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The Biotechnology sector is a sector with one of the highest growth prospects in the world over the coming years. Just as the XX century is considered to be the age of information, the XXI century will be remembered as the century of biotechnology. This embraces wide and diverse areas such as:
HEALTHGenomics and proteomics will lead to:
Breakthroughs in the diagnosis of illnesses.
Significant time and cost savings in the design of new medicines.
Each patient will be treated on an individual basis, increasing therapeutic effectiveness and eliminating secondary effects.
AGRICULTUREGenetic engineering will lead to:
The creation of new varieties of vegetable that are adapted to their environment.
The optimization and improvement of crop performance.
Environmental improvement, due to a reduction in the use of chemical products such as herbicides and pesticides.
FOOD –Biotechnological advances will lead to the design of new foods:
Healthier and more nutritious.
Used as vectors for medicines that treat and heal specific illnesses.
ENVIRONMENT –The application of new biotechnological methods will impact positively on the environment due to:
The use of micro-organisms and plants to decontaminate water and soils
Reforestation with more resistant plants, which will help restore the environment
NEW MATERIALS –Biotechnological discoveries will lead to new materials being designed, that will be used in different areas such as medicine or information technology.
The most advanced countries are making a firm commitment to biotechnology. The European Union has highlighted the particular importance of the biotechnological sector in this century in the Sixth Framework Programme’s support programmes. Countries that are able to adapt to the change that will occur over the coming years, and firmly commit themselves to biotechnology, will enhance their competitiveness and be in a position to improve the pubic welfare of their citizens. On the other hand, those who do not will be relegated to second place and forced to depend heavily on technological imports, which will slow down their economic and social development.
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