicine have been so widely recognized that it has become a $150 billion-a-year industry. It should also be noted that the startups we mentioned at the beginning of this article mostly comprise of biotech companies that are working in the medical field as there is so much promise and the potential for development is high.
Biotech has a very promising future. Currently, labs and companies around the world are working on groundbreaking processes that will truly help mankind. The development of phages is helping in the treatment of several life-threatening diseases like malaria and cholera.
There is also one lab in the United States that has used biotechnology to treat sewage water to the point where it is drinkable. The process would be so accessible and economic that clean drinking water could be a possibility for everyone around the world, solving a crisis that has plagued humanity, mostly in developing countries, for decades.