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Biotechnology is the use of biological organisms or enzymes in the synthesis, breakdown or transformation of materials.

Biotechnology includes a whole range of processes, from the traditional production of cheeses, wine, bread and beer to the latest technologies that manipulate the DNA to produce genetically modified organisms which can be used to synthesise medicines or other chemicals for medical use.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the medical developments with the greatest potential to improve human health are all linked to biotechnology.

This topic introduces you to biotechnology to help you understand what it is, alongside key milestones in the development and use of biotechnology. A number of pages cover examples of where biotechnology is in use across different scientific fields. The topic finishes with an interactive quiz to test what you have learned in this topic.

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biotechnology | cloning | genetic engineering | polymerase chain reaction | stem cells | unravelling the genome | careers in the industry | history of medicine

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