Students will develop an understanding of and be able to select and ...


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Unit 8

Inventions and Innovations

ETP 2006

Jeff Pegg

This material is based upon work supported the National Science foundation under Grant No. 0402616.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s)

and do not necessarily reflect the view of the National Science Foundation (NFS).

Impacts of Technology

Every advancement has a hidden or
known negative effect.

Negative effects or compromises are
called tradeoffs.

Negative aspects could affect people or
the environment.

How has the invention of plastics helped
and harmed us?

Technological Change.

Evolution of technology has been a series
of progressive improvements to products
to fulfill a need or provide a convenience.

Current technology is growing at an
exponential rate and getting faster.

Look how fast computers change.


Technology development will always have
implication on society, individuals and the

Technological choices we make can have
a long lasting positive or negative effects
to our future.

Throw away society.

What is a throw away society?

80% of our nations garbage goes to

How can we reduce, reuse, and recycle?

Technology Assessment

At the basic level is “Think be for you act”
(Kransberg, 1979)

There are 6 different dimensions of
consequences from technologial decisions. They
are Planned, Desired, Intended, Unplanned,
undesired, and unintended.

How do we balance the risks for a small group
versus benefits for a large group and what is an
acceptable risk?

History of Technology Assessment.

Regulatory Agency was created in 1850’s
after over 2,500 deaths in the shipping

National Environmental Policy Act in 1969.

The Technology Assessment Act 1972.

Function of the Office of
Technology Assessment. OTA

Identify existing or probable impacts of
technology or technological programs.

Where possible, ascertain cause
effect relationships.

Identify alternative technological
methods of implementing specific

Identify alternative programs for
achieving requisite goals.

OTA cont;

5. Make estimates and comparisons of the
impacts of alternative methods and programs.

6. Present findings of completed analyses to the
appropriate legislative authorities.

7. Identify areas where additional research or data
collections is required to provide support for the
assessments and estimates.

8. Undertake such additional associated activities
as specified by the appropriate.

Biotechnology and Assessment.

When dealing with living things a whole
host of ethical issues arise.

Generally, morals, values, and religious
beliefs surface when determining the
positive or negative aspects of bio related

Ethical Issues of Biomedical and
other technologies.

The definition of death.

Withdrawal of life
sustaining medical treatment.

Prenatal diagnosis and abortion.

Storage of frozen human embryos.

The use of humans, animals, or fetal tissue for
scientific research.

The screening of persons with the AIDS virus or
other infections.

The disposition of toxic wastes.

The expansion of genetic engineering.

Some common area of

Monoclonal Antibody Technology uses a
type of immune system cell that makes
proteins call antibodies. Monoclonal
antibodies are used to:

Distinguish cancer cells from normal cells.

Locate environmental pollutants.

Detect harmful microorganisms in food.

Diagnose infectious diseases in humans,
animals, and plants quicker and more
accurately than before.

Biotechnology cont’

Cell culture technology included plant cells, mammalian
cells and insect cells to produce bio
related insecticides,
medical procedures, and pharmaceuticals.

Biosensor Technologies are detection devices that rely
on the specificity of cells and molecules to identify and
measure substances at extremely low concentrations.
Biosensors can:

Measure the nutritional value, freshness and safety of food.

Provide emergency room physicians with bedside measures of
vital blood components.

Locate and measure environmental pollutants.

Measure blood glucose levels more rapidly and precisely than
existing methods.

Biotechnology cont’

Genetic Modification technology is often referred to a
recombination DNA Technology.

Currently we are using genetic modification to:

Produce new and safer vaccines.

Treat some genetic diseases.

Provide new and better medicines.

Enhance bio
control agents in agriculture.

Increase crop yield and decrease production costs.

Decrease allergy
producing characteristics of some foods.

Improve food nutritional value.

Increase livestock productivity.

Develop biodegradable plastics.

Decrease water and air pollution.

Biotechnology cont’

sense Technology decrease the
production of specific proteins by using
small nucleic acids to block the genes
responsible for making these proteins.

Slow food spoilage.

Control viral infections.

Inhabit inflammation.

Treat diseases such as asthma, cancers and
a kind of anemia called thalassemia.

Biotechnology cont’

Protein Engineering Technology will often be
used in conjunction with genetic modification to
improve existing proteins, usually enzymes, and
to create proteins not found in nature.

This is just a small area that is being studied by
this field.

The future of Biotechnology research is a
controversy due to the ethical issues.

Source: Valley City State University (2006) Invention and Innovations.

Retrieved May 7 2006 from WWW.HTTP://WWW.VCSU.EDU


Standard 4: Students will develop an understanding of the cultural, social,

economic, and political effects of technology.

D. The use of technology affects humans in various ways, including their safety,

comfort, choices, and attitudes about technology’s development and use.

E. Technology, by itself, is neither good nor bad, but decisions about the use of
products and systems can result in desirable or undesirable consequences.

F. The development and use of technology poses ethical issues.

G. Economic, political, and cultural issues are influenced by the development and

use of technology.

Standards continued

Standard 5: Students will develop an understanding of the effects of technology

on the environment.

D. The management of waste produced by technological systems is an important

societal issue.

F. Decisions to develop and use technologies often put environmental and economic

concerns in direct competition with one another.

Standard 13: Students will develop abilities to assess the impact of products

and systems.

F. Design and use instruments to gather data.

G. Use data collected to analyze and interpret trends in order to identify the positive

or negative effects of a technology.

H. Identify trends and monitor potential consequences of technological development.

I. Interpret and evaluate the accuracy of the information obtained and determine

if it is useful.

Standards continued

Standard 14: Students will develop an understanding of and be

able to select and use medical technologies.

G. Advances and innovations in medical technologies are used to improve healthcare.

J. Genetic engineering involves modifying the structure of DNA to produce novel

genetic make

Standard 15: Students will develop an understanding of and be able to

select and use agricultural and related biotechnologies.

H. Biotechnology applies the principles of biology to create commercial

products or processes.