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Responding to Climate Change 2011

Home | Biodiversity & Land Use | Biodiversity SpA Biodiversity & biotechnology
 

Biodiversity and biotechnology:
companions not competitors

Biodiversity SpA

Bacteria
Bacteria

Biodiversity is fundamental to life on Earth. Its composition and richness is a good indicator of both the environment and its health. It’s not a merely a list of organisms, but also covers the complex interrelations between species. The ability of an environment to cope with changes and challenges drives evolution and the survival of life on Earth.

The reservoir of biological variability within a species at the global and local level is also a key aspect of its evolutionary fitness. Appreciating, measuring and studying biodiversity is fundamental to safeguarding the environment. It is how we build understanding of the relationships between environment and species, between geochemical and biotic factors and energy and element cycles.

The analysis of species composition and biological variability is fostered and supported by new technologies, particularly by genomics and related sciences. An unprecedented wealth of data is being accumulated, and we are in the early stages of decoding environments at the molecular level. Metagenomics is the ability to collect and understand the overall genetic composition of a given environmental sample; this has led to discoveries of new species, and an understanding of the relationships between them.

Influence of microbiology

DNA fingerprint
DNA fingerprint

We know of only a few of the numerous microbial species on Earth which either live free in the environment or within organisms. Most of them cannot be cultivated by means of standard procedures, but are detected and identified through their genetic material. Micro-organisms play a pivotal role in every biochemical and geochemical process on Earth; they are the fundamental actors of Earth’s “metabolism”.

The Earth’s energy cycle depends on this microbe-orchestrated metabolism. As a consequence, it’s impossible to envision a truly sustainable approach to critical issues like climate change, without better understanding the complexity of the micro-actors shaping the everyday elements and the fundamentals of the climate itself. In the near future, microbial fingerprints of an environment could be used as a key set of biomarkers to manage the environment.

The threats determined by climate change cover many other issues, such as the emerging, re-emerging or evolving of new and past infectious diseases. The new “omics” technologies can provide critical tools for monitoring and controlling pathogens at a global scale. Biodiversity of pathogens, again, is a key issue to be approached. Thus biodiversity of micro-organisms, either as a wealth or as a threat, is a matter we must face.

These and other scientific and technical accomplishments make biotechnology one of the main resources we now have in our hands to manage the control and restoration of the environment.

Italian company, Biodiversity SpA, develops, produces and commercialises new molecular diagnostics products, services and technologies in the following core areas:
  • biomedical and clinical diagnostics;
  • veterinary and animal science;
  • agriculture and agro-food;
  • industrial microbiology; and,
  • services and contract research in molecular diagnostics, genomics, proteomics.
The company was established in 2002 by young managers and successful researchers combining 20 years’ expertise in molecular diagnostics, biotechnology areas with different backgrounds. This resulted in a company strongly focused on new technologies to be applied in the life science arena.

Biodiversity SpA logo
Biodiversity SpA
www.biodiversity.it

 
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