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Biotechnology is one of the major growth industries of the 21st Century. It involves the use of micro-organisms and biological processes to create products or perform tasks. With an increasing world population, modern biotechnology offers the potential to help meet the world's food (transgenic "GM" crops) and fuel (biofuels) demands. Improved medical treatments, vaccines and improvements in many processes using bacteria such as fermentation and waste treatment are all applications of biotech.
Biotechnology is widely misunderstood and the stigma attached to it is based on misinformation from the media and groups such as Greenpeace. All technologies can be dangerous if not used correctly, including biotech, but we still use them. Have you ever thought about what happens when you get an X-ray? Radiation is fired through your body and as x-rays are a form of ionising radiation they knock out electrons from atoms in your body, which among other things, can break DNA chains in your body and cause cells to die or mutations to occur! This is why safety procedures have been put in place, to limit exposure to X-rays. There are different regulations in place for biotech, in different countries; In Australia for example, GM foods are imported from other countries but many types of transgenic food crops are not allowed to be grown commercially - only GM cotton and canola are approved for growth.
There is a large scope in which biotechnology can be applied to improve the lives of every single person on this planet, and beyond.