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Biological techniques used to enhance products

Biotechnology (sometimes shortened to "biotech") is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms to enhance crops, biofuels, household products, and medical treatments.  Modern biotechnology may involve the use of genetic engineering technology to permanently alter the genetic makeup of living organisms.

Materials for Biotechnology


Biology Animation Library - GeneChips

Description: Animation of GeneChips technology

Cycle Sequencing

Description: An animation of DNA sequencing

How to Sequence a Genome

Description: Animations on genome sequencing


Biotechnology: How is biotech changing the world?

Description: Articles and interviews about issues in biotechnology research

Engineering a Plasmid

Description: An overview on using plasmids

Genetic Engineering

Description: An brief overview introducing core concepts of genetic engineering

Genomics: What Potential Does Understanding Our Genetic Playbook Hold?

Description: Articles and interviews with biologists who are engaged in cutting-edge genomic science

The New Genetics - 21st-Century Genetics

Description: Information from a science education booklet that explains systems biology, green fluorescent protein, genetic testing, privacy concerns, DNA forensics, biotechnology, patents, and careers


DNA Sequencing Game, Interactive 2D Animation

Description: A short game on DNA sequencing

Interactive Tutorials

Applied Genetic Modifications

Description: An interactive tutorial for learning advanced laboratory techniques to create a transgenic plant

Designing Cancer Drugs: Development of Gleevec

Description: A detailed interactive tutorial on how new medications are designed and created

Supermodels of Science

Description: Scientists use many different organisms to study diseases in humans. Learn about "model organisms" that help us learn about and find treatments for human diseases.

Labs & Experiments

Bacterial Identification Virtual Lab

Description: A virtual lab teaching methods for identifying bacteria by their DNA

Bacterial Transformation

Description: A virtual laboratory experiment teaching concepts of genetic engineering

DNA Extraction

Description: A virtual DNA extraction laboratory experiment

Extracting DNA From Living Things

Description: A laboratory experiment using simple equipment and chemicals to extract DNA from plants and other materials

Following Gene Transfer by Conjugation in Bacteria

Description: Instructions for a gene transfer laboratory experiment

Gene Induction: Beta-galactosidase in E. coli

Description: A laboratory experiment demonstrating how genes are turned on and off in a cell

PCR Virtual Lab

Description: A PCR virtual laboratory experiment

Restriction Analysis

Description: A DNA virtual laboratory experiment

Transgenic Fly Lab Introduction

Description: Create transgenic flies in a virtual laboratory

Understanding Genetics

Description: Instructions for a DNA extraction laboratory experiment

Working with Immobilised Enzymes or Microscopic Organisms

Description: Demonstrate the technique of immobilisation of biomaterial in an alginate matrix. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using immobilised material

Teacher Resources

What Can I Learn From Worms? Regeneration, Stem Cells, and Models (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A series of high quality lesson plans exploring a variety of topics including the cell cycle and the use of model species in biomedical research. You may need to register to view the lesson plans, but the plans and registration is free.

What Changes Our Minds? Toxicants, Exposure, and the Environment (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A series of lesson plans and laboratory experiments exploring the effects of environmental exposure to chemicals. You may need to register to view the plans, but the lesson plans and registration is free.

Who Owns Rights To Pharmacogenetic Information? (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson examines potential benefits, risks, and ethical concerns of designer drugs.



Description: Video interviews with scientists discussing biotechnology

BRAF: From Gene to Cancer Therapy

Description: This film tells the story of how DNA sequencing was used to identify that the gene BRAF is commonly mutated in malignant melanoma, and how this has led to the development of a targeted drug against the mutation.

The Pathway to Genomic Medicine

Description: Richard Gibbs, PhD, explains genomic medicine and its role in and relationship to genetic research, and outlines how technology and the study of genetics is transforming medicine.

The Structures of Life

Description: Watch how structural biology gives insight into health, disease, and drug design