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The Impact Of Biotechnology Essay

3775 words - 16 pages

The impact of biotechnological advances in world health in next century


As the title suggests the following essay discusses the impact that biotechnological advances will have on the world health in future.

To begin with the essay consists of a brief introduction discussing the present world healthcare scenario and mentioning certain diseases and diagnostic methods followed by discussing what is biotechnology?And its emergence in healthcare sector. Here I discuss some ways in which biotechnology can play a major role in healthcare including its use in development of vaccines, diagnostic capabilities, gene therapy etc. I further discuss the concerns and problems acting ...view middle of the document...

They basically consist of chemical compounds which are derived from bacterial molds or bacterium that kills pathogens (example: penicillin).One of the biggest disadvantages with antibiotics is that with their regular use pathogens can become antibiotic resistant.

b) Development of Antiviral drugs: These are drugs that are specifically used to treat viral infections (example: Acyclovir). Unlike antibiotics, antiviral drugs just inhibit the growth of virus rather than killing it. Antiviral drugs are used to treat a variety of diseases like cancer, herpes etc. Research is also underway to develop drugs for AIDS. The disadvantage of antiviral drug is similar to that of antibiotics i.e. the pathogen can become drug resistant and also chances are there that the pathogen may mutate and in process affecting effectiveness of the drug.

c) Development of Vaccines: “Vaccines are medications designed to stimulate the body's immune system to generate a response that will protect the individual from disease by the pathogen in question” (1).Vaccines generally consist of pathogens in weakened or killed form. Vaccines are used as a measure of prevention of a particular disease as well as a measure to
cure ailments. Problems associated with vaccines include expense, availability, and transmittance of virus like HIV if proper care is not taken etc.

A number of techniques have been developed for diagnosing a disease/infection like : blood tests, bacterial cultures ,bio films etc.
Various imaging technique have also been develop like X-RAY films, MRI scans, CT scans, Ultrasound etc.

Emergence of biotechnology in healthcare:

What is biotechnology?

“Biotechnology is the integration of natural sciences and engineering in order to achieve application of microorganisms, cells, parts thereof and molecular analogues for product and services”
(European Federation Of Biotechnology, January, 1994)

Genetic manipulation has facilitated researchers to make desired alterations in organisms rather than depending on traditional methods of random mutations and mixing of genes.

Biotechnology is a fast developing technology and its applications are used in a variety of fields like healthcare, food and agricultural, industry, information technology, bioenergetics etc (2).

Today biotechnology is playing a very important role in human healthcare and has a great impact through the development of new pharmaceuticals, healthcare products, diagnostics etc. The application of biotechnology is very diverse in healthcare and I will be discussing a few ways in which biotechnology applications are being applied in medical science:

 Role of biotechnology in diagnosis: Biotechnology has revolutionised the method of diagnosis in various ways. A few techniques have been discussed below:

1) by PCR: PCR is the short form for “polymerase chain reaction”, a technique invented by kary mullis in 1985 wherein the...

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