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1. What is Biotechnology?
Definitions of Biotechnology Timeline of Biotechnology Techniques used in Biotechnology Who's Who in Biotechnology

2. How is Biotechnology being used?

Applications of Biotechnology Medicines on the market today Agriculture - GM Foods and Animals DNA fingerprinting and forensic science Gene Therapy and Transgenic Animals Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Cloning

3. What are some of the societal issues Biotechnology raises?

Bioethics / "Genethics" Public attitudes to biotechnology - safety, awareness Therapeutic uses of human genes and tissues

What is biotechnology?
Biotechnology = bios (life) + logos (study of or essence) Literally the study of tools from living things CLASSIC: The word "biotechnology" was first used in 1917 to describe processes using living organisms to make a product or run a process, such as industrial fermentations. (Robert Bud, The Uses of Life: A History of Biotechnology) LAYMAN: Biotechnology began when humans began to plant their own crops, domesticate animals, ferment juice into wine, make cheese, and leaven bread (AccesExcellence)

What is biotechnology?
GENENTECH: Biotechnology is the process of harnessing 'nature's own' biochemical tools to make possible new products and processes and provide solutions to society's ills (G. Kirk Raab, Former President and CEO of Genentech) WEBSTERS: The aspect of technology concerned with the application of living organisms to meet the needs and ends of man. WALL STREET: Biotechnology is the application of genetic engineering and DNA technology to produce therapeutic and medical diagnostic products and processes. Biotech companies have one thing in common - the use of genetic engineering and manipulation of organisms at a molecular level.

What is biotechnology?
Using scientific methods with organisms to produce new products or new forms of organisms Any technique that uses living organisms or substances from those organisms or substances from those organisms to make or modify a product, to improve plants or animals, or to develop microorganisms for specific uses

What is biotechnology?
Biotechnology is a multidisciplinarian in nature, involving input from
Engineering Computer Science Cell and Molecular Biology Microbiology Genetics Physiology Biochemistry Immunology Virology Recombinant DNA Technology Genetic manipulation of bacteria, viruses, fungi, plants and animals, often for the development of specific products

What are the stages of biotechnology?

Ancient Biotechnology early history as related to food and shelter, including domestication Classical Biotechnology built on ancient biotechnology fermentation promoted food production medicine Modern Biotechnology manipulates genetic information in organism genetic engineering

Ancient biotechnology
History of domestication and agriculture

Paleolithic society Hunter-gatherers Nomadic lifestyle due to migratory animals and edible plant distribution (wild wheat and barley) (~2 x 106 yrs.) Followed by domestication of plants and animals (artificial selection) People settled, sedentary lifestyles evolved (~10,000 yrs. ago) Cultivation of wheat, barley and rye (seed collections) Sheep and goats milk, cheese, button and meat Grinding stones for food preparation New technology Origins of Biotechnology Agrarian Societies

Ancient biotechnology
Fermented foods and beverages Long history of fermented foods since people began to settle (9000 BC) (fervere to boil) Often discovered by accident! Improved flavor and texture

Deliberate contamination with bacteria or fungi (molds)

Bread Yogurt Sour cream Cheese Wine Beer Sauerkraut

Ancient biotechnology
Fermented foods and beverages Dough not baked immediately would undergo spontaneous fermentation would rise Eureka!! Uncooked fermented dough could be used to ferment a new batch no longer reliant on chance fermentation 1866 Louis Pasteur published his findings on the direct link between yeast and sugars CO2 + ethanol (anaerobic process) 1915 Production of bakers yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Classical biotechnology
Industry today exploits early discoveries of the fermentation process for production of huge numbers of products
Different types of beer Vinegar Glycerol Acetone Butanol Lactic acid Citric acid Antibiotics WWII (Bioreactor developed for large scale production, e.g. penicilin made by fermentation of penicillium) Today many different antibiotics are produced by microorganisms Cephalosporins, bacitracin, neomycin, tetracycline..)

Classical biotechnology
Chemical transformations to produce therapeutic products Substrate + Microbial Enzyme Product

Cholesterol Steroids (cortisone, estrogen, progesterone) (hydroxylation reaction -OH group added to cholesterol ring)

Classical biotechnology
Microbial synthesis of other commercially valuable products Amino acids to improve food taste, quality or preservation Enzymes (cellulase, collagenase, diastase, glucose isomerase, invertase, lipase, pectinase, protease) Vitamins Pigments

Modern biotechnology
Cell biology Structure, organization and reproduction Biochemistry Synthesis of organic compounds Cell extracts for fermentation (enzymes versus whole cells) Genetics
Resurrection of Gregor Mendels findings 1866 1900s Theory of Inheritance (ratios dependent on traits of parents) Theory of Transmission factors W.H. Sutton 1902 Chromosomes = inheritance factors T.H. Morgan Drosophila melanogaster

Modern biotechnology
Molecular Biology
Beadle and Tatum (Neurospora crassa) One gene, one enzyme hypothesis Charles Yanofsky colinearity between mutations in genes and amino acid sequence (E. coli) Genes determine structure of proteins
Hershey and Chase 1952 T2 bacteriophage 32P DNA, not 35S protein is the material that encodes genetic information

Modern biotechnology
Watson, Crick, Franklin and Wilkins (1953) X-ray crystallography
1962 Nobel Prize awarded to three men Chargaff DNA base ratios Structural model of DNA developed

DNA Revolution Promise and Controversy!!! Scientific foundation of modern biotechnology

based on knowledge of DNA, its replication, repair and use of enzymes to carry out in vitro splicing DNA fragments

Modern biotechnology
Breaking the Genetic Code Finding the Central Dogma

An RNA Club organized by George Gamow (1954) assembled to determine the role of RNA in protein synthesis
Vernon Ingrams research on sickle cell anemia (1956) tied together inheritable diseases with protein structure
Link made between amino acids and DNA

Radioactive tagging experiments demonstrate intermediate between DNA and protein = RNA RNA movement tracked from nucleus to cytoplasm site of
protein synthesis

Modern biotechnology



Genetic code determined for all 20 amino acids by Marshal Nirenberg and Heinrich Matthaei and Gobind Khorana Nobel Prize 1968 3 base sequence = codon

What are the areas of biotechnology?

Organismic biotechnology uses intact organisms and does not alter genetic material Molecular Biotechnology alters genetic makeup to achieve specific goals

Transgenic organism: an organism with artificially altered genetic material

What are the benefits of biotechnology?

Medicine human veterinary biopharming Environment Agriculture Food products Industry and manufacturing

What are the applications of biotechnology?

Production of new and improved crops/foods, industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals and livestock Diagnostics for detecting genetic diseases Gene therapy (e.g. ADA, CF) Vaccine development (recombinant vaccines) Environmental restoration Protection of endangered species Conservation biology Bioremediation Forensic applications Food processing (cheese, beer)

Transfer of new genes into animal organisms

Culture of plants from single cells

Anti-cancer drugs Diagnostics

Cell Culture
Crime solving

Monoclonal Antibodies

Molecular Biology DNA technology

Banks of DNA, RNA and proteins Complete map of the human genome

Genetic Engineering
Synthesis of new proteins New types of plants and animals New types of food New antibiotics Cloning Mass prodn. of human proteins Resource bank for rare human chemicals

Synthesis of specific DNA probes

Localisation of genetic disorders

Gene therapy

Biotechnology Timeline
1750 BC 500 BC The Sumerians brew beer. Chinese use moldy soybean curds as an antibiotic to treat boils Janssen invents the microscope Leeuwenhoek discovers cells (bacteria, red blood cells) Proteins are discovered

1590 1675 1830


The first enzymes are isolated

The Eschirium coli bacterium is discovered

Biotechnology Timeline
1859 Charles Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species


Louis Pasteur shows all living things are produced by other living things The age of genetics begins



Walter Sutton coins the term gene - proposed that chromosomes carry genes

Biotechnology Timeline
1910 Chromosomal theory of inheritance proved


Fleming discovers antibiotic properties of certain molds


George Beadle and Edward Tatum propose that one gene makes one protein Sickle cell anaemia demonstrated to be molecular disease


Biotechnology Timeline
1952 1953 The Waring Blender experiment The double helix is unravelled


The genetic code is cracked

Recombinant DNA technology begins


First international conference on recombinant DNA technology

Biotechnology Timeline
1975 DNA sequencing discovered


Monoclonal antibody technology introduced


Genentech Inc. established

Genentech use genetic engineering to produce human insulin in E.coli - 1980 IPO of $89


Kary Mullis discovers PCR

Biotechnology Timeline
1989 1990 1990 The Human Genome Project begins First use of gene therapy First product of recombinant DNA technology introduced into US food chain FDA announces that transgenic food is safe



The FLAVRSAVR tomato first genetically engineered whole food

Biotechnology Timeline
1996 First mammal cloned from adult cells

1990s 1996

First conviction using genetic fingerprinting Development of Affymetrix GeneChip


First artificial chromosome

History of Biotechnology
1998 1999 Human embryonic stem cells grown Celera announces completion of Drosophilia genome sequence


90% of Human Genome sequence published on web


Human genome project complete

What is the societal impression of biotechnology? What are the negative impacts that biotechnology may have? What are the potential ethical issues associated with biotechnology? Why are biotechnology companies targeted by antiglobalisation protesters? How can the image of biotechnology to the public be improved? Should it be improved? What are the potential dangers of biotechnology?