Cluster: Biotechnology

Cluster: Biotechnology

A cluster of topics related to biotechnology.

Biotechnology is the use of technology to modify or manipulate living systems or parts of living systems for the generation of useful products, biological processing, to treat disease or to acquire knowledge. Products manufactured or processed using biotechnology are found in agricultural, pharmaceutical, food, chemical and biofuel industries. Biotechnology is also used in waste treatment.

Biotechnology fundamentals

Biotechnology is used to modify living systems or parts of living systems based on knowledge about essential parts or processes which allow living things to grow, reproduce, use resources and respond to their environment.

Biotechnology tools

Biotechnology tools have been developed in research areas such as molecular biology, biochemistry, immunology, genetics, microbiology, cell biology and agriculture.

Nucleic acid sequencing

Gene editing tools


Biomaterials interact with biological systems. They can be natural or synthetic, alive or lifeless and are made of multiple components. Biomaterials are often used in medical applications.


Biomolecules, also called biological molecules, are molecules produced by cells of living organisms. DNA, RNA and enzymes are examples of biomolecules. The following are biomolecules with uses in pharmaceuticals, food, cosmetics or textiles.

Mapping Projects

Mapping projects serve as reference manuals to living systems by showing the organization of components within living organisms. Mapping projects promote the sharing of biological information.


Facilitating access to DNA sequences

Large biopharmaceutical companies

Therapeutics companies

The following companies are using biotechnology in disease research and in development and production of medicine or therapies for a range of injuries or illnesses.





Drug delivery system

Drug discovery platforms

Kidney disease

Pain treatment




Rare disease

Therapeutics targeting RNA splicing

Multi-drug resistant bacteria

ADHD treatment

Depression and anxiety

Autoimmune and inflammatory disease

Respiratory and pulmonary disease

Cardiovascular disease

Contract research companies

Regenerative medicine

Neuromuscular disease

Alzheimer's, neurological and neurodegenerative diseases



Eye disease or injury

Bone repair and sports medicine

Eating disorders

Antibacterial products and therapeutics



Plant-based manufacturing of therapeutics and vaccines

Live bacteria therapeutic delivery systems

Genome editing and gene therapy

Drug discovery in microbes

Vaccines and treatments for infectious disease


Theranostics combines diagnotics and therapeutics.

In vitro diagnostics (IVD) and molecular diagnostics companies

Biotechnology is used by IVD companies to develop tests that detect diseases in vitro, meaning outside the body, from human samples like blood, urine and tissue. Molecular diagnostics are a subset of tests within IVD which detect DNA and RNA in order to assess health. Examples are detection of disease-causing gene mutations or presence of viral DNA or RNA. Detection of proteins using antibodies is considered separate from molecular diagnostics but falls under IVD. In addition to molecular diagnostics and immunoassays, the IVD market also includes clinical chemistry, hematology analyzers and microbiology culture.

Diagnostics tools

  • Cas12a based DETECTR system to detect viruses
  • Cas12a based HOMES system to detect viruses and small nucleotide polymorphism sites in human DNA related to health and personal characteristics
  • CRISPR-on-a-chip for cancer diagnostics

Advising oncology treatment based on molecular tests

Personalized health and disease risk testing

Genetic Testing for Disease Risks

Epigenetic Testing for Disease Risks

Large Genomics and Health Studies

Genomic analysis for drug development and deployment

Microbiome analysis

Proteomics-based biomarkers

RNA-based biomarkers

Quantum computing applications in life sciences

Genetic ancestry testing

  • 23andMe
  • Ancestry
  • HomeDNA
  • Living DNA
  • Gene-by-Gene provides Family Tree DNA
  • Gene-by-Gene runs the Genographics Project labs which uses the National Geographic Geno DNA Kit
  • African Ancestry
  • Full Genomes
  • DNA Tribes

Imaging technology and bioanalytics


  • Vivax Bio and its subsidiary, 3D Bioprinting Solutions

Biotechnology companies that provide research tools

The following companies that produce instruments, kits, reagents and computer software for basic and applied biological research.

Microfluidic cell culture, organ-on-a-chip, human-on-a-chip

Sustainable and biodegradable materials

Food industry


Chemical industry

Agriculture (Ag biotech)

Biological control systems

  • Oxitec (insect-based control of disease-carrying mosquitoes and crop-damaging insects)

Carbon capture and conversion



First generation biofuels include ethanol and plant oil produced from sugar and starch. Second generation biofuels are produced from non-food biomass called lignocellulose and are called cellulosic biofuels. Third generation biofuels are derived from algae and produce feedstock as well as fuel. Fourth generation biofuels are electrofuels or photobiological solar fuels.

Biomining and bioremediation


Biotechnology in conservation

Skincare products

Blockchain and biology

The ability of blockchain to facilitate transparency, control and sharing of information, while keeping data secure, is being applied to biotechnology. Blockchain technology in data storage and online platforms can improve sharing and access to information and also provide quicker ways for tracking and managing various steps in drug development.

 For immunotherapies such as CAR-T cell therapy, blockchain can provide ways to store, maintain, track and secure information about cells derived from a donor patient like editing performed, storage conditions and transport from donor to recipient. Information must be accessible to patients, physicians, laboratory scientists, logistics companies, supply chains and infusion centers.

Other biotechnology companies

Trade Associations

Biotechnology investment

Biotech startup support

Consultants in Biotechnology

Research Institutes

Community biolabs and projects


  • Transtech Conference
  • International Conference on Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology
  • Discovery On Target
  • BIO-Europe
  • Biotech Showcase
  • Cell Series USA
  • The American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting
  • The American Society for Cell Biology annual meeting

Biosafety organizations




Further reading


1H 2019 biopharma startup and VC report

Richard Murphey



Documentaries, videos and podcasts




Santa Cruz, CA

Nanopore Detection Platform


May 22, 2020
Developed by Beijing-based firm, the vaccine shows development of both forms of immunity
April 19, 2020
The centre has formed a high-level task force to oversee the work being carried out to develop vaccine against COVID-19, which has killed over 500 people in the country.
Rebecca Spalding
October 3, 2019
Biotechnology company ADC Therapeutics SA postponed its planned $200 million (162.34 million pounds) U.S. initial public offering on Wednesday, citing adverse market conditions as it became the third company to pull a planned IPO in recent days.


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