There are many fascinating branches to the wonderful tree of biology, the major branches being microbiology, zoology and botany. Biology in its broadest sense is the study of living things and the processes that keep them alive. The different branches of biology focus on various specific fields within that one umbrella term and have been the subject of study and intrigue for decades. One such branch, that of biotechnology, is what we will discuss in more depth in the information to follow.
What is Biotechnology?
Basically, biotechnology is technology that is based on biology. This field focuses on harnessing the processes, both cellular and biomolecular, in order to design and develop technologies and products that will go on to improve the health of the planet and the lives of those who dwell on it. It delves into the areas in which technology and biology overlap and has a direct impact on our everyday lives and our future. It includes a wide range of procedures that involve modifying living organisms for human purposes.
The term itself was coined in the early 20th century, first used by Hungarian agricultural engineer Károly Ereky in 1919. However, humans have been investigating the field the centuries. The age-old processes of domesticating animals, fermenting fruit to make wine, and brewing beer from yeast are all early applications of biotechnology. In more modern times, the science has developed to the point of genetic engineering and cell and tissue technologies. Today, biotechnology is a fascinating field that continues to grow with no sign of slowing down anytime soon. As technology advances the potential of biotechnology continues to advance too and the applications it has in various fields is staggering. Medicine benefits greatly from the advancements of biotechnology, as does agriculture and industrial processes.
Setting Up a Biotech Lab
Since 1988, there has been a funding mechanism in place in the US for biotechnology training which universities across the nation compete to attain. This funding is helping more and more students enrol in the fascinating study of biotechnology, further developing the field and its potential to impact the future. There is more to biotechnology however than knowledge and education.
Evidently technology is crucial to the study of life science, in fact it forms the basis of this whole discipline. Hence, it’s essential that a biotech lab can procure the precise laboratory equipment needed to do their work. Doing so is no mean feat, as the cost of biotech and life science equipment can be too high for any laboratory budget to cover. As such, it’s reassuring to know of the availability of biotech and life sciences equipment for rent, which is allowing passionate scientists to pursue their endeavours without being limited by the constricts of money and budgets. This kind of arrangement can help teams of biotech professionals to scale up and continue to grow and progress. In the future, their discoveries can contribute to the global understanding of the fundamentals of life and have a great positive impact on the way it is lived.
The Equipment You Might Need
To truly pursue your passions in the field of biotechnology and life sciences, there are a few key pieces of equipment that you need to familiarise yourself with and gain access to.
3D printers in general are changing the face of science and industry as we know it, and even the field of biotechnology is benefiting from this advancement. Bioprinting makes use of 3D printing technology for various tasks and applications in various fields, such as medicine and pharmaceuticals. 3D bioprinters can be used to grow cells and tissues, or to manufacturer biomaterials that can be used for biomedical parts.
When you’re working with samples, it’s important to get an accurate count of how many cells you have. Doctors and lab workers are able to know exactly how many cells are in the cell culture they are examining with the use of automated cell counters.
A DNA microarray is more well knows as a DNA chip or biochip. It is a collection of microscopic stops of DNA that are attached to a solid surface. DNA microarray scanners are used to measure the levels of large numbers of genes at the same time.
In 1963, the process of synthesising solid phase peptides was first used, which allowed for the construction of synthetic peptides. Now, scientists can use automated peptide synthesizers. These machines greatly simplify the production of peptides which are used as antigens to create custom antibodies.
Biotechnology is a Worthwhile Study
The importance of biotechnology cannot be understated. Global issues like rising temperatures and polluted air can be assisted with the breakthrough products that biotechnology studies are designing. Biotechnology advancements have the potential to combat debilitating and rare diseases. Hungry children can be fed, carbon footprints can be reduced, energy can be produced cleanly, and manufacturing processes can be made safer all with the research that is done by zealous teams of biotechnologists. Particularly in the field of medicine is biotechnology becoming important as it assists in the production of proteins and other drugs designed to fight diseases and produce therapeutic effects. Substances and diagnostic tests produced through biotechnology endeavours helping to detect various diseases in order to save those who suffer from them. Agricultural production can also be enhanced and improved by the research that is done by biotechnology teams. Evidently biotechnology is an important and valuable pursuit, a study that can bring benefits for the earth and its inhabitants now and in the future.
If your laboratory wants to work towards making such great impacts as these, it’s time to think about how you can expand and improve your procedures with the equipment that you have access to. If you don’t have the funds to purchase the equipment you need to make the discoveries you desire, now you know about the options available for renting and leasing. With a little more research, you will be able to get the equipment you need to make your studies a success.