Biotechnology is the combination and application of science and technology to living organisms or, in the meantime, their sub-areas or their products. There are wide-ranging areas of application for biotechnology. These include research into microorganisms, humans and animals, but also tiny cells and molecules. The technology is also often referred to as a cross-sectional technology. In order to better distinguish the individual sectors in which biotechnology is used, a colour distinction has been introduced. The field of medicine is referred to as red biotechnology, agriculture received the colour green and industry is coloured white.
The main tasks in the medical field are the development or optimisation of medicines and the production of cosmetics and care products. Also the development of new therapeutic and diagnostic procedures. The basic prerequisite for biotechnologists is an understanding of genomes and proteomes. This understanding enables biotechnology researchers not only to treat specific symptoms in disease processes, but to directly attack the cause. This not only offers new opportunities and approaches in medicine, but also an optimised approach in the pharmaceutical industry. In this context, one also speaks of personalised or individualised medicine, as the drugs are developed and administered on the basis of a patient’s individual, molecular-biological characteristics.