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Biotechnology and History of Genetic Engineering

Genetic Engineering Versus Biotechnology, Further Advances And Ethical Concerns, Key Technical Developments, Patents And The Rise Of Biotechnology Companies

The term "biotechnology" dates from 1919, when the Hungarian engineer Karl Ereky first used it to mean "any product produced from raw materials with the aid of living organisms." Using the term in its broadest sense, biotechnology can be traced to prehistoric times, when huntergatherers began to settle down, plant crops, and breed animals for food. Ancient civilizations even found that they could use microorganisms to make useful products, although, of course, they had no idea that it was microbes that were the active agents. About B.C.E. 7000, the Sumarians and Babylonians discovered how to use yeast to make beer, and winemaking dates from biblical times. In about B.C.E. 4000, the Egyptians found that the addition of yeast produced a light, fluffy bread instead of a thin, hard wafer. At the same time, the Chinese were adding bacteria to milk to produce yogurt.

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Medicine EncyclopediaGenetics in Medicine - Part 1