Biotechnology By: Collin Beck


Cloning is the process of making identical copies of living organisms. There are two types of cloning, artificial and natural. Natural cloning includes bacteria during asexual reproduction producing an identical offspring. Artificial is the production of an identical organism such as animal or even a gene.

Cloning has been around since the 1960s and has a promising future. Scientists have cloned many animals such as Dolly the Sheep, Cumulina the mouse, Tetra the Rhesus Monkey, Mira the goat, fish, pigs, etc.

Advantages vs Disadvantages

Advantages include being able to create new organs, help infertile couples to have children that have similar traits as them, help recover from a traumatic injury, and help genetic research.

Disadvantages include increased malpractice, the uncertainty of reproductive cloning, faster aging, organ rejection because of cell mutation, and new diseases.

There are many ethical problems that come with cloning. Ethical issues include the damaging of the the organism, damage of the mother, small success means many lost fetuses and embryos, also the commodification of human life.

Technology used in cloning includes somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), also highly specialized deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) technology.

High Tech Genetics: Bioinformatics and Microarrays


Bioinformatics is the collection and the analysis of genetic information, such as DNA and protein/ amino acid sequences. It uses computers to analyze data and distinguish relationships between the data. It is currently used by many scientists and has a promising future.


Microarray is a lab tool used to determine the expression of genes all at once. DNA microarrays are microscope slides that are printed with many spots on it in specific spots. It helps determine certain genes and if any mutations occurred. It is used now in biochemical or genetic analysis.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)

Genetically modified organisms is the result of taking genes from one organism and adding them to another organism artificially. It is often used to make a better product. They use this on crops and animals and is in most of your food. In crops they use this to make the crop bigger and produce more of it.

Health Risks

There are many health risks that go along with GMO. These include but are not limited to: infertility, accelerated aging, immune system problems, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in organs.

Advantages vs Disadvantages

Advantages include: brings down the prices of food, farmers don't have to use pesticides, more effective way to grow crops due to less work and larger production, and helps with starvation around the world due to the production of more food.

Disadvantages include: can cause sicknesses or illnesses, may causes a threat to the environment, does not taste as good compared to organic crops, and it is very hazardous to insects.


GMOs isn't just in in food. Scientists genetically modify animals too. They can create glow in the dark animals, fast growing animals, and even sudden- death animals. Scientists have created many interesting animals such as the glow in the dark cat, less flatulent cows, enviropigs, sudden death misquotes, and featherless chickens. Scientists created theses to help with the environment and the world

Ethical Issues

The ethical ethical issues are mainly the concern over human health. Some think that GMOs are not healthy for humans, they are also concerned about the killing of insects and animals. People also disagree with the fact of using it on animals because it could harm the animals.

Stem Cell Research

What are stem cells?

Stem cells are cells that can turn into any other type of cell. They are the foundation for every organ and tissue in the human body, There are two types of stem cells which are embryonic and adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are capable of deffirentaiting into many different cells, and is found in early embryos from in vitro fertilization. Adult stem cells are undifferentiated cells found throughout the body that divide to help dying cells and to help damaged tissues. Could be used one day to fix damaged organs and tissues.

There is a lot of controversy over Stem cell research. The controversy is of embryonic stem cells and its impact on early human life stages. Embryonic Stem Cells are primarily made from cells in the human blastula which is an early stage in human life. Scientists use The blastulas for research which sparks great controversy because people think it is concidered a real living organism and people are testing on it.

Stem cell research is used now in many laboratories. It also has a great future due to recent findings that they may eventually may use stem cells to repair organs and tissues.

Gene therapy and Genomic medicine

Gene therapy

Gene therapy is a technique used to prevent/ treat disease using genes. In the future this may allow doctors and scientists use a certain gene to replace the site where there is a disorder or disease. Gene therapy is not currently used very much because it is still very risky but it is used to treat certain disease that don't have any cure or way of treatment.

Genomic Medicine

Genomic Medicine is medical care that is personalized to your genetic makeup. Through a screening when you are born, it looks for many inherited diseases. It is risky because genomic Medicine can cause a disease that has no cure. Say if they found that you will have a disease that will make you die at 50 then your medical insurance would be limit eligibility, and discriminate against you since you have a disease.

Designer Babies and Bioethics

Designer Babies

Designer Babies are genetically designed Babies, in the pre- fertilization, that are designed for specific traits. You can design your baby to what gender you want, what their appearance is, their intelligence, get rid of diseases, and to what personality they have. As you can guess there is great controversy over this.

Bioethics- The ethics of medical and biological research.

There is huge controversy over designers Babies. Many people argue that it is unethical and unnatural to be able to create your own baby the way you want it, while others argue that it could be used to stop certain genetic diseases in babies. There is also controversy that only the rich will be able to choose their Babies traits because only the rich will be able to afford it.


Epigenetics is study of changes in gene expression. So it studies mechanisms that turn genes on or off. It is active vs. inactive genes. Epigenetics is like a director of a movie. The director can choose to eliminate certain scenes or dialogue, altering the movie for better or worse. Epigenetics is inherited from your descendants and can also be from the environment. Say if someone is a smoker or is maybe around a smoker, the bad habit of smoking can turn certain genes on or off. When you get older, your body turns certain genes on and off also.

DNA Fingerprinting and Crime Scene Investigation

DNA Fingerprinting is a process used to solve a crime during a crime scene investigation. Each person has their own "fingerprint" that is unique and is based of your own DNA makeup. During a crime scene investigation DNA from the crime scene is processed and is compared to suspects of the scene and if two are matched then the suspect was at the crime scene.

Cool Facts

  • DNA Fingerprinting was first used in the 1980s.
  • In 1987 the first criminal was caught by DNA Fingerprinting.
  • In 1989 they used DNA Fingerprinting to prove a suspect was innocent.
  • Every person has a unique DNA fingerprint except for identical twins

Personal Ancestry and Paternity Tests


Ancestry is the origin of ones family. People use websites such They use your DNA to figure out your ancestors because your ancestors pass down similar DNA.

Paternity Tests

Paternity Tests are Tests that determine if a certain male is the biological father or not. This involves using the DNA of a small sample of bodily fluid or tissue from a child and the potential father. They are not always accurate and the commercialized ones ar not FDA recommended.

There is controversy over women taking something of the males who is thought to be the father and use it in the test to get the DNA. This makes it inaccurate and can lead to false accusations.

PCR and Gel Electrophoresis


PCR stands for Polymerse Chain Reaction. It is a technique used in molecular biology to create many copies of a strand of DNA. It can create thousands to millions of copies of a small DNA strand. The process of PCR involves a process of heating and cooling which is called thermal cycling. There are 3 main stages, denaturing, annealing, and extending. These three stages are repeated 20-40 times, doubling the number of DNA copies each time. It usually takes a few hours. After PCR has been completed, a method called electrophoresis can be used to check how many and size of the DNA fragments produced.

Gel Electrophoresis

Hell electrophoresis is a technique that is used to separate DNA, RNA, and proteins based on their size. Chareged molecules move throughout the gel with an electrical current so there is a positive and negative side. Smaller fragments move through the gel quicker so they will travel further while the larger fragments will move through the gel slower causing them to travel less.

Plasmids, Recombinant DNA and Transgenic organisms

Recombinant DNA is when DNA is taken from two different organisms and is combined, usually in a lab. It is used for many different things in food, medicine, and research. Transgenic organisms are organisms that's genes have been altered or have been transplanted from one species to another. Plasmids are circular DNA in a bacteria. Scientists can insert recombinant plasmids in bacteria also.

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