12th standard results were a really bad experience for me as I could not score enough for a medical seat. I had to lose one in medical seat with a minus of just 6 marks. I fell into depression soon after I lost the seat to enter my dream stream. Medical was always something I wanted to be in. It had taken away all my plans and made my life treacherous and unclear too about what my next step was going to be. Soon after my mom who I thought wasn’t aware of newer upcoming fields in science suggested me to take up Bachelor’s degree in Bio-technology. I did not have an idea of what it is. I had merely guessed by the term what it could mean. I could understand Bio meaning life and technology meaning application of scientific knowledge.
Biotechnology happened to me in a way that I never expected. I had the best teachers guiding through all the new concepts so proficiently that it has had an impact on how I live my daily life. It is according to me is a profound mixture with biological chemistry as the base, genetics as the finishing material and pinch of math and physics as a topping. Though I was bad at organic chemistry, I managed to clear two papers of biochemistry in the first two years of the Bachelor’s. This field allowed me to study every aspect of genetics and biochemistry though at times I felt what is the need of studying all these things; only to make me realise at the end of three years that biotechnology was born out of a skill of applying chemistry knowledge and genetic engineering techniques to result in a impressive and feasible outcome or product.
To me, it meant imposing the lessons I learnt in class to my everyday life. One of my teachers always taught replication or metabolism relating it to chores that we do all the time. So it definitely altered the way I looked at life in the span of time.
I found it really amazing how just one machine with the help of micro organisms and appropriate food and air could produce something in bulk which could be marketed economically. And it was equally dreadful to know how just one base change in the DNA sequence or genome could cause a disease to which a cure is worked upon. I was in awe when I studied it is these minute organisms that are everywhere; in the air, in the milk or even in the food that we eat. Manipulation and exploitation for the good and betterment of the otherwise less useful is the principle on which biotechnology works is what I understood when I had an experiment of making grape wine in the laboratory with my own hands. It was the first edible thing I ever prepared outside the kitchen.
Biotechnology to me again, is reading a sequence of alphabets and deciding upon what protein it could produce when processed inside a cell and how it can be altered to produce a different protein manually, was an insight to how huge and deep are the principles of nature. Acquiring the courage to work against the nature and its principles to give society a chance to live in a better way is not merely getting a degree in the field but to apply the knowledge practically.
My interest grew in this branch of knowledge when I learnt that it was possible to find solutions to unsolved problems like Cancer and many other deadly diseases. With the loss of very important people of my life due to this inhumane disease stirred in me a desire to work close to creating a way to abolish its existence. Biotechnology with its variety of applications in the form of its sub-divisions like Recombinant DNA technology, Fermentation technology and Instrumentation is a laid down track for the isolation of a potent molecule from a starting material, tuning its activity enough to destruct the causatives of the diseases; mostly micro organisms.
Food biotechnology gave me an understanding of how foods with higher nutrient value changed the lives of many and became a saviour of malnutrition.
It has a branch that pertains to environment that is helpful in increasing the longevity of human existence which is otherwise declining due to unhealthy activities. This branch provoked me to inculcate a habit of using biodegradable plastics that is a result of Plant bio-technology and other techniques; which is one the changes it has brought about in me.
It is clearly evident that Bio-technology has the power to intrude in every part of life to beautify it in the best possible manner although there are manholes that need to be closed down to make this path of study a flawless one.
All the above mentioned justified belief is because of the right decision that I made and pursuing Masters in Bio-technology was a personal choice unlike the Bachelor’s being my Mother’s choice as she believed it was closer to what I was looking for in a career. It has from then been a life changing encounter giving me an opportunity to grow close-knit to nature and its way of ruling the mankind.
Author: Ms.Ankitha Yelameli
Designation: Student – JSS College of Arts, Commerce and Science</p>
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