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What is Biotechnology?
· It is the technology based on biology that involves the
exploitation of living organisms or biological processes to
improve agriculture, animal husbandry, food science,
medicine and industry.
Food ­ Cheese and Yoghurt Making ­ Bacterial (Lactobacillus)
growth in milk changes the flavour and texture to generate a
different food.
Medicines ­ Penicillin ­ The fungus Penicillium grown in culture
produces the antibiotic as a by product
Enzymes/ Other chemicals ­ Bio-gas Fuel ­ Methanogenic
bacteria grown on concentrated sewage, respires
anaerobically and generates gases which can be used as fuel
Bioremediation of Waste Products - Waste Water Treatment ­
A variety of bacteria and fungi use waste in the water as
nutrients and make the waste harmless.…read more

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Using Microorganisms
They very useful in biotechnology as they:
· Grow rapidly in favourable conditions, with a generation
time of as little as 30 mins
· Often produce proteins or chemicals that are given out
into their surroundings an can be harvested
· Can be genetically modified to produce specific products
· Grow well at low temperatures
· Can be grown anywhere in the world as they are not
dependant on the environment
· Tend to generate products that are more pure than when
produced by chemical processes
· Can be grown on nutrient materials that are otherwise
useless or toxic to humans…read more

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The Standard Growth Curve
Lag Phase ­ Organisms are
adjusting to the surrounding
conditions. This may mean taking
in water, cell expansion,
activating specific genes and
synthesising specific enzymes.
The cells are active but not
reproducing so population
remains constant.
Exponential Phase ­ The population
size doubles each generation as
every individual has enough
nutrients and space to reproduce. Death Phase ­ The rate at which
Stationary Phase ­ Nutrient levels individuals die is higher than the
decrease and waste products rate of new individuals being
build up. Individuals die at the produced. This is because of a
same rate at which new lack of nutrients and high levels
individuals are produced. of toxic waste products.…read more

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Primary Metabolites ­
Substances produced by an
organism as part of its normal
growth. Eg ­ amino acids,
proteins, enzymes, nucleic
acids, ethanol and lactate.
The production of these follow
the growth in population.
Secondary Metabolites ­ These
substances are not produced
as part of an organisms
normal growth curve. Eg ­
antibiotic chemicals. The
production of secondary
metabolites usually begins
after the main growth period
of the organisms.…read more

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Fermenters…read more

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