What Is Downstream Processing?


Do you enjoy being alive? Of course you do, you’re reading this, aren’t you? So you clearly have good taste in how you spend your alive-time. So obviously you enjoy things like antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, vaccines and downstream processing? What’s that that you say? You don’t recognized that last one? Well that’s okay, not a lot of people do, but I can strongly assure you that it’s just as important as the other things on that list, because it’s one of the processes by which all of the other things are made. So what is it? Do scientists hang out by streams and just toss a net in and catch vaccines and pull them out? Is that where they come from?


Of course not, and you knew that. We’re just playing for comedic effect.


Wait, I Thought Vaccines Came From the Diseases Themselves


Well, they do, in a way. Traditionally many vaccines come from samples of the disease itself. Get infected by a little bit, and then you develop an immunity to it. However, in the modern days, downstream processing plays an important role in collecting those samples to begin with. It’s not enough to just grab a bit of sickness and inject it. Downstream processing is the, well, process, by which scientists take things like plant and animal matter, as well as waste and bio products and separate and purify the different parts into usable matter. It’s a form of Biochemical Engineering, but downstream processing has more uses then just vaccines, it can also be used to make products for things like:


1: Pharmaceuticals

2: Vaccines

3: Antibiotics


But Also:


4: Hormones

5: Fragrances

6: Flavorings


So while this only touches on the most basic aspects of downstream processing it is definitely worth your time and attention to learn more about it, if you find modern scientific production techniques interesting, or just want to expand your knowledge on what makes the world work, it is for sure something worth continuing your reading on.


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