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Lecture 1


Arnold V. Hallare, Ph.D Department of Biology, CAS UP Manila

What is biotechnology? History of biotechnology

Whos who in biotechnology?

Although it seems like a new thing, biotechnology has actually been around for a while: Domesticated plants and animals and selective breeding Using yeast to make bread rise Using bacteria or yeast to ferment grapes into wine

Other Examples: Selective Breeding of specific varieties of plants and animals

(more nutritious, disease-resistance, better taste, higher yield!)

Artificial insemination Use of antibiotics to kill harmful organisms

BIO the use of biological organisms or processes TECHNOLOGY to make useful products or to solve problems

BIOTECHNOLOGY - the use of living organisms to enhance our lives and our environment (Barnum, 2005)

What is Biotechnology?
Any technological application that uses biological systems, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products for specific use (The UN Convention on Biological Diversity)

Using scientific processes to get new organisms or new products from organisms. Biotechnology is the manipulation of living organisms and organic material to serve human needs.

Involves many disciplines or branches of learning Includes all areas of life sciences Modern biotechnology has been impacted by developments in the fields of biology,

chemistry, genetics and microbiology and also incorporates techniques in physics and mathematics.


affects agriculture and food safety, healthcare, law enforcement and environmental issues

GMOs are consumed by millions of people! Almost every crops sold in the market are genetically modified! (soybean (>80%), corn (>38%), cotton (>70%), apple, bananas, etc) Many drugs to be sold in the market are products of genetic engineering


opportunities Voting on laws and policies Biotechnology could play a key part in the evidence in court cases

Written by Phyllis Dumas

June 2010

Recent advances in biotechnology are helping us prepare for and meet societys most pressing challenges.


Biotech is helping to heal the world by harnessing nature's own toolbox and using our own genetic makeup to heal and guide lines of research by: Reducing rates of infectious disease; Saving millions of children's lives; Changing the odds of serious, life-threatening conditions Tailoring treatments to individuals to minimize health risks and side effects; Creating more precise tools for disease detection; and Combating serious illnesses and everyday threats confronting the developing world.


` Biotech improves crop insect resistance, enhances crop herbicide tolerance and facilitates the use of more environmentally sustainable farming practices. Biotech is helping to feed the world by: Generating higher crop yields with fewer inputs; Lowering volumes of agricultural chemicals required by cropslimiting the run-off of these products into the environment; Using biotech crops that need fewer applications of pesticides and t hat allow farmers to reduce tilling farmland; Developing crops with enhanced nutrition profiles that solve vitamin and nutrient deficiencies; Producing foods free of allergens and toxins such as mycotoxin; and Improving food and crop oil content to help improve cardiovascular health.

Biotech uses biological processes such as fermentation and harnesses biocatalysts such as enzymes, yeast, and other microbes to become microscopic manufacturing plants. Biotech is helping to fuel the world by: Streamlining the steps in chemical manufacturing processes by 80% or more; Lowering the temperature for cleaning clothes and potentially saving $4.1 billion annually; Improving manufacturing process efficiency to save 50% or more on operating costs; Reducing use of and reliance on petrochemicals; Using biofuels to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 52% or more; Decreasing water usage and waste generation; and Tapping into the full potential of traditional biomass waste products.

1750-2000 BC
(Mesopotamia/Sumeria, Egypt, and Iran)
Developed the principle of brewing beer and wine Lactic acid fermentation allowed for the production of other forms of food (cheese) Production of leavened bread using yeast

First use of biotechnology to convert a food source into another form

500 B.C.E.
First antibiotic: Moldy soybean curds (tofu) used to treat boils (China).

Combinations of plant and other organisms were used as medications in early civilizations

100 C.E.
First insecticide: powdered chrysanthemums (China)

First vaccination
Edward Jenner takes pus from a cowpox lesion, inserts it into an incision on a boy's arm.

1830 Proteins are discovered.

Model of a 5-peptide protein.

1833 First enzyme is discovered and isolated.

DNA was discovered in white blood cells from pus by German Friedrich Miescher at University of Tuebingen, Germany.

Phages viruses that only infect bacteria are discovered.

The word biotechnology is first used by a Hungarian agricultural engineer (Karl Ereky)

Herman Muller discovers that radiation causes defects in chromosomes.

Sir Alexander Fleming discovers the antibiotic penicillin by chance when he realizes that Penicillium mold kills bacteria.
He shared the 1945 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Ernst Boris Chain and Sir Howard Walter Florey.

Widespread work is undertaken to investigate the structure and function of DNA

Colin McLeod

James Watson and Francis Crick describe the double helical structure of DNA. They shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology with Maurice Wilkins.

They shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology with Maurice Wilkins.

The amino acid sequence of insulin is discovered by Frederick Sanger.
3D model of insulin

1982 Human insulin produced in genetically modified bacteria is the first biotech drug approved by the FDA.

DNA is made in a test tube for the first time. Sickle cell disease is shown to occur due to a change in one amino acid.

Har Gobind Khorana & Robert Holley

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1968

1972 Stanford University scientist who first developed recombinant DNA technology, a method for insertion of genetic material from one organism into another.

Georges Kohler and Cesar Milstein develop the technology to produce monoclonal antibodies highly specific, purified antibodies derived from only one clone of cells that recognize only one antigen. They shared the 1984 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Neils Jerne.

The U.S. Supreme Court approves the patenting of genetically altered organisms.

The first transgenic animals are produced by transferring genes from other animals into mice.
The first patent for a genetically modified organism is granted for bacteria that can break down crude oil.

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique, which makes unlimited copies of genes and gene fragments, is conceived.
Kary Mullis, who was born in Lenoir, N.C., wins the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery. He became interested in science as a child when he received a chemistry set for Christmas.

First recombinant vaccine is approved for human use: hepatitis B.

First anti-cancer drug is produced through biotech: interferon.

First approval for field tests of a genetically modified food plant: virus-resistant tomatooes.
1994 Genetically modified tomatoes are sold in the U.S. for the first time.

First transgenic organisms (GMOs) are introduced in widespread agricultural production, particularly in the area of crops.

Bt corn and soybeans are introduced offering natural insect resistance by the introduction of a gene from the bacterium Baccillus thuringensis

Scientists report the birth of Dolly, the first animal cloned from an adult cell.

Dolly (1996-2003) as an adult

Dolly and her surrogate mother

Human embryonic stem cell lines are established.
They offer hope to many because they may be able to replace diseased or dysfunctional cells.

Human cloning is outlawed in the U.S. and the first concerns over the use of human stem cells in research begin to arise.

The first cloned pet a kitten is delivered to its owner.

She is called CopyCat (or Cc for short).

USA, Singapore, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, China, India