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Molecular Biotechnology - The Challenge of 21st Century
All forecasts about global progress of technology in the 21st century agree that molecular biotechnology is going to be driving force of modern civilization. The reason for these forecasts lies in the problems of modern civilization. These problems can be easily summarized in the following challenges:

1. Getting the raw materials for the chemical and other industries from other renewable energy sources (eg. biomass), and not from fossil fuels because of the limited quantities.
2. Getting new biodegradable materials.
3. Obtaining alternative forms of energy (use of secondary biomass and other materials of various origins for the production of gas, alcohol and hydrogen).
4. Improving agricultural production (getting fertilizers of organic origin, animal feed, modern and less hazardous pesticides).
5. Health care (production of new antibiotics, new vaccines, new drugs and new diagnostic equipment).
6. Protection of the environment (removing the waist from water, degradation of pollutants, the revitalization of polluted soil, etc.).

The Benefits of Molecular Biotechnology

Biotechnology is defined as a process that uses living organisms or their parts for creation or modification of certain products, and for different types of services (for example, the use of microorganisms prior to clean polluted water). By the introduction of the latest trends in the field of molecular biology in the form of genetic engineering, an entirely new quality is developed. Instead of simply isolation of some products that some organism already synthesized, it is now possible to make the whole “biological factories” from microorganisms, plants or animal cells that will produce great quantities of valuable compounds such as proteins, vitamins, amino acids, antibiotics, etc. On the other hand, by the use of genetic engineering it is possible to clone the genes encoding this product and transfer them into another organism, or make transgenic organisms.

The benefit of molecular biotechnology in food production, getting energy and raw materials for different types of industries, is increasing due to opportunities to use renewable resources by its application. In fact, more and more work on the promotion of use of secondary raw materials, which often create environmental problems, is performed. In this way, the dual benefit is achieved: solving environmental problems and getting useful product from such raw materials.

The contribution of Genetic Engineering

Contribution of genetic engineering to the development of molecular biotechnology is reflected in the fact that it enables:
1. Studying the structure and function of genes of all living systems which are interesting for manipulation, because they determine the production of a substance of commercial significance.
2. Causing mutations in specific place in the gene, which may result in increasing of the synthesis of the product the gene carries the information for.
3. Overcoming the bottlenecks in the biosynthesis of useful metabolites by increasing the number of genes responsible for the synthesis of enzymes that are critical in biosynthetic pathway. Increasing the number of genes in the cell enables the synthesis of this enzyme in bigger amount, and thus seems to increase the synthesis of the end product of biosynthetic pathway.
4. Obtaining the product that is in some other way, difficult, expensive or impossible to get. The greatest contribution to the genetic engineering is certainly in this domain. The genetic engineering enables manipulation with genes and transfer of these genes from one biological species to another, because , it can not happen spontaneously in nature.

On the other hand, it is possible to construct a chimeric gene (for example, part of the proteinase encoding gene originates from one and the other part of the gene that encodes the same enzyme originates from other species), and to insert so constructed genes into a living organism.

Genetically Modified Organisms

In general, organisms whose genetic material s changed in a way that does not occur in nature, or where a change in the genetic material was obtained by genetic engineering are called genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In his way, new biological systems can be obtained that can be used in biotechnological processes.

Economic aspects

The decision on the application of molecular biotechnology to improve existing biotechnological production or for the development of new biotechnological process must depend on the economic analysis of the entire process, which is to be improved. This analysis should at least include the information about (a) the market for biotechnological product (need for specific product, in which amount and the annual dynamics), (b) the availability and cost of raw materials for biotechnological processes, © the reasons of inefficiency of biotechnological process that is already in use, and (d) the existence of conditions for successful implementation of genetic engineering.

Given its opportunities, molecular biotechnology provides the basis for achieving significantly higher production using process that already exists. Besides that, it provides opportunities for opening of the new industrial era in terms of construction processes that will allow to get the project which otherwise could not be obtained in satisfying amount or were very expensive to make.

The use of molecular biotechnology to make today’s biotechnology more accurate and cost effective is a realistic expectation. Therefore, in the present world, by the term of molecular biotechnology are actually considered technological processes based on GMOs, and it is expected that molecular biotechnology will become the basis for the development of technologies of the 21st century. Therefore, it is not surprising that an extremely large number of companies have focused their research and development on molecular biotechnology having in mind the potential of this technology.
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Can anyone explain 'molecular biotechnology' simply?
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