Biotechnology is the use of biological agents for technological advancement. Biotechnology was used for breeding livestock and crops long before people understood the scientific basis of these techniques. Since the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953, the biotechnology field has grown rapidly through both academic research and private companies. The primary applications of this technology are in medicine (vaccine and antibiotic production) and agriculture (crop genetic modification in order to increase yields). Biotechnology also has many industrial applications, such as fermentation, treating oil spills, and producing biofuels (Figure).