Course outline for Basha High’s new Introduction to Biotechnology

July 6, 2007

By hammersmith

[Source: Ray Parker, Arizona Republic] — Basha High science teacher Sharon New is learning about the latest scientific research during her summer internship at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. The experience has helped her develop a high school class, Introduction to Biotechnology, which students will be able to take for college credit. Here is the basic outline of the course:

  • Week 1: Biotechnology: An overview; issues and the impact of biotechnology on the world economy; intellectual property, legal and regulatory issues; moral and societal issues.
  • Week 2: Scientific method.
  • Week 3: Cells.
  • Week 4: The raw materials of biotechnology, macromolecules, proteins.
  • Week 5: Basic skills for a biotechnology workplace.
  • Week 6: Introduction to DNA and RNA, physical and chemical properties, uses of DNA in biotechnology.
  • Week 7: Identification and mapping of a DNA sample, applications of biotechnology to forensics, restriction endonuclease digestion of DNA, and electrophoresis of restriction fragments on an agarose gel.
  • Week 8: Edible vaccines and biotechnology, biotechnology and the environment, bioinformatics and biotechnology. Genome projects: gene and protein databases. Use of computer databases in biotechnology.
  • Week 9: Production of a recombinant biotechnology product: molecular genetic engineering, recombinant DNA methodology, cloning, PCR amplified DNA.
  • Week 10: Microbial biotechnology; introduction to model organisms used in biotechnology.
  • Week 11: Biological weapons.
  • Week 12: Replication of DNA, introduction to proteins, protein synthesis and enzymes.
  • Week 13: Biotechnology in medicine, use of biotechnology in identifying and treating genetic diseases, and plant biotechnology.
  • Week 14: Genetic engineering in agriculture; manufacture of genetically modified crops; global advantages and disadvantages, risks and benefits; comparison of United States’ regulations with international policies.
  • Week 15: Synthetic and genetic engineering of pharmaceuticals.
  • Week 16-18: Presentation, revisions, and final exam.