19 Must-See Biotech Infographics

Published by Jennifer on June 29, 2010

A foray into biotech infographics on the Web can turn up some dull images, even though the information may be accurate and useful. On the other hand, some amazing images can contain inaccurate information. Then, you may encounter some biotechnology infographics that are gorgeous and interactive — those last images and their accompanying information may blow your socks off. We have all the above listed below in our 19 must-see biotech infographics.

  1. Strange Genetic InformationA Maelstrom of Weird New Genetic Information: This ‘map’ allows viewers to see a nice introduction to so-called epigenetic ways your body passes information from cell to cell, or creates the proteins that make your body thrive. At one time, it was believed that each gene was a tidy strand of molecules in a row on you DNA, and that each gene created one kind of protein. Now it turns out the story is far more complicated…
  2. BiotechnologyBiotechnology: Three charts on this page show genetically engineered foods on the market, “Countries of Origin of Biotechnology Patents from 1990-1995,” and “Where are the GMO Crops Being Grown?” It may or may not surprise you that the U.S. led in the number of patents between 1990-1995, with 37.5 percent of the patents, followed closely by Japan at 37 percent of all patents. The U.S. also led in the number of GMO crops being grown, with soy leading the way.
  3. Biotech ExplainedBiotechnology and modern biotechnology defined: Modern biotechnology is a term adopted by international convention to refer to biotechnological techniques for the manipulation of genetic material and the fusion of cells beyond normal breeding barriers. The most obvious example is genetic engineering to create genetically modified/engineered organisms (GMOs/GEOs) through “transgenic technology” involving the insertion or deletion of genes.
  4. Biotech CanadaBiotechnology in Canada: Data presented on this page is derived from the Canadian Life Sciences Database. This database is sponsored by BIOTECanada, and is designed to inform and educate the Canadian and global public about Canada’s life sciences community. Users can access key industry data such as pipeline development statistics, employment figures, financing activities, and sectoral company information.
  5. GermanyBiotechnology in Germany: In this overview the Federal Ministry of Education and Research has compiled the most interesting facts and figures to help you get to grips with the economic and financial situation of the core biotech companies in Germany. At the moment there are 17 German biotech companies listed on the stock market. In comparison to other European countries Germany holds the second place after Great Britain. This page is updated regularly.
  6. Bird Flu PandemicBird Flu Preparations: Before you take this image seriously, realize that it was produced by the Onion, a magazine that takes real news and skews it to the ironic side. This graphic shows what “federal and state officials” are doing to prepare for bird flu, including the distribution of “Tamiflu to Fortune 500 CEOs and their families.”
  7. CanadaCanadian Biotechnology Strategy: The purpose of this graph is to show biotech activity in Canada, the companies involved and the amount of funds and expenditures within each entity. The article covers the time period between 1999 and 2007. Canadian research establishments are particularly strong in the field of medicine and have built up a solid reputation at renowned institutes in genomics, proteomics, cancer and infection research.
  8. Corporate ControlCorporate Control: According to these graphics, presented by ABC Online in Australia, the worldwide market for genetic material is dominated by a handful of multinational companies. The three graphs shown here, designed by ABC News Online designer Ben Spraggon, show corporate control of genetic material, top pesticide firms by market share and top proprietary seed firms by market share.
  9. ABC NewsFood for Thought: This page, also offered by Australia’s ABC News, presents a graph showing the explosion in patents over drought-resistant genes, highlighting a broader trend toward owning the genetic makeup of climate change-adaptive plants. Other graphs explain the companies that own the rice genome and the prevalence of the “global rice bowl.”
  10. GeneticsGenetic Geography: Humans are a huge part of the biotechnology picture, especially when it comes to studying migration patterns based upon genetics. By studying DNA of people from around the world, scientists have patched together colorful symbols of genetic diversity. Less variability indicates rapid, strong evolutionary selection.
  11. Graphics GalleryGraphics Gallery: Sponsored by the National Health Museum, this image is just one of dozens of information graphics listed on this site. Graphics Gallery is a series of labeled diagrams with explanations representing the important processes of biotechnology. Each diagram is followed by a summary of information, providing a context for the process illustrated.
  12. PatentsHow U.S. Patent System Has Driven American Economy: This graphic contains a number of elements, including a time line of key patents and significant events in American history, a comparison of domestic and foreign patents issued between 1790 and 2009, and charts showing the top countries and states in which U.S. patents originated, the number of pending applications between 1981 and 2009 and more.
  13. GenomicsIt’s all in the clusters: Researchers studying human population structure have discovered five main genetic clusters, which largely correspond to major geographic regions. The map shows the average genetic makeup of 52 modern human populations, and a study of three modern populations alone shows signs of recent evolution in different locations on the genome.
  14. CzechSelected life sciences figures in the Czech Republic: Scroll down this page to learn more about the type of biotechnology organizations located in this country, along with geographic distribution of biotechnology companies as well as biotechnological research entities at the Czech republic. Most biotechnology companies are located in the Prague region (33.9 percent) and in the South Moravian region (18.5 percent).
  15. SuperweedsSuperweeds Threaten Farmers Nationwide: This map displays states affected by glyphosate-resistant superweeds. Monsanto introduced the herbicide glyphosate (then marketed as Roundup) to the markeplace in the 1970s, along with crops that were genetically-engineered to be resistant to glyphosate (like Roundup Ready corn and soy). At first, glyphosate worked like a magic potion; it killed all unwanted weeds without affecting crops. Gradually, though, more robust weeds, like horseweed and Palmer pigweed, developed resistance to the chemical.
  16. The Gulf of Mexico Oil SpillThe Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: This chart is an example of how graphics can prove erroneous with changes in information. When this chart was developed and published on 3 May 2010, it was determined that 5,000 barrels of oil per day was gushing into the Gulf. By mid-June, that number climbed rapidly to 60,000 barrels per day. So, be aware that the top part of this chart is based upon earlier numbers. The interesting part of the chart is the methods displayed to discuss options for oil cleanup, some biochemical.
  17. Gene NetworksVisualization of Gene Networks: This is a simple infographic, but sometimes simple is good, especially when you learn that this infographic is interactive. First released on May 19, 2009 and based on the collaborative efforts of the BCBC Coordinating Center informatics group and the Beta Cell Genomics bioinformatics group, the Beta Cell Biology Consortium developed an interactive graph-based gene network browser. Of interest to many are gene-relationships in the context of one or more development (or other) context.
  18. Water WarsWater Wars: Of all the water currently on Earth, only 2.5 percent is fresh, and less than 0.007 percent is readily available to people through rivers, lakes and streams. As lakes and rivers run dry and Earth’s surface water disappears, the solution might lie underground, much like a precious mineral. With 80 percent of all sickness in the developing world linked to polluted water, and with populations sharply on the rise, the urgency of water management becomes apparent.
  19. WasteWhat is waste: What is waste? How is it defined? Waste is a complex, subjective and sometimes controversial issue. There are many ways to define, describe and count it depending on how you look at it. From one country to the next, statistical definitions vary a lot. It is notably difficult, for example, to compare waste in rich and poor countries. Learn more about the definitions, including ways to approach waste in conversation here.

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