Are you aware that more than 250,000 persons in U.S. get an artificial pacemaker each year but this news would certainly bring smile on the faces of people suffering from heart ailments. A custom designed protein and gene delivery system has been successfully used by UC Davis researchers for restoring the normal heart rhythms in pigs with electronic pacemakers. This certainly gives a hint that scientists are very close to realizing bioengineering which could help in the treatment of more than 2.2 million Americans who are suffering from irregular heartbeats. As per Ronald Li, Leader of research team and associate professor, UC Davis School of Medicine Our study offers positive and direct evidence in living models that bioengineered cells can replace the electronic pacemaker. Our hope is to one day replace electronic pacemakers in people It is expected that this research would offer a permanent and more reliable alternative to implanted electronic devices.
Researchers are of the opinion that biotechnology could improve the nutritional content of crops and make them resistance against diseases and insects. The end result would be improved yield of crops fit for both animal and human consumption. Work is also going on molecular farming which would lead to the production of pharmaceutical products in plants and it could revolutionalize vaccination procedures. Until and unless there is an effective exchange of knowledge and experience through partnerships these technologies would not be able to create an impact on world hunger. There is a need for successful partnerships if we would like to make this possible. Some people argue that there are no sufficient private public interactions and enough attention is not being placed with regards to the involvement of in decision making and the role of genomic technologies in tackling food insecurity.
Over the last one decade plant biotechnology has gained importance in the agricultural community. During this time period, plant tissue culture has traveled from the small laboratories and reached the mainstream. Plant tissue culture refers to the collection of ways which are used for growing large number of plant cells in a closely controlled environment. This technique works well as each cell has the genetic information and cellular machinery required for generating an entire organism and this technique could be put to use for producing a large number of plants which are genetically identical to a parent as well as to one another. The culture of tissue, plant cells and organs under aseptic conditions is undertaken in plant tissue culture techniques. An important role is played by these techniques in the production of horticultural, agricultural, ornamental plants and in manipulating plants for improved agronomic performance.
A whopping twenty thousand jobs would be created in Dubai when a free trade zone called Dubiotech would be developed for attracting researchers and companies to Dubai by July 2007. People with specialized skills would be recruited in the projects that would be operating in Dubiotech. This area is being set up under the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority. Around three hundred hectares of land has been embarked for this project. It would be built at a cost of around $35.39 million whereas the headquarters and laboratory would be requiring an investment of Dh600 million. A regulatory framework is also being put into place in order to tackle copyright issues and IPRs. As of now sixteen companies have been licensed and another ten are being invited. Looks like Dubai is set to become the next big biotechnology hub.
This is something shocking!! Most of the Dominicans have never heard about biotechnology or genetically modified foods. Just 18% agricultural producers are aware about agro biotechnology. Another surprising fact is that the national education system does nothing for creating a pool of professional talent for biotechnology field as the academic curriculum is devoid of fundamental subjects such as physics, biology and biochemistry. The problem is at the roots where professors, academic authorities at the elementary and superior level as well as students have never been exposed to biology, biochemistry and biotechnology. The survey was undertaken by the Centre for Agribusiness and Forestal Development (CEDAF). CEDAF reports said: In general, Dominicans do not possess notions that would allow them to consider past, present and future contributions in the biotechnological field, given that, in general, people are not aware of the existence of thousands of biotechnological products, such as penicillin, antibiotics, wine and beer. Certainly this reflects the sorry state of affairs of Dominican Republic.
Something to cheer for Generex Biotechnology Corporation. Mexican Institute of Industrial Property has granted a new patent to Generex called Pharmaceutical Compositions for Buccal and Pulmonary Application. The patent is with regard to the process, composition and methodologies for the purpose of delivery of macromolecules via the buccal cavity of the mouth. The patent is related to improved pharmaceutical composition which comprises macromolecule pharmaceuticals in micellar form and is effective in pulmonary and buccal application . The claim is also related to procedures for preparing and using pharmaceutical compositions. The methods used for enhancing the rate of absorption of a macromolecular pharmaceutical agent have also been disclosed.
Malaysia is realizing the importance of biotechnology and for that purpose it has allocated a sum of around RM210 million in its budget for developing its biotechnology sector. Malaysia has plans to acquire technology through the Biotech Acquisition Programme with a grant of RM60 million. Under the Biotechnology Commercialization Fund, commercialization of R&D findings would be undertaken by international corporations and companies. Along with that around RM59 million have been allocated under the R&D for production of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products, genomics and molecular biology and promotion of agro-biotechnology activities. The government is also planning to set up Bio Innovation Centre in order to offer site facilities and equipment for new companies in order to undertake bio-manufacturing activities and commercialization. Some of the other incentives which the Malaysian government would be offering are: First: bionexus companies be given income tax exemption for 10 years, beginning from the first year the company is profitable. Second: after the expiry of the 10-year exemption period, a bionexus company will be taxed at a concessionary rate of 20 per cent for another 10 years. Third: tax deduction equivalent to the amount of investment made in seed capital and early stage financing be given to companies or individuals investing in bionexus companies. Fourth: stamp duty and real property gains tax exemptions be given to a bionexus company undertaking merger with or acquisition of a biotechnology company, within a period of five years. Fifth: buildings for research activities related to biotechnology be given Accelerated Industrial Building Allowance, whereby the cost of constructing or acquiring the building is written off over a period of 10 years.
Check these facts. In 2005 the Indian biotechnology industry was estimated to be around $1.05 billion achieving a growth rate of around 37%. As of now it just contributes to about one percent of the global biotechnology industry but it is expected that it would garner around ten percent share of the global biotechnology industry in the next five years. India can certainly achieve this as it has one of the largest pool of academicians and trained scientists and has more than three hundred institutes which are providing training in the field of bioinformatics and biotechnology. As of now there are more than seven lac post graduates and fifteen thousands PhDs which are working in various institutes and research areas across the nation. A study conducted by Ernst & Young has regarded India as one of the five emerging biotech leaders but China seems to be catching up quickly. As per the study India has achieved the third rank in the region on the basis of the number of biotech companies in the nation. Surely India is expected to realize its potential in the field of biotechnology and emerge as a clear winner in this field with its strength.
It is being predicted that China’s biotechnology industry output would cross $250 billion or 5% of their GDP by 2020. It is expected that China would come within the circumference of top five countries in the field of biotechnology. China has been making significant progress in the field of biotechnology and life sciences. In its long term programmes China had listed biotechnology as of the major areas for development of science and technology in the next fifteen years. It is expected that by 20202, China would be developing its own technologies such as genetic operation, pharmaceutical elements, new-generation industrial biotechnology and dry cell-based human tissue engineering. Already China has successfully established large biotechnology research, development center and also more than two hundred types of bio chip products. It is expected that China would race past others in the field of biotechnology.
Good news for farmers!! Now your banana crop would not get destroyed. Thanks to Rahan Meristem biotechnology company which has developed banana plants that can resist pathogenic nematodes which are parasitic organism that destroy the plant and the fruit. This nematode resisting banana plant variety is expected to save millions of dollars in lost crops. Up till now improvements in strains of banana could not be done due to natural sterility of the plant genetic modifications and lengthy filed testing has resulted in banana plants immune to parasitic organism. As per Onn Barzilai, CEO, Rahan Meristem: We are very pleased with our accomplishment of creating genetically-engineered banana varieties that were proven highly resistant to root nematodes. Our unique technology will also be used to improve additional crops against nematodes in a sustainable and safe manner.