Biotechnology and the humanity

Biotechnology is a rapidly changing field that continues to transform both in scope and impact. Karl Ereky first coined the term biotechnology in 1919. However, biotechnology’s roots trace back to as early as the 1600s when a Prussian physician, Georg Ernst Stahl, pioneered a new fermentation technology referred to as “zymotechnology.” In 1981, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) defined biotechnology as, “the application of scientific and engineering principles to the processing of materials by biological agents to provide the goods and services.” Today, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) defines biotechnology as “technology based on biology – biotechnology harnesses cellular and biomolecular processes to develop technologies and products that help improve our lives and the health of our planet. Concurrent with the collection of personal data, we are also amassing a mountain of biological data (such as genomics, microbiome, proteomics, exposome, transcriptome, and metabolome). This biological-big-data coupled with advanced analytical tools has led to a deeper understanding about fundamental human biology. Further, digitization is revolutionizing health care, allowing for patient reported symptoms, feelings, health outcomes and records such as radiographs and pathology images to be captured as mineable data.

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