Biotech, or "biotechnology," is technology based on biology, the study of living organisms. It covers all technologies related to biological systems, including humans, animals, and the environment.

The primary goal of biotechnology is to improve the health of people and the planet. Examples include:

  1. treating and curing diseases
  2. formulating optimal nutrition plans
  3. reducing waste through recycling
  4. creating renewable energy sources
  5. generating higher crop yields

While not all scientific research requires computer technology, most modern biotech processes involve computers. For example, scientists often use electronic instruments to perform measurements, which are sent (via a cable or wirelessly) to one or more computer systems. Researchers use computers to record data, compare results over time, and run simulations.

Advancements in processor technology provide corresponding improvements in biotech research. For instance, complex operations like DNA sequencing and chemical compound modeling no longer require specialized computer systems or computing clusters. Simulations that may have taken weeks to run on older systems may now complete in a few minutes.

Biotech vs Medtech

Medtech (medical technology) is a subset of biotech. While biotech covers all facets of biology, medtech is specific to the medical field. Medical technologies such as vaccines and digital x-rays also fall within the biotech umbrella. Biotechnologies, such as plastic recycling and ethanol enrichment, are not considered medtech.

Updated August 7, 2021 by Per C.

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