Science is the study of how the universe works using the scientific method as a framework for asking questions. Throughout history, humans have built-up a body of scientific knowledge and have used this knowledge to develop technologies to make life easier or to broaden their knowledge. Scientific discovery drives technological advances and sometimes, as new technologies are developed, they enable scientists to answer questions that were unanswerable before. For example, researchers had to understand the physics of visible light and how it changes when going through different substances before they could use this knowledge to design microscopes. Once microscope technology was developed, it allowed scientists to ask questions about things that were not visible to the human eye. For this Assignment, you will look at this interdependence between science and technology by learning more about a biotechnology that is crucial to the modern world such as feeding a growing world population, fighting disease, developing new fuels, or cleaning up the environment.
To learn more about biotechnology, review the assigned readings in your textbook for this unit and review the following resources:
Biotechnology basics: http://www.ncbiotech.org/biotech-basics
An Introduction to biotechnology: http://www.biotechnology.amgen.com/index.html
Cloning. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.genome.gov/25020028/
Frequently Asked Questions About Genetic Testing. (2016). Retrieved from
Harvest of Fear. (2001). Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/harvest/
Select one specific biotechnology that you are interested in learning more about. It can be a broad category such as one type of cloning, or more focused such as a specific product or diagnostic test. For your selected biotechnology address the following:
- Explain the difference between science and technology.
- What biotechnology did you select? Explain what it is and how it is used.
- Identify and describe two scientific discoveries that had to take place before your selected biotechnology could be developed (e.g., before cell phones could be developed, many scientific discoveries had to be made and be understood including electricity, electromagnetic waves, and the electrochemistry of batteries). When and how did the discoveries that you described take place?
- Identify and describe two technologies that had to exist before your selected biotechnology could be developed (e.g., before cell phones could be developed, many technological advances had to occur first including batteries, electric circuit boards, receivers, speakers, and satellites). How long have the technologies that you described existed?
- Scientific discovery provides society with knowledge. It is up to society to decide what to do with that knowledge by pursuing some technologies and by refusing to develop others. Identify and discuss two positives and two negatives of biotechnological advances. Are there any biotechnologies that you think should not be pursued? Explain your answer.
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