Today’s scientific advancements have frequently been likened to the sci-fi books of the past. We may not have flying cars yet, but the technology is in progress and everything else that was once part of a writer’s vivid imagination has come to pass in at least some degree. Now, the Digital Era is a part of everyday society and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a smartphone attached to their appendages somewhere.
But even though the Digital Age has affected our lives in ways we can’t imagine living without, it’s becoming obsolete, too. The shift from the Digital Era to Quantum Age is imminent, and all of these advancements are having a huge impact on the field of biotechnology.
What is Biotechnology?
The basics of biotechnology have been around for as long as people have been using living things to make products to help society. It’s a part of the scope of biology in which scientists use living systems and organisms to create new products or make existing ones better.
Because it’s such a broad, but complicated, subject, those pursuing degrees in biotechnology have a variety of career options. The subject crosses multiple disciplines, making it easy for those with the knowledge and degree to find work in just about any industry. However, it’s quite common for a biotechnologist to work in a medical field or at a pharmaceutical company developing or perfecting drugs for medicinal purposes.
Using Biotechnology in the Future
With so many changes on the horizon in science, many of the applications will be used in the field of biotechnology to improve the way of living for humankind. Current and future ideas in which those working in this field will be using innovative technology include:
● Developing vaccines, chemicals that stimulate the immune system in the body so that when an enemy pathogen attacks, the body already has immunities ready to fight it.
● Creating antibiotics for current and new diseases, particularly as the bacteria become immune to the typical course of treatment for the illness.
● Animal breeding, a millennia-long practice in which people selectively choose the top animals they breed together in order to create a genetic line with the character traits they desire. By breeding those animals together that inhabit the desired traits, it’s more likely that any offspring will have those characteristics. This is commonly used when breeders are attempting to create a line of stronger animals that are more resistant to disease, more tame, or have better physical characteristics that would be more in demand.
● Plant breeding, an offshoot of the animal variety in which different traits are seen in plants and then cross- or inter-bred so that more of those plants would grow and thrive, such as those that are resistant to pests, drought, or flooding.
● Biocatalysts, a newer branch of biotechnology in which enzymes and other biocatalysts are used in large quantities by the industrial companies in order to large-scale produce their products.
● Bioremediation, a popular branch of biotechnology today where scientific methods are used to create bioreactors that remove waste on levels that solid waste disposal systems can’t match.
All of these areas of study are popular with biotechnologists, but those in the field must determine the career path they plan on taking.
Potential Careers for Experts
It’s one thing to develop a product using biotechnology, but there are so many other components that go along with the product development where biotechnologists are in demand.
Some scientific careers include:
● Working in the research and development sector to determine a product’s viability and efficiency before production and after launch
● Regulations and quality assurance in which the biotechnologist monitors the work and practices of anyone under their scope to ensure everything is following the proper protocols.
● Manufacturing the product while making sure everything meets specifications.
● Working in government sectors to attempt to create policies in which biotechnology products are used to their best advantage.
● Software engineering for technology that can be used by biotechnologists.
● Business and product management to approve or veto potential products that fall under the category of biotechnology.
There is a wide variety of places where biotechnology has its tendrils. As a biotechnician, you would have your pick of government agencies, private industries, and many other potential career opportunity organizations, particularly as the field continues to grow in demand throughout the future.