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BIOL 1010
James Cheetham

Intro. Wednesday, September 15, 2010 [email protected] –TA Prof- Tuesday 1-4pm - reasons for interest in biotechnology o Human Genome Project announced in June, 2000- biology’s influence on society o Big revolution in biological science, hitting big milestones. o Top ten problems- biotechnology has to do with most of these:  Energy (biofuels)  Water (purifying water)  Food (engineering plants and animals)  Environment (bacteria to eat oils in spills—some negative impacts)  Poverty (biotechnology can feed people- GM foods)  Terrorism and war (spray bacteria in area where land mines are, look with UV light and can spot them)  Disease  Education  Democracy o Motivation for teaching course  Controversial- GMO  Pervasive • 90% of cotton made from GM cotton plants resistant to pests, enzymes to soften jeans • Tide has enzymes in it • high fructose corn syrup has recombinant enzymes • bioethanol in gas • golden rice (has precursor for vitamin A • drugs  Affects your life • diabetics allergic to a type of insulin, recombinant insulin formed for them • Clone gene that codes for enzyme in vampire bats- keeps human blood from clotting • Protease inhibitors, etc. • Stem cells- cure Parkinson’s disease- put cells in • Company wants you to buy recombinant seeds every year- but traditionally farmers keep some of the seeds for the next year.  Informed decisions • DTC- Direct to Consumer marketing • Sequence DNA to determine rate of drug metabolism, MTHFR (methylene ...) helped by giving folate supplements for pregnant women • Hemochromatosis- store too much iron • 100 genetically-linked disorders that can be screened now. • 23andMe- can do genealogy too • Personal genetic profile- NY state wanted them to have certification from the state- company argued it’s just for educational purposes- 25 states allow it, Canada doesn’t have legislation yet- some companies offer single gene disorder tests • DNA Perfection- claims to be able to activate DNA over the Internet, aura cleaning, karma removal  Confusion about basic facts • Bifurcation in issues o Definition of biotechnology  Classical definition preferred  Using living organisms/products to make money. • *use renin from calf stomach to make cheese  Types • Microbial: bacteria/yeast (brewing, making penicillin from penicillium mould) o Growth hormone- used for fragile elderly to strengthen bones • Agricultural o Golden rice- beta carotene o Blindness, respiratory disease, etc. from lack of vitamin A o BT corn- pokes holes in bugs’ digestive systems, kills them off- argument that it was killing off monarch butterflies, but it seems to have not affected them o Herbicide resistance and insect resistance more to the forefront, not so much increased nutrition o Transhumanism- argument that we should have the right to take any technology to enhance ourselves (steroids, etc.) o Corn and soybeans: products that you could eat alone, but they’re usually compliments to other things. o Papaya got a virus to kill off all the plants, it only survived because it was GM o Animal- used for transplant organs, racehorses use in vitro techniques. Movement to recr
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