Biotechnology is the use of living things to make products. These products include everyday items such as yeast to make bread and wine and bacteria to make cheeses and yogurt.

Biotechnology is most prominent in three areas:

  1. Medicine
  2. Agriculture
  3. Industry


Biotechnology has contributed to the production of many pharmaceutical drugs and even evolved to produce biopharmaceuticals. By using biotechnology, medicines can be produced cheaper and can become more readily available.

The first use of biotechnology in medicine can be seen in 1978 when Genentech produced syntenic humanised insulin. Biotechnology uses bacteria and fungi in order to produce such drugs.

Biotechnology also allows for genetic testing which can determine a child’s genetic makeup and ancestry.


Biotechnology in agriculture allows for the genetic modification of plants and crops. One of the most popular modifications is making food crops resistant to different pests, diseases and environmental conditions.

Biotechnology in agriculture has also allowed for the genetic modification of different food groups. For example, soy beans have been genetically modified to produce healthier oils.


Biological washing powders include enzymes that are made from bacteria. This is the industrial process known as industrial fermentation. Such enzymes in washing powders allow for the breakdown of stains that are protein-based. For example, blood and grass etc.

As stated previously, biotechnology is used to create yeast which is used in the baking and brewing industry. This means that in order to produce bread, wine etc biotechnology is needed.