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Biotechnology is a powerful controversial and critical topic dealing with disease genetics and the use of microorganisms or other biological substances to make industrial or manufacturing processes Biotechnology has spawned many new ideas and discoveries to benefit society It plays a part in healing the sick with antibiotics and vaccines hybridization in plants to produce bigger and more desirable food crops sterilization of food goods and equipment and understanding genetics and reproduction Although biotechnology offers humankind many great opportunities it can also be very destructive and deadly Since the beginning of man many biological means have been used to fight wars The Romans fouled their enemies water the Tartars used bubonic plague to infect their war opponents and the British spread smallpox to the Indians in North America These diseases are just a few of the highly toxic microorganisms involved in one of the negative sides of this complex technology Other objectionable uses of biotechnology include unethical genetic alterations and the overuse and malpractice of antibiotics which can induce bacterial resistance to many diseases making them difficult to cure Biological technology has introduced many possibilities and some potentially hideous ones but guided by ethically sound judgement and reasoning this technology will advance humanity into the new millenium and improve the quality of life The earliest recorded use of biotechnology was the making of beer with yeast organisms by the Sumerians and Babylonians in 6000 BC Two thousand years later the Egyptians found they could make leavened bread and yogurt using yeast and certain cheeses with molds Using the process of fermentation they also made vinegar and wine In 400 BC Hippocrates hypothesized that males hereditary information was carried and transported in the semen Later in 1668 AD Francesco Redi used a controlled experiment first ever to compare two ideas that determined the cause of maggots In 1673 Anton von Leuuwenhoek described protozoa and bacteria and determined these organisms play a role in
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