The biotechnology boom is on. In just over two decades, theories of molecular biology led to genetic engineering experiments at the laboratory level that soon evolved into biotechnological production on an industrial scale that has come to affect almost every human activity - our food, fuel, waste, health - virtually every biological process or interaction with our environment, and there are no limits in sight.
Biotechnology explores the exciting world of modern biology in a broad descriptive and humanistic account that is interspersed with over 250 color illustrations and photographs, supplemented by deeper scientific explanations in the form of original articles by researchers from universities and major industries, including Monsanto, the Institute for Cancer Research, Eli Lilly, Hoffmann-La Roche, and Du Pont de Nemours.
Biotechnology explains the techniques used (genetic engineering, fermentation, enzymes, cell fusion, monoclonal antibodies, microbiological engineering), the applications (in medicine, food and feed, seeds, plants, energy, pollution, mining and biomaterials), the international economic stakes for investors and industry, and the affect on people's lives in the foreseeable future.
The book explains how genes can be designed to produce human insulin, interferon, and growth hormones, and how microorganisms, or "bugs," can be domesticated to gobble up oil spills and do other kinds of useful work.
It also takes up patenting and risks to the new biology firms, government strategies, and academic-industrial relations.
Elizabeth Antebi is the author of a number of other books, most recently The Electronic Epoch. David fish lock, the author or editor of 11 books, is Science Editor of the Financial Times.
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