Toppers Power Notes on Biotechnology For Revision That You Should Not Miss 1.0 | Science​ and Technology UPSC CSE

Applications of Biotechnology

Hey readers, here in this post you will find one-liner notes on biotechnology for UPSC CSE. Use the table of contents to navigate.


  1. What is genetic engineering? Why is it getting increasingly important these days? 1998
  2. Biotechnology boom may have a golden path for India discuss. 2002
  3. What is biotechnology? Discuss the important applications of biotechnology.
  4. In what way medical biotechnology and bioengineering are useful for technological development of India? 2008.
  5. The human population is stated to grow to 9 Billion by 2050. In this context, many scientist products that plant Genomic would play a critical role in keeping out hunger and preserving the environment. 2012
  6. In the context of assisted reproductive technologies, India has emerged as the hub of commercial surrogacy. What key biological, legal and ethical issues merit consideration while framing the regulation to govern surrogacy in India? 2012


  • Bio—>  Life
  • Technology—> Application of science
  • Biotechnology: Bios + Technology i.e. technology based on living organisms. Use of organisms for human benefit.
  • Cell: Nucleus + Cytoplasms. The nucleus contains chromosomes. Genes are located on chromosomes.
  • 5 Nitrogenous Bases: GUACT i.e. Guanine, Uracil, Adenine, Cytosine, Thymine (Present in Nucleus)
  • Nucleoside: Nitrogenous Bases (GUACT) + Sugar
  • Nucleotide: Nucleoside + Phosphate
  • Nucleotide: Nucleic Acid
  • Nucleic Acid: DNA i.e. Deoxy-Ribo(Sugar) Nucleic Acid


  • Medical + Agriculture + Industrial + Environmental + Research
  • Pharmacogenomics → Pharmacy + Genomic. It is a study of the effect of drugs on genes. The aim is to develop medications tailored to a person’s genetic makeup.
  • Genetic Testing: The direct examination of the DNA molecule for the mutated sequence.
  • Gene Therapy: Normal gene is introduced if a place of the defective or missing gene to correct the genetic disorder.
  • ACTN3: This is a gene. It gives instruction to the body to produce a specific muscle protein. Affects the athletic performance. Two copies.
  • BioBots: Future regenerative medicine. BioTech + Nano + Robotics. Made from nanotubes. Controlled using magnets. Targeted delivery.
  • Bio-Printing: Tissue structure created using 3D printer —> Covered with Cell-Material – Used for transplantation.
  • Bio-Piracy: MNCs use bioresources (biochemical or genetic material) without proper authorisation from the mother countries.
  • Circadian Body Clock: In all human sales there are four genes-cryptochrome, period, clock and BMAL1. Together they regulate blood pressure, body temperature and rest sleep cycles. This is called the circadian clock. It keeps us in proper physiological rhythm.
  • DNA Finger Printing: Also called as DNA profiling. For solving crimes, identifying unclaimed bodies and paternity test.
  • DNA Chips: In the future, every newborn could get his entire genome sequenced on a tiny chip. Tailored personalised medicine. 
  • Gene Splicing: It is a method. DNA of one species is transported to another using bacterial vehicle.
  • Genetic Engineering: It is a branch of BioTech to manipulate DNA code artificially. Tailor-made organisms void of hereditary diseases can be created.
  • Human Genome: The human genome is the genome of Homo sapiens. It is made up of 23 chromosome pairs with a total of about 3 billion DNA base pairs
  • Sickle Cell Anaemia: Hereditary disease found in Indian tribals. RBCs become Sickle shaped hence blood cannot flow properly in vessels. When Modi went to Japan he asked Nobel winner Yamanaka to cure it.
  • Match Right Technology: This technology creates a digital embryo.
  • Biofortification: The nutritional value of the food crops is enhanced through agronomic practices, conventional plant breeding, or modern biotechnology. High quantity of vitamins and micronutrients. No more malnutrition,
  • Hidden Hunger: It is a term used to describe dietary micronutrient deficiencies.
  • Bio- NEST:To foster biotech innovation. Bio incubators to facilitate start ups.
  • Elisa Kit: To detect Japanese encephalitis. Also, various diseases in fishes.
  • Typbar-TCV: typhoid vaccine by Bharat Biotech.
  • Biosensors: Detecting gene mutation so we can predict the genetic diseases in future generations.
  • Bioinformatics: Hybrid science uses computation (information/database management) to store biological information.
  • Bioprospecting: GIS and remote sensing to detect and commercialise bioresources (plants and animals)
  • Bioremediation: Using microorganisms as a remedy for environmental degradation.


Toppers Power Notes on Biotechnology For Revision That You Should Not Miss 1.0 | Science​ and Technology UPSC CSE 1
Branches of Biotechnology
  • Red Biotech: Use of Biotechnology in medical processes such as gene therapy, cloning, stem cell, DNA profiling, vaccination and so on.
  • Blue Biotech: Use of biotechnology in marine and aquatic applications. Quite rare.
  • Green Biotech: Agriculture use. GM crops. Fortification. Biofertilisers. Hybrid.
  • Yellow Biotech: Use of insects in our interest. Ex. Genetic alteration in mosquito to control vector borne diseases. Pollination. Cheap source of protein.
  • White Biotech: Using microorganisms such as bacteria, fungus or enzymes to produce goods. Ex. curd, wine, cheese, beer, idli, soy, vinegar and so on. Cheap technology and efficient.


  • Cartagena Protocol on Bio Safety: Biotechnology has capacity to threaten biodiversity. Biosafety protocol can protect biodiversity. It regulates genetically modified organisms.
  • Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing: Equitable access and benefit sharing. Access to genetic resources and benefits arising out of it.


  • Cloning: Clones are Xerox. Male clone is always male. Female clone is always female. Clone is biological structure of an organism. Single parent and asexual means. No traditional sperm meeting egg thing.
  • Example: Clones are Xerox of single parents or ancestor in terms of genetic make up and physical characteristics. Thus the clone of Lennon, produced today, will be genetically the same John Lennon of the 70s.
  • Biological Parents: Lady carrying child and delivers baby.
  • Genetic Parents: Whose genes child is carrying.
  • Reproductive Cloning: Making copies of whole animals or plants. Useful to propagate transgenic or GMO.
  • DNA/Gene/Molecular Cloning: Making copies of genes/DNA. Useful for research, industrial proteins, pharmacy, gene therapy and GMO.
  • Therapeutic Cloning: Making copies of an embryo in order to harvest stem cells. Useful in research and building organ to cure disease.
  • Application of Cloning: Producing more crops at short time. Help the sterile couples. Artificial insemination. Replace chemical reaction. HYV cattle. Last resort to save critically endangered animals and plants.
  • Issues of Cloning: Success rate is low (10%). Confusion regarding biological age and genetical age. Throwing away fertilised embryo. Clones as sources of organs or organ transplant. Property to be sold. Selling human like commodity. Against the will of god (Religious organisation view). Clone of Mahatma or Hitler may not be same as circumstances may change. Hence, banned allover the world.


  1. There is twist here gene may be identical but circumstances will always change. A Man does not live by body alone. What goes into the brain is interaction with the external world. Culture is not coded in our DNA. Experience, education, environment — all these matter.
  2. If Cloned Mohandas Gandhi isn’t thrown out of a train going to Pretoria (or face similar racial discrimination), he may not become “Mahatma”.
  3. Cloned John Lennon will not be an equally good singer-musician like original John Lennon, Cloned Adolph Hitler will not be a mass-murderer, If they don’t live through similar circumstances like their “fathers”.

The remaining part of Biotech (Human Genome Project, Genetic Engineering and so on), will be covered in the next post. Keep reading.

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