How Does Biotechnology Affect Individuals, Society, and the ...


Dec 6, 2012 (5 years and 7 months ago)


How Does Biotechnology
Affect Individuals, Society,
and the Environment?

Grade 8 Science and Technology

What is Biotechnology?

Some Ideas?

Some examples?

What is Biotechnology?

In its most simple form, biotechnology is
the use of living systems (organisms) by
people to make products.

Biotechnology uses many different
sciences, such as biology, chemistry,
physics, engineering, computers, and
information technology to develop tools
and products.

Biotechnology changes genes of organisms
for specific purposes.

What are some common examples of
biotechnology use?

eating microbes
(oil spills)

Laundry detergents and
dish soaps

DNA finger

pesticides for crops

Vaccines for illnesses and

Genetically Modified
Foods like cheese

These are just to name a

So... How Can or Does Biotechnology
Affect us as Individuals?

What does it mean?

Biotechnology affects our everyday

It provides medicine,
and can detect and
treat diseases

Diabetes, sickle
anemia, antibiotics, etc.

It has and continues to
change what we are
able to eat

Baking bread, making
cheese, etc.

SAMPLE: Biotechnology of Corn

Scientists have
successfully been able to
change the genes of corn
for more desirable traits

Biotech (Bt) corn may be
insect protected (no need
for pesticides), herbicide
resistant, or both

Another type of corn is
able to grow in times of
drought (no or low rain

As well, corn has been
engineered to contain
more healthy ingredients

How does corn affect us as


Many products we rely on
contain a corn base (high
fructose corn syrup) such as
fast food, batteries, candy,
pop, cereal, etc.

Genetically modified corn
adding nutrition and
medicines both increase
quality of, and help to
prolong, human life

especially in third world


High fructose corn syrup,
made from corn, is linked to
diabetes in kids and other
health risks

For those who have or may
develop an allergy for corn or
corn products, will have a very
short list of foods they can

Some genetically modified
corn have led to signs of organ
damage in rats...

How can or does biotechnology affect
our society?

What does it


Industrial Biotechnology can help
generate a new “greener”
economy with countless new jobs.

May solve world food shortage
(agriculture and livestock)

Helps with discovery of new

Solving crimes with DNA and
forensic testing


There are safety and ethical debates

How far do we draw the line?

“Perfect” babies and cloning

Accidental immunity of pests,
weeds, viruses, and bacteria

Engineering even more foods

Biological warfare

It changes the
quality of life
in our world!

How does corn affect our society?

When compared to
original unchanged corn,
the amount of biotech
corn being able to be
produced is much higher.

This is important for
farming economies, like
Canada, which therefore
is able to feed more
people while also
requiring less work and
time overall.

How does biotechnology affect the

What does that mean?

Public Environment

We will have the ability to
find ways to use our
garbage to create new
needed products.

Agricultural biotechnology
will help us to use our lands
more efficiently (no loss of
crops and money)

Natural/Physical Environment

By 2030, the WWF
estimates that
biotechnology “has the
potential to save the planet
up to 2.5 billion tons of CO2
emissions per year.”

Biotechnology will aid in the
removal of pollution from
our soils, water, and air

Advantages of Biotechnology

Are all of these biotechnology solutions safe?

As we move towards a greener society,
biotechnology is the leading force to help us
solve problems that we, as humans, were
responsible for creating.

We are able to understand the world that we
live in on a microscopic level.

Why or How is Corn Biotechnology

“Corn production bills”
from FOOD INC.

May solve declining oil
issue and provide us with
new energy form

Third world countries
especially prone to insect
infestation, nutrition
deficits, and drought no
longer have to worry

Disadvantages to Biotechnology

Are we planting new problems that may haunt
us in the future?

Unknown/unintended harm to environment

Food Labelling and consumer choice



Why or How is Corn Biotechnology

Insects may become immune to pest
Bt corn and become more harmful (already
seen in mosquitoes) as well as creating


Biotechnology Institute, 2005, “What is

Monsanto Company, 2001, “Biotech Basics”

, Virginia. “Genetically Modified Corn

Environmental Benefits and Risks” October 13,
2008. Public Library of Science