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Medicinal Applications in Biotechnology – The Uses and Applications of Biotechnology in the Medicinal World Continue to Grow

written by: •edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski•updated: 6/26/2008

Biotechnology has many uses and applications in the medical and health care industries and continues to provide improvements in the field.

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    One of the biggest uses in biotechnology is for medicinal purposes. Modern applications of biotechnology continue to find promising new uses in the medicinal and health care fields.  Some of the biggest areas of application in the medicinal field include pharmacogenomics, drug production, genetic testing and genetic therapy. These main four applications of biotechnology bring a whole new approach and chance for improvement in the world of medicinal applications.


    Pharmacogenomics is the impact that genetic inheritance of an individual has on the way their bodies respond to drugs and medications. It is basically the study of genetics and pharmaceuticals. Biotechnology offers new possibilities in the design and production of drugs and how they can be adapted to each individual and their genetic makeup.

    Benefits of biotechnology applications in pharmacogenomics include: development of custom medications, accurate methods of determining proper dosages of medications, improvements in the discovery of new drugs and getting those drugs approved, and better and safer vaccinations.


    Biopharmaceuticals refer to large molecules of protein that typically target the hiding mechanisms of diseases. Modern biotechnology has been making great strides in trying to find treatments for diseases like hepatitis, cancer, arthritis and cardiovascular diseases. Biotechnology has improved the way drugs and medications are developed and used, and has opened the door to a whole new method of developing treatments by studying genetic traits.


    Genetic testing is one of the more controversial applications of biotechnology and includes two major types: one method involves the use of DNA probes with sequences similar to mutated sequences and the other method involves the scientist or researcher conducting the genetic test by comparing the patients DNA sequence against a healthy persons DNA sequence. Applications of biotechnology in genetic testing make it possible to determine sex, carrier screening, prenatal diagnostic screening, newborn screening and even forensic and identity testing.


    Biotechnology is used in gene therapy for treating and possibly curing acquired and genetic diseases such as AIDS and cancer. It works by using normal genes and supplementing or replacing the defective genes. There are two basic implementations of gene therapy: ex vivo which is done outside of the body, and in vivo which is done inside of the body.


    Biotechnology has come a long way with medicinal applications in the health care field and continues to be improved as more research is completed.