Some Industrial Biotechnology Terms

Dec. 21, 2004
Bioinformatics technology: the application of information technology tools such as statistical software, graphics simulation, algorithms and database management for consistently organizing, accessing, processing and integrating data from different sources in a biology-based field; this technology has opened the door for rapid development of industrial biotechnology products and processes. Biosensors: a combination of biology and microelectronics that produces sensors with a biological component such as a cell, enzyme or antibody tied to a transducer; these can be used to measure the nutritional value of food or freshness of food products, for instance. Genomics: the study of the genome and the role genes play, individually and collectively; consists of two branches -- structural genomics and functional genomics. Microbial fermentation: a form of bioprocessing that has been used for thousands of years to brew beer, make wine, leaven bread and pickle foods. Today, companies rely on naturally occurring microorganisms to manufacture a variety of items such as antibiotics, vitamins, pigments, pesticides and industrial solvents. Protein engineering: used to improve existing proteins, such as enzymes and antibodies and to create proteins not found in nature. The most pervasive uses of protein engineering to date are applications that alter the catalytic properties of enzymes to develop ecologically sustainable industrial processes. Proteomics: the study of the structure, function, location and interaction of proteins within and between cells.

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