Living Through... Biotechnology
Bringing the Lab To Your Home
in your kitchen? Take a look at your dish detergents if you don't
year's Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Conference focused
on new products and developments that may leave you more than
a little surprised at which products in your home are actually
made with biotechnology.
is behind many of the medicines we use, the cleaning products
in our homes and even the foods that we eat. Enzyme cleaners for
contact lenses and sprays that take the odors out of clothes are
all based on new and better understanding of biology and it's
use in manufacturing new products, better known as biotechnology.
A new wave
of biotech products were introduced at this year's Biotechnology
Conference. Brent Erickson, of the Biotechnology Industry Organization,
explained, "Everywhere in your home now, we're seeing products
made with industrial biotechnology...Stain removers, and contact
lense cleaners have enzymes in it now to get the proteins off
of your contact lenses."
If it makes
you a bit nervous to think about bioengineering at work on your
dishes or contacts, you are not alone. Erickson assures us that
industrial biotechnology is safe - and it's safer for the environment.
"Detergents used to have polluting phosphates in them, now
we add enzymes to make your clothes cleaner with lower wash temperatures."
Sustainability' is really about continuing manufacturing with
cleaner processes, so we're not polluting the environment, but
continuing our economic activity, and industrial biotechnology
allows us to do that more efficiently and actually allows us to
prevent pollution instead of cleaning it up after the fact."
The uses of
biotechnology hold the promise of better treatments for cancer
and other deadly diseases. Erickson says it won't be too long
before we have cars running on biotechnology-derived fuel.
like a brighter, healthier, and more independent future for all
see in Science -> Biology