Here's an easy way to remember the ways we use biotechnology. Think of them at "The 5 Fs" - five broad categories, beginning with an [f] sound, of products from living microbes, plants or animals:
Food - for humans and feed for livestock.
Fiber - cotton, wool, silk, linen, leather, lumber and paper.
Fuel - ethanol (gasohol), methane, wood.
Feedstocks - building blocks for polymers and industrial lubricants. Microbes are also essential in treating wastewater and can be used to clean up oil and toxic chemical spills.,
Pharmaceuticals - diagnostics for detecting diseases or pathogens; vaccines for preventing illness; antitoxins for blocking poisoning; antibiotics for fighting infections; and therapeutics for treating disease. Medical biotechnology also includes genetic testing and counseling for predicting susceptibility; and gene therapy for correcting disorders caused by defective genes.
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Biotech Applied Index