Biotechnology NS ePrep Course

by Nanyang Technological University

– Learning Objectives 

 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.

2 The Historical Development of Biotechnology

  • List the important milestones in the development of biotechnology.
  • Compare the development of agriculture with the development of civilization.
  • Explain problems that were solved by the use of biotechnology.
  • Analyze the importance of biotechnology in the development of food production and storage.

3 The Principles of Scientific Research

  • Define research.
  • Discuss why research is so important to our way of life.
  • Define patents and intellectual property (IP) rights.
  • Explain the steps in the scientific method.
  • Distinguish between a hypothesis and a theory.
  • Explain how an experimental design is organized.
  • Discuss how experiments are conducted.
  • Explain how data are analyzed.
  • Explain how research results are reported.

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

  • Define genetically modified organism.
  • Explain how bacteria are used to produce genetically engineered products.
  • Discuss the steps involved in placing foreign DNA into an organism.
  • Describe how a segment of DNA is selected and removed from a DNA strand.
  • Explain how vectors are used to insert DNA into an organism.
  • Describe the process of splicing DNA into plants.
  • Describe the process of splicing DNA into animals.
  • Explain how transgenic animals are used in genetic research.

7 Animal Cloning

  • Discuss the benefits of cloning animals.
  • Describe animals that have been successfully cloned.
  • Explain the difference in cloning derived from embryos and cloning derived from differentiated cells.
  • Explain the process of nuclear transfer.
  • List the benefits of genetically altered clones.
  • Discuss how the cloning of cattle has been made more efficient.
  • Discuss why there can be differences in animal clones.

8 Plant Cloning

  • Explain how plants naturally propagate by cloning.
  • List the advantages of plant cloning.
  • Describe the different plant parts associated with vegetative propagation or cloning.
  • Describe the various methods of cloning plants.
  • Explain the role of plant hormones in plant reproduction.
  • Explain why cloning is important in the production of genetically altered plants.

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 how biotechnology is used in animal breeding.
  • Describe the advantages of artificial insemination.
  • Explain the process of artificial insemination.
  • Explain how semen is processed for storage and shipment.
  • Explain the process of estrus synchronization.
  • Describe how eggs are produced in the ovary.
  • Discuss the advantages of embryo transfer.
  • Tell how embryo transfer is accomplished.
  • Relate the advantages of producing only male or only female offspring.
  • Explain how sperm are sorted according to sex chromosomes.

11 Biotechnology in Medicine

  • Explain biomanufacturing.
  • Explain the concept of pharming.
  • Discuss the role of plants and animals in human health.
  • Explain personalized medicine.
  • Define gene therapy.
  • Explain how plant pharming may reduce the cost of drug production.
  • Explain how vaccines may be administered in food crops.
  • Discuss the problems encountered in extracting hormones from animal organs.
  • List the advantages of producing drugs through milk.
  • Explain the difference between allotransplantation, autotransplantation, and xenotransplantation.

12 Biotechnology in the Food Industry

  • Explain the importance of proper nutrition.
  • Define macronutrients and micronutrients.
  • Discuss the importance of vitamin A in the human diet.
  • Explain why so many people in developing countries suffer from vitamin A deficiency.
  • List common sources of vitamin A.
  • Define “Golden Rice.”
  • Discuss how genetic engineering is used to produce biofortified crops.
  • Describe the problems people have had in preserving foods.
  • Trace some of the important developments in preserving foods.
  • Explain why various methods of food preserving work.
  • Define enzymes.
  • List some of the functions of enzymes in the human body.
  • Explain how enzymes are used in the food processing industry.
  • Describe how genetic engineering is used to produce enzymes through biomanufacturing.

13 Biotechnology in Ecology

Define ecology.

  • Discuss the role biotechnology plays in benefiting our environment.
  • Explain how biotechnology is used to detect environmental pollutants.
  • Distinguish between bioremediation and phytoremediation.
  • Discuss high-yield farming and its benefits to the environment and world hunger.
  • Explain how genetically modified crops positively affect the environment.
  • Discuss conventional farming versus organic farming and the advantages and disadvantages of both in relation to the environment.
  • Explain how oil spills can be combated with biotechnology.
  • Discuss how biodiesel and biofuels benefit the environment.
  • Discuss the benefits of growing plants that can survive harsh conditions.

14 Consumer Concerns about Biotechnology

  • Discuss the arguments given against the use of bioengineered foods.
  • Describe various concerns with the use of bioengineered livestock.
  • Explain the concerns that consumers have about cloning, both animal and human.
  • List the regulatory agencies and current safeguards used to monitor the use of bioengineered organisms.

15 Ethical Issues in Biotechnology

  • Define ethics.
  • Discuss the benefits and concerns of stem cell research.
  • Explain patents on life.
  • Discuss the controversy surrounding the patenting of life forms.
  • Discuss the benefits and concerns of cloning.
  • Describe the regulation process of biotechnology.
  • Express how ethics may affect the future of biotechnology.

16 Careers in Biotechnology

  • Analyze the career opportunities in biotechnology.
  • List the broad categories of job classifications that deal with biotechnology.
  • Discuss the amount of education needed for different jobs in biotechnology.
  • Explain some of the characteristics associated with various jobs in biotechnology.

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