Q. What are the research and developmental achievements in applied biotechnology? How will these achievements help to uplift the poorer sections of the society? (250 Words)11 May, 2022 GS Paper 3 Science & Technology
- Introduce Biotechnology as a branch of science and technology and its significance in brief.
- Explain the research and developmental achievements in applied biotechnology.
- Discuss how these achievements will help to uplift the poorer sections of the society.
Biotechnology is technology based on biology. Biotechnology generates cellular and biomolecular processes to develop technologies and products that help improve our lives and health of our planet. Biotechnology is helping to heal the world by harnessing nature's own toolbox and using our own genetic makeup.
Research and developmental achievements
- Stem Cell Research: Stem cells have the ability to keep on dividing infinitely and have the capacity to distinguish into different types of body cells during the early development of an organism. Researchers can program these stem cells to differentiate into specific types of cells.
- Human Genome Project: It was an international scientific research project coordinated by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Energy. Officially launched in 1990, it had the goal of determining the sequence of nucleotide base pairs that make up human DNA. It has supported researchers in identifying genes that cause diseases.
- Targeted Cancer Therapies: The established standard chemotherapies are toxic for healthy cells at present. Targeted cancer therapies are drugs that operate either by interfering with the function of specific molecules or by only targeting known cancerous cells in order to reduce damage to healthy cells.
- CRISPR: Clustered Regularly Interspersed Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) is a relatively new gene-editing system that has been hailed as a groundbreaking tool in medical research. HIV research is one of its many uses.
Role in uplifting poorer sections of society
- Biotechnology is assisting to expand the income of marginal farmers by increasing crop yield and making it climate and pest resilient.
- It has revolutionised the medical science leading to controlled death rate and world class treatment possible in India itself.
- By genome sequencing, biotechnology helps in accessing health of the people from the corners of India which ultimately proves conducive for the government in framing targeted policy initiatives.
- It also proves beneficial in expanding the shelf life of food products, which in turn, keeps their price in check for the poor.
- Pollution attacks poor the most. Biotechnology helps in reducing pollution and, thus, alleviates their suffering. For example, landfills are cleaned through bioremediation techniques.
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