Biotechnology encompasses a wide range of technologies for modifying living organisms or their products according to human needs. It also includes genetic engineering as well as cell and tissue culture methodologies.
Applications of biotechnology span medicine, technology and engineering.
Important biotechnological advances include
- producing therapeutic proteins using cloned DNA, for example insulin or antibodies
- applying genetically modified animals (transgenic animals) as models of human diseases and the use of stem cells to treat human diseases
In agriculture, biotechnology has resulted in
- enhancing crop yields
- developing herbicide and insect resistant plants
- developing plants with increased nutritional value, for example golden rice.
Work is in progress to develop edible vaccines, which are modified plants which can synthesise immunogenic peptides from various pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses.
Specialised professionals are needed to develop existing biotechnological methodologies in a range of medical, technological and agricultural challenges. Importantly, they are also needed to ensure new progress through basic research and applied and focused developments.
Biotechnology draws on all the biological sciences, for example - cell biology - molecular biology - bioinformatics - structural biology.
This course is suitable if you
- wish to enhance your knowledge and skills in biosciences with an emphasis on biotechnology, to increase your competitiveness in the job market
- want to pursue research in biotechnology at PhD level
- are already employed and seeking to further your career prospects
This course gives you
- up-to-date knowledge of the cellular and molecular basis of basis biological processes
- an advanced level understanding of DNA technology and molecular biotechnology, and how they can be used to modify proteins, nucleic acids and living organisms
- knowledge of developing and applying biotechnology to diagnosis and treatment of human diseases
- practical skills applicable in a range of bioscience laboratories
- the transferable and research skills to enable you to continue developing your knowledge and improving your employment potential