From Criminal Investigations to the Climate Crisis: Biotechnology Classroom Resources

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Biotechnology is a rapidly growing field that uses research tools from biology and chemistry to find solutions to current scientific problems. Some biotechnology professionals look for the genetic basis of disease or factors that affect lifespan. Others focus on solving food shortages, the climate crisis, or criminal investigations.

There is a broad assortment of biotechnology resources to support learning in PBS LearningMedia including this biotechnology collection from WGBH.

Biotechnology Collection
Students learn about biotechnology applications, concepts, tools and techniques, and career options with resources in this collection. These resources explore common laboratory techniques used for treating disease and improving diagnosis, and examine the ethical debate over such research. Career profiles demonstrate the multifaceted nature of biotechnology jobs and the wide range of opportunities in this field.

QUEST: Decoding Synthetic Biology
QUEST: Decoding Synthetic Biology

Here is a small sampling of QUEST biotechnology resources in PBS LearningMedia.


Decoding Synthetic Biology
In this video segment learn about how synthetic biologists design and fabricate genes from scratch and use these genes to build new functions into living organisms. Follow researchers Drew Endy and Chris Voight as they explain how this new technology improves upon traditional genetic engineering tools and gives scientists the opportunity to build genes that can be used to reprogram living organisms.

Alzheimer's: Is the Cure in the Genes?
An estimated 15 million Americans will suffer from Alzheimer’s by 2050. Visit with researchers at San Francisco’s Gladstone Institutes who have found that a gene may hold the key to a cure for this debilitating affliction.

Stem Cell Gold Rush
Understand how stem cells are developed and potential uses for stem cells in medicine. Discuss the effect of federal and state laws on scientific studies.

Medicine From the Ocean Floor
Examine analysis and production of chemical compounds found on the ocean floor. Learn about scientists who are growing bacteria in the laboratory to fight different diseases and understand the role of robots in finding medicine on the ocean floor.

From Waste to Watts: Biofuel Bonanza
Explore how methane gas is converted into electricity, what a methane digester is used for, and how the food scraps you eat every day can get converted into green energy.

Find all of the QUEST resources that correspond best to the Health Science and Medical Technology Industry Sector—Biotechnology Research and Development Pathway standards here.

Sign up for PBS LearningMedia  (it’s free) for instant access to great biotechnology resources.