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Introduction to Biotechnology


At its earliest, biotechnology was simply defined as any technology based on biology (Karl Ereky, 1919). By this general definition, humans practiced biotechnology very early in civilization, including the selection of seeds for replanting and livestock for breeding. Modern biotechnology exploits principles, techniques and tools to manipulate living organisms and biological systems for the production or modification of biologics.

Coined by Karl Ereky in 1919, biotechnology has evolved into a distinctive scientific discipline and multi-billion dollar industries. Cheese, yoghurt, bread, beer and wine are all made by fermentation, a biotechnological process that involves microorganisms. These dairy products not only advanced biotechnology but provided pleasure to early human civilization. The first biotechnology product, rh-Insulin was marketed in 1987 by Lilly/Genentech.

Have you ever make cheese before? Do you know other usages of microorganisms?

Reading reference: -Allen LV, Popovich NG, Ansel HC Ansel’s Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms and Drug Delivery Systems. 9th ed. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins; 2010. ISBN: 0-7817-4612-4 (Chap 19) -Crommelin, DJA, Sindelar, RD, Meibohm, B. Pharmaceutical Biotechnology: Fundamentals and Applications, 3rd Ed. Informa Healthcare, 2007. ISBN 9781420044379 (Chap 1, 4, 5, 6, 22) -Firdos Alam Khan. Biotechnology Fundamentals, CRC Press, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4398-2009-4

These are textbooks that related to this week’s content. If you have change to look at them, you will be able to find the content we have talked about. Skipping them will not interfere with your understanding on this course.

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Pharmacotherapy: Understanding Biotechnology Products

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