Zaitlin, Milton Biotechnology Program, Plant Pathology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Last reviewed:May 2021
Show previous versions
- Agricultural science (plant and animal)
- Plant science
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Generally, any technique that is used to make or modify the products of living organisms in order to improve plants or animals or to develop useful microorganisms. According to the general definition, biotechnology has actually been practiced for centuries, as exemplified by the use of yeast and bacteria in the production of various foods, including wine, bread, and cheese. However, in modern terms, biotechnology has come to mean the use of cell and tissue culture, cell fusion, molecular biology, and, in particular, recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) technology (Fig. 1) to generate unique organisms with new traits or organisms that have the potential to produce specific products. The advances and products in the biotechnology arena have been developing at a rapid pace. Still, the manipulation of biological processes for commercial exploitation and benefit has led to controversy. Some examples of products in a number of important disciplines are described below. See also: Bioethics; Cell (biology); Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); Molecular biology; Recombination (genetics)
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information