Biotechnology is a branch of biology which deals with the use of living matter in fields like technology, engineering and medicine. The use of the term in the modern world refers to tissue and cell culture and genetic engineering technologies (Kingiri, 2010). The concept however, comprises of a diverse variety and background of steps for transforming living organisms so as to fit human purposes, cultivation and ‘improvement’ of plants through breeding with special methods like hybridization or artificial selection and going back to the process of domestication of animals. When compared to biotechnology, bioengineering is defined as the process by which higher system or mechanical approaches are used to define the interface of living things with technology (Kingiri, 2010). The United Nations Biology Diversity Convention defines biotechnology a any form of application which is technical and it uses living things, biological systems or any of their derivatives to change the form of products so as to be applied in some specific uses. There are three areas in which biotechnology has been utilized.
One area is in the process of genetically altering foods. Through this method farmers are able to grow crops like canola, corn and soy. By genetically altering foods, some consumers argue that more bug resistant foods are developed. Biotechnology has also been useful in the area of utilizing living things so as to produce goods and services which can be used for industrial and practical purposes. These include the process of fermentation which is used to make cheese and bread (Bader et. al., 2010). The third area where biotechnology has been utilized is in the combination of technology and biology so as to come up with new plants, molecules, microorganisms and animals with better characteristics.
Biotechnology offers a chance for genes from related or unrelated species to be combined thus producing species which are resistant and having unique characteristics.