Biotechnology – Science Tracer Bullet

Posted: October 10, 2015 at 8:47 pm

Biotechnology is that "branch of technology concerned with modern forms of industrial production utilizing living organisms, especially micro-organisms, and their biological processes," according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The actual term applies to a wide variety of uses of such biological technology, including the development of new breeds of plants and animals, the creation of therapeutic drugs and preventive vaccines, the growing of more nutritious and naturally pest-resistant crops as a food source, and the production of biofuels as an alternative energy source.

The basic idea of biotechnology has existed since prehistoric times. When early humans learned that they could plant their own crops and breed their own animals, and realized that they could selectively breed plants and livestock, they were practicing biotechnology. It was in 1919 that the actual term, "Biotechnologie" or "biotechnology," was coined by Karl Ereky, a Hungarian engineer. Since the end of World War II, biotechnology has also been used for large-scale waste management, chemotherapy drug production, ore leaching, and other commercial operations.

The discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953 pushed the field of biotechnology to the DNA level. Since the 1970s, using the techniques of gene splicing and recombinant DNA, scientists have been able to combine the genetic elements of two or more living organisms. Completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, as well as the availability of the entire genome sequences of various organisms and of advanced molecular techniques and tools (bioinformatics, comparative genomics, cloning, gene splicing, recombinant DNA), has paved the way for further biotechnological developments in agriculture, medicine, and other areas. Yet, as more novel uses of biotechnology are explored, ethical issues and controversies arise.

While the term "biotechnology" covers a very broad area, this guide focuses on the most recent uses of biotechnology in its four major fields: 1. medicine (vaccine development, chemotherapy drugs, stem cell therapy, gene therapy, and pharmacogenomics); 2. agriculture (genetically modified organisms and cloning); 3. energy and environment (biofuel and waste management); and 4. the bioethical and legal implications of biotechnology. This guide updates and replaces TB 84-7, and furnishes a review of the literature in the collections of the Library of Congress on the topic. Not intended as a comprehensive bibliography, this compilation is designed--as the name of the series implies--to put the reader "on target."


Hoyle, Brian. Biotechnology. In Gale encyclopedia of science. K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, editors. 4th ed. v. 1. Detroit, Thomson Gale, c2008. p. 579-581. Q121.G37 2008

Shmaefsky, Brian. The definition of biotechnology. In his Biotechnology 101. Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 2006. p. 1-17. TP248.215.S56 2006

Smith, J. E. Public perception of biotechnology. In Basic biotechnology. Edited by Colin Ratledge and Bjrn Kristiansen. 3rd ed. Cambridge, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2006. p. 3-33. TP248.2.B367 2006

Zaitlin, Milton. Biotechnology. In McGraw-Hill encyclopedia of science & technology. 10th ed. v. 3. New York, McGraw-Hill, 2007. p. 127-130. Q121.M3 2007


Subject headings used by the Library of Congress, under which books on biotechnology can be found include the following:






Basic biotechnology. Edited by Colin Ratledge and Bjrn Kristiansen. 3rd ed. Cambridge, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2006. 666 p. TP248.2.B367 2006

Batiza, Ann. Bioinformatics, genomics, and proteomics: getting the big picture. Philadelphia, Chelsea House Publishers, c2006. 196 p. Bibliography: p. 181-188. QH324.2.B38 2006

Gazit, Ehud. Plenty of room for biology at the bottom: an introduction to bionanotechnology. London, Imperial College Press; Hackensack, NJ, World Scientific Pub., c2007. 183 p. Bibliography: p. 171-179. QP514.2.G39 2007

An Introduction to molecular biotechnology: molecular fundamentals, methods and applications in modern biotechnology. Edited by Michael Wink, translated by Renate Fitzroy. Weinheim, Wiley-VCH, c2006. 768 p. Includes bibliographical references. TP248.2.I6813 2006

Nicholl, Desmond S. T. An introduction to genetic engineering. 3rd ed. Cambridge, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2008. 336 p. Includes bibliographical references. QH442.N53 2008

Renneberg, Reinhard. Biotechnology for beginners. Edited by Arnold L. Demain. Berlin, Boston, Springer-Verlag, c2008. 360 p. Includes bibliographical references. TP248.2.R45 2008

Shmaefsky, Brian. Biotechnology 101. Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 2006. 251 p. Bibliography: p. 235-245. TP248.215.S56 2006


Biotechnology: changing life through science. K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, editors. Detroit, Thomson Gale, c2007. 3 v. Includes bibliographical references. TP248.218.B56 2007

Brown, T. A. Gene cloning and DNA analysis: an introduction. 5th ed. Oxford, Malden, MA, Blackwell Pub., 2006. 386 p. Includes bibliographical references. QH442.2.B76 2006

Daugherty, Ellyn. Biotechnology: science for the new millennium. St. Paul, MN, Paradigm Publishers, c2007. 420 p. + 1 CD-ROM. TP248.2.D38 2007 FT MEADE

McGloughlin, Martina, and Edward Re. The evolution of biotechnology: from Natufians to nanotechnology. Dordrecht, Springer, c2006. 262 p. Includes bibliographical references. TP248.2.M434 2006

Pimentel, David, and Marcia H. Pimentel. Food, energy, and society. 3rd ed. Boca Raton, CRC Press, c2008. 380 p. Includes bibliographical references. HD9000.6.P55 2008

Shmaefsky, Brian. Biotechnology on the farm and in the factory: agricultural and industrial applications. Philadelphia, Chelsea House Publishers, c2006. 158 p. Bibliography: p. 145-149. S494.5.B563S53 2006


Agriculture, Genetically Modified Organisms, and Food Biotechnology

Andre, Peter. Genetically modified diplomacy: the global politics of agricultural biotechnology and the environment. Vancouver, UBC Press, c2007. 324 p. Includes bibliographical references. S494.5.B563A53 2007

Biotechnology of fruit and nut crops. Edited by Richard E. Litz. Wallingford, Oxfordshire, Eng., Cambridge, MA, CABI Pub., c2005. 723 p. (Biotechnology in agriculture series, no. 29) Includes bibliographical references. SB359.3.B549 2005

Food biotechnology. Edited by Kalidas Shetty and others. 2nd ed. New York, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis, 2006. 1982 p. Includes bibliographical references. TP248.65.F66F6482 2006

Food biochemistry and food processing. Editor, Y. H. Hui; Associate editors, Wai-Kit Nip and others. Ames, IA, Blackwell Pub. Professional, 2006. 769 p. Includes bibliographical references. TP370.8.F66 2006

The Gene revolution: GM crops and unequal development. Edited by Sakiko Fukuda-Parr. London, Sterling, VA, Earthscan, 2007. 248 p. Includes bibliographical references. TP248.65.F66G44 2007

Herren, Ray V. Introduction to biotechnology: an agricultural revolution. Clifton Park, NY, Delmar Learning, c2005. 413 p. S494.5.B563H47 2005

Labeling genetically modified food: the philosophical and legal debate. Edited by Paul Weirich. Oxford, New York, Oxford University Press, 2007. 249 p. Includes bibliographical references. TP248.65.F66L33 2007

Murphy, Denis J. Plant breeding and biotechnology: societal context and the future of agriculture. Cambridge, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2007. 423 p. Includes bibliographical references. SB123.M77 2007

Safety of genetically engineered foods: approaches to assessing unintended health effects. Committee on Identifying and Assessing Unintended Effects of Genetically Engineered Foods on Human Health, Board on Life Sciences, Food and Nutrition Board, Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Institute of Medicine. Washington, National Academies Press, 2004. 235 p. Includes bibliographical references. TP248.65.F66S245 2004

Sanderson, Colin J. Understanding genes and GMOs. Singapore, Hackensack, NJ, World Scientific, c2007. 345 p. Includes bibliographical references. QH442.6.S26 2007

Thompson, Paul B. Food biotechnology in ethical perspective. 2nd ed. Dordrecht, Springer, c2007. 340 p. (The International library of environmental, agricultural and food ethics, 10) Bibliography: p. 309-334. TP248.65.F66T47 2007

Biotechnology Ethics and Law

Bailey, Ronald. Liberation biology: the scientific and moral case for the biotech revolution. Amherst, NY, Prometheus Books, 2005. 332 p. Bibliography: p. 247-310. TP248.23.B35 2005

Biotechnology and the law. Hugh B. Wellons and others. Chicago, American Bar Association, c2006. l957 p. Includes bibliographical references. KF3133.B56B56 2006

Bohrer, Robert A. A guide to biotechnology law and business. Durham, NC, Carolina Academic Press, c2007. 341 p. Includes bibliographical references. KF3133.B56 B64 2007

Cohen, Cynthia B. Renewing the stuff of life: stem cells, ethics, and public policy. Oxford, New York, Oxford University Press, 2007. 311 p. Bibliography: p. 244-295. QH588.S83C46 2007

Fundamentals of the stem cell debate: the scientific, religious, ethical, and political issues. Edited by Kristen Renwick Monroe, Ronald B. Miller, and Jerome S. Tobis. Berkeley, University of California Press, c2008. 218 p. Includes bibliographical references. QH588.S83F86 2008

Morris, Jonathan. The ethics of biotechnology. Philadelphia, Chelsea House Publishers, c2006. 158 p. Bibliography: p. 142-144. TP248.23.M67 2006

Energy and Environment: Biofuels and Waste Management

Biofuels for transport: global potential and implications for sustainable energy and agriculture. Worldwatch Institute. London, Sterling, VA, Earthscan, 2007. 452 p. Bibliography: p. 407-443. TP339.B5435 2007

Biofuels refining and performance. Ahindra Nag, editor. New York, McGraw-Hill, c2008. 312 p. Includes bibliographical references. TP339.B5437 2008

Biomass: energy from plants and animals. Amanda de la Garza, book editor. Detroit, Greenhaven Press, c2007. 120 p. Bibliography: p. 109-113. TP339.B5646 2007

Bitton, Gabriel. Wastewater microbiology. 3rd ed. Hoboken, NJ, Wiley-Liss, John Wiley & Sons, c2005. 746 p. Includes bibliographical references. QR48.B53 2005

Logan, Bruce E. Microbial fuel cells. Hoboken, NJ, Wiley-Interscience, c2008. 200 p. Bibliography: p. 189-198. TP339.L64 2008

Materials, chemicals, and energy from forest biomass. Dimitris S. Argyropoulos, editor. Washington, American Chemical Society; Distributed by Oxford University Press, c2007. 591 p. (ACS symposium series, 954) Includes bibliographical references. TP339.M367 2007

Progress in biomass and bioenergy research. Steven F. Warnmer, editor. New York, Nova Science Publishers, c2007. 217 p. Includes bibliographical references. TP360.P768 2007

Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

Autologous and cancer stem cell gene therapy. Editors, Roger Bertolotti, Keiya Ozawa. Hackensack, NJ, World Scientific, c2008. 446 p. (Progress in gene therapy, v. 3) Includes bibliographical references. QH588.S83A98 2008

Biotechnology in personal care. Edited by Raj Lad. New York, Taylor & Francis, 2006. 454 p. (Cosmetic science and technology series, v. 29) Includes bibliographical references. TP983.B565 2006

Cancer biotherapy: an introductory guide. Edited by Annie Young, Lewis Rowett, David Kerr. Oxford, New York, Oxford University Press, c2006. 323 p. Includes bibliographical references. RC271.I45C33 2006

Kelly, Evelyn B. Stem cells. Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 2007. 203 p. Bibliography: p. 193-198. QH588.S83K45 2007

The National Academies guidelines for human embryonic stem cell research. Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee, Board on Life Sciences, Division on Earth and Life Studies, Board on Health Sciences Policy, Institute of Medicine, National Research Council and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Washington, National Academies Press, c2007. 36 p. Includes bibliographical references. "2007 amendments." QH442.2.N38 2007

Newton, David E. Stem cell research. New York, Facts On File, c2007. 284 p. Includes bibliographical references. QH588.S83N49 2007

Panno, Joseph. Stem cell research: medical applications and ethical controversy. New York, Facts On File, c2005. 178 p. Bibliography: p. 157-161. QH588.S83P36 2005

Pharmaceutical biotechnology. Edited by Michael J. Groves. 2nd ed. Boca Raton, Taylor & Francis, 2006. 411 p. Includes bibliographical references. RS380.P475 2005

Pharmaceutical biotechnology: fundamentals and applications. Edited by Daan J. A. Crommelin, Robert D. Sindelar, Bernd Meibohm. 3rd ed. New York, Informa Healthcare, c2008. 466 p. Includes bibliographical references. RS380.P484 2008

Sasson, Albert. Medical biotechnology: achievements, prospects and perceptions. Tokyo, New York, United Nations University Press, c2005. 154 p. Bibliography: p. 143-148. TP248.2.S273 2005

Schacter, Bernice. Biotechnology and your health: pharmaceutical applications. Philadelphia, Chelsea House Publishers, c2006. 178 p. Bibliography: p. 163-167. RS380.S33 2006

Stem cells and cancer. Devon W. Parsons, editor. New York, Nova Biomedical Books, c2007. 284 p. Includes bibliographical references. RC269.7.S74 2007

Stem cells: from bench to bedside. Editors, Ariff Bongso and Eng Hin Lee. Singapore, Hackensack, NJ, World Scientific, c2005. 565 p. Includes bibliographical references. QH588.S83B66 2005

Stephenson, Frank Harold. DNA: how the biotech revolution is changing the way we fight disease. Amherst, NY, Prometheus Books, 2007. 333 p. Bibliography: p. 303-312. TP248.215.S74 2007

Walsh, Gary. Pharmaceutical biotechnology: concepts and applications. Chichester, Eng., Hoboken, NJ, John Wiley & Sons, c2007. 480 p. Includes bibliographical references. RS380.W35 2007


Glazer, Alexander N., and Hiroshi Nikaido. Microbial biotechnology: fundamentals of applied microbiology. 2nd ed. Cambridge, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2007. 554 p. Includes bibliographical references. TP248.27.M53G57 2007

Globalization, biosecurity, and the future of the life sciences. Committee on Advances in Technology and the Prevention of Their Application to Next Generation Biowarfare Threats, Development, Security, and Cooperation Policy and Global Affairs Division, Board on Global Health, Institute of Medicine, Institute of Medicine and National Research Council of the National Academies. Washington, National Academies Press, c2006. 299 p. Includes bibliographical references. HV6433.3.G56 2006

Landecker, Hannah. Culturing life: how cells became technologies. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 2007. 276 p. Bibliography: p. 239-271. QH585.2.L36 2007

Okafor, Nduka. Modern industrial microbiology and biotechnology. Enfield, NH, Science Publishers, c2007. 530 p. Includes bibliographical references. QR53.O355 2007

Principles of tissue engineering. Edited by Robert P. Lanza, Robert Langer, Joseph Vacanti. 3rd ed. Amsterdam, Boston, Elsevier/Academic Press, c2007. 1307 p. Includes bibliographical references. TP248.27.A53P75 2007

Sunder Rajan, Kaushik. Biocapital: the constitution of postgenomic life. Durham, NC, Duke University Press, 2006. 343 p. Bibliography: p. 315-326. HD9999.B442S86 2006

Ullmanns biotechnology and biochemical engineering. Weinheim, Wiley-VCH, c2007. 2 v. (855 p.) Includes bibliographical references. TP248.2.U44 2007

Zimmer, Marc. Glowing genes: a revolution in biotechnology. Amherst, NY, Prometheus Books, 2005. 221 p. Includes bibliographical references. QP552.G73Z56 2005


Bains, William. Biotechnology from A to Z. 3rd ed. Oxford, New York, Oxford University Press, 2004. 413 p. Bibliography: p. 387. TP248.16.B33 2004

Encyclopedia of genetics. Editor, revised edition, Bryan D. Ness; editor, first edition, Jeffrey A. Knight. Rev. ed. Pasadena, CA, Salem Press, c2004. 2 v. Includes bibliographical references. QH427.E53 2004

Kahl, Gnter. The dictionary of gene technology: genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics. 3rd ed. Weinheim, Wiley-VCH, c2004. 2 v. (1290 p.) QH442.K333 2004

Kent and Riegel's handbook of industrial chemistry and biotechnology. Edited by James A. Kent. 11th ed. New York, Springer, c2007. 1 v. Includes bibliographical references. Rev. ed. of Riegels handbook of industrial chemistry. 2003. TP145.R53 2007

Nill, Kimball R. Glossary of biotechnology and nanobiotechnology terms. 4th ed. Boca Raton, Taylor & Francis, 2006. 402 p. TP248.16.F54 2006

Plunkett's biotech & genetics industry almanac. Houston, TX, Plunkett Research, c2001- . Annual. HD9999.B44P57

Steinberg, Mark, and Sharon D. Cosloy. The Facts on File dictionary of biotechnology and genetic engineering. 3rd ed. New York, Facts on File, 2006. 275 p. Not yet in LC


Challenges and risks of genetically engineered organisms. Paris, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, c2004. 223 p. Includes bibliographical references. Proceedings of a workshop on "Challenges and Risks of GMOs-What Risk Analysis is Appropriate?" held in Maastricht, Netherlands, 16-18 July 2003. QH450.C45 2004

European Society of Animal Cell Technology. General Meeting (19th, 2005, Harrogate, England). Cell technology for cell products: proceedings of the 19th ESACT Meeting, Harrogate, UK, June 5-8, 2005. Edited by Rodney Smith. Dordrecht, Springer, c2007. 821 p. Includes bibliographical references. TP248.27.A53E93 2005

European Symposium on Environmental Biotechnology (2004, Oostende, Belgium). European Symposium on Environmental Biotechnology--ESEB 2004: proceedings of the European Symposium on Environmental Biotechnology, ESEB 2004, 25-28 April 2004, Oostende, Belgium. Edited by W. Verstraete. Leiden, Balkema, 2004. 909 p. Includes bibliographical references. TD192.5.E965 2004

Food Innovation: Emerging Science, Technologies and Applications (FIESTA) conference. Edited by Peter Roupas. In Innovative food science & emerging technologies, v. 9, Apr. 2008: 139-254. TP248.65.F66I55

Frontiers in Biomedical Devices Conference (2nd, 2007, Irvine, Calif.). Proceedings of the 2nd Frontiers in Biomedical Devices Conference--2007: presented at the Frontiers in Biomedical Devices Conference, June 7-8, 2007, Irvine, California, USA. New York, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, c2007. 160 p. Includes bibliographical references. R857.M3F76 2007

International Conference on Experimental Mechanics (2006, Jeju, Korea). Experimental mechanics in nano and biotechnology. Edited by Soon-Bok Lee, Yun-Jae Kim. etikon Zrich, Switzerland; Enfield, NH, Trans Tech Publications, Ltd., 2006. 2 v. (Key engineering materials, v. 326-328) Includes bibliographical references. Proceedings of the International Conference on Experimental Mechanics (ICEM 2006) and the 5th Asian Conference on Experimental Mechanics (ACEM5), September 26-29, 2006, Jeju, Korea; organized by Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and Asian Committee for Experimental Mechanics (ACEM). TA349.I478 2006

Symposium of the Tohoku University 21st Century Center of Excellence Program (2007, Tohoku University, Japan). Future medical engineering based on bionanotechnology: proceedings of the final symposium of the Tohoku University 21st Century Center of Excellence Program, Sendai International Center, Japan 7-9 January 2007. Editors, Esashi Masayoshi and others. London, Imperial College Press, 2006. 1115 p. Includes bibliographical references. R857.N34S94 2007


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