Biotechnology is a rising field of science that has the capability to solve biological issues which could not be addressed with present techniques. It acquires living forms and their molecular tools to develop products for the welfare of living organisms, including human.
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Investing in Biotechnology Research
Biotechnology or simply biotech, has been with us since humanity and has been providing lasting solutions to various cases that have likely affected the daily lives of all of us.
To give the basic examples of what we have obtained using biotechnology, let’s first start by taking the example of our own system. Insulin, a hormone, is synthesized within us. Every healthy individual synthesizes the adequate amount of insulin which we need to regulate our sugar metabolism and that controls our blood sugar.
However, when the insulin produced is insufficient, this leads to a disease condition, called diabetes. Diabetic patients are advised to take insulin injections. What is that insulin injection and where is it coming from? Today, human insulin is produced by engineered bacteria. Thanks to biotechnology and research scientist involved.
History of Biotechnology
Biotechnology goes back a few thousand years to when individuals accidentally found the usefulness of single-celled creatures like yeasts and microscopic organisms. There are few instances of the use of biotechnology in ancient times. Ancient Egyptians utilized yeast to mix beer and to bake bread. Somewhere in the range of 7,000 years back, individuals in Mesopotamia utilized microorganisms to change wine into vinegar. Similarly, in several other forms, biotechnology has always been with us.
However, modern biotechnology has been with us for roughly four decades. It got its hype in 1973 after scientists first genetically engineered colonies of Escherichia coli (E. Coli) bacteria which contains a small fragment of genetic material, called deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from a frog. Then, it gradually flourished in the world for a different purpose.
The industrial application of microbial enzymes was started by a Japanese scientist in 1984. Austria also contributed to the progress of biotech during 1846. India established the Department of Biotechnology during the year 1986. So, in this way, biotechnology gained its importance.
Advantages of Investing in Biotechnology Research
Although biotechnology has always been associated with humankind, people have still not fully recognized the potential of it. As mentioned earlier, it is a rising research field and it can be an intriguing industry for investors to explore. Nonetheless, to date, not much has been done for the fullest use of biotechnology.
There are various innovative ideas that could turn out to be a blessing if brought into action but those achievements can only be accomplished when the research is well funded with patience. People still hesitate to invest money because they are not certain of the consequences. Below, we will mention the advantages of investing in biotechnology research.
1. Demographic Trends
According to estimates, by the year 2060, the number of older people living in the United States (US) is predicted to double, that is around 98 million. By 2040, the elderly will comprise greater than 20% of the US population. It’s not just the US population that’s ageing either.
According to the United Nations, it is presumed that the proportion of the world’s population aged 60 and over will double by 2050. Now, you must be wondering what it has to do with biotech research. So, as a person grows older, more risk of contracting diseases and therefore, the demand for various kinds of prescription drugs inevitably grows.
If any investors are smart enough to recognize this demographic trend and capitalize upon it, they can take advantage of it.
2. Making An Impact
Have you ever just thought if you could just change the world? Okay, maybe something less than changing the world but maybe getting involved in the life-saving cure. Maybe be part of a cancer investigation or maybe help cure symptoms of the ongoing Coronavirus?
Investing is something that you do for your own future, but investing in biotechnology will make you contribute to the next generation’s future as well. By putting your money in biotechnology, you are helping scientists to develop technology for a better living environment, such as zero-waste bioprocessing, or for a healthy life, by finding faster ways to recognize deadly diseases.
3. The industry is Performing Well
The growth capability of biotech is genuinely stunning. Taking an example of a present pandemic: Biotech companies creating medications or antibodies for the Novel Coronavirus have seen their stocks take off in recent weeks.
The cost of the medicines will, in general, remain the same because there is consistently the interest of drugs. They won’t be impacted by the politics of the country either. This is the purpose of investing in biotech companies. The stocks presumably won’t go up quickly, anyway it certainly won’t hop unreasonably far down that affects your investments.
4. Worth Taking Risk
When it comes to investing, biotechnology becomes the first choice of individuals infrequently. Mostly, individuals find it very risky to invest as biotech research is normally profound and time-consuming which slows down the company’s process to get to the final product.
Even though there’s always the uncertainty of the uprise in biotech industries, which happens in any business, the profit in biotech industries is always significantly noticed. However, individuals are always suggested to do deep research in the sector you are willing to invest in.
Investment in biotech can pay off in countless ways and can also turn out to be an enriching experience. All it takes is your enthusiasm to invest a little extra time and effort to become educated about it and setting out the time to carefully calculate the risk. Furthermore, you can be benefited from the effectiveness of the uprising sector.
Dr Salyan Bhattarai, Postdoctoral fellow, McGill University, Canada
(Advisor for the content in the article)