BIOTECHNOLOGY

Biotechnology: Humanity’s Highest Art Form

Biotechnology is human ingenuity at its best; it’s humanity’s highest art form.

Kathryn Hamilton
May 20, 2020 · 6 min read
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Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Humanity’s First Introduction to Biotechnology- Fermentation

Humanity has been enjoying the results of biotechnology for thousands of years. The earliest forms of biotechnology can be seen in ancient Egypt where the fermentation process of yeast was used to bake bread. Strains of yeast were found in bread baking ceramics from the 4,500-year-old Old Kingdom of Egypt. Fermentation had also been used throughout ancient civilizations to make beer and other alcoholic beverages. While they did not know the specifics of the fermentation process, they were able to harness the natural world around them to add complexity to their food and drinks.

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Photo by Jennifer Burk on Unsplash

Introducing Biotechnology in Agriculture

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Photo by Karsten Würth on Unsplash

Introducing Biotechnology in Genetics

A similar collaborative process with nature can also be seen in genetics. Humans have always bred plants and animals in a way that their offspring would have the best traits. Gregor Mendel’s discovery of ‘units of heredity’ now called genes, allowed for an understanding of what was going on at a molecular level. Then Watson, Crick, Wilkins and Franklin articulated that differences in all life forms come from the unique ordering of the DNA chemical bases adenine, guanine, thiamine, and cytosine. With this understanding, human creativity is able to spark innovation. This is the basis for the revolutionary technology CRISPR-Cas9. This is something that bacteria and archaea use as a part of their immune systems to defend against viral attacks. Scientists were able to isolate it and make it transferable to any cell type. This genome editing technology is leading innovation on all fronts including making allergy-free foods and stopping malaria-carrying female mosquitoes from laying eggs.

Modern Day Amplification and Collaboration

Many of the biotech advancements we see today are simply the result of the dramatic increase in knowledge about the molecular world around us. Scientists develop tools that allow us to answer the fundamental questions of “how?” and “why?” The result of this search for understanding is that we can collaborate with the intrinsic creativity of the natural world around us. We can amplify processes that already occur in the biological world around us.

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Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

So Why Care About Advancements In Biotechnology?

It’s our shared heritage and our future. It is humanity being hopeful about the potential for positive change and humble about how much we have to learn about the innate complexity of the natural world around us. Just like other art forms, it is our response to the most important moments and highlights what we value the most. It spans language, political, and cultural barriers by improving lives around the globe. It is a partnership with the world around us. Biotechnology is human ingenuity at its best; it is humanity’s highest art form.

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Bioeconomy.XYZ

Innovation for the Bioeconomy

Kathryn Hamilton

Written by

Integrating Business with the Developing Bioeconomy // Making the Complex Uncomplicated

Bioeconomy.XYZ

The Medium publication for biotechnology and everyone involved in the revolution. The best brought to you by the brightest. Founded by @1AlexanderTitus for you.

Kathryn Hamilton

Written by

Integrating Business with the Developing Bioeconomy // Making the Complex Uncomplicated

Bioeconomy.XYZ

The Medium publication for biotechnology and everyone involved in the revolution. The best brought to you by the brightest. Founded by @1AlexanderTitus for you.

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