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Genomics and Biology. Biotechnology and genomics.
Biotechnology in Health- A goldmine

Biotechnology has been associated with general improvement of health and life styles of human beings for quite some time. In fact a lot of research being conducted in the field of biotechnology is concentrated in the area of genetic engineering, DNA fingerprinting, recombitant DNA (rDNA) analysis and other related areas are directed to unravel the mysteries of life and diseases to enhance the quality of life and improve living standards. Needless to say that this exciting and yet unexplored (unexplored in the sense that still a vast ocean is still lying there to be conquered as far as human conditions and diseases are concerned) offers tremendous opportunities to drug manufacturing companies and academic institutions to undertake and sponsor research and pilot projects for giving shape to ideas and concepts.

India has been relatively untouched for a considerable period of time due to various regulatory and other reasons. The first and the foremost has been the process patent regime which was in existence till December 31, 2004. this allowed companies to carry out what is commonly known as ‘reverse engineering’, thereby developing the same product but by applying different processes. This made Indian pharmaceuticals companies profitable in the short run as far as Indian markets were concerned. However this also made them lag behind badly in international arena as far as new research into the field was concerned. However amendment to the patent laws and coming into force of the same with effect from January 01, 2005 made Indian companies to rethink their strategy and contribute to the sector through change in policy framework.

Various path breaking research successes in international arena in the field of health biotechnology has changed the market completely. The sequencing of the human genome has led to further understanding of how to detect and treat various diseases. Health biotechnology has had such a direct impact on the daily lives of people around the world. Vaccines, antibiotics, cancer therapeutics, genetic testing, and innovative diagnoses and treatments for diseases such as diabetes and Cystic Fibrosis are just some of the biotechnology health innovations improving the health and life styles of people in advanced and developing countries alike.

Biotechnology plays an important role as a preventative tool in the health care system. Screening patients for susceptibility to disease and providing vaccinations against the onset of disease has positively impacted millions of people. Improved diagnostic tools help doctors and researchers detect disease and design targeted treatments for patients. The occurrence of side effects can be minimalized by understanding how a person’s genetic makeup affects their capacity to metabolize medicines.

In the future, biotechnology can improve health by using and understanding genetic code to fight diseases, and it gives doctors the tools to not only treat disease, but prevent and cure diseases with a personalized approach. Stem cells are building block cells for every organ, tissue and cell in the human body. Preservation of one’s own stem cells could one day help restore parts of one’s body that become damaged due to disease or injury.

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