What are the Colors of Biotech?

Modern biotechnology arose in the late 20th century and is currently proving to be one of the key solutions to today's problems, especially regarding health and the environment.

According to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Biotechnology is defined as any technical application that uses biological systems, living organisms or parts of them to make or modify products or processes with specific uses.

Giving that those products can be of many types, Biotechnology can cover a wide number of applications: from increasing the quality and resistance of farm crops, to keeping hospital patients healthy by keeping track of their vital signs -and, of course, engineering enzymes for industrial use.

The Colors of Biotech

As a way to structure this vast array of biotech possibilities, scientists started to categorize them by color. Each branch, a different color. That’s why you’ll often hear about the Rainbow Code of Biotechnology.

So what does each color represent in this biotech rainbow?

  • Blue Biotech covers the aquatic and marine fields, by using ocean resources to create products and industrial applications.
  • Green Biotech has to do with everything agriculture-related, focused on improving crops in an accurate, targeted way.
  • Red Biotech centers on Healthcare, by developing an advanced class of drugs and therapies
  • Yellow Biotech covers Food Production
  • Brown Biotech for when Deserts and dry regions are involved
  • Golden Biotech is focused on the use of Bioinformatics, Computational Science, Agile organization and analysis of biological data. We recently wrote a post about what is Golden Biotech in more detail.
  • Gray Biotech encompasses the Environment and biodiversity, environmental protection, maintenance of biodiversity and removal of pollutants
  • White Biotech is for Industrial processes and gene based technologies, as well as the use of enzymes and microorganisms to produce biobased products
  • Purple Biotech is reserved for the laws, ethics and philosophy revolving around biotechnology
  • Black Biotech, as you can imagine, focuses on a darker topic: Bioterrorism and biological warfare

 

At ZYMVOL we are part of the golden branch of biotechnology, since we use computational approaches to improve and enable the discovery of industrial enzymes. For that, we use technology based on computational molecular modeling, machine learning and other tools that allow us to fully understand and work with the chemical structure and interactions between enzyme, substrate and its environment.

We are golden, but our technology can help develop solutions in all other colors!

Discover how we help our customers in Pharma, Chemicals, Biotech and other industries here.

 


References:

Convention on Biological Diversity (2006). Convention Text. Article 2. Use of Terms. https://www.cbd.int/convention/articles/?a=cbd-02

Kafarski, P. (2012). Rainbow Code of Biotechnology. CHEMIK. 66(8), 811-816.


Golden biotech: what it is and why it matters

You might be wondering: “what is golden biotech?”. The answer is rather simple: a biotechnology field that uses computer science as a main driving force. But do you know why it’s often referred to as “golden”? Or what exactly does it entail when taken into practice?

The color code of biotech

First of all, Golden biotech is known as “golden” because of the Rainbow Code of Biotechnology: a way to divide biotechnology’s vast array of applications into different categories, each one defined by a color.

Through this code, we know that when someone is talking about red biotech, they’re referring to health and medical applications; and when they’re talking about white biotech, they’re mostly talking about industrial uses.

All colors of the Biotech Rainbow are important, but what sets Golden Biotech apart is that it revolves around computers. For a technology to be considered golden, it has to rely heavily on some form of computational technique.

Golden biotech is a fairly recent addition to the biotech spectrum, but due to increasing advances in computer technology, one with a lot of potential to keep on growing in the following years.

Some of the main areas included in golden biotech are:

  • Bioinformatics. Field that focuses on analyzing large sets of biological data.
  • Nanotechnology. Field that uses technology at a nanoscale, or in other words, in atomic, molecular and macromolecular levels.
  • Computational Biology. Although closely linked to Bioinformatics, Computational Biology consists of using computational methods to develop models for the study of biological systems. This means relying on technologies like Machine Learning, Algorithms, Big Data (to name a few) for building these models.

Zymvol: an example of Golden Biotech company

Now that you know the definition of golden biotech and the main technologies behind it, you might say: “ok, but what does it really look like taken into practice?”

Just take a look at us. At ZYMVOL, we are golden. And is not that we are pretentious: it’s because we work in the golden branch of biotechnology.

At our company, we use a computational approach to improve and enable the discovery of industrial enzymes. We perform what we call “in silico enzyme evolution”, that is, engineer enzymes in the computer through molecular modeling, machine learning and other computer driven technologies. This allows us to fully understand the chemical structure and interactions between the enzyme, the substrate and their environment.

Take a look at the following video. What we do at ZYMVOL in a nutshell:

 

 

Through computer simulations we reproduce the enzyme, its environment and the desired reaction (substrates that interact with the enzyme) to be carried out: we perform different strategic mutations (amino acid substitutions) along the enzyme’s sequence and test its performance, looking at variables such as stability, activity or selectivity.

Thanks to computer simulations, we came up with the best combinations to test in the lab. We provide to our customers the sequences of the top performing candidates, so they produce in the lab only what matters.

This, at large, is the heart of golden biotechnology!

 


References:

Brown, K. (2018) Gold Biotechnology. Wikitech. https://wikitech21.wordpress.com/2018/08/26/gold-biotechnology/

DaSilva, Edgar J. (2004). The Colours of Biotechnology: Science, Development and Humankind. Electronic Journal of Biotechnology, 7(3), 01-02.