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Biotechnology essay questions

http://www.independence.co.uk/

-

excellent resource on cloning, GM food and
pastoral issues but need to subscribe with them.



Introduction

What is biotechnology? Write a de
finition.

Give an overview of important events in the history of biotechnology.

What does biotechnology involve


comment on and discuss what is involved in
traditional biotechnology and modern biotechnology.


See unit 6


Improving production by genetic m
eans.

General
-

http://www.library.ucsf.edu/sc/bio/principles.html

http://www.spolem.co.uk/worksheets/docs/applicat
ions.doc


GM Foods


What are genetically modified foods? Write your definition.

What is a transgenic plant?

Give 5 ways in which we want to modify a plant that produces food.



shelf life
-

tomatos engineered to last longer



drout resistance


thicker waxy c
uticles improve growth in drought




uniform fruiting

soya beans altered to make beans in temperate climates.



wind damage


soya plants engineered to have thick stems and be same height



resistance to pesticides
-
Gene inserted into plants to make I.C.P. killi
ng
caterpillars



resistance to herbicides Crop plants which are resistant to herbicides can be
sprayed so increasing yield as less competition.

Give some examples of genetically modified foods. How have they been modified?

Why were these plants modified?

Wh
at concerns are there about GM food to people and to the environment?

Has good cut and stick on benefits/ concerns of GM plants


http:// www. collinseducation. com/ Extract/ SI004_GMf
ood. pdf


How are genes inserted into plants? (Agrobacterium tumefaciens)


gene isolated


put into plasmid, plasmid returned to bacteria, bacterium infects plant
-
plant makes a
tumor in which each cell has plasmid with desired gene.



Transgenic animals

http://filebox.vt.edu/cals/cses/chagedor/97microbes.html


What are transgenic animals?

Give afew examples of why people may want to alter the animals. (beef, milk yield,
produce ins
ulin in goats milk etc)

What benefits are associated with transgenic animals? (Yield, cheap pharmaceuticals,
mass produce pharmaceuticals e.g. sheep make factor 8, other animals make growth
hormone)

How is a gene inserted into an animal to make it trasgeni
c? (DNA containing desired
gene put into nucleus using a fine pipette, cells cultured, cells implanted into female


transgenic animal born.)


GM Bacteria

http://filebox.vt.edu/cals/
cses/chagedor/97microbes.html


http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/SSG/tc00039e.html


Give 2 examples of how bacteria have been modified to produce a useful product for
us? (insulin, human growth hormone,

factor 8 Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH)

Why is it beneficial to obtain products from bacteria in this way? (low cost, mass
produced)

How is the gene inserted into the bacterium? (biology textbook


gene isolated,
plasmid opened, gene put into plasmid, plasmi
d closed, bacteria has gene so makes
product, grown in fermenter, purified)

Where are the bacteria put to reproduce? Under what conditions? (Fermenter or
bioreactor at optimum pH , temperature and nutrient levels.

Problems


if recombinant organism escape
s from lab could cause envorenmental
catastrophy, Viruses could transfer genes from transgenic bacteria to others, should
this be used for cosmetic or just medical purposes? If new organisms are patented
who owns them?


Gene Therapy


What is gene therapy?
Inserting normal genes to correct defective genes causing
genetic diseases.

What diseases is it used to treat? Cystic Fibrosis, SCID

How is the gene inserted into the cell? Virus


has insides removed so it is just an
empty virus coat


copy of healthy ge
ne put in empty virus, virus ‘infects’ person,
new healthy gene is expressed.

Why is a virus used instead of a bacteria?
-

easily infects, can have disease causing
centre removed. E.G . Flu virus used as vector in case of cystic fibrosis as reaches
damaged

lung tissue easily.

What are the benefits? Disease treated

What are the concerns? See unit 6 movie. + germ line gene therapy would change the
sex cells DNA and could alter human genotype.


Stem Cell Technlogy

What are stem cells? (unspecialised cells oft
en obtained from embryos which , given
the correct chemical stimuli, can develop into specialised cells such as heart cells,
nerve cells, etc. These cells could repair damaged tissue in the heart, brain etc.

How can they be used to treat injury and diseas
e? Parkinsons / Alzheimers


healthy
nerve cells made.

What are benefits?


Treatment of incurable diseases.

What are concerns?


Moral


embryo could grow into person.


Cloning


http://www.re
ligioustolerance.org/cloning.htm

http://www.genewatch.org/Publications/Briefs/Brief20.pdf


Give a definition of cloning

What are the different types of cloning?

Give some examples o
f clones which have been produced.

Describe how an animal is cloned?
http://www.luc.edu/depts/biology/dev/shclone.htm

Why are animals cloned

?


Is cloning moral

?

http://pers
-
www.wlv.ac.uk/~e9655217/moral.htm

What are the benefits of cloning

?

What are the concerns of cloning

?


What are the ethical concerns associated with cloning and Genetic engineering

?

Consider ethical, socia
l, religious and scientific concerns associated with these
techniques.

What effects could these techniques have on the environment

? Cross breeding of GM
plants with wild version, escape of GM bacteria into environment

.

Are we playing God

?

Is GM food saf
e

?

Is Cloning morally correct

, scientifiaclly safe

?

Should we use viruses to insert genes into humans

?

Could we created a cloned superrace


Hitler

?

Use facts.

Commment on the reliability of the source

: How recent is it

? Who wrote it


Did
they h
ave any bias


why do you think this

? Are theie statistics to back up their
statements

? Is the information to high/ low a level

?











Gene Therapy


What is gene therapy?

What diseases can it be used to treat?

How is the new gene inserted into
the cell?

Why is a virus used instead of a bacterium?