Biotechnology By: Jake Richeson


Dolly the Sheep: A real life representation of cloning.

  • Cloning is copying genetic material from one organism and using it to make an exact copy of the organism.
  • It is currently used now in multiple countries but as of now it is illegal to clone humans in the US.
  • Many people see cloning as unethical and this is because it can cause genetic damage to the clone and health risks for the mother. This is why cloning humans is illegal in the United States.
  • The benefits of cloning is advancing genetic technology. The problems with it are mainly ethical.
  • Medical technology is used heavily in cloning. Extracting DNA as well as shocking DNA into eggs, like in Dolly the Sheep's case.
  • The Human Genome is used in replicating the DNA to recreate the organism.

High Tech Genetics:


  • Bioinformatics are people that collect DNA. The data is then analyzed in computers to look for genetic patterns within a species.
  • Bioinformatics careers are becoming very prominent and degrees in that field are becoming more available.
  • There is no ethical issue involved in this as it does no harm to anyone or anything.
  • The benefits including learning more about a species and DNA in general. There are no negatives to bioinformatics.
  • Bioinformatics use computers and technology for gathering the DNA.
  • The Human Genome is used to look for patterns within the DNA that would show relationships within a species.


  • Microarrays are tests done by doctors to inform someone of their active and inactive genes. These can tell if someone is genetically prone to having breast or ovarion cancer.
  • Microarrays are fairly new and are expensive but are used today.
  • There is no ethical issue involved in this as it does no harm to anyone or anything.
  • The benefits outweigh the negatives. The positives are learning if you are prone to certain cancers or other diseases as well as learning about genetics. The negatives are that the results of these tests can be disheartening for the recipients.
  • Microarray technology is brand new and just started being used.
  • The Human Genome is tested to see if genes are active or inactive.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Top Ten Genetically Modified Foods

  • GMOs are specific genes that are forced into the genomes of another species usually for some sort of benefit to the species or to humans, like in the case of crops being genetically modified.
  • GMOs are used all over the world in crops like corn and soy to make them easier for cultivation as well as longer lasting and better crop. They are widely used in the US without labels and in European countries they are used and have labels informing consumers they are genetically modified.
  • There are some ethical issues as to labeling and allowing consumers to know if a product is genetically modified or not. Almost everything we consume is genetically modified though so most people eat them anyone either without caring or not knowing.
  • The benefits include greater amounts of crops as well as crop resilience to things such as the weather and insects. Problems with this include the possibility of hurting those who consume the food as well as affecting the taste of the food.
  • Their is technology used in genetically modifying foods. The genetic qualities that of other organisms are given to the thing they are trying to modify and the DNA fuses.
  • The Human Genome isn't really used in genetic modification because it's not affecting any of the DNA already there.

Stem Cell Research:

Embryonic Stem Cell Research

  • Embryonic Stem Cells are cells from in vitro fertilization that are outside the female system used for reproducing.
  • It is currently used in medical facilities today for research purposes.
  • There are some ethical issues with it but the stem cells are donated so it's less of an ethical issue.
  • The benefit of it is learning more about reproductive DNA and problems are the ethical issues with it.
  • Technology is used in extracting the stem cells as well as analyzing them.
  • The human genome is used in stem cell research when analyzing its DNA.

Adult Stem Cell Research

  • Adult stem cells come from many different types of cells in the adult body.
  • It is used today but way less than embryonic because it has less of an impact on our life.
  • There are no ethical issues with this as it can't change who the adult is.
  • The benefits are more knowledge of stem cells. There aren't many problems with it.
  • Technology is used in analyzing the cells as well as extracting them.
  • The human genome is used in analyzing the DNA.

Gene Therapy and Genomic Medicine

Genomic Medicine Image

  • Genomic Medicine is treating someone based on their specific genetic makeup. Genome therapy is using genetic material to treat or prevent disease.
  • They are both used today to find the correct medicines for people.
  • There are no ethical issues regarding either of these subjects.
  • There are no problems while there are many benefits. Patients can know what medicines to use or try as well as using genome therapy to treat their diseases.
  • DNA tests as well as extracting genetic material for genome therapy is the technology used in these.
  • The Humna genome is seen in DNA and genetic material used in both of these things.

Designer Babies and Bioethics

Designer Baby Analogy

  • Designer babies are babies that are genetically customized to be exactly how parents would like them to be.
  • It's not currently used now but is planned to be used in the future.
  • It is a very large ethical battle as it doesn't allow the baby to be its own person later in life.
  • The benefit is that the bay will be exactly how you want but the problem is it's unethical.
  • Technology is used in changing the genetic makeup of the baby while it is still in the womb.
  • The human genome is used to change and modify the genetic makeup of the unborn baby.


Rat pups are licked by mothers, this affects their phenotypes

  • Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression or active versus inactive genes. These are changes of phenotype rather than genotype.
  • This study happens today but isn't very prodominant in the scientific world.
  • There is some ethical issues with it as because it can change how an organism lives it life which could be in a negative way.
  • The benefit is knowledge about certain genes of a species and the problems are ethical issues.
  • There isn't really technology used but rather the scientists will observe the affects of certain changes.
  • The human genome doesn't affect epigenetics because there isn't much analysis of the DNA, just the phenotypes.

DNA Fingerprinting and Crime Scene Investigation

FBI Fingerprint Structure

  • Each person has their own unique structure on their finger known as a fingerprint.
  • These have been used for a few decades to determine crimes as well as for entry to buildings and even theme parks.
  • There are no ethical issues with DNA fingerprinting because it helps with crime and other things that helps people.
  • There are benefits because we can single out one specific individual by their fingerprint but also the problem with it is that people can wipe off a fingerprint.
  • Technology is used in sifting through the fingerprints but isn't really used in obtaining the fingerprint.
  • The human genome isn't used at all in fingerprints because it has nothing to do with fingerprinting.

Crime Scene Investigation

  • Taking DNA at a crime scene and comparing it to DNA of a suspect of the crime to find out who committed the crime.
  • It is used heavily now in every situation possible where DNA is obtained at the crime scene.
  • There is no issue ethically in crime scene investigation.
  • It is highly beneficial to the law and can cause problems if DNA is planted at a crime scene to frame someone of a crime.
  • Technology is used to extract and compare DNA
  • The human genome is used in this to analyze as well as compare the DNA.

Personal Ancestery and Paternity Kits

Ancestry Kit

  • Ancestry kits use DNA to determine where you are from and paternity kits are used to determine the father of a child.
  • These are widely used today as many people are actively trying to learn more about themselves.
  • There are no ethical issues with either of these subjects.
  • There are many benefits as people can be more ancesterally accurate and it also helps with child support funding. There are some problems though because the results aren't always true.
  • The technology of DNA extraction and analyzing is used.
  • The Human Genome is used to compare DNA.

PCR and Gel Electrophoresis

Gel Electrophoresis Results

  • PCR is used to make millions of copies of a strand of DNA. Gel Electrophoresis is used to cut up DNA in certain size pieces .
  • Both are currently used now to advance scientific knowledge and is also used in crime scene investigations to make larger DNA samples.
  • There are no ethical issues with either because neither of them hurt anything
  • There are many benefits like making larger samples of DNA as well as other things and there are no problems.
  • Technology is used to copy the DNA with chemicals that is the equivalent to the DNA and RNA polymerase in cells.
  • The human genome is heavily used to make exact copies of DNA.

Plasmids, Recombinant DNA and Transgenic organisms

Plasmid Example

  • Recombinant DNA is combinng two strands of DNA in a lab. Plasmids are circular DNA tin a bacteria that are separate from regular DNA.
  • Both subjects are studied now in today's world.
  • There are no ethical issues with either one of the subjects.
  • The benefits are having extra DNA samples and there aren't problems that have been discovered.
  • The chemical to make te replicated DNA is the only technology involved.
  • The human genome is needed to know how to replicate the DNA just right.
Created By
Jake Richeson


Created with images by wsuph001 - "Edinburgh_Scottish National museum" • C G-K - "Rat Babies"

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