Modern Biotechnology : A Glossary
Modern Biotechnology : A Glossary
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Preface Like everything else in this universe even education is evolving. There is constant transformation in its loom towards diverse subjects and disciplines. In the Vedic epoch and also later in the period of the Greek philosophers, the teachers and scientists marked no boundaries to the elds of enquiry. They had the fortitude and determination to disentangle the mysteries of all areas of science. Hence, they were just called thinkers, or rather interdisciplinarians. Then started the era of specialization, which has been dividing and subdividing science into a myriad of branches. This has resulted in the rise of specialists and super-specialists. Scientists soon narrowed down their spotlight of research to the tiniest areas of science. This is noticeably prominent in the eld of medicine. These radical changes were due because of the quantitative approach towards scienti c research and also due to the profundity of enquiry. At present we are working at the subatomic levels and we have the ability to craft nanomachines of topmost exactitude. In order to pull off these feats one has to have acquaintance of not one but many elds of science. This drift is what is making scientists interdisciplinarians once again like in the long-gone era. Pedagogy is also restructuring syllabi and curricula to suit the current scienti c attitude, approach and trend. The designation and perception of the term biotechnology has also changed over the years since its inception in 1980. This branch which was interdisciplinary even from its inception has now become much more interdisciplinary and encompasses almost all areas of science. This is what I refer to as Modern Biotechnology and this glossary has resulted from my conviction that there is hardly another eld of science as interdisciplinary as this one. Biotechnology is technology based on biology, especially when used in agriculture, food science, and medicine. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity has come up with one of many definitions of biotechnology Biotechnology means any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for speci c use. This interdisciplinary branch covers many of the tools and techniques that are commonplace today in agriculture and food production. If interpreted in a narrow sense to consider only the new DNA, molecular biology and reproductive technology, the de nition covers a range of different technologies, including gene manipulation, gene transfer, DNA typing and cloning of mammals. It is a general term used about a very broad eld of study. According to the Convention on Biological Diversity, biotechnology means any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for
speci c use. The swiftness of change in the sector means that terminology is constantly evolving, and yesterday s buzzword is today s jargon, and might well be tomorrow s mainstream term. The rate of evolution of terminology has been such that it has been very dif cult to remain abreast of current usage. The idea for such a collection of terminology associated with the rapidly expanding elds related to or deriving from biotechnology and genetic engineering, was stimulated by the dif culty of communicating effectively in discussions at intergovernmental level. On various occasions, simple differences of interpretation of terminology have threatened to derail negotiations of international importance.