UniServe Science Biology Table of Contents

9.6 Biotechnology

General and background information Origins of biotechnology
Common biotechnology practices Fermentation
Cell chemistry Recombinant DNA technology
Applications and areas of research Ethical issues

General and background information

Biotechnology Online - School resources from Biotechnology Australia Federal Goverment Initiative

Beginners Guide to Biotechnology - PowerPoint slideshow in pdf format, (2.2MB)from Biotechnology Australia Federal Goverment Initiative.

Biotechnology Fact Sheets - from Biotechnology Australia

Biotechnology Games - interactive activities from Biotechnology Australia

Australian Biotechnology Association

About BioTech - from Access Excellence, includes Issues and Bioethics, BioTech Applied and more

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Origins of biotechnology

Beginning and development of agriculture - from Agropolis-Museum

Geographical areas for early agriculture - Map, from Agropolis-Museum

Biotech Chronicles - from Access Excellence

Ancient Food News - from a food web site

Food Time Line - History of what people ate in the past

Location, Location, Location: The First Farmers - from University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The Agricultural Revolution - student module from Washington State University

Aborigines and aquaculture

The Australian Dingo

Communities - from the Murray-Darling Basin Authroity web site

Aboriginal Sites on Private Property - this web page provides a list of downloadable A4 size mini-posters - from Aboriginal affairs Victorian

Preamble - from the Aboriginal Housing Board of Victoria

Lomandra longifolia - a plant used by the Australian Aborigines to make eel traps, from Education Service at the Australian National Botanic Gardens


An Introduction to Water Chemistry in Freshwater Aquaculture - from University of Massachusetts, pdf file (42 KB)

Acquaculture facts and figures - from NSW Department of Primary Industries

Acquafacts - University of Idaho

Domestication of native flora

Early plant domestication in Mesoamerica - from Athena Review

Plant and Animal Domestication - PowerPoint Slideshow (146kB)
- from University of Wisconsin,Green Bay

The First Farmers: Domestication dominates! - from The Why Files, The Science Behind the News, University of Wisconsin

Paleo-ethno-botany - from Simon Fraser University, Canada

Wallaby grass - a domesticated native grass - an Agfact sheet from NSW Department of Agriculture

Corn (maize) production - from Iowa State University

Origin of Maize - from the Central Laboratory of Natural Resources, University of Michigan

Strawberry Improvement: Past and Future - from the US National Agriculture Library

Tomato History - from Landscape Imagery

Case Study: Brassica

Brassica - lists the many cultivated varieties of Brassica - from Botany.com

The History of Cabbage - from University of Saskatchewan

Images of the Brassicaceae - (Vascular Plant Image Library) from Digital Flora of Texas, Texas A&M University

Brassica Vegetables - a lesson plan on the domestication of these plants from Ohio State University

Animal domestication

The Animal Attraction - from ABC TV, program transcripts and related fact sheets on The Pact for Survival: How wolves became dogs and The Animals that conquered the world: Cats, horses, cattle, sheep and pigs - who civilised who?

Map of early animal domestication centres - from Agropolis Museum

Domesticating Animals - from University of Houston

Reading the Signs of Ancient Animal Domestication (Neolithic Agriculture) - an article published in Science 1998

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Common biotechnology practices

Brewing for Milennia - Fermentation in History - from Antibiotics in Action, Chemical Heritage Foundation - includes student and teacher guides

Lab Activity: Fermentation by Yeast - from Chemical Heritage Foundation

Drugs From Fungi - from The University of Sydney

Bread manufacture

The Science of Yeast - free text only version of booklet with facts and experiments, from Red Star Yeast

The Yeast Treatise - looks at the chemical, physical, biological and mechanical aspects of the baking craft

Making a sourdough starter - from Make It and Bake It

Yeast Experiments - from GENE, Kansas State University

Alcohol production

Alcohol in Traditional Europe - from University of Adelaide (Research Centre for the History of Food and Drink)

Wine Yeast Profiles - from Brewsupplies.com

Recreating Medieval English Ales - from Carnegie Mellon University

Yoghurt and cheese manufacture

Yogurt from Dairy Science and Technology at the University of Guelph

Cheese - from Dairy Science and Technology at the University of Guelph

Lab work - effect of penicillin on yoghurt bacteria, pdf file (356 KB) from University of Reading

Kinds of Cheese - from the LearningNetwork

Chymosin for cheese-making - from the University of Reading


Role of microorganisms in Kimchi Fermentation - from University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The History of Soy Sauce - from Kikkoman food Service

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Alcoholic Fermentation: Pathways - from Cornell University, includes history of yeast and fermentation

How Food Preservation Works: Fermentation - from How Stuff Works

Special feature: Wine and vinegar making - from the Virtual Museum of Bacteria

Balsamic Vinegar - from Italiansrus.com

Pasteur and fermentation

Louis Pasteur and Fermentation

Other products of fermentation

Products Produced by Fermentation - from Access Excellence

Background information on Lactic acid bacteria - from Lactospore, a commercial site

Role of Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) in Food Preservation and Human Health A Review - from University of Arid Agriculture, Rawalpindi, Pakistan (pdf file, 47 KB)

Identification of Bacteria - lecture summary (Ohio State University)

The History of Penicillin - from About.com

Natural Plant Chemicals: Sources of Industrial and Medicinal Materials - includes information about biotransformations

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Cell chemistry

From Gene to Protein: Translation (Protein Synthesis) - excellent Biocoach Activity, from The Biology Place, Pearson Education

Translation process - from Brooklyn College, includes messenger RNA, polypeptide chains

The Action of Amylase on Starch - a practical exercise, from Biotopics, UK

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Modern Biotechnology

Recombinant DNA Technology Problem Set - from the Biology Project, The University of Arizona

Recombinant DNA and Gene Cloning - from The Biology Pages, John Kimball

Recombinant DNA Flow Chart - from Kimball's Biology pages

The Details:Techniques: Recombinant DNA - from ThinkQuest

The Recombinant DNA Debate - from North Dakota State University

Speaking the Language of Recombinant DNA - from Access Excellence

Mechanism of Reverse Transcription

Polymerase Chain Reaction - Xeroxing DNA - from Access Excellence

Gene Splicing

Gene Splicing - from the Gene School at ThinkQuest

Simulation of Gene Splicing - from Access Excellence

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Applications and areas of research

Applications - from the Gene School at ThinkQuest, includes Gene Therapy, Cloning, Forensics and more

Biology meets industry genomics, proteomics, phenomics - from NOVA, Australian Academy of Science

Use of DNA analysis in forensic science

DNA Profiling and its use in forensics - from Biotechnology Online (an Australian Government Initiative). This site also provides interactive activities - (Macromedia Flash 6 plugin required).

Extracting DNA in your kitchen - from Biotechnology Online (pdf, 29 KB)

Crime Gene Investigation - from The Why Files, Science Behind the News, University of Wisconsin

What Every Law Enforcement Officer Should Know About DNA Evidence - from the US National Criminal Justice Reference Service

DNA Forensics Problem Set 1 - from The Biology Project, University of Arizona

DNA Forensics Problem Set 2 - from The Biology Project, University of Arizona

Problem-Based Learning at the University of Delaware - see activity "Case Study Problem in Molecular Evolution"

The Mystery Spot - at Access Excellence, see activities "Who Done It?" and "Where's the CAT? A DNA Profiling Activity"

DNA as a forensic instrument - from University of Columbia

The Evaluation of Forensic DNA Evidence - from National Academies Press

Basics of DNA Fingerprinting - from University of Washington

Mitochondrial DNA Analysis at the FBI Laboratory - an article published in Forensic Science Communications

The Ultimate Clue, My Dear Watson: DNA Fingerprinting - DNA Fingerprinting Activity, from WNet Educational Initiatives

How DNA Evidence Works - from How Stuff Works

Mungo Man - from the Lab, ABC Science Online, DNA being used to determine the lineage of Mungo Man

Tissue engineering

Artificial Skin - from Thomson Gale

Biomedical engineering - from IEEE Spectrum

Gene delivery by nasal spray

Edible Vaccines - from US National Agricultural Library

Gene Guns - undergraduate assignment from Montana State University

Gene Gun Speeds Search for New Orchid Colors - from Access Excellence

Gene Therapy - from Human Genome Project

Gene Therapy - An Overview - from Access Excellence

Gene Therapy - The Future Is Here! - from MedicineNet.com

Gene Therapy - from Biotechnology Australia, Human Uses

Production of synthetic hormones e.g. Insulin

Recombinant DNA Technology in the Synthesis of Human Insulin

Transfer and Cloning of the Insulin Gene - from Access Excellence

Monoclonal antibodies

Monoclonal Antibody Technology - The Basics - from Access Excellence

Antibodies and therapy - from Oxford University

Conservation Biology

What is Cloning - from Biotechnology Online

Cloning animals - from Biotechnology Online

CLONING: Bringing Back Endangered Species - from Applied Genetics News

In South Africa, the Quagga Project Breeds Success - from Genome News Network

Endangered wild sheep clone reported to be healthy - from Genome News Network

Thylacine clone too hard, say critics - from ABC News

Museum ditches thylacine cloning project - from ABC News

Australia's Thylacine: Why did it become extinct? - from Australian Museum

The Bilby: A case study - from Biotehnology Online, and Saving the Bilby - from the Australian Bilby Appreciation Society

Why bother saving the bilby? - student worksheet (pdf file, 35 KB), from Biotehnology Online


CSIRO: Growing Australian Aquaculture and Aquaculture and Fisheries

see also CSIRO's Science-for-Schools pages

Aquaculture Home page - from NSW Fisheries

Aquaculture - from Primary Industries and Resources, South Australia, pdf leaflets and diagrams of life cycles of marine species e.g. abalone, mussels, tuna and more

Aquaculture and Pearling - from Fisheries Western Australia, includes Barramundi, Yabbies, Prawns, Marron, Trochus, Abalone and several fish species. Links to fact sheets from Department of Fisheries

Seahorse Australia Pty Ltd - explore the exciting world of the seahorse and the advances in aquaculture that is making this unique animal available to everyone


Alginate - from Danisco

A guide to the Seaweed Industry - from FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) - pdf booklet (202 KB)

Modern Uses of Cultivated Algae - from Ethnobotanical Leaflets, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Scientists discover "pond scum" yields potent compounds - from Oregon State University News

Growing Spirulina algae

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Ethical issues

Issues - from Biotechnology Australia, includes Medicine and other human applications, Conservation and resurrection of endangered or extinct species, GM crops and food and Regulation of research, release and sale of GM products and includes downloadable student activities

Nuffield Council on Bioethics

A Framework For Ethical Decision Making - from Ethics Connection, Santa Clara University - provides a series of questions to guide decision making

Genetic testing and screening

Ethical Legal and Social issues - Societal Concerns Arising from the New Genetics - from Human Genome Project

Human cloning and stem cell research

Cloning Around with Stem Cells - from the Lab, ABC Science Online

Stem Cells: A Primer - from National Institute of Health (pdf, 451 KB)

Adult stem cell research provides ethical genetic therapy - transcript of an interview with David Prentice, Indiana University School of Medicine

The Why Files Guide to Stem Cells - Science Behind the News, University of Wisconsin

Human embryos & cloning - from the Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council

Genetically modified foods

Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms - from Human Genome Project

Winning the food race - from US Info For Health web site


Seeds of the world - from Journey to Forever, provides an alternate view to the use of biotechnologically enhanced plants

Animal cloning

The mammal copiers - advances in cloning - from NOVA, The Australian Academy of Science

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