Concepts and Terminologies
The terms biotechnology, genetic engineering and molecular biology are very much related. There are also many terminologies that have been added to the lexicon of biotechnology. A brif on these terminologies are summarized hereunder.
It is the application of scientific and engineering principles to the processing of materials by biological agents to provide goods and services. It involves the use of microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeasts, or biological substances, such as enzymes, to perform specific industrial or manufacturing processes. Using bacteria that feed on hydrocarbons to clean up an oil spill is one example of biotechnology.
It is also called genetic modification, is the direct human manipulation of an organism’s genome using modern DNA technology. It involves the introduction of foreign DNA or synthetic genes into the organism of interest.
It is the branch of biology that deals with the formation, structure, and function of macromolecules essential to life, such as nucleic acids and proteins, and especially with their role in cell replication and the transmission of genetic information.
Genomics is the study of the genome . The term genome refers to the entire gene tic content of an organism. Genomics is the scientific discipline of mapping, sequencing, and analyzing genomes. The entire RNA and protein content of an organism are referred to as transcriptome and proteome, respectively. Genomics, in the broad sense, includes transcriptomics (study of the transcriptome) and proteomics (study of the proteome), as the genetic signal can be modified during and after the transcription and translation processes
Functional genomics combine bioinformatics, DNA chip technology, animal models, and other methodologies to identify and characterize genes that cause human disease, and are therefore prime targets fir drug development.
Metagenomics is the cloning of genetic material from microorganisms that cannot be grown in the laboratory into ones that can be grown so that new forms of known genes may be identified.
The proteome is defined as the expressed protein complement of a cell, tissue, or whole organism. Proteomics was first used in 1994 by Williams and Hochstrasser. The proteome, unlike the genome, varies both temporally and between tissues as the fish grows and adapts its physiology to meet the demands of a new environment. As proteins are the final determinant of phenotype—the proteome that describes the abundance, identity, posttranslational modifications, and potentially the synthesis rates of proteins—an understanding of the regulation proteome is imperative to gain a holistic view of the animal. Proteomics use mass spectroscopy (MS) techniques to identify novel functional proteins from genes that are expressed
Metabolomics is the scientific study of chemical processes involving metabolites. Specifically, metabolomics is the “systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes leave behind”, the study of their small-molecule metabolite profiles. The metabolome represents the collection of all metabolites in a biological cell, tissue, organ or organism, which are the end products of cellular processes.