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Enzymes in Biotechnology



Biotechnology could be traced back to thousands of years ago when human started to use yeasts to make liquor. This may be the first dawn of biotechnology in food production. Along with the development of natural and social sciences, nowadays, biotechnology carries more colorful meanings.

In the modern world, biotechnology often refers to the process of making or modifying products using living systems or organisms. Besides the traditional fermentation, biotechnological tools have expanded to employ more advanced sciences, such as genetic engineering, applied immunology, and medicinal therapies and diagnostic. Among these tools, a variety of enzymes are indispensable—they may appear as hammers and chisels to help accomplish molecular biology experiments, or they may act as efficient micro-reactors in industrial production. They exist everywhere and resemble all kinds of functions in living cells or in harsh environments bearing no life. As of today, people exploit their functions in great details for better uses in biotechnology.

Application of Enzymes in Cell Biology

Enzymes in Biotechnology Enzymes are commonly used in cell lysis. Mechanical cell disruption methods do not discriminate the release of the desired product from among a host of other contaminating molecules and cell debris, and they may also damage the protein product. In contrast, the use of lytic enzyme systems, which can provide biological specificity to the process of cell lysis and product release, shows an interesting potential for controlled lysis.Cell wall lytic enzymes are valuable tools for the biotechnologist, with many applications in medicine, the food industry, and agriculture, and for recovering of intracellular products from yeast or bacteria. The diversity of potential applications has conducted to the development of lytic enzyme systems with specific characteristics, suitable for satisfying the requirements of each particular application.

Application of Enzymes in Molecular Biology

Enzymes in Biotechnology Nucleic acids used for molecular cloning can be of natural or synthetic origin, and their length ranges from a few to several thousands nucleotides. Nucleic acids can be extensively manipulated, in order to acquire specific characteristics and properties. Such manipulations include propagation, ligation, digestion, or addition of modifying groups such as phosphate or methyl groups. These modifications are catalyzed by polymerases, ligases, nucleases, phosphatases, and methylases, respectively.

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