19 Introduction

Module 10 – Biotechnology


Your readings define biotechnology as “the use of artificial methods to modify the genetic material of living organisms or cells to produce novel compounds or to perform new functions” . Another way to think about biotechnology is as a “tool” or really “tools” that can be used to better our lives in a variety of ways. Biotechnology is an ever-changing, evolving, and exciting field. There are many methods/ technologies that fall under this heading. You will explore only a few in this module. It is important to consider that the technologies described in your readings only scratch the surface of the work that is being done now and being developed for future use .

Learning Outcomes

This module addresses the following Course Learning Outcomes listed in the Syllabus for this course:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of biological principles.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of scientific method.
  • Communicate scientific ideas through oral or written assignments.
  • Interpret scientific models such as formulas, graphs and tables.
  • Demonstrate problem solving methods in situations that are encountered outside of the classroom .

Module Objectives

Upon completion of this module, the student will be able to:

  • Define Biotechnology .
  • Describe the technologies discussed in this module.
  • Define: clone vector plasmid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) recombinant DNA stem cell transformation transgenic organism.
  • Answer the questions:
    • Why is it important to identify credible resources for exploring topics in science?
    • Why is evidence-based science important?
    • What damage does the spread of pseudo-science and anti-science do to society?
    • What can you do to identify credible information in the news, online, and in general? 1


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