Marine Biotechnology

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What is Marine Biotechnology?

Marine Biotechnology is the study of how the various organisms and actions of the ocean can be used to provide services and products to us.


How does it relate to Industry and Agriculture? 

Marine Biotechnology is providing many new solutions to Industry and Agriculture, including environmentally friendly pesticides and salt-resistant enzymes that are helpful in many industrial applications. 

When did Marine Biotechnology begin? 

Marine Biotechnology is a relatively new field of study, having emerged in the past few years.  It began in 1998 when scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and various departments of the University of California, San Diego, came together and formed the Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine.

What challenges does the area of Marine Biotechnology face? 

There are three main challenges to Marine Biotechnology.  These are:

1.) Biosafety (testing Living Modified Organisms may disrupt the natural ecosystem of the ocean.) 

2.) Access to Marine Organisms/Resources (Because Marine Biotechnology takes place in the ocean, the borders between different nations can sometimes erupt in disputes over access to certain resources/creatures.) 

 3.) Intellectual Property Rights (The North wants stricter rights to discoveries made in the South, where marine resources are high, while the South feels that because the North is researching in their "property" they should be able to reap some benefits.)

What is the future of Marine Biotechnology as it relates to Agriculture and Industry? 

Scientists in this field of Marine Biotechnology are studying the various enzymes and proteins of marine life in hopes of solving many problems that plague the area of Agriculture and Industry today.  These problems include trying to find anti-corrosive coatings and "self-cleaning" surfaces for industrial use.