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Biotechnology is a large scientific field that uses research tools from chemistry and biology to study or solve problems, including human disease. Biotechnologies may be used to study the genetic material of viruses and bacteria to determine whether a disease is caused by particular disease-producing agents. Its techniques are also used to understand how genetic factors contribute to human disease. The information gathered in research can be used to develop diagnostic tests that enable speedy detection and identification of a disease so that an appropriate treatment can be developed. It can also help doctors screen their patients' genomes (all of an organism's genes) for existing diseases or a predisposition for diseases such as cancer.The standards for the Biotechnology Research and Development Pathway and related courses apply to occupations and functions in biotechnology research and development that apply primarily to human health. The standards specify the knowledge and skills common to occupations in this pathway. Students participating in a strong, industy-driven Biotechnology program can expect to conduct research using bioinformatics theory and methods in areas such as pharmaceuticals, medical technology, biotechnology, computational biology, proteomics, computer information science, biology and medical informatics. Additionally, students may use extended technologies to design databases and develop algorithms for processing and analyzing genomic information, or other biological information pertinent to this field.