9 Biotechnology

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9 Biotechnology


Teaching Objectives


Topic
: Science and technology (especially biotechnologies)


Grammar points
: Relative clauses involving the use of
whose, whom, which

and
that:
relative clauses specifying
the time:
when,
the place:
where,
the reason:
why,
the way
(manner):
in which/that


Vocabulary
:
manipulation, profound, identical, yield,
implant, screen, relevance, potential, within limits, other
than, capable of, fall into, pass on, have an effect on,
resistant to, give birth to, convert into


Writing
: ABC of journalistic writing

P2 Reading Comprehension
and Language Activities


Pre
-
reading activity


Have the students explain the idea and meaning of

biotechnology

.


Notes for the title:


Biotechnology = bio (meaning
life)
+ technology =
science/technology of life


Have the students make observations about biotechnologies.


Notes for the pre
-
reading task:


1.Observations of biotechnologies: Biotechnology is not a
simple combination of biology and technology. It is concerned
with the application of advances made in
life science

to the
technology industry to manufacture patentable and commercial
products.


In the modern scientific circle today the
subject of
biology
is being merged with
other subjects such as
chemistry

and
medicine
to form the new branch of
science,

biotechnology


Today,
biotechnology has found a wide range of
applications in
agriculture, the
pharmaceutical industry, medicine,
chemical industries,
and many others



2.Patentable and commercial products and
services include: soybean milk, soybean oil
(example of GM food), IVF (In Vitro
Fertilization) babies (known as

test tube
babies

), AI (artificial intelligence),
artificial insemination, organ transplant,
biochip (for speed detection and analysis of
viruses, chemical agents, genes, DNA) etc.
(For details of this technology, see Note 3.)


3.Biochip: A biochip is a collection of miniaturized
test sites (microarrays) arranged on a solid substrate
that permits many tests to be performed at the same
time in order to achieve higher throughput and speed.
Typically, a biochip's surface area is no larger than a
fingernail. Like a computer chip that can perform
millions of mathematical operations in one second, a
biochip can perform thousands of biological reactions,
such as decoding genes, in a few seconds. A genetic
biochip is designed to "freeze" into place the structures
of many short strands of DNA, the basic chemical
instruction that determines the characteristics of an
organism. Effectively, it is used as a kind of "test tube"
for real chemical samples.

Questions for general
comprehension


Questions for general comprehension


What are the three branches of biotechnology?


Answer: genetics, embryology and microbiology


Give one example of the applications for each branch?


Examples for genetics: GM (Genetically Modify)
(produce animals and plants which have desired
characteristics); cloning (producing plants or animals
which are genetic copies of other living organisms,
with identical DNA); medical treatment (identify
harmful genes in unborn babies ornewly married
husband and wife, treat AIDS patients)


Examples for embryology: IVF (In Vitro
Fertilization); artificial insemination


Examples for microbiology: make use of the positive
advantages of the microbes (producing oil, eating
toxic waste, helping manufacture plastic, help coal
mining, help power generating by converting sunlight
to electricity in biological solar cells)


Explain the language and content by using the notes
below.


Have the students complete the 1 Comprehension
work individually.


Have 4 students present their summaries on
board/OHP.

Notes:


1.clone: a biological term, meaning reproducing something
non
-
sexually with the result that the thing reproduced is
identical to the original, and has identical DNA.

2.a couple could be screened for

: a couple cold be
examined medically


so that there would be no
biological risks in their marriage.
Screen

means to
examine something or somebody carefully in order to
make sure they don

t have a disease. E.g.
Women should
be regularly screened for breast cancer.

3.within limits: The expression is used to indicate that a
statement is true only in certain situations or applies only
in reasonable and normal situations. E.g.
The government
is ready to accept, within limits, any suggestion for a
peaceful settlement of the labor dispute.



by sperm other than her partner

s: by sperm that is
not from her partner.
Other than
refers to someone
or something else. E.g.

Children often reveal their
true feelings to people other than their own parents.
When
other than
is used in a negative sentence, it
means
except.
E.g.
I never discus the problem with
anyone other than my father.


surrogate motherhood: In modern science it refers
to the process in which a woman contributes her
egg to be fertilized in the test tube and then the
fertilized egg is transplanted into another woman

s
uterus.


bacteria: Bacteria is regularly a plural in
scientific and pedagogical use; in speech
and in journalism it is also used as a
singular, and it is sometimes pluralized as
bacterias

(e.g.
caused by a bacteria borne
by certain tiny ticks
).

Summaries for reference


A Summarize the story


The passage briefly introduces biotechnological
information about genetics, embryology and
microbiology and explains how these new
sciences will influence the life of human beings.
These three areas of modern biotechnology will
enable human beings to produce new living
organisms as desired, carry out artificial
insemination, and make use of bacteria to the
advantage of humans

B Summarize the paragraphs


The fifth paragraph:


Genetic science, especially the technique of
genetic screening, can help human beings detect
hereditary problems in potential parents and
unborn children.


The sixth paragraph:


The technique of IVF enables couples who would
otherwise remain childless, to have babies.


The last paragraph:


The last paragraph explains what bacteria are
and how they can be used in industrial
processes to benefit human beings.


C Study the story


Have the students prepare to answer the
questions.


Have the students give answers according to
the reading passage. Use the following
suggested points for reference.

Questions for discussion


1.How many areas does biotechnology cover?
And what are the respective concerns of these
areas?


Suggested points


Biotechnology falls into three main distinctive areas:
genetics, embryology and microbiology. They are
concerned respectively with the study and
manipulation of genes in plants and animals, the
fertilization of human eggs outside the body and the
study of microbes and their use in industrial
processes.



2.How are the characteristics of a living
organism determined?


Suggested points


When a living organism comes into
being, its characteristics, including
shape, size, color and intelligence are
determined by the genes passed on to it
from its parents.



3. What is DNA? Why do people study it?


Suggested points


DNA is a complex chemical which
carries a long chain of genes. To
understand DNA is to understand the
secrets of life: to be able to alter DNA is
the basis of the new science of genetic
engineering.



4.What are the implications of DNA?


Suggested points


DNA is the basis of genetic engineering. Ggenetic
engineering makes it possible to produce identical
animals in endless numbers known as

cloning

.


5.What relevance does genetic science have for
human beings?


Suggested points


Genetic science can help identify the presence of
harmful genes in unborn children or in potential
parents so that many hereditary diseases and
handicaps can be prevented from being passed on to
the next generation.



6.What is the concept of

test tube babies

?


Suggested points



Test tube babies


refers to the fertilization of
human eggs outside the body. The process is to
have some of a woman

s eggs removed from her
body and fertilized in the laboratory by the
sperm of her partner or of somebody else, and
then re
-
implanted in her or someone else

s
uterus.


7.What is the positive effect of IVF? And what
moral and legal problems could arise?


Suggested points


IVF offers hope to many couples who would
otherwise remain childless. However, his
technique may also lead to moral and legal
problems because a woman

s egg could be
fertilized by sperm other than her partner

s or
implanted in a body other than her own.


8.What is the practical use of microbiology?


Suggested points


Microbiology, the study of bacteria, could find its
use in industrial processes, for example, to
manufacture plastic, to liquefy coal underground
so that it could be pumped up to the surface, and
to convert sunlight into electrochemical energy.


2 Language work


A In other words


Check if the students understand the meanings
of the expressions in the word box.


Set the task for group work.


Have the students discuss the answers.


Have them report.


Check the answers for the class.

Answers


1.manipulation


2.profound


3.identical


4.have yielded


5.implanted


6.screened


7.relevance


8.potential

B Work with sentences


1.Television commercials can sometimes have
an important effect on people when they are
deciding what to purchase.


2.Manufacturers and shop owners are accused of
passing on their cost increases to the customers.


3.In North America, some Indian communities
are resisting Western culture because they want
to uphold their own traditions.


4.Her pent
-
up emotions and her experience
as a governess gave birth to the
autobiographic novel
Jane Eyre
.


5.In
Transforming Mars
, the recommended
program falls into five stages.


6.To accommodate my great uncle, the
woman converted the study into a guest
room.


7Scientists are experimenting with a device
capable of purifying sea water.

C Word study


Guidelines of the usage


virtually: almost, used as an adverb


virtually non
-
existent; virtually impossible etc.


have a relevance for: be important/useful for/to
something/somebody


What relevance does that question have to the
discussion?


He believes that these ideas do not have relevance
to/for us today.


go ahead with: continue doing something; other verbs
that can be used here include:
press,
and
move
.


in particular: in a single part or special detail, used
as adverbial phrase in a sentence


What did she have to say?


Oh, nothing in
particular.


otherwise: used as an adverb/adjective to show that
something is completely different, especially about
a non
-
gradable matter


The police believe that he is the thief, but the truth
suggests otherwise.


Have the students make one sentence for each
expression.


Have them present their work on the board/OHP.


Comment on their presentation.

Sentences for reference


1.


Virtually illiterate, those farmers can

t benefit from scientific
magazines.


Having tried virtually all means of transport, the American found that
riding a bicycle is the best way of traveling in this city.


The twins are so alike that it is virtually impossible for anyone other
than their family to tell one from the other.


2.

The teacher explained to his students that their present study would
have a relevance to their future work.


The experimental results obtained from laboratory animals have
some relevance for the treatment of some human diseases.


The tough environmental regulations have relevance for every
citizen, as they are all entitled to clean air.


3.


The mathematical problems must be examined every time you go
ahead with the next step.


We should go ahead with our management system even though we
are now facing a lot of difficulties.


Despite setbacks in space programs, scientists are determined to go
ahead with their exploration of the space.


4.


Before you ride a bicycle, you have to make sure that it is in good
conditions, in particular the brakes and tires.


Many Chinese dialects are so different that their speakers, in
particular those in the south, find it hard to understand each other.


In the past few years, a lot of outdated pieces of equipment that
cause heavy pollution made their way into the rural areas, in
particular into those areas without regulations for environment
protection.



5.


There are a few spelling mistakes in an
otherwise flawless piece of writing.


In many Chinese villages straws and
stalks which could otherwise be used as
fodder were consumed as fuel in the
past.


Bargains and sales are commercial
tricks that fool those who otherwise
behave sensibly into buying things they
don

t need at all
.