Biotechnology in Practice 600-205                          

                                What is biotechnology?

        Biotechnology is the use of technology to construct products or perform tasks through the use of biological systems and organisms.1Through history we have gained more knowledge of how biotechnology is applied and have refined and created new techniques that have benefited different areas, such as agriculture and gene technology. The application of fungal products has been in use for hundreds of years in the production of foods such as cheese and soy products. Penicillium mould (Penicillium chrysogenum2  ) contains the antibiotic substance penicillin, which was successfully isolated in 1945.

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        Since Ancient times, moulds have been used to treat infection. Ernest Duchesne was a physician who discovered through experimentation, that Penicillium glaucum was able to destroy the bacteria, Escherichia coli. In his research, Duchesne was able to cure typhoid by injecting a subject with P.glaucum, which was a remarkable achievement. But being an unknown, young student, Duchesne was not acknowledged with this discovery, and was prevented from continuing more research due to army research.3 Later similar discoveries were to be met with little attention until the 1920s.

        In 1928, a British bacteriologist Sir Alexander Fleming was studying the effects of Staphylococci, ...

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I find this a slightly disappointing piece of work, because it seems to completely deviate from the title. If the rubrik was to write a piece of work about the history of the use of penicillin and the student has just chosen an inappropriate title then this is a middle-of-the-road discussion of the history. But if the title was given as "What is biotechnology" then this piece of work really doesn't answer it. Without knowing that I'd have to give it 2/5 at my Russell Group university.