At its simplest, biotechnology is technology based on biology – biotechnology harnesses cellular and biomolecular processes to develop technologies and products that help improve our lives and the health of our planet. We have used the biological processes of microorganisms for more than 6,000 years to make useful food products, such as bread and cheese, and to preserve dairy products.
Modern biotechnology provides breakthrough products and technologies to combat debilitating and rare diseases, reduce our environmental footprint, feed the hungry, use less and cleaner energy, and have safer, cleaner and more efficient industrial manufacturing processes.
Currently, there are more than 250 biotechnology health care products and vaccines available to patients, many for previously untreatable diseases. More than 13.3 million farmers around the world use agricultural biotechnology to increase yields, prevent damage from insects and pests and reduce farming’s impact on the environment. And more than 50 biorefineries are being built across North America to test and refine technologies to produce biofuels and chemicals from renewable biomass, which can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Recent advances in biotechnology are helping us prepare for and meet society’s most pressing challenges. Here’s how:
HEAL THE WORLD
Biotech is helping to heal the world by harnessing nature’s own toolbox and using our own genetic makeup to heal and guide lines of research by:
FUEL THE WORLD
Biotech uses biological processes such as fermentation and harnesses biocatalysts such as enzymes, yeast, and other microbes to become microscopic manufacturing plants. Biotech is helping to fuel the world by:
FEED THE WORLD
Biotech improves crop insect resistance, enhances crop herbicide tolerance and facilitates the use of more environmentally sustainable farming practices. Biotech is helping to feed the world by: