BIOECONOMY and BIOENGINEERING
BIOECONOMY and BIOENGINEERING
Bioeconomy is an economy that is based on ecological sensitive products and services produced by the use of biotechnology and renewable energy sources.
It is an economy where the basic building blocks for industry and the raw materials for energy are derived from plant/crop-based (i.e. renewable) sources.
It refers to all economic activity derived from scientific and research activity focused on understanding mechanisms and processes at the genetic and molecular levels and its application to industrial process.
The evolution of the biotechnology industry and its application to agriculture, health, chemical or energy industries is the best example of bioeconomic activity. The term was first defined by Juan Enriquez and Rodrigo Martinez in the 1997.
The word bioengineering was coined by British scientist and broadcaster Heinz Wolff in 1954. Also known as biological engineering and Biotechnological engineering, it is the application of concepts and methods of physics, chemistry, mathematics, and computer science to solve problems in life sciences, using engineering’s own analytical and synthetic methodologies and also its traditional sensitivity to the cost and practicality of the solution(s) arrived at.
In this context, while traditional engineering applies physical and mathematical sciences to analyze, design and manufacture inanimate tools, structures and processes, biological engineering uses the same sciences, as well as the rapidly-developing body of knowledge known as molecular biology, to study many aspects of living organisms.
An especially important application is the analysis and cost-effective solution of problems related to human health, but the field is much more general than that. For example, biomimetics is a branch of biological engineering which strives to understand how living organisms, as a result of the prolonged trial-and-error processes known as evolution, have solved difficult problems in the past, and to find ways to use this knowledge to solve similar problems in artificial systems. Systems biology, on the other hand, seeks to utilize the engineer’s familiarity with complex artificial systems, and perhaps the concepts used in “reverse engineering”, to facilitate the difficult process of recognition of the structure, function, and precise method of operation of complex biological systems.
Thus, Bioengineering is a science-based discipline founded upon the biological sciences in the same way that chemical engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering are based upon chemistry, electricity and magnetism, and classical mechanics, respectively.
Ø DIFFERENCE IN PURE BIOLOGY AND CLASSICAL ENGINEERING:
Bioengineering can be differentiated from its roots of pure biology or classical engineering in the following way.
Biological studies often follow a reductionist approach in viewing a system on its smallest possible scale which naturally leads toward tools such as functional genomics.
Engineering approaches, using classical design perspectives, are constructionist, building new devices, approaches, and technologies from component concepts.
Biological engineering utilizes both kinds of methods in concert, relying on reductionist approaches to identify, understand, and organize the fundamental units which are then integrated to generate something new.
In addition, because it is an engineering discipline, Bioengineering is fundamentally concerned with not just the basic science, but the practical application of the scientific knowledge to solve real-world problems in a cost- effective way.
Ø OTHER USAGES OF THE TERM BIOENGINEERING:
v The term bioengineering is also used to describe the use of vegetation in civil engineering construction.
v The term bioengineering may also be applied to environmental modifications such as surface soil protection, slope stabilisation, watercourse and shoreline protection, windbreaks, vegetation barriers including noise barriers and visual screens, and the ecological enhancement of an area.
MAIN FIELDS OF BIOENGINEERING: They may be categorised as:
(a) Bioprocess Engineering: Bioprocess Design, Biocatalysis, Bioseparation, Bioinformatics, Bioenergy.
(b) Genetic Engineering: Synthetic Biology, Horizontal gene transfer.
(c) Cellular Engineering: Cell Engineering, Tissue Culture Engineering, Metabolic engineering.
(d) Biomedical Engineering: Biomedical technology, Biomedical Diagnostics, Biomedical Therapy, Biomechanics, Biomaterials.
(e) Biomimetics: The use of knowledge gained from evolved living systems to solve difficult design problems in artificial systems.