We may understand applied biology in two senses, one general, the other special. The former refers to a broad range of uses of biological knowledge, informational and conceptual as well as technical. 1 The special meaning, more common in scientific usage, applies the term biotechnology to the employment of living material (e.g., microorganisms or genes) as tools. In the literature of microbiology and genetics, biotechnology may be restricted to the special meaning. But outside the laboratory in the public domain where life is affected by technologies indirectly utilizing biological knowledge or living materials the more general meaning of biotechnology is appropriate. Manipulation of life forms and processes requires assistance from a great number of physicochemical technologies. Narrowly defined distinctions seldom reflect what happens in the world of practical affairs.