All areas of human life, including infectious diseases, are impacted by global warming. The complicated relationship between the human host population and the causative infectious pathogen determines the effects of global warming. Changes in the environment may cause human migration, which in turn may cause disease patterns to vary. Crop failures and famine may reduce the host’s ability to fight infections. The paucity and contamination of potable water sources may facilitate disease transmission. Significant economic and political stressors, on the other hand, may wreak havoc on the existing public health infrastructure, leaving humanity unprepared for unexpected epidemics. The abundance and distribution of disease vectors will undoubtedly be affected by global warming.
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Many vector-borne diseases, such as malaria, dengue fever, plague, and viruses that cause encephalitic syndromes, are likely to be affected. Infectious illness epidemiology will undoubtedly shift as a result of global warming.
With these present issues looming, one would ask how we will be able to address them.
How Biotechnology is reducing the effects of Global Warming?
Biotechnology is one of the solutions to global warming and the effort to mitigate its impacts. With the help of genetically modified crops, energy efficient farming, carbon sequestration, and reduced synthetic fertiliser use, biotechnology has made significant progress in the domains of green agriculture. Planting genetically modified crops is preferable than planting normal crops since they emit fewer greenhouse gases.
This reduction isn’t a negligible reduction. “In 2012, greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by “eliminating 27 billion kg of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, equivalent to removing 11.9 million cars from the road in a year.” These GMOs have proven to be resistant and easy to fertilise, and they are assisting in reducing the effects of global warming.
With the present COVID-19 pandemic at its peak, the use of plastic in the form of PPE kits and face masks has skyrocketed. This medically discarded plastic will take at least 20-50 million years to decompose, so we can image how harmful it will be if we do not properly dispose of the plastic trash, or we may witness another wave of covid or another covid strain in the future.
However, biotechnology has come up with the idea of bioplastics, which are polymers made from biomass sources, and if we can utilise bioplastic to make PPE kits and face masks, they will not only disintegrate quickly, but will also restrict the spread of the virus.
From genome mapping to genetic engineering, the variety of biotechnologies that have the potential to help treat infectious illnesses of poverty is vast, and it continues to grow with advances in scientific research.
Biotechnologies and other biomedical advancements will almost certainly lead to the development of new and improved vaccinations, diagnostics, and treatments to combat disease. They can also aid in improving disease understanding, disease pathology, epidemiology, and vector control, hence limiting the impacts and transmission of infection.
Author: Divyam Dave
College: Dr. B. Lal Institute of Biotechnology
Course: B.Sc Biotechnology Part-III