GLOSSARY: Biotechnology

Biotechnology Definition: Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. In modern use, similar terms include genetic engineering as well as cell- and tissue culture technologies. The concept encompasses a wide range of procedures (and history) for modifying living organisms according to human purposes - going back to domestication of animals, cultivation of plants, and "improvements" to these through breeding programs that employ artificial selection and hybridisation. By comparison to biotechnology, bioengineering is generally thought of as a related field with its emphasis more on higher systems approaches (not necessarily altering or using biological materials directly) for interfacing with and utilising living things.