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  • Writer's pictureSinead Mackintosh

Biotechnology and Antibiotic Resistance

Biotechnology is the use of living organisms, cells, or their molecules to create new products, processes, and technologies that benefit humankind. This can include things like creating new medicines or vaccines, improving crops that are more resistant to pests and disease, or developing more efficient ways to produce biofuels. Biotechnology uses knowledge from biology, chemistry, and other scientific fields to solve problems and improve our world.

A massive health crisis facing humans today is antibiotic resistance. And biotechnology might be a way to tackle this problem.

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria evolve and develop ways to resist the effects of antibiotics, making infections more difficult to treat. Biotechnology offers several approaches to this:

1. Developing new antibiotics: Biotechnology is helping in the discovery of new antibiotics that can target resistant types of bacteria.

2. Enhancing existing antibiotics: Scientists are using biotechnology to modify existing antibiotics to make them more effective against resistant bacteria.

3. Using CRISPR technology: CRISPR is a gene-editing tool that can be used to specifically target and modify bacterial DNA, making bacteria more susceptible to existing antibiotics.

4. Developing alternative treatments: Biotechnology is also exploring alternative treatments to antibiotics, such as using bacteriophages (viruses that infect and kill bacteria) or other immune system-based therapies.

Overall, biotechnology plays a crucial role in developing new ways to combat antibiotic resistance and helping to ensure that antibiotics remain effective in treating bacterial infections.

And considering that antibiotic resistance causes over 1.7 million deaths a year globally, this technology has the potential to save and improve so many lives.

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