Microbial Processes & Products in Biotechnology

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: The Evolution of Prokaryotes: Archaebacteria and Eubacteria

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 What is Biotechnology?
  • 0:54 Biotechnology & Food
  • 1:39 Household Products
  • 2:59 Other Products from…
  • 3:33 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sarah Friedl

Sarah has two Master's, one in Zoology and one in GIS, a Bachelor's in Biology, and has taught college level Physical Science and Biology.

Biotechnology may sound like a fancy term, but it is applicable to very basic things in your everyday life. In this video lesson we'll look at some of the things that come from microbes in biotechnology, some of which might surprise you!

What is Biotechnology?

What do blue jeans, toast, diapers and beer all have in common? They are all products of biotechnology. Biotechnology is the manipulation of organisms or parts of organisms to create other products. This sounds like a modern concept of the 21st century, but biotechnology has actually been around for a very long time. People have long used biotechnology to not only selectively breed animals, such as livestock and pets, but also to make things like wine, cheese and beer with microbes, which are just microscopic single-celled organisms.

Today, biotechnology, also called DNA technology, is a far-reaching field, affecting almost every aspect of life you can think of. Let's take a look at some of the amazing and surprising ways that microbes are used in modern biotechnology.

Biotechnology & Food

You've probably heard about genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. These are organisms that have been modified through biotechnology and today this is widely seen in the agricultural industry. There are numerous reasons that someone might want to alter the DNA of a particular crop, such as higher crop yield, larger plant size, faster growth, and disease resistance.

Fungi are an essential part of biotechnology. Certain fungi are used to ripen cheese and give it distinctive flavors, like blue cheese. Yeasts are used to cause bread to rise and to help make beer, as well as yogurt, soy sauce and other things. And still other microbes are used as additives to food, as things like thickeners, vitamins and flavoring agents.

Household Products

Even if you don't like cheese or bread, there's still a household full of biotechnology for you. Look in your kitchen, laundry room and bathroom and you'll find biotechnology just about everywhere. Cosmetics and pharmaceuticals rely on biotechnology to make products that don't irritate your skin when you use them. The paper towels and toilet paper you use today employ microbes and biotechnology to reduce the chemicals used during production that could be released into the environment. Biotechnology helps laundry and dish detergents clean better and at lower temperatures, making them more effective and efficient. And microbes are now used in the manufacturing of some diapers, so they can be composted instead of being thrown into the trash.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support