Biotechnology offers sustainable solutions, says expert
by Rochella B. Lapitan
Manila (20 November) -- Food security, affordable energy, access to water, climate change and pollution, and healthcare - are among the pressing crises that need to be addressed globally. One emerging technology that strives to address these areas and offers sustainable solutions for the future, is biotechnology.
Dr. Benigno Peczon, member of the Board of Advisers of the Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines, said in a recent convention of the Kapisanang Kimika ng Pilipinas - Southern Tagalog Chapter (KKP-ST), that biotechnology offers a lot of things.
Biotechnology is not only a tool to develop genetically improved crop varieties but it is also being used to increase yields and augment food production to help end global famine and hunger. Industrial use of biological systems for waste water treatment such as bioremediation are now being used. Likewise, the advances of biotechnology are applied in healthcare industry for the development of vaccines, industrial enzymes and testing kits for cancer treatment.
"Biotechnology is the science of the future. It has a huge potential in food and energy area," said Dr. Peczon. Agricultural science and technology, including the indispensable tools of biotechnology, will be critical to meeting the growing demands for food, feed, fiber and fuel. At present, scientists are developing crops that can withstand marginal environmental conditions, such as drought and saline soils. Biofuels technology for greener environment are currently being developed and commercialized to contend with the looming energy crisis.
Dr. Peczon, who presented a lecture during the KKP-ST annual convention with the theme - "CHEMBIZ: Let's Go Business with Chemistry', has also called on future Filipino chemists to explore other fields related to chemistry such as the diverse scientific discipline of biotechnology. He encouraged entrepreneurship among Filipino chemists in advancing chemical science in the biochemical industry, especially during this time of crises.
This year's KKP-ST convention was sponsored by the Philippine Council for Advanced Science and Technology Research and Development (PCASTRD) and the SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center (SEARCA BIC). (SEARCA BIC) [top]