The aim of this book is to present the subject of Biotechnology to the Graduate and Post graduate students of Biotechnology of various universities of India. The authors have been extra cautious in presenting the matter in easy and lucid language. The diagrams are especially designed for clarity and simplicity. Thus, in this book many topics which are not easily available have been incorporated for the convenience of the students. So, the non-availability of literature, we started a sincere effort to search, collate, and edit the various topics. This was a challenging job. The completion of the book has not at all easy task. It has been completed with the co-operation of so many hands. Suggestions for the development of this book shall be gratefully acknowledged.
Additional Info
  • Publisher: Laxmi Publications
  • Language: English
  • ISBN : 978-93-80386-63-8
  • Chapter 1

    MICROSCOPY Price 2.99  |  2.99 Rewards Points

    Almost all cells are too small to be examined directly with the human eye and so, our knowledge of cells has depended very much on microscopic techniques for magnifying them. The history of cell biology is an excellent example of the effect of one scientific discipline on another. The improvements in microscopy produced by developments in physics have been closely correlated with the expansion of cell biology. It is interesting to compare the appearance of the microscope used by Robert Hook in the seventeenth century with that of modern light and electron microscope. The magnifications attainable by these microscopes range from X 100 to X 400,000. In addition, several different kinds of microscopy are available, and many techniques have been developed by means of which specimens can be prepared for examination. Each type of microscopy and each method of preparing specimens for examination offers advantages for demonstration of specific morphological features.
  • Chapter 2

    CHEMISTRY FOR BIOLOGISTS Price 2.99  |  2.99 Rewards Points

    Chemistry is the science that deals with the composition and structure of matter and with the transformations that matter undergoes. Chemistry is a rather broad field; at one extreme, in theoretical chemistry and spectroscopy, it borders on physics, and at the other extreme, in organic chemistry, it borders on biochemistry and biology.
  • Chapter 3

    THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD, LIVING ORGANISMS AND THE GROUPS OF MICROSCOPIC ORGANISMS Price 2.99  |  2.99 Rewards Points

    Since earliest times man has been trying to solve the mysteries of nature to satisfy his curiosity. Why does iron rust ? What happens to coal when it burns? How does a mighty tree grow out of a tiny seed? Why to certain things float on water while others sink ? How do living things differ from non-living objects? His method of finding answers to all such questions has followed a set pattern; careful observation of the phenomenon; derivation of inferences from the observations; and experimentation for the verification of inferences. The knowledge thus gained is empirical; it merely describes facts. The foundations of science were laid by classifying and correlating various facts. Science may be defined as knowledge classified, correlated, and generalized into a system. In short, it is the systematized knowledge. A mere collection of facts is no more science than a pile of bricks in a house. One description of science, therefore, is knowledge that has been accumulated by the use of scientific method under the direction of a scientist. Although science has been frequently called “organized knowledge” or the search for universal truth”, it is questionable whether science can be defined accurately. When science is being defined, the alternatives are to define it either by its subject matter or by its methods. The purpose of science is to study the whole field of actual knowledge since science has no special topic of its own. However, any definition of science must necessarily stress its importance as a method of discovering facts that can be applied to the solution of a problem. Facts or truths are found by experimentation. They are then filtered into the literature and focused by publication of the results so that they are there for all the world to see, repeat, accept, or rejects. Thus, the approach and the methods of all sciences are alike. The one function common to all is the collection, organization, and interpretation of knowledge.
  • Chapter 4

    PURE CULTURE METHODS FOR THE STUDY OF MICROORGANISMS Price 2.99  |  2.99 Rewards Points

    The ability to determine the characteristics of a microorganism depends in large part on being able to grow pure cultures (cultures containing only that organism) of that microbe for study. To cultivate, or culture miroorganisms it is necessary to establish a suitable environment, one in which the particular microbe can survive and reproduce. For each type of microorganism there are minimal nutritional requirements, tolerance limits for a variety of environmental factors, and optimal conditions for growth. By understanding the growth requirements of a given microbial species, it usually is possible to establish the necessary conditions in vitro (within glass or plastic culture vessels) to support the optimal growth of that microorganism. Cultures are routinely grown in the clinical microbiology laboratory to aid in the determination of the cause of a patient’s disease. Water quality testing laboratories culture microorganisms to determine the safety of the water supply. Various industries grow pure cultures of microorganisms in huge vessels called fermentors to produce numerous products of economic value.
  • Chapter 5

    MUSHROOM CULTURE Price 2.99  |  2.99 Rewards Points

    Mushrooms have fascinated man since time immemorial. Some of them are a good source of food. About 2000 species of edible mushrooms have so far been reported from all over the world but only a few species like Agaricus campestris, the common field mushroom; A. bisporus, a cultivated variety of Europe and North America; Lentinus edodes, the Shii–take of Japan; and Volvariella volvacea, the paddy straw mushroom of China and South-East Asia are being cultivated on an extensive scale. In Europe and North America, the cultivation of common field mushroom has become a large industry. In Great Britain and America large quantities of mushrooms are available for canning and food manufacture as well as for direct consumption. Several million pounds of the Shii–take are produced annually in Japan and China. In India, large scale mushroom cultivation is in progress but is confined to a few states like Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Chapter 6

    MYCORRHIZAE Price 2.99  |  2.99 Rewards Points

    The root hairs and other surfaces of the young root do not constitute the chief absorbing surfaces in all plants. Exceptions to this situation are found in a number of kinds of plants in which the young, active portions of the roots are invaded by specific soil fungi. The resulting association is intimate and complex, and the combination of root and fungus is termed as a mycorrhiza (literally, “fungus root”).
  • Chapter 7

    CHROMOSOMES AND DISEASE Price 2.99  |  2.99 Rewards Points

    The congenital malformation called mongolism affects one in approximately 650. Ever since the condition was identified in the 1860’s by the British neurologist John Langdon Down, concerned physicians and investigators had been seeking its cause. For many years, Mongolism was described as a heredity disease, the result of some unknown effects in the “germplasm”. Investigators dissatisfied with such vague explanations have argued the opposite view that the disease is environmental, and have correlated its incidence with accidents due to the developing embryo during gestation, that is, the period between conception and birth. The explanation of mongolism is now at hand. The disease is neither typically hereditary nor environmental, as these terms are commonly employed. It arises from a defect in the mechanism by which the heredity material is passed on from parent to offspring. This leaves certain questions unanswered: for example, whether the defect in the genetic mechanism is itself hereditary or environmental in origin. The explanation is nonetheless of great significance, for it is among the first findings to come from direct investigation of the genetic apparatus of the human cell. The techniques of cell genetics have mostly been restricted to more easily studied cells of lower animals and plants.
  • Chapter 8

    ENZYMES Price 2.99  |  2.99 Rewards Points

    An enzyme (from the Greek word “enzymos” meaning “in yeast”) is a biocatalyst. It is partly or entirely a protein that can tremendously increase the efficiency of a biochemical reaction without itself being used up. Although a biochemical reaction will proceed to completion in the absence of an enzyme, the process would be extremely slow – so slow in fact, as to make life as we know it impossible. Thus, it is safe to assume that most reactions occurring in the cells are catalyzed by enzymes. The term “catalyst” is used by the physical chemist to denote a substance which alters the rate of a reaction. Consequently, negative catalysis is possible. The word is used here in the popular sense, i.e., a substance which accelerates a reaction.
  • Chapter 9

    PROTEINS AND NUCLEIC ACIDS Price 2.99  |  2.99 Rewards Points

    The chemistry of nucleic acids, as expressed through the proteins, regulates the intricate biochemical properties of life and the dynamics of evolution. A most significant influence of proteins resides in the fact that many are functionally active as enzymes. The enzymes are vital for the rapid rate of biochemical reactions. Although many biochemical reactions will proceed to completion in the absence of enzymes, these reactions are extremely slow. Indeed, we could go so far as to say that enzymes and life are inseparable. Two other important functions of proteins are as major natural hydrogen ion buffers and structural components of cells. Certainly many important characteristics of proteins led scientists to the chemistry of regulators of cellular information, the nucleic acids.
  • Chapter 10

    CARBOHYDRATES Price 2.99  |  2.99 Rewards Points

    Carbohydrates are a group of organic compounds containing the elements carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, generally in the ratio of 1 : 2 : 1, with the general formula (CH2O)n (the n in the formula means that CH2O is repeated a certain number of times ; if 6 times, a molecule of glucose –C6H12O6 is formed.) One carbon bears a carbonyl group and the others hydroxyl groups. However, the definition of this group (as hydrates of carbon) has been broadened to include compounds containing nitrogen and sulphur, and compounds that do not conform to a strict 1 : 2 : 1 ratio of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Carbohydrates, therefore, are considered to be polyhydroxy—aldehydes or polyhydroxy-ketones, and their derivatives. The carbohydrates are derived more or less directly from carbon dioxide and water in photosynthesis. Sugar, starch, and cellulose are examples of carbohydrates that illustrate the importance of this class of compounds to life. Cellulose is the principal constituent of wood (and paper) ; starch is the principal constituent of the grains and other seeds, and the sugars, in addition to their widespread use as a foodstuff, are important functioning parts of all living organisms. To the plant, carbohydrates are important in several ways : 1. They represent a means for the storage of energy that is converted from light, in the process of photosynthesis—a function of utmost importance to animals as well as plants. 2. They are important constituents of the supporting tissues that enable the plant to achieve erect growth, in some cases to the height of 400 feet, 3. They provide the carbon skeletons for the organic compounds that make up the plant (e.g., the synthesis of fats and proteins).
  • Chapter 11

    STAINING Price 2.99  |  2.99 Rewards Points

    The subject of dyes or stains and methods of using them has become one of vast proportions. The number of dyes available is enormous, and ways of employing stains are almost as enormous as the workers using a particular dye or combination of stains. The preparation and use of stains has all become a science in itself, and there exists a most valuable journal, Stain Technology, devoted to these and related subjects. Experimenting with new dyes and new staining schedules is a most fascinating occupation, and there is a very great deal yet to be learned about stains and their utilization.
  • Chapter 12

    CHROMATOGRAPHY Price 2.99  |  2.99 Rewards Points

    Chromatography is an analytical technique for separating two or more chemical compounds in solution by taking advantage of the fact that they are removed from solution at different rates when the latter is percolated down a column of a powdered adsorbent or passed across the surface of an absorbent paper. This is one of the most significant and reliable methods used in the fields of chemistry and biological sciences to obtain and identify substances (such as proteins, chlorophyll pigments, etc.), in a high state of purity. Chromatography, a term derived from the Greek words chroma, colour, and graphien, to record, was introduced by the Russian botanist Michael Tswett in 1906. He described the separation of a mixture of leaf pigments on a column of calcium carbonate.
  • Chapter 13

    TRACER TECHNIQUE—THE USE OF ISOTOPES AS TRACERS Price 2.99  |  2.99 Rewards Points

    The atoms of most chemical elements exist in more than one variety. Each kind of a given element has a different atomic weight, but all of them carry the same nuclear charge. For example, there are three different kinds of magnesium atoms with atomic weights of 24, 25, and 26 respectively. Such different varieties of atoms of a given element are called isotopes. Differences in the chemical behaviour of two isotopes of the same element are so slight as to be barely detectable, and ordinarily they cannot be separated by chemical methods. The chemical properties of all isotopes of a given element are virtually identical, because all have the same electronic configuration ; one isotope differs from another only in the constitution of the atomic nucleus which is composed of protons and neutrons.
  • Chapter 14

    SPECTROPHOTOMETRY Price 2.99  |  2.99 Rewards Points

    Coloured substances absorb certain wavelengths of light and reflect or transmit rest of it. A material or a group which absorbs ultraviolet or visible light is known as a chromophore (coloured substance). Each chromophore is characterised by an absorption maximum, which is the radiation of a specific wavelength where the maximum excitation of a molecule takes place. The colourless substances also have the property of absorbing certain wavelengths of invisible part of the spectrum. This principle of utilizing the ultraviolet, infrared, and fluorescent methods of analysis used in the detection and measurements of very small quantities of chemical substances is known as spectrophotometry. Absorption curves for most substances enable accurate quantitative and qualitative data to be obtained. Spectrophotometry is a very useful device for determination of pigments, inorganic compounds (colorimetry), aromatic and heterocyclic organic compounds (ultraviolet spectrophotometry), and even gases (infrared spectrophotometry). Spectrophotometer is an instrument used to compare the intensities of two differently coloured light sources by resolving their light into spectra and measuring the relative intensities of those spectra, wavelength by wavelength.

About the Author