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Biotechnology in Health and Medicine

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Roellyn Girlie Relova

on 28 January 2014

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Transcript of Biotechnology in Health and Medicine

The resulting genetically engineered bacterium enabled the production of vast quantities of synthetic human insulin at relatively low cost.Biotechnology has also enabled emerging therapeutics like gene therapy. The application of biotechnology to basic science (for example through the Human Genome Project) has also dramatically improved our understanding of biology and as our scientific knowledge of normal and disease biology has increased, our ability to develop new medicines to treat previously untreatable diseases has increased as well.
Human beings have often shown the inclination to manipulate nature and much of the current state of the world is due to this ability.
Humans have altered animals, plants, and even microbes through selective breeding for millennia, to the great benefit of society. Biotechnology increases our ability to continue this process at an accelerated pace and in a more directed manner.
Biotechnology has contributed to the discovery and manufacturing of traditional small molecule pharmaceutical drugs as well as drugs that are the product of biotechnology - biopharmaceutics. Modern biotechnology can be used to manufacture existing medicines relatively easily and cheaply. The first genetically engineered products were medicines designed to treat human diseases.
Advantages of Biotechnology in Medicinal World and Health
Biotechnology also helped human beings in terms of improvement and advancement in the field of medicine. Modern biotechnology help made breakthroughs to treat diseases that are said to be incurable and causes death for many human beings.
Another breakthrough in the medicine industry is the detection of cancer cells by using the patient’s spit and subjecting it to special sensors that detect the presence of cancerous cells. Drug manufacturers are now also using biotechnology to develop drugs that can help improve patients by introducing proteins and enzymes to the body while reducing the risk of damage to healthy cells.
Enhancing host resistance to infectious diseases and eliminating genetic-based diseases.
The production of improved animal medicinal products and diagnostic tools.
The improvement and protection of the environment.
Longer life span of basic commodities such as plants and animals.
Fewer losses of crops and increase resistance to strains or viruses.
Increase tolerance to weather conditions.
Protection against viruses for animal protection.
Improve quality of products including taste, appearance and vitamin and mineral contents.
Biotechnology in Health and Medicine
Genetic testing allows the genetic diagnosis of vulnerabilities to inherited diseases, and can also be used to determine a child's parentage (genetic mother and father) or in general a person's ancestry. In addition to studying chromosomes to the level of individual genes, genetic testing in a broader sense includes biochemical tests for the possible presence of genetic diseases, or mutant forms of genes associated with increased risk of developing genetic disorders. Genetic testing identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins.Most of the time, testing is used to find changes that are associated with inherited disorders.
One of the biggest uses in biotechnology is for medicinal purposes. Modern applications of biotechnology continue to find promising new uses in the medicinal and health care fields. Some of the biggest areas of application in the medicinal field include pharmacogenomics, drug production, genetic testing and genetic therapy. These main four applications of biotechnology bring a whole new approach and chance for improvement in the world of medicinal applications.
Medicine
In medicine, modern biotechnology finds applications in areas such as pharmaceutical drug discovery and production, pharmacogenomics, and genetic testing (or genetic screening).
To cite one example, in 1978 Genentech developed synthetic humanized insulin by joining its gene with a plasmid vector inserted into the bacterium Escherichia coli. Insulin, widely used for the treatment of diabetes, was previously extracted from the pancreas of abattoir animals (cattle and/or pigs).
Applications of Biotechnology in the Medicinal World Continue to Grow
Pharmacogenomics is the impact that genetic inheritance of an individual has on the way their bodies respond to drugs and medications. It is basically the study of genetics and pharmaceuticals. Biotechnology offers new possibilities in the design and production of drugs and how they can be adapted to each individual and their genetic makeup.
ADVANTAGES:
Disadvantages of Biotechnology in Medicinal World
Biotechnology increases our ability to continue this process at an accelerated pace and in a more directed manner. With these powerful tools comes an increased ability to do great good but there are risks and to the technology. Although it is imperative that biotechnology be used responsibly and ethically, it is equally important that these powerful techniques for advancement not be sequestered due to unfounded fear of potential adverse consequences.
In the quest to develop nature to its utmost potential, many side effects of tampering with nature have been revealed. When it comes to biotechnology, the possibilities of side effects can become alarming -- compounded with the question of costs and morality issues, they understandably inspire caution instead of enthusiasm much of the time.
DISADVANTAGES
COST:
Balancing benefits of biotechnology with cost, especially in the field of medicine, can be one tricky aspect. In terms of investment, the value of biotech products is often miscalculated with failure to include the factors of risk and product development periods, which can ultimately lower the return on profit. Thus far, biotech products are often more expensive and less practical than alternatives.
Some new developments delve into the hereditary material pf humans known as gene therapy

Therapeutants- products used to maintain health or prevent diseases.
Biopharming- production of pharmaceuticals in cultured organisms.
Certain blood- derived products needed in human medicine can be produced in the milk of goats.
Potential Threats to Humans
Although the goal of biopharming is to produce less expensive drugs, critics have raised concerns that biopharmaceuticals could potentially be more expensive than traditional drugs. They contend that by the time pharmaceutical corporations have paid for research and development as well as the extraction of necessary chemicals from plants, and litigation costs associated with crop contamination, the costs to manufacture bioengineered pharmaceuticals will equal traditional production costs. Given the potential environmental risks as well as the potential economic risks, biopharming may be able to live up to its promise of providing affordable pharmaceuticals to millions of people around the world.


At present since the genetic engineering uses the viral vector to carry functional gene into the human body, consequences of these viral genes on human body is still unknown. Functional genes may replace the other important genes than the mutated gene. This may lead to other form of disease or conditions in human.
If we all change the defective gene with the functional gene, genetic diversity will become thing of past. As we all humans will have the same genome, as a population we may become susceptible to an unknown form of disease or virus and it may lead to the extinction of human population from the earth.
THEREFORE, WE MUST USE THIS NEW TECHNIQUE WITH LOT OF CAUTIONS AS IT HAS GOT BOTH ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES TO MANKIND.
Personalized Medicines
BIODRUGS
covering the development and use of biotechnology-based pharmaceuticals and innovative technologies for the treatment of human disease
Biologics in Therapy

open access journal dedicated to the publication of studies in biological products.
Molecular Diagnosis & Therapy
providing insights into the latest molecular diagnostic and pharmacogenomics techniques and their use in personalized medicine.
Targeted Oncology
Reviews of new treatments including monoclonal antibodies and small molecules, and insights into the clinical implications of research into new targets for cancer therapy.
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