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clear CIAO Focus, May 2005: Biotechnology
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Advanced biotechnology may provide a unique, closed loop contribution to the energy needs of the future. (U.S. Dept. of Energy)
The U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity defines biotechnology as any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use. Louis Pasteur, who nearly 150 years ago invented the process of using heat to kill bacteria called pasteurization, is considered the father of biotechnology. Today's biotechnology revolution began in the 1970s as scientists learned to alter the genetic makeup of living organisms by processes other than traditional breeding practices. Scientific advances in genomics have allowed investigators to map genes and identify their functions. Analysts are agreed that applying the twentieth century's advances in chemistry and physics to life sciences is apt to make biotechnology the science of the twenty-first century. From new energy sources to novel medical treatments, advanced materials to enhanced food production, biotechnology pervades the modern world. Notable U.S. Federal programs in biotechnology include: As a part of the War on Terror, Sandia National Laboratories is expanding its efforts in biotechnology, particularly in new material research. The Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture have begun an effort to create renewable energy sources with bioenergy, potentially lessening dependence on fossil fuels. The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) at the National Institutes of Health was established in March 2004 to provide advice to federal departments and agencies to minimize the possibility that knowledge and technologies emanating from biological research will be misused to threaten public health.

From CIAO's database:

Agricultural Biotechnology's Complementary Intellectual Assets

Trade in Biotechnology Food Products (PDF)

A Firsthand Report: Cuban Biotechnology

Biotechnology and the Future of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention

Glossary of Biotechnology Terms (PDF)

A Defence of Modern Biotechnology

A Policy Strategy for Crop Engineering

Biotechnology and Biochemical Weapons

Outside Links*:

The National Academies

The National Health Museum

Council for Biotechnology Information

Biotechnology Industry Organization

Harvest of Fear (PBS)

* Outside links are not maintained. For broken outside links, CIAO recommends the Way Back Machine [].