What is Biotechnology

Biotechnology Explained

Biotechnology is often thought of as a "new" science. However, some common applications of biotechnology, such as using fermentation to produce, bread, wine and beer or the cultivation of crops to produce higher yields, have been in use for thousands of years.

Biotechnology is defined as the science of using and modifying biological material in order to develop products and organisms for specific use. A variety of biotechnology applications are commonly used in the following industries:

  • Research, testing, and medical laboratories
  • Drugs, vaccines and pharmaceuticals
  • Health care (diagnostics, therapeutics & personalized medicine)
  • Environment applications (biofuel & wildlife management)
  • Food industry (testing & crop production)
  • Agriculture feedstock and chemicals

This a rapidly expanding field of science with enormous potential for both improving life and providing a growing source of well paying technical jobs.

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Biotechnology in San Diego

San Diego is home to one of the world's largest clusters of biotechnology companies, including more than 500 biomedical companies (Source: San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation). San Diego's biotech cluster employs an estimated 40,000 people and has a $9.1 billion annual impact on the local economy (Source: Rich's San Diego BioScience Directory, San Diego Assoc. of Governments). The demand and need for individuals skilled and trained in biotechnology is increasing.

Some of the biotechnology companies and research institutions located in San Diego include: