Fulfilling the promise of biotechnology
AbstractGenetic engineering has produced pharmaceuticals, disease-resistant plants, cloned animals and research and industrial products. While the comparably mature field of medical biotechnology now reveals its true potential, marine biotechnology is still in the realm of the future. As we explore the earth for new sources of natural chemicals, we now search the waters. Myriad organisms, most unknown to us, live there. Many produce compounds that can be commercialized, or the organisms themselves may be commercialized, through genetic engineering methods. For decades, scientists studied the ocean depths searching for unique molecules and organisms. But not until the early 1980s was there a synthesis uniting marine natural products, ecology, aquaculture and bioremediation research under the heading of marine biotechnology. As harvesting enough products from marine sources to produce sufficient amounts, even for study, is nearly impossible, we need to use genomics techniques to identify Read more...
Rita R Colwell
Publication date: 2002/11/01