Cellular And Molecular Biology: Biotechnology And Genetic Diversity

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BIOL101 - Cellular and Molecular Biology
Biotechnology and Genetic Diversity Essay:
Biotechnology is defined as the exploitation of biological processes for industrial and other purposes, especially the genetic manipulation of microorganisms for the production of antibiotics, hormones, etc (Oxford University Press [2010], Oxford Dictionary of English, Oxford; UK, 2010). The ability of a species to survive is a product of the individual species ability to adapt to its environment, as well as the general size and health of its current breeding population. Utilisation of biotechnology can enable us to both conserve the number of viable breeding individuals within a particular high-risk group, as well as increase the genetic diversity among species in which only small populations exist. An
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One such case of this would be that of Babchi (Psoralea corylifolia), in which P. corylifolia has a stagnant and steeply declining wild population. This is primarily due to its use in Indian Ayurveda, Tamil Siddha and also Chinese medicine systems of traditional medicine. Another circumstance, would be that of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), native to south central China. In which Chinese scientists estimate that only roughly 1500 individuals are left in the wild. Making matters worse, many giant pandas have been overserved to have lost their natural breeding instincts ("National Zoo 's Giant Panda Undergoes Artificial Insemination". NBC, Associated Press, 19 March 2008). A primate cousin of ours, the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) is also critically endangered, with an estimated 7300 remaining in the wild (Wich et al., "Orangutan Population and Habitat Viability

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