Understanding Biotechnology

Understanding Biotechnology

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Simply defined, biotechnology is the use of living organisms or their products for commercial purposes. Everyday items (such as breads and alcohols, grain crops) and animals (breeding) can be classified as the earliest form of Biotechnology. In the 21st Century however, Biotechnology is more accurately defined as the commercial application of living organisms or their products, which involves the deliberate manipulation of their DNA molecules. Implied in this statement is a set of laboratory techniques developed within the last 20 years that have been responsible for the tremendous scientific and commercial interest in biotechnology, the founding of many new multimillion dollar companies, and the redirection of research efforts and financial resources among already established companies (Pharmaceuticals most notably) and universities. This book explores this phenomenon and explains it to educated laypeople looking for an understanding of what Biotechnology is all about and how it will affect them in the years to come. From DNA manipulation to gene therapy, the vast array of possibilities seems endless and now is the time to get a jump-start on deciphering fact from fiction and uncover the truth about Biotechnology.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 152 x 224 x 18mm | 381.02g
  • Prentice Hall
  • Upper Saddle River, United States
  • English
  • 0131010115
  • 9780131010116
  • 2,170,155

Back cover copy

An objective, thorough, and accessible introduction to biotechnology.

Biotechnology will have an increasingly profound impact on human health, agriculture, the environment, and society itself. Understanding Biotechnology offers an introduction to biotechnology that is balanced, accurate, current, thorough, and accessible to both non-specialists and professionals.

The authors begin with a brief history of biotechnology and an introduction to the underlying principles of genetic engineering. Next, they review every key area of biotechnology research, thoroughly addressing both technical practice and implications--including biosafety and ethical issues.

Understanding Biotechnology presents careful and complete introductions to cloning, gene therapy, pharmacogenomics, molecular markers, forensic DNA, bioremediation, and biodiversity, as well as a full chapter on the risks of bioterrorism. It also includes an extensive glossary and detailed references for further study.
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Table of contents



1. History: From Biology to Biotechnology.

2. Genetic Engineering.

3. Transformation.

4. Biotechnological Products.

5. Biosafety.

6. Cloning.

7. Gene therapy.

8. Pharmacogenomics.

9. Molecular Markers.

10. DNA Forensic.

11. Bioremediation.

12. Biotechnology and Biodiversity.

13. Bioinformatics.

14. Bioterrorism.

15. Patents.

16. Bioethics.


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About Fabricio R. Santos

Aluizio Borem is an agronomist, faculty member at the Federal University of Vicosa in Brazil, and a member of the Brazilian Biosafety Committee.

Fabricio R. Santos, biologist and faculty member at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil), currently researches the molecular evolution of humans.

David E. Bowen is pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Idaho, where he is researching nutritional improvements in wheat.
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