Biotechnology
University e-Preparation Course

Biotechnology ePrep course textbook
Biotechnology is one of the ten ePrep courses, specially designed by NTU to help NSF, NSmen, and others to be better prepared academically for their undergraduate studies, whether in the universities in Singapore or in overseas universities.
This Biotechnology eLearning prep course is developed in collaboration with the book publishers, Cengage.  In addition to providing the popular textbook on biotechnology at no additional cost, this biotechnology ePrep course also comes with excellent learning materials on biotechnology provided by the publishers.  In addition, lots of materials on other subjects such as life science, physics, mechanics, mathematics, business finance, corporate finance, economics, business and engineering ethics, Python programming, discrete mathematics, etc. are also made available so that students not only get to build up their knowledge on biotechnology, they also get to strengthen their knowledge on many other subjects as well.  In this way, the students are able to prepare more comprehensively for their academic studies in universities. Samples of the materials provided are given below.
In this biotechnology ePrep course, there is also a retired NTU professor acting as the personalized tutor.  He can be reached via email or WhatsApp messaging.  Students are free to consult him, not only during the course, but until they enter universities, and even beyond.

Audio: Introduction to Biotechnology ePrep Course

The Main Course Contents

A. Compulsory Chapters

1. The Phenomena of Biotechnology
  • Define biotechnology.
  • Describe how biological technology differs from technology derived from physical science.
  • Define genetic engineering.
  • Explain why biotechnology is important to agriculture, health care, and the environment.
  • Explain how biotechnology is used.
4. Cells: The Foundation of Life
  • Explain why cells are the foundation of life.
  • List the different types of cells.
  • Distinguish between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
  • Describe the different components of cells.
  • Explain how cells reproduce by mitosis.
  • Explain the process of meiosis.
  • Define and describe stem cells.
5. The Principles of Genetic Transfer
  • Explain the function of DNA.
  • Discuss nucleotide sequencing.
  • Explain the role of genes in the transfer of characteristics.
  • Discuss the concept of gene interaction.
  • Define the process of transcription.
  • Define the process of translation.
  • Discuss the mapping of the human genome.
6. Producing Genetically Modified Organisms
  • Explain the function of DNA.
  • Discuss nucleotide sequencing.
  • Explain the role of genes in the transfer of characteristics.
  • Discuss the concept of gene interaction.
  • Define the process of transcription.
  • Define the process of translation.
  • Discuss the mapping of the human genome.
7. Animal Cloning
  • Explain the function of DNA.
  • Discuss nucleotide sequencing.
  • Explain the role of genes in the transfer of characteristics.
  • Discuss the concept of gene interaction.
  • Define the process of transcription.
  • Define the process of translation.
  • Discuss the mapping of the human genome.
8. Plant Cloning
  • Explain the function of DNA.
  • Discuss nucleotide sequencing.
  • Explain the role of genes in the transfer of characteristics.
  • Discuss the concept of gene interaction.
  • Define the process of transcription.
  • Define the process of translation.
  • Discuss the mapping of the human genome.
9. Biotechnology in Plant Science
  • Explain why insect control is so important in plant production.
  • Describe how bacteria are used to create insect resistance in plants.
  • List the advantages of plants that have been genetically modified to make them insect resistant.
  • Explain how Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) kills insects and remains harmless to humans.
  • List crops that have been engineered to contain the Bt gene.
  • Explain how Bt crops help alleviate mycotoxins.
  • Explain the reason for making crops herbicide resistant.
  • Describe the problems caused by weeds in crops.
  • Describe how plants are genetically engineered to prevent viral infections.
  • Describe how crops can be made tolerant of climatic conditions through genetic engineering.
  • Describe how crops are being engineered for biofuels production and plant-made products.
  • List the ways in which biotechnology, such as genetic engineering, is currently being used in producing plants.
10. Biotechnology in Animal Reproduction
  • Explain why insect control is so important in plant production.
  • Describe how bacteria are used to create insect resistance in plants.
  • List the advantages of plants that have been genetically modified to make them insect resistant.
  • Explain how Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) kills insects and remains harmless to humans.
  • List crops that have been engineered to contain the Bt gene.
  • Explain how Bt crops help alleviate mycotoxins.
  • Explain the reason for making crops herbicide resistant.
  • Describe the problems caused by weeds in crops.
  • Describe how plants are genetically engineered to prevent viral infections.
  • Describe how crops can be made tolerant of climatic conditions through genetic engineering.
  • Describe how crops are being engineered for biofuels production and plant-made products.
  • List the ways in which biotechnology, such as genetic engineering, is currently being used in producing plants.
11. Biotechnology in Medicine
  • Explain why insect control is so important in plant production.
  • Describe how bacteria are used to create insect resistance in plants.
  • List the advantages of plants that have been genetically modified to make them insect resistant.
  • Explain how Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) kills insects and remains harmless to humans.
  • List crops that have been engineered to contain the Bt gene.
  • Explain how Bt crops help alleviate mycotoxins.
  • Explain the reason for making crops herbicide resistant.
  • Describe the problems caused by weeds in crops.
  • Describe how plants are genetically engineered to prevent viral infections.
  • Describe how crops can be made tolerant of climatic conditions through genetic engineering.
  • Describe how crops are being engineered for biofuels production and plant-made products.
  • List the ways in which biotechnology, such as genetic engineering, is currently being used in producing plants.
12. Biotechnology in the Food Industry
  • Explain why insect control is so important in plant production.
  • Describe how bacteria are used to create insect resistance in plants.
  • List the advantages of plants that have been genetically modified to make them insect resistant.
  • Explain how Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) kills insects and remains harmless to humans.
  • List crops that have been engineered to contain the Bt gene.
  • Explain how Bt crops help alleviate mycotoxins.
  • Explain the reason for making crops herbicide resistant.
  • Describe the problems caused by weeds in crops.
  • Describe how plants are genetically engineered to prevent viral infections.
  • Describe how crops can be made tolerant of climatic conditions through genetic engineering.
  • Describe how crops are being engineered for biofuels production and plant-made products.
  • List the ways in which biotechnology, such as genetic engineering, is currently being used in producing plants.

B. Optional Chapters

The materials in these chapters are still made available, except they will not be tested for the purpose of certification for having completed this e-Prep course.

2. The Historical Development of Biotechnology
3. The Principles of Scientific Research
13. Biotechnology in Ecology
14. Consumer Concerns about Biotechnology
15. Ethical Issues in Biotechnology
16. Careers in Biotechnology

Detailed Learning Objectives of all the chapters are given in Learning Objectives

What You Get in this Course

I. Free Textbook
“Introduction to Biotechnology” is a very popular introductory textbook on biotechnology, authored by Ray V Herren, 2nd Ed.  
II. Free Consultation
A retired NTU professor is acting as the tutor. You can consult him via email or WhatsApp.
III. Materials Online
1. Notes, video lessons and PowerPoint files.
2. Answers/solutions to all questions/problems in the textbook.
3. Online exercises.
4. Glossary & Cross-Word Puzzles
5. Bonus learning materials in various branches of mathematics, including calculus, algebra, geometry, probability, statistics, and trigonometry, as well as on other subjects such as business finance, corporate finance, economics, Python programming and psychology.
IV. Digital Certificate
A digital certificate will be issued if you have successfully completed the ePrep course and passing all the tests at the end of each of the ten compulsory chapters.

Samples of Course Materials Provided at the Course Site

1. Video Lesson (Meiosis)

2. Cross-Word Puzzle (The Phenomena of Biotechnology)

Biotechnology ePrep word puzzle

3. Discussion (Biotechnology in Medicine)

Question:

Identify and describe the three main types of organ transplants.

Answer:

The three main types of organ transplant are allotransplantation, autotransplantation, and
xenotransplantation. Allotransplantation is the transplant of an organ from a human donor, autotransplantation is using adult stem cells to repair and replace damaged tissue, and xenotransplantation is engineering animal organs to use for human tissue and organ replacement.

4. Glossary

autotransplantation – 
The transplanting of cells or tissues that originated in the body of the organism that receives the transplant.
biomanufacturing
Manufacturing through the use of biotechnology, such as gene splicing.
DNA fingerprints
Analyzing DNA sequences that are identical in any tissue in the body. This process is used for matching potential organ donors, identifying relatives, identifying crime victims, and helping establish guilt in criminal cases.
edible plant vaccines
Edible plant foods that have been genetically altered to contain antigens that will create a permanent or semipermanent resistance to disease.
epigenetic inheritance
An observed change in phenotype or underlying gene expression without a corresponding change in the DNA sequence.
gene therapy
(1) A medical procedure to treat and cure genetic disorders that includes modifying or replacing disease-causing genes.
(2) Procedure to combat genetic diseases that involves the insertion of genes into the human genome that corrects a problem with a person’s original genes.
genetic diseases
Diseases that are caused by a problem in a person’s genetic makeup.

5. Fill in the Blank

One of the greatest modern tools for treating and curing diseases is _genetic engineering _ of cells to preduce therapeutic _drugs_ and _vaccines_ through _biomanufacturing_.

Note: There are lots of useful course materials available at the course site that will make learning efficient and fun.

Samples of Bonus Materials Provided at the Course Site

1. Video Lesson on Mathematics (Logarithmic Functions)
2. Question and Answer on Corporate Finance (Free Cash Flow)

Question:

How can the free cash flow approach to valuing an enterprise be used to resolve the valuation challenge presented by firms that do not pay dividends? Compare and contrast this model with the dividend valuation model.

Answer:

The FCF model does not require any assumption about when a firm will distribute cash dividends to investors. Instead, the model examines the cash flow generated by a firm, making adjustments for cash flow that must be reinvested to generate growth opportunities. Like the dividend growth model, the FCF approach tries to measure how much cash a firm can distribute to shareholders over time.

3. Video Lesson on Business Finance (Securitization)
4. Worked Example on Engineering Economy (Cost Concept and Design Economics)

Question:

The annual fixed costs for a plant are $100,000, and the variable costs are $140,000 at 70% utilization of available capacity, with net sales of $280,000. What is the breakeven point in units of production if the selling price per unit is $40?

Answer.

To compute breakeven point in units of production:

Total Fixed Cost CF = $100,000/yr;

Total Variable Cost CV = $140,000/yr (70% of capacity)

Sales = $280,000/yr (70% of capacity);

UnitPrice p = $40/unit

Annual Sales (units) = $280,000/$40 = 7,000 units/yr (70% capacity)

Unit Variable Cost cv = $140,000/7,000 = $20/unit

Break Even Point D‘= CF /(pcv) = $100,000/ ($40 – $20) = 5,000 units/yr

or in terms of capacity, we have: 7,000units/0.7 = x units/1.0

Thus, x (100% capacity) = 7,000/0.7 = 10,000 units/yr

D‘ (% of capacity)= $5,000/ $10,000 = 0.5 or 50% of capacity

5. Objective Question Exercise on Physics (Angular Momentum)

Question:

Two ponies of equal mass are initially at diametrically opposite points on the rim of a large horizontal turntable that is turning freely on a frictionless, vertical axle through its center. The ponies simultaneously start walking toward each other across the turntable. As they walk, what happens to the angular speed of the turntable?

1.It increases.

2.It decreases.

3.It stays constant.

Answer: (1).

The angular momentum is constant due to conservation of momentum. The moment of inertia decreases because the ponies are nearer the axis of rotation. Therefore, the angular speed must increase.

Note:

Angular momentum = Iω

where I= momentum of inertial and

ω = angular velocity

6. Web Exercise on Psychology (Thoughts)

Question:

Which of the following statements about cross-cultural differences in attribution is true?

1  Experimental results from European-American cultures tend to generalize to all cultures.

2  In collectivist cultures, people are less likely to attribute behavior to internal causes.

3  The factors leading to internal or external attributions are the same all over the world.

Answer: (2)

7. Video Lesson on Life Science (Frame Shift)
8. Review of Algebra (Solving the Inequalities)
9. Python Programming (Plotting 3 Subplots)

Code:
import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
x = np.linspace(0.0, 100.0)

y = x**3 – 100.0*x*x 
dydx = 3*x*x – 200.0*x
d2ydx2 = 3*x – 200.0

fig, (ay, adydx, ad2ydx2) = plt.subplots(3, 1)
fig.suptitle(‘Position, Velocity & Acceleration’)

ay.plot(x, y, ‘o-‘)
adydx.plot(x, dydx, ‘.-‘)
ad2ydx2.plot(x, d2ydx2, ‘.-‘)

ad2ydx2.set_xlabel(‘time’)
ay.set_ylabel(‘Position’)
adydx.set_ylabel(‘Velocity’)
ad2ydx2.set_ylabel(‘acceleration’)

plt.show()

Output:

Python Plots for ePrep

Remarks

10 Economics (Do All Demand Curves Slope Downward?)

Do all demand curves slope downwards?

1. The law of demand states that when the price of a good rises, people buy less of it.

2. However, it is possible that when the price of a good rises, people actually buy more of it.

3. Example: A consumer spends his entire budget on meat and potatoes. The price of potatoes rises.

  • The budget constraint will shift in.
  • The substitution effects suggest that the consumer will choose more meat and fewer potatoes.
  • The income effect suggests that the individual has suffered a decline in purchasing power and therefore will choose to decrease his consumption of normal goods and increase his consumption of inferior goods.
  • Suppose that potatoes are an inferior good. When the price of potatoes rises, the substitution effect says that the consumer should consume fewer potatoes, while the income effect suggests that he will consume more potatoes. If the income effect dominates, the consumer will end up consuming more potatoes even though the price of potatoes rose.

4. Definition of Giffen good: a good for which an increase in the price raises the quantity demanded.

5. Giffen goods are very rare, so the law of demand can generally be relied upon.

11. Discrete Mathematics (Proof by Mathematical Induction)

Question:

Proof by Induction

Solution:

Solution to Proof by Induction
These are some samples of the bonus materials on other subjects and they illustrate how comprehensive and broad-base this Biotechnology ePrep course is for preparing students for their university studies or for their careers. While not all the bonus course materials may be of interest to the students who take up this ePrep course on Biotechnology, they can choose which of these bonus course materials are of interest to them and ignore the rest.  
Remember not to short-change yourself – do not go for any of those low-grade courses prepared by any “Tom-Dick-And-Harry” who self-claim to be an industry expert, especially if you are preparing for further academic studies or career advancement!  You do not need thousands of such courses.  As you can see, with this single Biotechnology course, you have a good suite of materials on many other subjects as well.  
You also get a hard copy Introduction to Biotechnology textbook.
Go only for a high-quality specially-designed academic course such as this Biotechnology electronic prep course for getting you a head start in university, or in your career.

Who should take this ePrep course on Biotechnology?

  • This is a must-do course for all doing degrees in biotechnology, biological sciences, pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, nursing, agriculture, food technology, material sciences, and environment.  This e_prep course will not only provide the students with a very strong foundation on biotechnology but also on many other subjects.
  • Other students may also find the knowledge on biotechnology very useful as evident from the current Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Even for those not going to any university due to various reasons, this is an opportunity to acquire more insight into the very important biotechnology discipline, and to prove that they are capable of completing a university-level course. A certificate may come in handy when applying for a job.
  • Everyone is welcome and there is no pre-requisite as we will provide the necessary guidance for those who need it.
  • This Biotechnology e_prep course has become a much more popular course recently.

Audio:  Who should take this Biotechnology ePrep Course

How to sign up for this Course?

 If You Are an NSF or NSman

Please sign up with NS Portal to enjoy the NS e-PREP subsidy. Please go to “Access ePREP”, search for “NTU” as the course provider, then select “Business Finance” among the e-PREP courses.  Please note that since the course fee is S$385 inclusive of the textbook, and the maximum NS e-PREP Credits is $350, after registration for the course you will have to pay S$35. For advice on payment matters, please contact the MINDEF ePrep administrator at Tel No: (+65) 63731221,  or eMail: Trg_EPrepEnquiry@defence.gov.sg.  Please note that the qualifying period for the e-PREP subsidy is 12 months before ORD to 12 months after ORD.

      

For Others

Please sign up with NTU PaCE directly. The course fee is S$385, inclusive of the textbook. If you are located outside Singapore you may have to pay for the postage for the textbook.

Course Duration

The official duration of the course is three months, but may be extended upon request. Unofficially however, the support by the tutor extends beyond the official course period. Also, most of the course materials can be downloaded for later study.

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