The Biotechnology (biological technology) combines and applies science and technology in living organisms.
The biotechnology is an integrative discipline that groups together a set of disciplines that study living beings, with the aim of deepening knowledge and obtaining goods and services using different genetic engineering techniques, for example to alter and transfer genes from one organism to another.
In recent years, Biotechnology has unfolded its potential with the development of modern techniques of molecular, cellular, and genetic biology (a science that studies inheritance, that is, the transmission of the characters that a living being passes to its offspring) in combination with engineering and is also complemented with knowledge in the fields of bioinformatics, bioethics, legislation, economics and administration.
The Biotechnology career grants after 3 years of study (in some cases) the intermediate degree of Higher Technician in Chemistry and Biotechnology and the final title of Degree in biotechnology, Degree in Biotechnology, or with a double degree as is the case of the Bachelor of Biotechnology and Molecular Biology. In Spanish-speaking countries, the course is generally in Spanish and some study plans include subjects in English (especially for the use of specific terminology). In most of the Universities the Faculty that dictates this career is the Faculty of Sciences or Biological Sciences.
Biotechnology career objectives
- The objective of the Biotechnology career is generally to train university professionals with solid knowledge in biological sciences and molecular biology techniques to carry out biotechnological projects.
- Prepare scientific leaders with technical skills and tools to develop knowledge-based processes. Biotechnology professionals use biology to improve people’s quality of life.
- Foster professionals with a scientific profile and capacity for experimental design, the application of science and technology with an integrating vision of processes on an industrial scale.
- To train professionals with integrative capacities and solid knowledge in experimental work methodologies, application of living organisms and production processes.
- Promote professionals with solid scientific-technological knowledge focused on biological study and production.
Motivated student with a great interest in science and technological applications.
The Biotechnology graduate must know the techniques to improve industrial processes and develop new processes based on knowledge.
The University graduate has the ability to execute, deduce, modify and develop work methodologies, including the extraction, purification, modification and conservation of macromolecules of biological importance, such as proteins and nucleic acids.
The graduate has a deep knowledge of the subjects of Biological Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Genetics and Microbiology, Physics, Mathematics and Statistics and a solid background in scientific research.
The Degree or Bachelor’s Degree in Biotechnology trains professionals with 2 differentiated profiles:
Researcher / Teacher
The work field of a Researcher or Teacher includes public scientific and technological research centers, University research centers, private research centers and Research and development (R + D + i) departments of companies, among others.
The professional Industrial Biotechnologist is trained to join teams for the analysis of biotechnological processes and the management of research teams, control of biotechnological processes in plants and production units, design and development of new products, creation of goods and services.
Career opportunities in Biotechnology
The professional opportunities of graduates in Biotechnology:
- Teaching in private or public centers.
- Consulting in centers, Universities, Government Organizations, Public and Private companies, Industries, biotechnology centers, microbiology laboratories, chemical analysis laboratories, pharmacology laboratories, quality control laboratories, microbiology laboratories, Research and Development centers.
- Development and control of Research tasks in universities, public or private hospitals, research institutes.
- Development and research in the pharmaceutical, agri-food, veterinary or environmental industries.
- Innovation in biological processes for pest control, animal and plant production and protein engineering, microbiology, genetics, bioremediation, molecular diagnosis, immunology.
- Optimization of processes for the exploitation of biological resources at an industrial level.
- Analysis and exploitation of biological resources in companies in the agri-food, environmental, biomedical, pharmaceutical sector, etc.
- Develop innovative projects.
- Lead multidisciplinary teams dedicated to the design, development and analysis of biotechnological processes aimed at obtaining products, goods and services,
- Manage and control biotechnological processes in plants and production units.
What Does a Biotechnologist Do?
- A Biotechnologist is qualified to carry out studies and research related to Biology, Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Molecular Biology.
- It develops products originating from the genetic manipulation of cells.
- Control the quality of products and raw materials in industries.
- It develops different laboratory diagnostic systems in Humans, animals and plants, based on biotechnological applications of Immunology and Molecular Genetics.
- Consulting and expertise in relation to your biotechnological applications.
Why study Biotechnology?
- Because it has a multidisciplinary approach that groups together the scientific that facilitate the path from basic research to its application.
- Because it is the use of bio-medical scientific knowledge with the aim of developing products and services for society and the environment.
- Because it uses living organisms to generate resources and services.
- Because through Biotechnology, it is possible to produce fuels, medicines, foodstuffs, vaccines, chemical products, enzymes (protein that promotes or activates a chemical process without being altered or destroyed.) And plastics, etc.
- Because you work in a scientific and creative environment, in the development of useful resources and services for society.
- Because Biotechnology has a direct impact on the productive structure of any country, improving the conditions and quality of life of its inhabitants.
The Biotechnology has applications in different areas such as agriculture, industry, environment, health. His field of study is between biology, biochemistry and chemical engineering, and he has, in addition to this, an enormous influence in fields such as medicine, pharmacology, microbiology, among others.
In the environment, the application of Biotechnology intervenes in:
- Substance detection: Use of fungi, plants, microorganisms (microscopic organism), bacteria (microorganism composed of a single cell that is characterized by not having a nucleus) and others that function as biosensors when detecting the presence of specific substances.
- In treating contaminated liquid waste For example when cleaning up oil spills using bacteria.
- In the treatment of solid waste, for example, the use of fungi for the degradation of organic waste.
In Industry, the application of Biotechnology intervenes in:
- In the manufacture of groceries and beverages, such as beer, wine, cheese, and bread.
- In the production of citrus additives that for example is obtained naturally by extraction of citrus fruits.
- In the production and application of flavorings in liquid or paste state, they are preparations of substances extracted from nature or artificial substances, of permitted use in legal terms, that act on the senses of taste and smell.
- Use and application of colorants, for example indigo blue that is used to produce the denim fabric with which blue jeans are made.
- The production and use of fuel alcohol and the impact that waste generates on the environment.
- In the production of detergents.
In Agriculture, the application of Biotechnology intervenes in:
- Detection and development of disease diagnosis systems.
- In the use of living organisms or substances produced to improve the productivity of crops or for the control of pests and weeds.
- For genetic improvement (Improvement: set of procedures used to obtain progeny of plants or animals with better characteristics than the parents.) And in vitro cell and tissue culture.
- For large-scale plant production.
- Manipulation of plants and animals through interbreeding (Mating between two individuals of the same species to produce offspring) of those previously chosen for their qualities.
- For improvement programs and generation of studies of diversity, evolution, population genetics.
In the area of human and animal health, the application of Biotechnology intervenes in:
- Detection and development of a disease diagnosis system.
- Gene therapy: deals with the introduction of specific genes into the cells of a patient to fight certain diseases. It is the treatment against diseases of genetic origin through the replacement and / or modification of genes that present an abnormal function.
- Creation of vaccines, for example the hepatitis B vaccine obtained through the modification of yeast (unicellular fungus that can intervene in fermentation processes).
- Production, evaluation and control of antibiotics, vitamins, insulin.
- Molecular identity: allows the identification of people through patterns of genetic sequences for paternity testing and forensic genetics.