With the distinguished potential witnessed in medical and agriculture sectors, the industrial processes cannot remain untouched. When dealing with industrial processes, it is termed as White biotechnology. It deals with the production of various products, from bread to biodiesel! Enzymes and organisms are employed for the processing and production of chemicals and other products. Such fermentation and enzymatic processes are also economical and eco-friendly as compared to their physical and mechanical processes.
White Biotechnology is significantly affecting chemical, textile, paper, food, mining and cosmetics industries, by introducing environment friendly biological processes in place of traditional methods dependent on petroleum based synthetics. The use of enzymes for washing processes at textile industries is a good example, where biological processes have halved the cost and energy employed. It is also used for purification of water with certain bacteria, production of bio degradable plastics, enzymes in food manufacturing, insulin production and many more.
White Biotechnology is also concerned with production of alternative energy resources. Production of ethanol as a substitute of gasoline, from starch and carbohydrates begun the era of Bio fuels. Ongoing research in this field is promising and we can hope for a future fuelled by eco friendly Bio fuels; changing ‘hydrocarbon economy’ to ‘carbohydrate economy’.
Blue biotechnology is concerned with the application of molecular biological methods to marine and freshwater organisms. It involves the use of these organisms, and their derivatives, for purposes such as increasing seafood supply and safety, controlling the proliferation of noxious water-borne organisms, and developing new drugs.
Information science applied to biology produces the field ‘Bioinformatics’. Bioinformatics and computational biology employs computational techniques to address the biological problems and analysis of data. It is a multi-disciplinary field involving applied mathematics, statistics, computer science, artificial intelligence, informatics, biochemistry.
The terms bioinformatics and computational biology are often used interchangeably. However bioinformatics more properly refers to the creation and advancement of algorithms, computational and statistical techniques, and theory to solve formal and practical problems posed by or inspired from the management and analysis of biological data. Computational biology, on the other hand, refers to hypothesis-driven investigation of a specific biological problem using computers, carried out with experimental and simulated data, with the primary goal of discovery and the advancement of biological knowledge.
Bioinformatics deals with creation and maintenance of databases of biological information. Advances in molecular biology and modern equipments in this field have made possible the rapid sequencing of genes. Bioinformatics is responsible for finding the DNA sequence of organisms, predicting the structure of discovered proteins, clustering protein sequences and developing protein models.
Major research areas employing bioinformatics are structural genomics, genetic engineering, DNA finger printing, modelling of evolution, functional genomics.
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