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Lecture 10

Lecture 10.doc

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Department
Biology
Course Code
BIOL 1010
Professor
James Cheetham

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Lecture 10- Biotechnology and the Environment- Aquaculture-Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - Canada: becoming major player in aquaculture - Declining populations of wild fish- overfishing- need them for fatty acids - Other ways of producing fish - Environmental- science and engineering, large scales - Dev. And regulation of biological systems - Remediation of contaminated environments (air, water, land) - Environmentally-friendly processes- green manufacturing tech.., sustainable development o Bioremediation with water flowing through, plants, etc. - Clean drinking water has increased our life span- probably largest impact o Not antibiotics, surgical techniques, etc. o Really just quality of drinking water- environment - Next week: bioethics and regulation of biotechnology lecture- workshop- scenarios and discussion - *Final: forensics guest lecture - Exponential growth of humans - Effects of different technologies on world populations- exponential scale o Each jump is tenfold increase  Tool-making  Agriculture- settlements, growing crops/animals in organized fashion- increase in food supply, reliability of food  Industrial revolution - Three factors o Fertility- when environment gets cleaner, less toxins, more fertile o Infant mortality- quality of drinking water (not too long ago, high infant mortality..1894) o Longevity (life span) - We’re at an interesting situation o Children being born now will have shorter life spans than their parents o Argument- eating at McDonald’s all the time, bad nutrition, rampant obesity o 30% of children under age of 13 are obese o Average life span in developing world has been increasing - Resource consumption o Biotech improves our environment- similar to Owen’s chart o Automobiles nearly doubled o Beer consumption, etc. o Population nearly doubled - Projections about land we’ll need (agriculture) o We already used fertilizers/plant breeding o Now: genetic engineering - We’re lucky in Canada because we have large amounts of water - Have to have water- companies are trying to buy water reserves o If you sell it off, can’t live unless you have the person you sold it to - People stopped using horses, started using cars. - Wood- coal- oil- natural gas o Nuclear and solar are going up o See one technology getting replaced by another - Evolution just means to change - We’ve had accelerating rate of technological developments o Changes a lot faster now than 100 years ago - Took a long time for steam locomotive technology to go from patent to being on the market - Discovery of electricity to time it was delivered to sizeable number of people - 1994- prof discovered Internet- now it’s pervasive - We’ll talk about environmental (perhaps nanotechnology) - 1986- microbes to clean up oil spills (modern environmental biotechnology) - Ecological footprints o Amount of space required to sustain you in current form of life o NYC requires area size of Texas to provide resources o US lifestyle requires 3 planet Earths (though lifestyle may have crashed now) o People would like to have best lifestyle that’s available to them o We’ll have to deal with this problem - Solutions to improve/maintain quality of life without destroying planet - Microbes (bacteria, yeast, etc. Single-celled organism) - Phytoremediation (remediation by plants) - Oil spill clean-up uses microbes (Gulf of Mexico- microbes naturally grow there because it’s really warm) - Heavy metals clean-up (phytoremediation) - Biosensors (using animals/microbes to sense environmental toxins- canary in a coal mine to detect methane) - Bioremediation- chemical compounds (animal/chemical waste- chemical more difficult to break down) - Processes that animals use naturally to break down compounds- put them in different ways - Degrade manmade chemicals- microbes- chlorinated biphenyls- can convert that to energy o There’s a bacteria that’s extremely tolerant to radiation o Bacteria can go anywhere - Try to find what genes are important in bacteria, what they code for - A lot of industrial wastes don’t break down naturally - Chlorinated hydrocarbons take forever to clean up - Could also use fertilizers and put in bacteria - We’re not inventing new things- finding out what nature does - Difficult- bacteria usually exist in consortium (different species of bacteria that work together in different steps of breakdown)- hard to culture bacteria in right portions- have to find right genes in each species to put together into one species - GMOs- find genes, put into bacteria - Outhouse- microbes break down waste - First city in the modern that stopped dumping raw human waste into water sewage: Manchester, at about 1900 o Leading light in research on waste treatment o Sludge - Toxins in environment- not good for us or animals (frogs with extra feet- teratogenesis: mutations when developing from tadpole) - Can influence genetics- development - Blinky (Simpsons) - Mutagens cause developmental changes- present during development, can cause problems like extra legs - Illegal dumping (also Simpsons episode)- abandoned warehouse where barrels rot away - Superfund- supposed to regulate dumping of toxins o After WWII- chemical industries really boomed o Better life through chemistry o Nylon, polyester, synthetic materials, drugs o By 1980s, excess chemicals had been dumped- big problem o Enacted in 1980 to protect people from contaminated waste - Clean up costs about $1.5 trillion- but due to recession, gave that money to Wall Street- not going to happen anytime soon - A lot of diseases (phenotype) are product of genotype and environment - Genes don’t determine everything - Genotype can influence how environment will affect you o New England journal- ate 25 eggs everyday, but maintained perfect cholesterol- just had really good metabolism o Genotype worked with it- influenced susceptibility to environmental defects - Environmental Genome Project- identifying SNPs (polymorphisms that determine how you’ll react with environment) o Map them out and can predict about how you’ll react to pollution (more/less propensity) o Genes that are susceptible to environmental agents o Health Canada also researching this- SNPs that are markers for predicting how humans will respond to toxins - Carbon dioxide not as bad as chlorinated biphenyl - Sometimes air needs to be cleaned up o New techniques for air pollution - Chemical waste is relatively new (since ‘50s) - Bacteria still useful, but more complicated - Runoff- happened with mercury (mining)- would get into environment and cause birthing defects o Happened in Japan, North Ontario, etc. - Leacats- subsurface water contaminated - Air- clouds- rain- etc. - National Wildlife Research Centre o Distribution of longlasting chemicals (especially chlorinated hydrocarbons) o Arctic- huge accumulations o How did they get there? o Air currents, bird poop (migratory birds come here, collect chemicals from field, poop in rocks in Arctic/get eaten by wild animals, etc.) - Environment- temporal and spatial aspect (what surrounds you depends on the time and place) - Bioremediation- microorganisms o Plants- phytoremediation - Rachel Carlson’s Silent Spring o DDT used to eradicate mosquitoes (malaria) o Also kills birds off- egg shells become thin, die off o Big psychological impact- shouldn’t dump this - Love Canal o Neighbourhood in Niagara Falls o International controversy o 21,000 tons of toxic waste buried beneath neighbourhood by hooker chemical company o Covered 26 blocks o People were getting cancer, birth defects o Large media attention- brought environment to people’s minds - Burning River o Ohio o One of most polluted rivers in US o Went on fire- so much crap they couldn’t put it out - Exxon Valdez - Gulf BP oil spill - Don’t know a lot about environmental impacts on human diseases- mice can react quite differently, we can’t experiment on humans - Garbage test o How long does it take for banana peel to rot? 0.5 years o Wood scraps, etc. - Microbes: bacteria and fungi o Also called super bugs - Idea is to identify, find out how they work, put parts together to make super bug - Pretty much everything in classroom is manmade- whole existence is in artificial environment- this will all produce waste - Hormones- act in very low concentrations- having small amount of this in river, but animals like frogs have receptors and can be affected greatly - Animals don’t eat tomato- tomato seeds are really robust- something in the sewage that causes great effect- tomato plants growing everywhere - Green scum- upstream Ottawa river- lots of farms and fertilizers- K and N- algae love that o But now clear- zebra mussels ate everything - Benzene, chromium, etc.- persistent chemicals - Anaerobes- closest to contaminant o Bacteria that funciton in absence of oxygen - Aerobes- farthest from contaminant - Fungi and algae can do good job (sometimes fungi>bacteria) - Anaerobes break down products that aerobes can use to produce carbon dioxide and water o Cooperation between different types of bacteria - Oxidation and reduction - Oxidation- removes electron - Reduction- receives electron - Electron transfer reactions (or redox reactions) when you have chain of oxidation and reduction - Leo the lion says GER o Loss of electrons is oxidation (LEO) o Gain of electrons is reduction (GER) - Oxidation like burning in many steps - Bacteria have enzymes that allow this to be done on complex chemical - Aerobic bacteria oxidize - Anaerobic- toluene (smell of markers) o And nitrate o Produce N2, H20, etc. o Electrons transferred to nitrate - Aerobic- electrons transferred to water - Aerobes can oxidize metals- used to extract minerals from or o Chile- drill holes, shoot bacteria that leaches minerals, precipitate minerals - Anaerobic and anaerobic both involve oxidation and reduction - Anaerobic- molecule other than oxygen is electron acceptor o Use iron, sulfate, nitrate as electron acceptors in redox reactions - Obligate aerobes/anaerobes- prefer to live in one condition, but can live in other condition if needed - Many microbes carry out both aerobe and anaerobe functions - Bioremediation Genomics Program o Try to impro
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