174 3. Since 1945, scientific research and technological developments have transformed human existence. One example is the exploration of space. During the Cold War the United States and the Soviet Union completed in a "space race." This began in 1957 when the Soviet Union launched spuntnik, the first artificial satellite. by 1969, the United States had landed the first human on the moon. Both superpowers explored military uses of space and sent spy satellite to orbit Earth,
However, since the end of the Cold War, nations have worked in space together. For example, several countries are involved in the International Space Station (ISS). Thousands of artificial satellites belonging to many countries now orbit Earth. They are used for communication, observation, and navigation.
Another important technological development is the invention of the computer. It has led to the "Information Age." Personal computers, or PCs, have replaced typewriters and account books in homes and businesses. Factories now use computerized robots, and computers remotely control satellites and probes in space. The Internet links computer systems worldwide and allows people to communicate instantly around the globe. It also allows people to access vast storehouses of information that were unavailable before.
Other important developments have occurred in medicine and biotechnology-the application of biological research to industry, engineering, and technology. Vaccines have been developed that help prevent the spread of diseases. In the 1970s, surgeons learned to transplant human organs. Lasers have made many types of surgery safer and more precise. Computers and other technologies have helped doctors diagnose and treat diseases. The fields of genetics and genetic engineering have made dramatic advances. Genetics is the study of genes and heredity. GENETIC ENGINEERING IS THE MANIPULATION OF GENETIC MATERIAL TO PRODUCE SPECIFIC RESULTS. Genetic research has produced new drug therapies to fight human diseases and has created new strains of disease-resistant fruits and vegetables. Genetic cloning has many practical applications in raising livestock and in research. However, cloning raises ethical questions about the role of science in creating and changing life.
3. What is biotechnology?