|Title of host publication||Encyclopedia of India|
|Editors||Stanley A. WOLPERT|
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
Modern biotechnology originated in the mid-1970s with new advances in genetics, immunology, and biochemistry. Biotechnology includes all techniques that use living organisms or substances from organisms to produce or alter a product, cause changes in plants or animals, or develop microorganisms for specific purposes. Biotechnology encompasses several techniques and methods, including genome mapping, gene splicing (or the transfer of one or more genes with certain prospectively useful qualities to plants, domestic animals, fish, and other organisms), and molecular breeding. Although genetic modification of crops and domesticated animals has been occurring for over a thousand years, using tools such as selective breeding and hybridization, modern biotechnology speeds up the process enormously, incorporating new traits from virtually any species at will. Indeed, biotechnology’s unprecedented ability to move genes within and across species, including the ability to move genes across distantly related species, and potentially even between animals and plants, makes it a powerful tool for modifying nature.