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Chapter 7: Genetics, Biotechnology, and Developmental Biology

Chapter 7: Genetics, Biotechnology, and Developmental Biology

Introduction

Genetics is "the branch of biology concerned with the study of heredity and variation”. Biotechnology is “the development of techniques for the application of biological processes to the production of materials of use in medicine and industry.” Development is “the complex process of growth and maturation that occurs in living organisms.” (Oxford Dictionary of Biology, 4th ed., 2000). This chapter also includes the study of “omics”, a suffix used to indicate studies in several fields performed on a genome-wide scale, such as proteomics or metabolomics. The more applied aspects of biotechnology and genetics such as plant or animal breeding and industrial biotechnology are not included.

All of the subjects covered in this chapter overlap with other chapters.  For instance, molecular biologists study DNA while geneticists study genes so Chapter 6, “Molecular and Cellular Biology”, should also be checked for information sources.  Research in development may be done by geneticists, cell biologists, or physiologists, so other related resources are found in Chapter 11, “Anatomy and Physiology”.


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