Research biotechnology is one of the most important disciplines in contemporary science because it has to change lives throughout the world. Food crops can be made far more resistant to disease and even climatic conditions, and it is also possible for a more and better food to be produced from the same area of ground. Biotechnology in the pharmaceutical industry can create new drugs and produce existing drugs in far greater quantities for a lower price than can be achieved with conventional technology.
The benefits do not come quickly or easily, and there is inevitably a long period before an idea becomes commercially viable in the real world. Biotechnology has followed the long-established pattern of growing industries. It started in an extremely small way, with a handful of scientists postulating what may be possible in the future. These scientists were hand-picked from other organizations or from within the same organization if a scientific company was entering the biotechnology market. These scientists were the original researchers, and in biotechnology, they were able to find venture capital to fund their research.
The reason that biotechnology has been relatively well funded is that it is going to be serving two of the largest markets in the entire commercial sector. The food market will always be measured in the billions of dollars, as it satisfies one of the most fundamental needs of humanity. The pharmaceutical industry also has a huge market capitalization. It is prepared to pay huge money for anything that will help it produce drugs more cheaply or sell them in larger quantities. Few biotechnology companies are in profit, but the backers are confident that this will change.
The research biotechnology industries have been able to carry out in the agricultural sector has determined several ways in which food crops can be improved. The most obvious and well-publicized of these is creating crops that are resistant to pests and disease. This brings the possibility of reducing, or even eliminating, the use of chemical insecticides in commercial farming. It is also possible to produce crops that are resistant to extreme temperatures or drought, reducing the numbers of crops lost to severe weather and bringing in the possibility of exporting crops to countries that could not previously grow them.
In the pharmaceutical industry, research is at a more primitive stage. We have learned much, even to the extent of cloning an animal from another of the same species. The technology that is nearest to the point where it could be used commercially is using plants to grow larger quantities of drugs. This could help increase insulin supplies throughout the world, relieving diabetics of a great deal of concern over rising prices or dwindling supplies. It could also allow supplies to be created and grown in the developing world.
Working in research biotechnology is extremely demanding, but it can offer exceptional rewards. These are financial rewards and the satisfaction of knowing that you are making a genuine contribution to a better world for people to live in. Any research position will require a college degree of some kind in a scientific subject. While you are studying, you can also take the time to study the job market in research biotechnology. This can be obtained through online study if you cannot commit to a four or six-year course on a college campus.