Biotechnology in the 21st Century (Review Paper)

  • M.R. Das Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thinrvananthapuram
Keywords: Biotechnology, Biodiversity, DNA, RNA, Molecular biology, Oncogenes, Human genome, Gene mapping, Genetic engineering, Hybridoma technology, Reverse Transcriptase Technology


The two technologies that will essentially determine the shape of things to come in the present century are biotechnology and information technology. A merger of biotechnology and information technology is happening right now, a significant example of which is the success of the human genome project. Biotechnology can be said to have started with the unravelling of the structure of DNA in 1953. The next decade saw exciting developments in our understanding of the fundamentals of functioning of biological system, including the role of DNA in protein synthesis. The discovery of reverse transcriptase and restriction enzymes in 1970s paved the way for further advances, including recombinant DNA and hybridoma technologies, often called 'genetic engineering'. The discovery of polymerase chain reaction in 1986 laid the foundation for large-scale applications of biotechnology in various fields. The practical applications of mapping of the entire human genome would be enormous in terms of better overall health care (diagnosis, therapy and management of disorders). In the field of flora and fauna, it generally happens that biotechnologically-rich countries have poor biodiversity and vice versa. But countries like India and China that have rich biodiversity have, by the use of biotechnology, the potential to become also biotechnologically rich.
How to Cite
Das, M. (2002). Biotechnology in the 21st Century (Review Paper). Defence Science Journal, 51(4), 327-332.
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