The upcoming discussion will update you about the difference between old biotechnology and modern biotechnology.
A. Old Biotechnology:
People all over the world have been preparing products, such as beverages, curd, cheese, vinegar, wine, bread, etc., since the beginning of recorded history of mankind without knowing that microorganisms were involved in these processes.
For centuries, yeasts, molds, and lactic acid bacteria have been used to preserve milk, fruits and vegetables, and to enhance the quality of life with the resultant products. Microorganisms were, for the first time, used to produce some organic compounds like citric acid after the First World War.
Microorganisms were also later on used to produce antibiotics (such as penicillin). In all these processes only the natural capabilities of the microorganisms and cells were exploited. These activities are now often referred to as old biotechnology.
B. Modern Biotechnology:
In its modern sense, biotechnology means the application of recently developed skills in microbial and biochemical technology to applied biology, i.e., to the exploitation of biological systems and processes for our own use.
Biotechnology also includes those industrial processes that are based on the use of living cells or their products. There are many early and continuing biotechnological applications, such as fermentation technology for the production of wine and liquors, useful to the mankind, which use microbes as agents in particular processes—some natural, some induced—or as source of useful products.
Modern biotechnology now mainly concerns with:
(i) Recombinant DNA technology (i.e., Genetic Engineering),
(ii) Tissue/cell culture and
(iii) Enzyme and fermentation technology.