Biotechnology is coined from the two words Bio : which means life, and Technology: which means a product of applied science.
Biotechnology is now the use of scientific principles and machine to alter a biological process of organisms and plants to produce products or processes for a desired outcome.
Biotechnology is used across different fields of human endeavor and its use in different industries can be categorized according to its use which is often symbolized with color.
- Agricultural or Green biotechnology
Agricultural biotechnology encompasses all the farming processes as well as food processes that involve the use of biotechnology.
These processes include the modifications of plant and animal genes, transgenic plants, yeast and bacteria to ferment cereals used in wine production.
Also, the engineering of synthetic antioxidants, probiotics, prebiotics, sweetners in foods and drugs, horticultural cultivation techniques, bioreactors and insecticidal agents.
- Marine or Blue Biotechnology
Marine biotechnology has to do with water like seas, oceans, rivers and the and the exploration of the organisms in such habitat. Marine biotechnology involves the re-engineering of these habitats to alter the nature of the residing orgaisms.
It involves the use of additives in food, applications of nutraceuticals to treat various diseases or enhance life.
The nature of the water or animals can be altered to have elements that can be used in the cosmetics industry to enhance beauty, correct nutrient deficiency, and improve illnesses.
- Industrial or White Biotechnology
Industrial biotechnology deals with the principles of biotechnology in the manufacturing sector of the economy.
It involves the production of synthetic enzymes to help in improving the speed of producing foods, removing toxic materials or preserving foods.
Examples are the Haber-Bosch process to produce ammonia or the production of xylanase to prevent the formation of toxic derivatives during paper production in he factory.
- Medical or Red biotechnology
Medical biotechnology encompasses medical processes that are influenced by biotechnology methodologies.
Of course, it deals with the treatment of illnesses by modifying the genes, tissues and cells of an affected area to correct the pathological condition.
It’s not only in treating diseases, it can also be used to change some natural traits such as hair graft, skin graft after accident, inserting new cells in a damaged area of the body (regenerative medicine) and other conditions.
Red biotech also includes the production drugs and vaccines with the help of nanotechnology, gene therapy, and modern analytical and diagnostic techniques used in the medical field.
- Environmental or Grey biotechnology
Environmental biotechnology focuses on nature, our ecosystems and environmental sciences. Grey biotechnology is employed to decontaminate the soil and the environment, removing polluting gases from the environment.
It also deals with the purification of water and remediation of water, soil and air and sound pollution.
It is used in the recycling electronic waste, home and office waste and the removal of heavy metals, hydrocarbons and other harmful substances that are released into our physical environment.
The purpose of this technology is to help sustaining lives and conserving the environment, and making it comfortable for people to dwell in.
Brown biotechnology is similar to grey biotechnology, but concentrates more on the treatment of desert soils up to extremely resistant salty and dry soils.
Golden biotechnology is multi-phased and includes everything related to bioinformatics, the use of software and hardware for data analysis in different biological processes. it deals with the use of computer to make clinical observations.
Its applications are very enormous and in different perspectives. Examples are in primer search, peptide sequencing, changes in DNA, searching for damaged DNA transcripts or phylogenetic analysis.
- Military or Black biotechnology
Military biotechnology is the application of biotechnology in the military. It involves the production of biological weapons for combats in war.
In black biotech, Pathogenic, malignant and resistant microorganisms are studied to transform them into biological weapons or to counteract their harmful effects. It also involves the employment of these organisms to cause harm to human lives, livestock and crops.
For example, the bacteria Bacillus anthracis or Coxiella burnetii can cause fatal lung diseases.
- Law or Violet biotechnology
Violet or judiciary biotechnology is the application of biotechnology in the legal industry. It involves the protection of client’s data (biosecurity), legal regulation, issues of bioethics and legislation.
It also involves the laws that are related to the ethical and unethical applications of biotechnology. for example, gene therapies, animal experiments or cloning.
Yellow biotechnology is a field of the food industry. It mainly treats oils derived from fatty acids.