use of living systems and organisms to develop or make useful products

Biotechnology is a technology that involves the use of living organisms.[1] Biotechnology is mainly used in agriculture, food science, and medicine. In biotechnology, living organisms are used to make useful chemicals and products or to perform an industrial task.[1]

A plant tissue research center



An example of biotechnology is the use of the fermentation reaction in yeast to make beer and other alcoholic drinks.[1] Another example is the use of carbon dioxide produced by yeast to make bread rise.[1]

Biotechnology is often used to refer to genetic engineering technology of the 21st century.[2] The term is used for many ways of modifying biological organisms for the needs of humanity. It started with modifications of native plants into improved food crops through artificial selection and hybridization. Bioengineering is the science upon which all biotechnological applications are based. With the development of new approaches and modern techniques, traditional biotechnology industries are also acquiring new horizons enabling them to improve the quality of their products and increase the productivity of their systems.

Biotechnology has also made cloning (the process duplicating organisms) possible. A lot of people think that this is morally wrong while others think it could solve many diseases.

Biotechnology can be used to solve a great number of problems,[3] ranging from product efficiency to reducing global warming.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Fullick, Ann (2011). Edexcel IGCSE Biology Revision Guide (First ed.). Pearson Education. p. 85. ISBN 9780435046767.
  2. Rasmussen, Nicolas 2014. Gene jockeys: life science and the rise of biotech enterprise. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  3. Oliver, Richard W. The coming biotech age. ISBN 0-07-135020-9