22 Οκτ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 9 μήνες)

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Heather Pereira

What is Biotechnology?

Biotechnology is defined by the US
government as any technique that uses
living organisms (or parts of organisms)
to make or modify products, to improve
plants and animals or to develop
microorganisms for specific uses

The History of Biotechnology

The history of biotechnology begins when
primitive people became domesticated
enough to breed plants and animals; gather
and process herbs for medicine; make bread
and wine; create many fermented food
products including yogurt, cheese and various
soy products; create septic systems to deal
with their digestive and excretory waste
products, and to create vaccines to immunize
themselves against diseases.

Why Biotechnology?

It is evident that biotechnology in the
past has concentrated on the
production of food and medicine and
the use of biotechnology to solve
environmental problems

Modern Biotechnology

If one looks at modern biotechnology,
based on recombinant DNA technology,
one finds a similar distribution in the use
of recombinant organisms to serve in
the production of food and medicines
and to solve environmental problems.

Three areas of Biotechnology

Agricultural Biotechnology,
Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
, and
Environmental Biotechnology

How does Biotechnology affect us?

Genes are inherited from
parents and they determine
much about behavioral, mental,
and physical traits. Every gene
contains a DNA code that gives
the cell instructions about how
to make specific proteins. These
proteins form the basis for the
structural framework of life.

Biotechnology and Medicine

Medicine has progressed and now
genes can be changed through
genetic engineering. In this process,
scientists insert the genetic
instructions to make a specific protein
into a cell’s DNA. The cell will
manufacture the protein, which
affects a particular characteristic, and
the cell will also pass the new
instructions on to its offspring.
Genetic engineering gives scientists
the ability to improve and alter the
basic composition of a living cell. This
is called biotechnology

Possible Risks of Biotech

Relying on eugenics, or selecting
the genetic makeup of future
children. This practice may give
people the power to control
some personal traits, such as
having blond hair or being tall.
Taken to an extreme, this could
eliminate some traits. You will
brainstorm some more risks with
your group.

Possible Benefits of Biotech

Eliminating genetic diseases. For
example, geneticists think it may
be possible to eliminate genetic
diseases such as Huntington’s
Disease through careful and
methodical screening programs.
You will brainstorm some more
benefits with your group.


Biotechnology is a powerful tool
and people have had to consider
many ethical issues surrounding
it. As a result, the new field of
bioethics has emerged. Bioethics
is the study of the ethical
implications of biological
research and applications.