Biotechnology refers to the employment of a collection of technologies to exploit, modify or improve existing biological processes for a specific purpose; for instance using animal and/or plant cells, biological molecules, molecular biology processes and genetic engineering for applications in medicine, agriculture and the pharmaceutical industry.
Its overall goal is to enhance the quality of human life either directly or indirectly, by producing and/or developing effective pharmaceuticals, bioenergy, disease-resistant and high-yield crops as well as animals, and microbes for remediation in an efficient, cost-effective and ethically responsible manner.
The biotechnology field has already shown immense promise and further innovations are certain to culminate in dramatic improvements in existing technologies and outcomes. Biotechnology is the next wave of change that is likely to be as sweeping and invasive as that brought about by information technology.
Importance of Biotechnology in Academic Curriculum.
The relevancy or importance of biotechnology in academic curriculum can never be underrated, as the field continues to rapidly develop into new research areas.
Studies point out there will be a continuing high order for well-educated personnel in field of biotechnology. Job opening are found in life science branch in colleges and universities; private and government research institutes; food production, pharmaceutical and agrichemical industries; and in the biotechnology industries.
Biotechnology programs are able to provide the necessary educational background and laboratory experiencesto the graduates to take advantage of any of these job opportunities. Graduates of the biotechnology program are now successful and productive scientists at pharmaceutical, agro-chemical and biotechnology companies, and at government and private research institutions throughout the world.
In academic curriculum, biotechnology programs are tailored into topics which examines the various applications of biotechnology in the modern world; thereby imparting valuable knowledge and practical experiences to students and graduates of this program or field.
Examples of specific topics or units and their importance in the field biotechnology includes the following:-
1. Genetics enables students to understand or gain knowledge about the basic Mendelian and molecular genetics including current trends in Biotechnology. Students are able to explore the molecular basis of disease as well as discuss current techniques used to diagnose, treat and cure these illnesses. This will enable them to demonstrate and explain how genetic variation influences population trends.
Cancer is one of the diseases that are currently on the rise world all over. Studying genetics as part of biotechnology gives an opportunity to students to understand and demonstrate the ability to describe the molecular process and epidemiology of cancer.
In addition student will be able to:
- Describe the cell processes and genes involved in the development of the disease.
- Analyze the way in which technology can help identify potential cancer risks and can assist with cancer staging, treatment and possible cure.
- Explain how molecular techniques such as microarray technology can be used for genetic testing.
- Discuss ethical issues associated with genetic testing and privacy rights.
- Demonstrate the ability to extend their knowledge of the role of genetic mutations in disease to the potential development of appropriate drug therapy.
2. Bioinformatics introduces students to the field of Bioinformatics and Genomics. An examination of the genomic organization of viral, bacterial, plant, animal and the human organism are performed. This topic enable student to:-
- Identify the difference between a nucleotide and a protein sequence.
- Identify the differences among genomic, cDNA, and EST nucleotide sequences.
- Recognize the different categories of genes.
- Classify genes according to structure, function, and location.
- Demonstrate the ability to use the tools necessary for finding functional genes within genomic sequences.
- Demonstrate the ability to use the computer to generate 3D molecular models.
- Report on how computer modeling is currently being used in the medical field, among others
3. Biotechnology in Industry and Agriculture unit enable the students to appreciate the applications of biotechnology in agriculture and industry, linking scientific discoveries to business and manufacturing practices. The unit will enable the student to:-
- Describe the role of genetic engineering in agriculture and test for genetic modification in common food items.
- Initiate and sustain plant tissue cultures.
- Describe the role of biotechnology in food processing and preservation.
- Demonstrate the ability to apply concepts of biotechnology to environmental issues.
- Define bioremediation and describe why it is important to the environment.
- Describe advantages of bioremediation strategies over other types of clean-up approaches.
4.Biotechnology and Business gives the students skills and knowledge to apply basic business principles to the field of biotechnology. Comprehensive coverage of the unit be enablestudent to:
- Research publicly traded biotechnology companies and describe their keyresearch and products as well as the impact of those organizations on the overall field.
- Investigate market trends in various countries by completing a stock watch.
- Use knowledge of current companies and potential areas for research to create and promote a novel biotechnology companies.
- Appreciate the wealth of biotechnology career opportunities all of the world.
5. Independent Research
Biotechnology introduces students/ program graduates to independent research. The unit highlights the research process, and after completion, students are able to:-
- Formally design, implement, report and present "real-world" scientific research.
- It enable the student to demonstrate the ability to employ technical reading and writing skills.
- Read, interpret, and apply technical information.
- Write a summary of technical information.
- The student will acquire the ability to define standard research methods.
- Define empirical research and identify the different types of research.
- Identify and classify research variables.
- Understand research hypotheses, purposes, and questions.
- Formulate research hypotheses, purposes, and questions.
- Respond appropriately to audience feedback, among others
The facts and points discussed above underscores the importance of biotechnology in academic curriculum and even beyond the academic cycles.
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The biotechnology writes are helping students all over the world in their course preparation and assessments writing. This has become an important and effective course and students are joining because of new job opportunities in biotechnology sector. But there is another fact that there are few limitations of resources or teachers in this sector, Students are not able to find appropriate resources while they are studying aboard. There are many challenges while studying abroad and the main challenges are difference in language, cultural and resources. While studying in biotechnology course, a student has to submit assessments/assignments timely in their college or institution and thus the problem became broader because they don't want to lose their grades due to incomplete assessments or assignments.
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