Biotechnology (Biotech) is the area of biology that uses living processes, organisms, or systems to manufacture products or technology to improve the quality of human life.
The main types of biotechnology are medical, agricultural, industrial, and environmental. Medical focuses on prevention, treatment, cures, new therapies, and devices. Agricultural optimizes farming techniques, including soil management and genetic engineering of new crops. Industrial utilizes enzymes, microorganisms, and plants to produce energy, industrial chemicals, and consumer goods. Industrial biotech includes biofuels, textiles, and cosmetics. And environmental centers on developing more sustainable products and alternative energy sources.
Biotech is one of the most data-intensive industries in the world. Staggering amounts of data are required to develop and trial new specimens, new products, new cures, and new solutions. Limitations in speed and bandwidth will delay or halt advancements.
It is common for sudden, dynamic changes in laboratory specimens to occur. When breakthroughs happen, there are massive surges in computation, processing, and data collection; seldom experienced in other fields. Results in one lab need to be emulated in multiple locations, sometimes worldwide. Genomics, crowd-sourced research and development, electronic clinical research, biotech analytics, drug discovery, and testing all depend on the ability to process and manage rapid flows of considerable data.
The biotechnology market was valued at over $790 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach over $1,600 billion by 2030. Now that we’ve established the current and forecasted market value, let’s look at a few of the leading trends in the industry.
Big data is characterized by the 3 Big V’s. Large volume, a wide variety of data. Velocity is defined as the rate at which data is generated, collected, and processed. And variety is either structured, unstructured, or semi-structured.
Structured data is quantitative and tangible. It is organized data found in relational databases. Examples are phone numbers, zip codes, or names. They are easily searched and analyzed. Unstructured data or raw data is qualitative, not organized. It’s either generated by machines or people. There are three types of unstructured data. First, on our list, we have rich media like videos, gifs, podcasts, and infographics. Next, we have document collections, sets of related documents independent of each other including invoices and records. The third type is the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is data collected from multiple devices such as sensors measuring temperature, pressure, or light. Finally, semi-structured data sources are zipped files or emails.
As the volume and velocity of data increase, so does the need for edge computing. 5G and edge computing are complementary. 5G reduces network latency between the endpoint and the radio tower. Edge computing brings data processing close to end-users and machines producing and consuming data. Data is gathered and processed at the edge instead of sending the data back to a data center or cloud, reducing latency, increasing capacity and reliability for 5G to work. It is efficient and cost-effective in turning unstructured data into actionable data.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Biotech companies deploy AI applications to streamline and speed up the drug discovery and development process. AI screens, analyzes, and manages the data from various clinical trials and funnels it back to the development process quickly, reducing costs.
Personalized medicine’s main component is genomics. Personalized medicine uses information about a person’s genes or proteins to prevent, diagnose, or treat disease. It relies heavily on scientific research and breakthroughs. The goal is to understand the individuals’ molecular and genetic profiles to identify and foresee how they react to specific drug treatments while identifying diseases within their molecular makeup.
Gene therapy modifies a person’s genes by replacing the defective gene with healthy ones, which will enable the individual to fight, treat, or stop the disease from progressing. Gene therapy treats cancer, heart disease, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and hemophilia.
Drug discovery is the method by which new medicines are identified. Steady strides have been made in drug discovery, empowering clinicians to understand diseases better and discover new treatments to benefit patients.
Biomanufacturing uses microorganisms and cell cultures to produce biological molecules and materials on a commercial scale. Biotech produces medical drugs like antibodies and enzyme replacement therapies, biomaterials, food and beverages, and chemicals.
5G and edge computing is the perfect combination to improve the standard of living and application performances across a portfolio of industries, none more so than biotech. The power of 5G is redefining innovation in biotechnology, enabling labs and devices to process and transmit large amounts of information quickly. 5G empowers AI to track and analyze millions or even billions of molecular interactions, gleaning valuable insights to expedite the development of new technologies. It is fundamental to a new era in biotech and life sciences. 5G plays a role in shortening the research and development time for new drugs, opening the door to gaining a deeper understanding of the relationship between genetics and diseases, driving the creation of new gene and cell therapies, and helping produce cures for conditions.
Netrality’s data centers are the hub of technology and innovation. Our 401 N Broad facility in Philadelphia is home to leading biotechnology companies, including Achilles Therapeutics, NeuExcell Therapeutics, and Biomeme, Inc., voted “Best Office Lease” in the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Contact us today to learn more about our owner-operated, strategically located data centers!