Celebrating Women in Biotech

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Biotechnology woman engineer examining plant leaf for disease

Biotechnology is the integration of natural science and organisms, cells, parts thereof, and molecular analogues for products and services, as per the European Federation of Biotechnology.

At its simplest, biotechnology is technology based on biology – biotechnology harnesses cellular and biomolecular processes to develop technologies and products that help improve our lives and the health of our planet. We have used the biological processes of microorganisms for more than 6,000 years to make useful food products, such as bread and cheese, and to preserve dairy products.

The Role of Women in Biotechnology

Women have played a major role in the development of biotechnology and medicine and in honor of women’s history month we celebrate all women in biotech. Indeed, women have been at the cutting edge of biotechnology, including Rosalind Franklin who played a fundamental role in deciphering the structure of DNA, Esther Lederberg who discovered the lambda phage which is now a major tool for studying gene regulation and genetic recombination, Margaret Dayhoff who developed the field of bioinformatics, Janet Mertz who created the first piece of recombinant DNA, and Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier who helped pioneer CRISPR, a revolutionary technique for genome editing.

What is Biotechnology
showcases a multitude of amazing women in our world’s history of biotechnology here. They say: “Don’t hesitate to contact us if you think of other women who have played an important role in the development of biotechnology and who are not in above list at [email protected].

How Biotech Can Heal the World

Biotech is helping to heal the world by harnessing nature’s own toolbox and using our own genetic makeup to heal and guide lines of research by:

  • Reducing rates of infectious disease;
  • Saving millions of children’s lives;
  • Changing the odds of serious, life-threatening conditions affecting millions around the world;
  • Tailoring treatments to individuals to minimize health risks and side effects;
  • Creating more precise tools for disease detection; and
  • Combating serious illnesses and everyday threats confronting the developing world.
  • Currently, there are more than 250 biotechnology health care products and vaccines available to patients, many for previously untreatable diseases. More than 13.3 million farmers around the world use agricultural biotechnology to increase yields, prevent damage from insects and pests and reduce farming’s impact on the environment. More than 50 biorefineries are being built across North America to test and refine technologies to produce biofuels and chemicals from renewable biomass, which can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    Recent advances in biotechnology are helping us prepare for and meet society’s most pressing challenges.

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    What are the Industrial Applications of Biotechnology?

    The industrial applications of biotechnology range from the production of cellular structures to the production of biological elements for numerous uses. Examples include the creation of new materials in the construction industry, and the manufacture of beer and wine, washing detergents, and personal care products.

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    The Top 25 Women Leaders in Biotechnology of 2020 The exceptional women selected for the year of 2020 awards have been instrumental in navigating the unique challenges faced by the biotech industry, across roles in research and development, regulatory affairs, marketing, executive leadership, and other critical areas.

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