Biotechnology 2 Honors




Biotechnology 2            





Incorporating Biotechnology into the Classroom - What is Biotechnology?

The exploitation of biological processes for industrial and other purposes, especially the genetic manipulation of microorganisms for the production of antibiotics, hormones, food, etc. Biotechnology is the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make products, or any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use. Depending on the tools and applications, it often overlaps with the (related) fields of bioengineering, biomedical engineering, biomanufacturing, molecular engineering, etc.

For thousands of years, humankind has used biotechnology in agriculture, food production, and medicine. The term is largely believed to have been coined in 1919 by Hungarian engineer Károly Ereky. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, biotechnology has expanded to include new and diverse sciences such as genomics, recombinant gene techniques, applied immunology, and development of pharmaceutical therapies and diagnostic tests.

The field of modern biotechnology is generally thought of as having been born in 1971 when Paul Berg's (Stanford) experiments in gene splicing had early success. Herbert W. Boyer (Univ. Calif. at San Francisco) and Stanley N. Cohen (Stanford) significantly advanced the new technology in 1972 by transferring genetic material into a bacterium, such that the imported material would be reproduced.

The commercial viability of a biotechnology industry was significantly expanded on June 16, 1980, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that a genetically modified microorganism could be patented in the case of Diamond v. Chakrabarty, Indian-born Ananda Chakrabarty, working for General Electric, had modified a bacterium (of the Pseudomonas genus) capable of breaking down crude oil, which he proposed to use in treating oil spills. (Chakrabarty's work did not involve gene manipulation but rather the transfer of entire organelles between strains of the Pseudomonas bacterium.

Revenue in the industry is expected to grow by 12.9% in 2008. Another factor influencing the biotechnology sector's success is improved intellectual property rights legislation—and enforcement—worldwide, as well as strengthened demand for medical and pharmaceutical products to cope with an aging, and ailing, U.S. population.]

Rising demand for biofuels is expected to be good news for the biotechnology sector, with the Department of Energy estimating ethanol usage could reduce U.S. petroleum-derived fuel consumption by up to 30% by 2030. The biotechnology sector has allowed the U.S. farming industry to rapidly increase its supply of corn and soybeans—the main inputs into biofuels—by developing genetically modified seeds which are resistant to pests and drought. By boosting farm productivity, biotechnology plays a crucial role in ensuring that biofuel production targets are met.


Predictions of colonizing Mars are based on a reasonably optimistic evaluation of the technological and social progress of humanity. Only the most important and innovative events are mentioned. The timeline is regularly updated taking into account latest developments.

The 2010s – The Mars hype is there

2016 – Elon Musk reveals SpaceX plans for the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS, formerly known as Mars Colonial Transporter).
2016 – ESA&Roscosmos's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter enters Mars orbit, but Schiaparelli lander crashes on the surface of Mars.
2017 – Elon Musk updates SpaceX vision "to make life multiplanetary" and colonize Mars (with Big Falcon Rocket architecture, formerly known as Interplanetary Transport System or ITS).
2018 – NASA's InSight lander lands on Mars at Elysium Planitia.
2020 – Through the Commercial Crew Program NASA awards several companies, including SpaceX and Lockheed Martin, to develop and build a lander/ascent vehicle(s) capable to land on the Moon and bring back to Lunar orbit at least 4 astronauts no later than 2028 with bonuses if the system is capable of serving Mars too.

2020 – Through the Commercial Crew Program NASA awards several companies, including SpaceX and Lockheed Martin, to develop and build a lander/ascent vehicle(s) capable to land on the Moon and bring back to Lunar orbit at least 4 astronauts no later than 2028 with bonuses if the system is capable of serving Mars too.

2021 – ESA&Roscosmos's ExoMars rover lands on Mars.
2021 – NASA's Mars 2020 rover lands on Mars to collect samples for later retrieval.
2021 – First Chinese orbiter, lander, and rover reach Mars.
2021 – United Arab Emirates Hope probe enters Mars orbit.
2022 – SpaceX's BFR prototype booster and cargo spaceship make first orbital test flight around Earth.
2023 – India's Mangalyaan 2 orbiter and lander reaches Mars.
2025 – NASA's next generation Next Mars Orbiter with solar electric ion thrusters and broadband laser communications enters Mars orbit.
2025 – Japan&France's Martian Moons Explorer lands on Phobos to collect samples and return them to Earth in 2029.
2026 – First SpaceX's BFR crew spaceship successfully tested.
2026 – A communications relay satellite is placed at Sun-Earth Lagrangian point L5 to overcome the problem of periodic communications blackout with spacecraft temporary behind the Sun.
2027 – NASA's Deep Space Transport is completed at international Deep Space Gateway in Lunar orbit, starting to carry out manned preparation missions for human Mars mission.
2027 – Two demonstration BFR cargo spaceships separately land on Mars at the two most promising locations for the first human colony on Mars; both ships have a small nuclear power reactor in cargo and an automatic atmospheric propellant plant to produce oxygen and methane from Martian atmosphere.
2027 – NASA's sample return orbiter and lander (with Mars ascent vehicle, sample collection rover, and a small reconnaissance helicopter) reach Mars to retrieve samples collected by Mars 2020 rover and launch them back to Earth.
2028 – SpaceX's BFR crew spaceship and Lockheed Martin's lander lands on the rim of the Shackleton Crater to establish the first human outpost on the Moon.
2028 – After the ground tests are done in both places the final location of future "Mars City" is selected. Filled with local propellant the one BFR spaceship not on the selected location launches from Mars and successfully lands back on Earth the next year.
2029 – Two unmanned BFR spaceships land at the selected location of Mars City: a backup crew ship (which has tested the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) on the way) and a cargo ship with rovers, miner/tunneling droids, solar panels and parts for a modular habitat for the first human mission.

The 2030s – First human base on Mars

2031 – On a NASA backed mission two SpaceX's BFR crew spaceships with 12 astronauts each land at Mars City – first humans on Mars. The crewed ships are accompanied by a few cargo ships, including one with machinery for a ground-based In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) system.
2031 – The first modular habitat and a solar array are built.
2031 – Several modules for NASA's Mars Base Camp (a manned station orbiting Mars) are prepositioned in Mars orbit.
2032 – After the best location is confirmed a small-scale mining of water ice starts near the Mars City base. Ground-based ISRU system with atmosphere separator and chemical/propellant plant with the capacity to produce and store water, nitrogen, argon and liquid methane and oxygen are assembled.
2032 – Several landing/launch pads for future BFR missions are built a few miles from Mars City base.
2033 – 2 of the 3 landed BFR crew spaceships and all of the landed cargo spaceships, except the first one with nuclear power reactor and atmospheric propellant plant onboard, launch back to Earth unmanned.
2033 – The 2nd crew of ~30 astronauts and workers aboard a BFR spaceship lands at Mars City. NASA's research Mars Surface Field Station is established at Mars City. A hydroponic greenhouse is built to provide Mars City with locally grown vegan food. "The Mars Society" establishes its first chapter on Mars :)
2033 – NASA's Deep Space Transport with 6 astronauts reaches Mars orbit and docks with the prepositioned modules to complete the Mars Base Camp; first human missions to Phobos and Deimos.
2034 – Small-scale Martian soil extraction, chemical separation and storage equipment is assembled; the useful elements now can be used in the greenhouse and ISRU system.
2034 – Lockheed Martin's Mars lander based at Mars Base Camp is the 1st non-SpaceX built manned spaceship to land on Mars (with 4 astronauts) for a short exploration mission.
2034 – Several space agencies join NASA in financing the scientific operations at Mars City and transport of their scientists between Earth and Mars.
2035 – Deep Space Transport leaves Mars Base Camp to come back to Deep Space Gateway in Lunar orbit.
2035 – First fully occupied BFR spaceship with 100 scientists and colonists lands at Mars City.
2035 – NASA's Mars Surface Field Station is reorganized into an international scientific research base with scientist crews rotating every Earth-Mars synod (26 months).
2036 – The ISRU capabilities of Mars City are extended not only to produce air, water, and methalox fuel, but also steel, bricks, cement and basic fertilizers, plastics and silica products (as glass panels).                      Some industrial-size 3D printers are also assembled.
2037 – The First child is born on Mars in Mars City. His voyage to Earth later in his life would be dangerous because of his bones and organs not being fit for Earth's gravity.

2037 – BFR spaceship with 100 human colonists and workers lands at Mars City, which now has a population of more than 200. Among them is SpaceX's founder Elon Musk.
2037 – A constellation of satellites with a global positioning system (GPS) and global communications system is placed in high orbit around Mars by BFR cargo spaceship. Now it's hard to get lost on Mars; possibly only in a lava tube or a narrow canyon.
2038 – Deep Space Transport with the 2nd crew of 6 astronauts and additional modules for the station arrives at Mars Base Camp. Lockheed Martin's Mars lander performs several short exploration missions to Martian surface at various locations.
2038 – Cyanobacteria is introduced into the ISRU processes of Mars City.
2038 – A fish farm is built in Mars City to provide more diverse local food for the colonists. The greenhouse is vastly expanded.
2039 – A transparent, radiation-filtering geodesic dome with garden is built at Mars City; work begins to build a new underground section of Mars City with larger habitats and working areas to boost the population capacity of the colony to 1000.
2039 –The 2nd crew of Deep Space Transport leaves Mars Base Camp.

The 2040s – Spaceport for the 4th planet from the Sun and beyond

2040 – Two more BFR spaceships with 200 human colonists, workers and some wealthy tourists land in Mars City.
2041 – The new underground section of Mars City is finished. Now the colonists have a lot spacier living and working quarters with full radiation protection.
2041 – Cultured meat "farm" is built at Mars City, adding meat (although artificial) to the diet of the colonists.
2041 – Virgin Galactic establishes the first luxury hotel on the outskirts of Mars City.
2042 – NASA's 2nd generation Deep Space Transport with nuclear-powered VASIMR engine reaches Mars Base Camp in record-breaking time. Lockheed Martin's Mars lander performs another set of short exploration missions to Martian surface.
2042 – Two more BFR spaceships with 200 passengers land at Mars City, which now has a population of more than 500.
2043 – Several small proxy bases for scientific, mining and other purposes are established within a few tens of miles from Mars City.
2043 – Deep Space Transport gen.2 leaves Mars Base Camp.
2044 – Three more BFR spaceships with 300 passengers land at Mars City.
2044 – On behalf of several space agencies and asteroid mining companies Blue Origin's manned spaceship reaches Mars Base Camp to move it near the Phobos. The task is to use modules of Mars Base Camp as building blocks for Free Spaceport of Phobos project which will be a spinning space station with an artificial gravity of 0.38g and serve as a way station and fuel&repairs depot for manned and unmanned spaceships heading for Mars, Main asteroid belt and beyond.
2045 – Large deposit of minerals with a high concentration of rare metals is discovered a few hundred miles from Mars City. A research Mining Base Beta is established.
2045 – A land trip all around the Mars is completed for the 1st time.
2046 – Deep Space Transport gen.2 arrives at Free Spaceport of Phobos with additional modules for the station.
2046 – Four more BFR spaceships with 400 passengers land at Mars City bringing parts for a nuclear fusion reactor as well.
2047 – The landing pads a few miles from Mars City where BFR crew and cargo spaceships have landed and taken off for two decades are transformed into a small spaceport with pressurized sky bridges for both passengers and cargo.
2047 – A regular transport route between Mars City and Mining Base Beta is established.
2047 – Robotic water ice mining station is built on Phobos to supply the water and propellant needs of nearby Free Spaceport of Phobos.
2048 – A short hyperloop line from Mars City to its spaceport is finished.
2048 – Four BFR spaceships with 400 passengers land at Mars City and one more with 100 (mostly miners) at the Mining Base Beta. The population of the Mars City now surpasses 1200 with 200 more colonists living at nearby proxy bases and 200 at Mining Base Beta.
2048 – With additional modules arriving and maintained by Blue Origin the international Free Spaceport of Phobos is now operational. Robotic asteroid mining in Main asteroid belt now is rapidly expanding.
2048 – Blue Origin's lander lands on Mars for a scouting mission to confirm the best location for Blue Mars base (in addition to Blue Origin's already developed Blue Moonbase).
2049 – A nuclear fusion power station is operational at Mars City.
2049 – A new underground section of Mars City is finished, boosting its population capacity to 3000.

The 2050s – When bases grow into colonies

2050 – With increased electrical power the ISRU and industrial capabilities of Mars City are greatly extended, using the resources harvested and refined around Mars City and nearby proxy bases. Solar panel assembly factory is the first factory on Mars manufacturing complex products.
2050 – Earth and Mars are the closest ever since the beginning of the colonization. The largest colonial fleet ever arrives at Mars with 1000 colonists landing at Mars City and 200 more at Mining Base Beta.
2050 – Blue Origin's spaceship fleet with 100 workers arrives at Free Spaceport of Phobos; workers are shuttled down to establish the Blue Mars base about thousand miles from Mars City.
2051 – With China and Russia focusing on the Moon, India is the first Asian superpower to establish its own base on Mars.
2052 – NASA's human mission to Ceres (flying with a new generation nuclear fusion spaceship) stops at Free Spaceport of Phobos to resupply, drop some scientists at Mars City and take additional crew members from Mars.
2052 – 1500 more colonists land at Mars City and Mining Base Beta and 100 more at Blue Mars base. There are now more than 4000 humans permanently or temporarily living on the surface of Mars.
2053 – At an impact crater near the Mars City work begins to build the first large-scale dome on Mars, covering the entire crater a mile across.
2054 – A deuterium separation facility becomes operational at Mars City.
2055 – As more colonists land at Mars City it reaches its maximum population capacity. More habitats are built at the outskirts of Mars City, at its proxy bases and Mining Base Beta to support the influx of colonists.
2055 – Several more Blue Origin's shuttles land at Blue Mars base, boosting its population to more than 400. Indian Mars colony now has more than 200.
2055 – Using its strong presence on the Moon in its favor, China establishes its first colony on Mars which now is being expanded fast.
2056 – The rover repair depot at Mars City is upgraded to a Tesla rover factory.
2056 – A regular transport route between Mars City and Blue Mars base is established.
2056 – The large-scale transparent, radiation-filtering, light-weight dome is finished and pressurized at Mars City, covering an area of almost one square mile; workers move in now to construct the buildings and gardens (with such features as artificial waterfalls) below the dome.
2057 – The new generation of SpaceX's nuclear fusion powered spaceships arrive at the Free Spaceport of Phobos; passengers are shuttled down to the spaceports of Mars City and Mining Base Beta. The BFR spaceships are retired from SpaceX fleet after 33 years of successful service and sold to Brazil.
2058 – Mars City's dome is finished, having a maximum population capacity of 20'000.
2058 – A hyperloop line and a heavy cargo train tracks are built between the Mars City and the industrial complex at Mining Base Beta.
2059 – SpaceX's nuclear spaceships take more colonists to Mars City, bringing its population to 7000.
2059 – First Brazilian BFR spaceship lands at Mars City. One of the nearby proxy bases is sold to Brazil and expanded with more living habitats.
2059 – The United Arab Emirates establishes its first base on Mars – the New Dubai.

The 2060s – Nuclear fusion spaceships open up Mars

■  Mars City's population reaches the level you can't anymore make the decisions by corporate hierarchy or direct democracy only. First city council on Mars is elected.
■  The expanded Free Spaceport of Phobos more and more serves as a space logistics hub not only for colonies on Mars but for mining activities in Main asteroid belt as well. Several more advanced nations begin participating in the spaceport project.
■  First humans born on Mars travel to Earth using exoskeletons as body-support because of Earths heavier gravity.
■  Commercial companies from various nations open their branches and operations on Mars.
■  Tourism from Earth is expanding on Mars. Although the trip is still expensive and only the rich can afford it. Besides its high-tech cities and bases Mars can offer spectacular safari rides and if you are really wealthy you can hire some of the guides to take you to the caldera of Olympus Mons, depths of Valles Marineris or other exclusive locations.
■  A second large-scale dome on Mars is built at Blue Mars. A hyperloop line is built between Mars City and Blue Mars.
■  First measures to start the terraforming process of Mars are made, powdering Martian polar ice caps with black lichen to reduce their albedo and melt the ice and building automatic halocarbon factories throughout Mars to produce and release super-greenhouse gases in Martian atmosphere.
■  Artificial magnetic field generator is placed at Sun-Mars Lagrangian point L1 to shield Mars from solar radiation with the generated magnetotail and help the terraformation process of the planet.
■  The Free Spaceport of Phobos is a starting point for NASA's human mission to Galilean moons of Jupiter.
■  Nuclear fusion powered spaceships (greatly reducing the travel time from Earth and widening the launch window) bring more colonists to Mars than ever before. In the 2060s the human population on Mars explodes from less than 10'000 to more than 50'000 with Mars City alone having 25'000.

The 2070s – Human outposts spreading past Mars

■  The Free Spaceport of Phobos is the main supply node for human outposts on Ceres, Vesta, Pallas, asteroids in the Main Asteroid Belt and Galilean moons of Jupiter.
■  Cyanobacteria and methanogens are spread in lower regions of Mars to further increase the terraformation process.
■  The old workhorse of human colonization of Mars – the BFR spaceships are finally retired completely. The oldest of them are 50 years old now.
■  Mars City is expanded with two more domes of similar size and several smaller ones.
■  There are 5 cities with large-scale domes now on Mars. All of them are interlinked with hyperloop lines.
■  The cluster of Indian colonies on Mars is starting to specialize on growing food for human space outposts in the Main Asteroid Belt and beyond, as Mars is the closest object to them with substantial gravity for growing crops.
■  The Free Spaceport of Phobos is a starting point for NASA's human mission to the moons of Saturn (Titan, Enceladus and other).
■  Now almost all of the space-faring nations are represented on Mars with a base, a city block or a corporate enterprise.
■  In the 2070s the human population on Mars expands from 50'000 to 200'000 with the largest colony – Mars City – having 60'000. Four more cities have a population of more than 15'000.

The 2080s – Mars gets its self-government

  First Martian Council, consisting of proportionally drawn representatives from every Martian city and base, is assembled on the principle of self-government. The Council deals with the issues important for all of the Martians (as ongoing terraformation initiatives or building a space elevator) and acts as a representative for the Martian population in relations with the corporations and governments of Earth.
■  As space elevators on Earth and on Moon become operational, the cost of launching any mass to Mars and elsewhere into space is slashed considerably, greatly speeding up the use of space resources and space colonization.
■  Almost all colonists have left the oldest sections of Mars City with their obsolete infrastructure; the area is declared now a national heritage site, preserving the 1st human colony on Mars as it was in the late 2040s.
■  Tourism from Earth is becoming more and more mainstream. Now even a middle-class people can afford a trip to Mars.
■  Despite criticism, China builds the first prison on Mars. Soon other colonies are quietly sending there their criminals too.
■  More powerful halocarbon factories are set up throughout Mars. The bacterial and lichen coverage around Mars is further increased.
■  Connected base stations for downward and outward space elevators on Phobos are built; work begins to build both space elevators. The downward elevator will cut short of the upper edge of Mars's atmosphere with a shuttle platform at its tip. The outward elevator will have several platforms at different points to catch and release payloads (including spaceships) to Earth's system, to the Main asteroid belt, and to Jupiter's system.
■  Work begins to build a large shuttle port at the summit of the Martian volcano practically on the equator – Pavonis Mons – for shuttles heading to and coming from Phobos space elevator.
■  In the 2080s the human population on Mars expands from 200'000 to 500'000 with the largest of the Martian cities – Mars City – surging past 150'000 inhabitants. Particularly large colonial fleet arrives on 2082 when Earth and Mars are the closest since 2003, only 55.9 million kilometers (34.7 million miles) apart.

The 2090s – The millionth Martian

 The Phobos space elevator system is finished, greatly speeding up the colonization of Mars, interplanetary trade and the growth of human outposts in the Main asteroid belt and Galilean moons of Jupiter.
■  The shuttle port at the summit of Pavonis Mons quickly expands into one of the largest human colonies on Mars – Pavonis City, which is soon connected with other major Martian cities by hyperloop lines.
■  Establishment of Pavonis City greatly speeds up tourism in some of the most spectacular Martian regions nearby – Tharsis Montes, Olympus Mons, Noctis Labyrinthus and Valles Marineris. Tourist buses and hotels are popping up there fast. One of the hyperloop lines runs through all the length of Valles Marineris.
■  In an anticipation of air pressure and temperature increase, new human colonies are being set up mainly in the lower regions of Mars, particularly Hellas Planitia and Valles Marineris, where the results of terraformation activities will be felt first.
■  In the 2090s the human population on Mars reaches 1 million. Finally, Elon Musk's goal to put 1 million people on Mars is reached.

The 22nd century – Mars becomes independent
■  Mars becomes practically self-sufficient, having to import only the most complex goods and intellectual property.
■  The self-sufficiency results in Mars becoming an independent nation-state. The Martian government has to buy up the non-Martian governmental assets located on Mars.
■  As a technologically advanced frontier society, Mars and orbital stations around it become the primary source of specialists and workers needed for human bases and missions further in the Main asteroid belt and outer Solar system.
■  Air pressure and temperature on Mars is increased to the level where there is flowing water on the surface and simple plants can be introduced into newly created biosphere of the planet.
■  As one of the lower regions on Mars close to the equator Valles Marineris is seeing the most benefits from terraformation activities and Phobos space elevator; cities and farming communities are spreading throughout the valleys and at the end of the 22nd century, there are nearly 5 million people living in Valles Marineris. It's the most populous urban area on Mars.
■  In the 22nd century, the total human population on Mars increases 30-fold – to more than 30 million.




                                                                       Lesson Plans-Semester 1


Weekly Readings: 

8/22  Introduction to Lab Safety:

Introduction to Scientific Method:

Read Unit 1.1 in the online textbook:

*Take power notes for quiz next class


Pop Quiz over 1.1 enlightened

Characteristics of Life:

Review powerpoint slides and take notes

You will begin reading "The Hot Zone" by Richard Preston.        Online book:     

Read 1.2 and 1.3 in the textbook


Introduction to Biochemistry:

Review slides in Biochemistry 22-93

Continue reading chapter 2 of "The Hot Zone."


Quiz over 1.2 and 1.3 in textbook/characteristics of life/The Hot Zone Chapters 1 and 2enlightened

Film "Extraordinary Measures" Genetics Disease Part 1


Biochemistry Review Worksheet due at end of the class block


Film "Extraordinary Measures" part 2

Case Study #1

Molecular Biology Case Study:  Work in groups of 3-4

Classic Experiments in Molecular Biology


OWL Link for formatting your Case Study:

you must also include an abstract in your case study.  Use APA formatting for science


Example of a case study:

How to write a good case study:


Clinical case reports have been the earliest form of medical communication.

A clinical case report or case study is a means of disseminating new knowledge gained from clinical practice...

Thus, a clinical case report is expected to discuss the signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of a disease.

9/12.       No School

9/14.       No School

9/18        Molecular Biology Case Study work

9/20        Molecular Biology Case Study work                   (If you have finished your case study, finish reading Hot Zone if you have not yet finished).

9/25        Molecular Biology Case Study work       


 9/27       Molecular Biology Case study work

 9/29       Case study duemail


                                                                                                Case Study Grading Rubric

Each item is rated on the following rubric.
1= Very poor
2 = Poor
3 = Adequate
4 = Good
5 = Excellent

Group Members:  _______________________________________________________


Assigned Case Studies: ____________________________    Date:__________________

                              Item                                                                                                                                                                      Score
1.  Evidence of preparation (APA formatted correctly, with evidence you did your research)                             1   2    3     4    5
2.  Content (group presented accurate & relevant information, appeared knowledgeable about the case studies assigned and 

      the topic discussed, offered strategies for dealing with the problems identified in the case studies)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1    2    3    4    5
3.  Science connection (group identified scientific peer-reviewed resources to help with the problem/issues)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1    2    3    4    5
4. Methodology (clear and logical organization, effective introduction and conclusion, creativity
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1    2    3    4    5
5.  Discussion/work (group works together on assigned case studies, good use of time, involves classmates)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1    2    3    4    5

Total Score: ________ (sum of Items 1-5)

Total Score : ________  



                Origin of Life

                 Nova: In class film Origin of Life film:

                  Watch the slideshow on 7 possible origins of life:

                  Watch lesson (partial video)


watch the video at home on the origin and evolution of life  (Life's Rocky Start)

                  take notes on Powerpoint:


10/3       Comprehensive Test #1 enlightened            

10/5       Macromolecules:

                Read Chapter 9 in Genetics textbook (Chemistry of the Gene) (book pages pp. 204 - 219)

                 Link to the textbook:


                Homework/Flipped classwork:

                The Cell: Watch the lecture on youtube  "The Origin of Cellular Life on Earth" (Jack Szostak  from Harvard/HHMI)


                 Cell Membrane Review:

                  Watch the following link: Take power notes:

                  The Cell:


                  Protocell membranes: Watch the lecture on "Protocell Membranes" ( Jack Szostak  from Harvard/HHMI)



 10/9        Quiz on the cell and macromolecules  enlightened

                    Biotechnology Lab #1 Prelab questions


 10/13     Biotechnology Lab #1  Break it down so I can comprehend it! Cell Membrane research

                 5 groups tackle "Electroporation" and present their findings!


Biotechnology 2 Lesson: Break it Down So I Can Comprehend It!
Cell membrane electroporation:  The phenomenon

The Cell (Plasma) Membrane
A.    Each biological cell, trillions of which build our bodies, is enveloped by its plasma membrane. Composed largely of a bilayer (double layer) of lipids just two molecules thick (about 5 nm), and behaving partly as a liquid and partly as a gel, the cell plasma membrane nonetheless separates and protects the cell from its surrounding environment and allows it to be very reliable and stable. Embedded within the lipid bilayer, also quite stable, are a number of different proteins, some of which act as channels and pumps, providing a pathway for transporting specific molecules across the membrane. Without these proteins, the membrane would be a largely impenetrable barrier. 

Electrical Exposure
B.    Electrically, the cell plasma membrane can be viewed as a thin insulating sheet surrounded on both sides by aqueous electrolyte solutions. When exposed to a sufficiently strong electric field, the membrane will undergo electrical breakdown, which renders it permeable to molecules that are otherwise unable to cross it. The process of rendering the membrane permeable is called membrane electroporation. Unlike solid insulators, in which an electrical breakdown generally causes permanent structural change, the membrane, with its lipids behaving as a two-dimensional liquid, can spontaneously return to its pre-breakdown state. If the exposure is sufficiently short and the membrane recovery sufficiently rapid for the cell to remain viable, electroporation is termed reversible; otherwise, it is termed irreversible. 

Electroporation in Medicine and Biotechnology

C.    Since its discovery, electroporation has steadily gained ground as a useful tool in various areas of medicine and biotechnology. Today, reversible electroporation is an established method for introducing chemotherapeutic drugs into tumor cells (electrochemotherapy). It also offers great promise as a technique for gene therapy without the risks caused by viral vectors. (DNA electrotransfer). In clinical medicine, irreversible electroporation is being investigated as a method for tissue ablation (nonthermal electroablation), whereas in biotechnology, it is useful for extraction of biomolecules and for microbial deactivation, particularly in food preservation. 
D.    Describe the phenomenon at the molecular level of the lipid bilayer, and then proceed to the cellular level, explaining how exposure of a cell as a whole to an external electric field results in an inducement of voltage on its plasma membrane, its electroporation, and transport through the electroporated membrane.

E.    Focus on the hardware for electroporation (pulse generators and electrodes) and on the need for standards, safety, and certification.

10/17        Electroporation: Break it Down So I Can Comprehend it!                                                                


10/19        Biotechnology Lab #1 

                                                            In lab groups, students will read Part I and II of a case study on osmosis (“Osmosis is Serious Business”) and

                                                               answer the corresponding questions. A copy of this case study can be found at:


                                                               In the final 20 minutes of class, groups will partner up and discuss their answers

                                                               to the questions.

                                                              **In groups, the students must also come up with a picture that illustrates

                                                              what happened to the patients’ cells as a result of the IV drip. The teacher will circulate the room

                                                              and listen to the discussions, adding additional questions/commentary as needed. 


10/30                                          Biotechnology Lab #1  Cell Membrane /Osmosis/Diffusion Wet lab

                                                      Video in Class: 


                                                       The plasma membrane is a thin structure that surrounds all living cells, thus separating
                                                          the cell’s interior components from the external surroundings. Through repeated
                                                          experiments and advances in technology, scientists have developed the “Fluid Mosaic
                                                          Model” to describe the structure of this dynamic membrane. 

                                                       The fluid mosaic model of the plasma membrane developed as a result of evidence
                                                       gathered from conceptual and technological advances. In the late 1800s, scientists
                                                       initially hypothesized that membranes must be made of lipids, after observing that
                                                       substances dissolved in lipids entered cells more quickly than those insoluble in lipids
                                                       (Campbell, p. 138). After experiments with red blood cells, two Dutch scientists, E. Gorter
                                                       and F. Grendel, proposed that membranes must actually be a phospholipid bilayer, two 
                                                       molecules thick. This bilayer would provide a stable boundary between the aqueous
                                                       environments inside and outside the cell.


                                                      With the development of the electron microscope, freeze-fracture methods, and additional
                                                     studies with capillaries, scientist were able to further conclude that proteins were found                                                                                                                                                                                embedded within the plasma membrane (integral proteins) or along the sides (peripheral                                                                                                                                                                             proteins). Continued research eventually led to the most current model of the plasma membrane,                                                                                                                                                             one that is composed of a phospholipid bilayer embedded with cholesterol molecules,                                                                                                                                                                                    cytoskeleton, and long carbohydrate chains, in addition to protein molecules. The phospholipid                                                                                                                                                                  bilayer contains both hydrophobic and hydrophilic regions, as do many of the integral proteins themselves.

                                                      The plasma membrane plays a role in structural support, cell to cell communication, and
                                                      cell identification
. However, its’ main function is to control what enters and exits the
                                                      cell. Because of its unique structure, only certain substances are allowed to freely enter
                                                      and exit the cell. For this reason, the plasma membrane is “semi-permeable”.


                                                      Passive cellular transport is diffusion, the tendency for molecules to spread out into the
                                                      available space, across a membrane (Campbell, p. 145). Molecules will move down its
                                                      concentration gradient, to areas of lower concentration, in order to reach equilibrium.
                                                      Some small, non-polar molecules (such as carbon dioxide and oxygen gas) can simply
                                                      pass through the plasma membrane. Other small, polar substances (such as sodium and
                                                      potassium ions) must pass through a protein channel in order to enter or exit the cell (Holt, 
                                                      p. 80).

                                                      The passive transport of water across the plasma membrane is called osmosis. In osmosis,
                                                       water moves towards areas of higher solute concentration because the solute particles are
                                                       too large in size to move across the membrane. Cells can be found in one of three
                                                       solutions in varying concentrations. Hypertonic solutions contain more solute than the
                                                       cell itself. If a red blood cell is placed in a hypertonic solution, for example, water will
                                                       move out of the cell and into the solution, causing the cell to decrease in size. Hypotonic
                                                       solutions contain a lower solute concentration than the cell. Isotonic solutions are those
                                                       equal solute concentration as the cell (Campbell, p. 146). 

                                                       Lab # 2 Build a Cell Membrane Activity   


11/1                                                Biotechnology Lab #1  Cell Membrane /Osmosis/Diffusion Wet lab 

11/3                                              Biotechnology Lab #1  Cell Membrane /Osmosis/Diffusion Wet lab 

11/7                                                       Biotechnology Lab #1 Cell Membrane /Osmosis/Diffusion Wet lab



                                                     Introduction to Case Study: A Botched Botox Party in the Hamptons 



11/13                                          Case Study: A Botched Botox Party in the Hamptons 


                                                                                Bring your own technology         

11/15                                            Case Study: Bring your own technology



11/17                                          Case Study: Bring your own technology

11/21                                          Case Study should be finished by todaymail submit to: 



Rubric for Case Study

Case Study Grading Rubric: see rubric in class on wall.

**In addition, be sure to have 5 references. Be sure to have at least 5 citations. Each item is rated on the following rubric.
1= Very poor
2 = Poor
3 = Adequate
4 = Good
5 = Excellent

individual/pairs:  _______________________________________________________


Assigned Case Studies: ____________________________    Date:__________________

                              Item                                                                                                                                                                      Score
1.  Evidence of preparation (APA formatted correctly, with evidence you did your research).                                             1   2    3     4    5

2.  Content (Relayed accurate & relevant information, appeared knowledgeable about the case studies assigned and

      the topic discussed, offered strategies for dealing with the problems identified in the case studies).
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1    2    3    4    5

3.  Science connection (identified scientific peer-reviewed resources to help with the problem/issues).
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1    2    3    4    5

4. Methodology (clear and logical organization, effective introduction and conclusion, creativity.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1    2    3    4    5

5.  Discussion/work (works together/or alone on assigned case studies, good use of time, involves classmates

     (if working in pairs).
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1    2    3    4    5



11/27                                        All Case Studies must be in teacher's email

                                                    Write up for lab #1 completed  


                                                 THE CELL'S RADAR: HOW DO CELLS SENSE THEIR ENVIRONMENT?

                                                 In Class Video:


                                                    Read:   Unit 4 How Do Cells Sense Their Environment?   



                                                  Study Powerpoint:

                                                                                                           Active Transport:  Endocytosis and Exocytosis

                                                  Endocytosis:  3 types  


                                                             Phagocytosis:         Read:

                                                                Pinocytosis             Watch:

                                                                Receptor-Mediated Endocytosis   


11/29                                        Receptor-Mediated Endocytosis      



                                                      Lab # 3 Endocytosis activity  Write up in Lab Notebook


 12/1                                            Exocytosis

                                                                             Understand the sequence of Exocytosis  Transport, Docking, Fusion, Content Release, and Recycling.


                                                                             (pp. 643-646  and p. 648)





12/5                                              Lab #4 Staying Young With Vitamin E    Write up in Lab Notebook                             


                                                   Review for the Upcoming Test on Objectives You Learned

                                1. You must be able to identify two ways that molecules and ions cross the plasma membrane.

                                2. You must be able to distinguish between diffusion and osmosis.

                                3. You must be able to identify the role of ion channels in facilitated diffusion.

                                4.  You must be able to compare passive and active transport.

                                5.  You must be able to identify the connection between vesicles and active transport.

                                6.  You must be able to compare endocytosis and exocytosis in detail.

                                7.  You must be able to outline the process of cell communication.

                                8. You must be able to understand and outline how the cell membrane can be changed through electroporation.


                                                                                                Review/Study Aids (Do not rely on these alone)                                                        

                                 Probably the most important feature of a cell’s phospholipid membranes is that they are selectively permeable. A membrane that is selectively permeable has control over what molecules or ions can enter or leave the cell. The permeability of a membrane is dependent on the organization and characteristics of the membrane lipids and proteins. In this way, cell membranes help maintain a state of homeostasis within cells (and tissues, organs, and organ systems) so that an organism can stay alive and healthy.

Transport Across Membranes

The molecular make-up of the phospholipid bilayer limits the types of molecules that can pass through it. For example, hydrophobic (water-hating) molecules, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2), can easily pass through the lipid bilayer, but ions such as calcium (Ca2+) and polar molecules such as water (H2O) cannot. The hydrophobic interior of the phospholipid bilayer does not allow ions or polar molecules through because they are hydrophilic, or water-loving. In addition, large molecules such as sugars and proteins are too big to pass through the bilayer. Transport proteins within the membrane allow these molecules to cross the membrane into or out of the cell. This way, polar molecules avoid contact with the nonpolar interior of the membrane, and large molecules are moved through large pores.

Every cell is contained within a membrane punctuated with transport proteins that act as channels or pumps to let in or force out certain molecules. The purpose of the transport proteins is to protect the cell's internal environment and to keep its balance of salts, nutrients, and proteins within a range that keeps the cell and the organism alive.

There are three main ways that molecules can pass through a phospholipid membrane. The first way requires no energy input from the cell and is called passive transport. The second way requires that the cell uses energy to pull in or pump out certain molecules and ions and is called active transport. The third way is through vesicle transport, in which large molecules are moved across the membrane in bubble-like sacks that are made from pieces of the membrane.

Passive Transport

Passive transport is a way that small molecules or ions move across the cell membrane without the input of energy by the cell. The three main kinds of passive transport are diffusion, osmosis, and facilitated diffusion.


Diffusion is the movement of molecules from an area of high concentration of the molecules to an area with a lower concentration. The difference in the concentrations of the molecules in the two areas is called the concentration gradient. Diffusion will continue until this gradient has been eliminated. Since diffusion moves materials from an area of higher concentration to the lower, it is described as moving solutes "down the concentration gradient." The end result of diffusion is an equal concentration, or equilibrium, of molecules on both sides of the membrane. If a molecule can pass freely through a cell membrane, it will cross the membrane by diffusion


Imagine you have a cup that has 100ml water, and you add 15g of table sugar to the water. The sugar dissolves and the mixture that is now in the cup is made up of a solute (the sugar), that is dissolved in the solvent (the water). The mixture of a solute in a solvent is called a solution.

Imagine now that you have a second cup with 100ml of water, and you add 45 grams of table sugar to the water. Just like the first cup, the sugar is the solute, and the water is the solvent. But now you have two mixtures of different solute concentrations. In comparing two solutions of unequal solute concentration, the solution with the higher solute concentration is hypertonic, and the solution with the lower concentration is hypotonic. Solutions of equal solute concentration are isotonic. The first sugar solution is hypotonic to the second solution. The second sugar solution is hypertonic to the first.

You now add the two solutions to a beaker that has been divided by a selectively permeable membrane. The pores in the membrane are too small for the sugar molecules to pass through, but are big enough for the water molecules to pass through. The hypertonic solution is on one side of the membrane and the hypotonic solution on the other. The hypertonic solution has a lower water concentration than the hypotonic solution, so a concentration gradient of water now exists across the membrane. Water molecules will move from the side of higher water concentration to the side of lower concentration until both solutions are isotonic.

Osmosis is the diffusion of water molecules across a selectively permeable membrane from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration. Water moves into and out of cells by osmosis. If a cell is in a hypertonic solution, the solution has a lower water concentration than the cell cytosol does, and water moves out of the cell until both solutions are isotonic. Cells placed in a hypotonic solution will take in water across their membrane until both the external solution and the cytosol are isotonic.

A cell that does not have a rigid cell wall (such as a red blood cell), will swell and lyse (burst) when placed in a hypotonic solution. Cells with a cell wall will swell when placed in a hypotonic solution, but once the cell is turgid (firm), the tough cell wall prevents any more water from entering the cell. When placed in a hypertonic solution, a cell without a cell wall will lose water to the environment, shrivel, and probably die. In a hypertonic solution, a cell with a cell wall will lose water too. The plasma membrane pulls away from the cell wall as it shrivels. The cell becomes plasmolyzed. Animal cells tend to do best in an isotonic environment, plant cells tend to do best in a hypotonic environment.

The action of osmosis can be very harmful to organisms, especially ones without cell walls. For example, if a saltwater fish (whose cells are isotonic with seawater), is placed in fresh water, its cells will take on excess water, lyse, and the fish will die. Another example of a harmful osmotic effect is the use of table salt to kill slugs and snails.

Controlling Osmosis

Organisms that live in a hypotonic environment such as freshwater, need a way to prevent their cells from taking in too much water by osmosis. A contractile vacuole is a type of vacuole that removes excess water from a cell. Freshwater protists, such as the paramecia, have a contractile vacuole. The vacuole is surrounded by several canals, which absorb water by osmosis from the cytoplasm. After the canals fill with water, the water is pumped into the vacuole. When the vacuole is full, it pushes the water out of the cell through a pore. Other protists, such as members of the genus Amoeba, have contractile vacuoles that move to the surface of the cell when full and release the water into the environment.

Facilitated diffusion is the diffusion of solutes through transport proteins in the plasma membrane. Facilitated diffusion is a type of passive transport. Even though facilitated diffusion involves transport proteins, it is still passive transport because the solute is moving down the concentration gradient.

As was mentioned earlier, small nonpolar molecules can easily diffuse across the cell membrane. However, due to the hydrophobic nature of the lipids that make up cell membranes, polar molecules (such as water) and ions cannot do so. Instead, they diffuse across the membrane through transport proteins. A transport protein completely spans the membrane and allows certain molecules or ions to diffuse across the membrane. Channel proteins, gated channel proteins, and carrier proteins are three types of transport proteins that are involved in facilitated diffusion.

A channel protein, a type of transport protein, acts like a pore in the membrane that lets water molecules or small ions through quickly. Water channel proteins allow water to diffuse across the membrane at a very fast rate. Ion channel proteins allow ions to diffuse across the membrane.

A gated channel protein is a transport protein that opens a "gate," allowing a molecule to pass through the membrane. Gated channels have a binding site that is specific for a given molecule or ion. A stimulus causes the "gate" to open or shut. The stimulus may be chemical or electrical signals, temperature, or mechanical force, depending on the type of gated channel. For example, the sodium gated channels of a nerve cell are stimulated by a chemical signal which causes them to open and allow sodium ions into the cell. Glucose molecules are too big to diffuse through the plasma membrane easily, so they are moved across the membrane through gated channels. In this way, glucose diffuses very quickly across a cell membrane, which is important because many cells depend on glucose for energy.

A carrier protein is a transport protein that is specific for an ion, molecule, or group of substances. Carrier proteins "carry" the ion or molecule across the membrane by changing shape after the binding of the ion or molecule. Carrier proteins are involved in passive and active transport.

Ion Channels

Ions such as sodium (Na+), potassium (K-), calcium (Ca2+), and chloride (Cl-), are important for many cell functions. Because they are polar, these ions do not diffuse through the membrane. Instead, they move through ion channel proteins where they are protected from the hydrophobic interior of the membrane. Ion channels allow the formation of a concentration gradient between the extracellular fluid and the cytosol. Ion channels are very specific as they allow only certain ions through the cell membrane. Some ion channels are always open, others are "gated" and can be opened or closed. Gated ion channels can open or close in response to different types of stimuli such as electrical or chemical signals.

Active Transport

In contrast to facilitated diffusion which does not require energy and carries molecules or ions down a concentration gradient, active transport pumps molecules and ions against a concentration gradient. Sometimes an organism needs to transport something against a concentration gradient. The only way this can be done is through active transport which uses energy that is produced by respiration (ATP). In active transport, the particles move across a cell membrane from a lower concentration to a higher concentration. Active transport is the energy-requiring process of pumping molecules and ions across membranes "uphill" against a gradient. The active transport of small molecules or ions across a cell membrane is generally carried out by transport proteins that are found in the membrane.Larger molecules such as starch can also be actively transported across the cell membrane by processes called endocytosis and exocytosis.

Sodium-Potassium Pump

Carrier proteins can work with a concentration gradient (passive transport), but some carrier proteins can move solutes against the concentration gradient (from low concentration to high concentration), with energy input from ATP. As in other types of cellular activities, ATP supplies the energy for most active transport. One way ATP powers active transport is by transferring a phosphate group directly to a carrier protein. This may cause the carrier protein to change its shape, which moves the molecule or ion to the other side of the membrane. An example of this type of active transport system is the sodium-potassium pump, which exchanges sodium ions for potassium ions across the plasma membrane of animal cells.

The Electrochemical Gradient

The active transport of ions across the membrane causes an electrical gradient to build up across the plasma membrane. The number of positively charged ions outside the cell is greater than the number of positively charged ions in the cytosol. This results in a relatively negative charge on the inside of the membrane, and a positive charge on the outside. This difference in charges causes a voltage across the membrane. Voltage is electrical potential energy that is caused by a separation of opposite charges, in this case across the membrane. The voltage across a membrane is called membrane potential. Membrane potential is very important for the conduction of electrical impulses along nerve cells.

Because the inside of the cell is negative compared to outside the cell, the membrane potential favors the movement of positively charged ions (cations) into the cell, and the movement of negative ions (anions) out of the cell. So, there are two forces that drive the diffusion of ions across the plasma membrane—a chemical force (the ions' concentration gradient), and an electrical force (the effect of the membrane potential on the ions’ movement). These two forces working together are called an electrochemical gradient and will be discussed in detail in the chapter Nervous and Endocrine Systems.

Vesicles and Active Transport

Some molecules or particles are just too large to pass through the plasma membrane or to move through a transport protein. So cells use two other methods to move these macromolecules (large molecules) into or out of the cell. Vesicles or other bodies in the cytoplasm move macromolecules or large particles across the plasma membrane. There are two types of vesicle transport, endocytosis and exocytosis.

Endocytosis and Exocytosis

Endocytosis is the process of capturing a substance or particle from outside the cell by engulfing it with the cell membrane. The membrane folds over the substance and it becomes completely enclosed by the membrane. At this point, a membrane-bound sac, or vesicle pinches off and moves the substance into the cytosol. There are two main kinds of endocytosis:

                       Phagocytosis or "cellular eating," occurs when the dissolved materials enter the cell. The plasma membrane engulfs the solid material, forming a phagocytic vesicle.

                       Pinocytosis or "cellular drinking," occurs when the plasma membrane folds inward to form a channel allowing dissolved substances to enter the cell. When the channel is closed, the liquid is encircled within a pinocytic vesicle.

Exocytosis describes the process of vesicles fusing with the plasma membrane and releasing their contents to the outside of the cell, as shown in Figure above. Exocytosis occurs when a cell produces substances for export, such as a protein, or when the cell is getting rid of a waste product or a toxin. Newly-made membrane proteins and membrane lipids are moved on top the plasma membrane by exocytosis.

Homeostasis refers to the balance or equilibrium of the cell or a body. It is an organism’s ability to keep a constant internal environment. Keeping a stable internal environment requires constant adjustments as conditions change inside and outside the cell. The adjusting of systems within a cell is called homeostatic regulation. Because the internal and external environments of a cell are constantly changing, adjustments must be made continuously to stay at or near the setpoint (the normal level or range). Homeostasis is a dynamic equilibrium rather than an unchanging state. The cellular processes discussed in this lesson all play an important role in homeostatic regulation. 

Cell Communication

To survive and grow, cells need to be able to "talk" with their cell neighbors and be able to detect a change in their environment. Talking with neighbors is even more important to a cell if it is part of a multicellular organism. The billions of cells that make up your body need to be able to communicate with each other to allow your body to grow and to keep you alive and healthy. The same is true for any organism. Cell signaling is a major area of research in biotechnology today. Recently scientists have discovered that many different cell types, from bacteria to plants, use similar types of communication pathways, or cell-signaling mechanisms. This suggests that cell-signaling mechanisms evolved long before the first multicellular organism did.


For cells to be able to signal to each other, a few things are needed:

a signal

a cell receptor, which is usually on the plasma membrane, but can be found inside the cell

a response to the signal


Cells that are communicating may be right next to each other or far apart. The type of chemical signal a cell will send differs depending on the distance the message needs to go. For example, hormones, ions, and neurotransmitters are all types of signals that are sent depending on the distance the message needs to go.

Cell Receptors

The target cell then needs to be able to recognize the signal. Chemical signals are received by the target cell on receptor proteins. As discussed earlier, most receptor proteins are found in the plasma membrane, but some are also found inside the cell. These receptor proteins are very specific for only one particular signal molecule, much like a lock that recognizes only one key. Therefore, a cell has lots of receptor proteins to recognize a large number of cell signal molecules. There are three stages of sending and receiving a cell "message:" reception, transduction, and response.

Signal Receptors

Cell-surface receptors are integral proteins—they reach right through the lipid bilayer, spanning from the outside to the inside of the cell. These receptor proteins are specific for just one kind of signal molecule. The signaling molecule acts as a ligand when it binds to a receptor protein. A ligand is a small molecule that binds to a larger molecule. Signal molecule binding causes the receptor protein to change its shape. At this point, the receptor protein can interact with another molecule. The ligand (signal molecule) itself does not pass through the plasma membrane.

In eukaryotic cells, most of the intracellular proteins that are activated by a ligand binding to a receptor protein are enzymes. Receptor proteins are named after the type of enzyme that they interact with inside the cell. These enzymes include G proteins and protein kinases, likewise, there are G-protein-linked receptors and tyrosine kinase receptors. A kinase is a protein involved in phosphorylation. A G-protein linked receptor is a receptor that works with the help of a protein called a G-protein. A G-protein gets its name from the molecule to which it is attached, guanosine triphosphate (GTP), or guanosine diphosphate (GDP). The GTP molecule is similar to ATP.

Once G proteins or protein kinase enzymes are activated by a receptor protein, they create molecules called second messengers. A second messenger is a small molecule that starts a change inside a cell in response to the binding of a specific signal to a receptor protein. Some second messenger molecules include small molecules called cyclic nucleotides, such as cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). Calcium ions (Ca2+) also act as secondary messengers. Secondary messengers are a part of signal transduction pathways.

Signal Transduction

A signal-transduction pathway is a signaling mechanism by which a cell changes a signal on it surface into a specific response inside the cell. It most often involves an ordered sequence of chemical reactions inside the cell which is carried out by enzymes and other molecules. In many signal transduction processes, the number of proteins and other molecules participating in these events increases as the process progresses from the binding of the signal. A "signal cascade" begins. Think of a signal cascade as a chemical domino-effect inside the cell, in which one domino knocks over two dominos, which in turn knocked over four dominos, and so on. The advantage of this type of signaling to the cell is that the message from one little signal molecule can be greatly amplified and have a dramatic effect.

How a G-protein linked receptor works with the help of a G-protein. In panel C, the second messenger cAMP can be seen moving away from the enzyme.

G protein-linked receptors are only found in higher eukaryotes, including yeast, plants, and animals. Your senses of sight and smell are dependent on G-protein linked receptors. The ligands that bind to these receptors include light-sensitive compounds, odors, hormones, and neurotransmitters. The ligands for G-protein linked receptors come in different sizes, from small molecules to large proteins. G protein-coupled receptors are involved in many diseases but are also the target of around half of all modern medicinal drugs.

A. A ligand such as a hormone binds to the G-linked receptor.  Before ligand binding, the inactive G-protein has GDP bound to it.

B. The receptor changes shape and activates the G-protein and a molecule of GTP replaces the GDP.

C. The G-protein moves across the membrane then binds to and activates the enzyme. This then triggers the next step in the pathway to the cell's response. After activating the enzyme, the G-protein returns to its original position. The second messenger of this signal transduction is cAMP.

The sensing of the external and internal environments at the cellular level relies on signal transduction. Defects in signal transduction pathways can contribute or lead to many diseases, including cancer and heart disease. This highlights the importance of signal transductions to biology and medicine.

Signal Responses

In response to a signal, a cell may change activities in the cytoplasm or in the nucleus that include the switching on or off of genes. Changes in metabolism, continued growth, movement, or death are some of the cellular responses to signals that require signal transduction.

Gene activation leads to other effects since the protein products of many of the responding genes include enzymes and factors that increase gene expression. Gene expression factors produced as a result of a cascade can turn on even more genes. Therefore one stimulus can trigger the expression of many genes, and this, in turn, can lead to the activation of many complex events. In a multicellular organism, these events include the increased uptake of glucose from the bloodstream (stimulated by insulin), and the movement of neutrophils to sites of infection (stimulated by bacterial products). The set of genes and the order in which they are activated in response to stimuli are often called a genetic program.

Electroporation: Review information above from 10/13 and from class presentations.


12/7                                          Testenlightened


12/11                                        MISSION TO MARS (Planning)                  

                                                  Film: The Martian


12/13                                       You will be assigned one of the following topics which you must research and be ready to present to

                                                  the class when you return after the holiday break.





                                                  1.    What is photosynthesis?    Details? Ideas on origin?


                                                  2.   Where do plants get the "food" they need? Details? What is essential?


                                                  3.   Where does most of the energy come from? Describe how energy is transformed? Details?


                                                  4.   Energy Economics in Ecosystems? Describe in detail?


                                                     Understanding the Photosynthetic process in detail

                                                  5.  Photosynthetic Cells? Describe in detail?


                                                  6. The Origin of Plastids: Where did plastids originate? Theories? Hypotheses? Details?



12/15                                        MISSION TO MARS

                                                  Boeing and SpaceX Aren't Going Anywhere Without Biotechnology



                                                     Class Discussion



12/21                                      Midterm below to be returned to no later than 1/9/18 @ 7:40 am. No late midterms accepted.   

                                                                                                                                        Midterm Exam


                                                        ※ Please fill the blanks or choose suitable words. (1 pt for each blank)

                                                         1. In the absence of oxygen, cells use fermentation to produce energy by reducing pyruvic acid and
                                                             regenerating__________ (NAD+, FAD, NADP+, H+ ), which allow glycolysis to continue.


                                                         2. In yeast or bacteria, pyruvic acid is broken down to ethanol and CO2 in the anaerobic condition. In
                                                             human muscle cells that are working so strenuously, pyruvic acid is converted into (____________ ).

                                                         3. Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty identified Griffith's transforming principle as (___________ ). In their
                                                            experiments, (DNase, RNase, Protease, Lipase )_____________ abolished the transformation of R to S bacteria.


                                                         4. Nucleic acids are polymers of (__________ ), joined together by (__________ ) linkages between the 

                                                             5'-phosphate group of one pentose and the 3'-hydroxyl group of the next.

                                                         5. DNA is synthesized in the (___________ ) direction by DNA polymerases. At the replication fork, the
                                                              leading strand is synthesized continuously in the same direction as replication fork movement; the
                                                              lagging strand is synthesized discontinuously as (_____________ ) fragments, which are subsequently
                                                              joined by (______________ ).

                                                         6. DNA fragments produced by restriction enzymes have single-stranded regions known as (___________ ). 
                                                             (____________ ) separates DNA fragments by size, producing unique patterns of bands.


                                                         7. The choice of vector is determined by the host cell into which we need to place our DNA. For 

                                                              human cells, which lack plasmids, we use (_____________ ) which are single-strand RNA viruses because they

                                                              insert their DNA into the genome of the host cell.


                                                       ※ Choose suitable words. (4 pt each)

                                                        9. Prior to the removal of any nucleotides, the 5' end of each newly replicated piece of DNA contains ( )
                                                            ① introns ② RNA ③ amino acids ④ a series of adenines ⑤ methylguanosine


                                                     10. I would like to insert the DNA to generate resistance to larvae in bean plants. Which vector
                                                           will be used for this purpose most properly? ( )
                                                           ① phage DNA ② bacterial plasmid ③ Ti plasmid ④ yeast plasmid ⑤ BAC 


                                                     ※ Please describe briefly ( 5 pts each )

                                                      11. E. coli lac operon is regulated by lactose and glucose levels. What condition makes the lac operon highly
                                                            stimulated? Explain the reason.


                                                      12. Describe the features that must be present in a vector that is used to clone DNA.


                                                      13. How are DNA and RNA different in structure and function?


                                                      14. In order to clone the human insulin gene, I made a recombinant DNA using pUC19 vector.

                                                            I cleave the human insulin gene and vector by EcoRI and BamHI in the polylinker region and rejoined.

                                                            I transformed the recombinant DNA into E. coli by heat shock. How can I select the E. coli containing the                                         

                                                            recombinant DNA?


                                                      15. Diagram, label, and describe the process whereby, a eukaryotic cell makes and secretes a protein. 

                                                             Select and label a protein of your choice




                                                                                                                     3rd Quarter Lessons


1/16                                        Objectives: Mission to Mars: Photosynthesis presentations                       


                                                   Boeing and SpaceX Aren't Going Anywhere Without Biotechnology





1/18                                        Objectives: Film "The Martian"                 




1/22                                         Cancer Presentation:Gilda's Club                                   


1/24                                        Mission to Mars: Photosynthesis presentations







1/26                                        Mission to Mars: Photosynthesis-HAB Construction-Final Design

                                                 Read these 3 articles:



                                                    Read about Mars soil "Regolith" and how it differs from soil on earth and why we are using simulated Martian Regolith for many of your plants


1/30                                        Objective: Mission to Mars: Photosynthesis -HAB Construction             

                                                 Read these 3 articles:



                                                 Read about Mars soil "Regolith" and how it differs from soil on earth and why we are using simulated Martian Regolith for many of your plants


2/1                                           Mission to Mars: Photosynthesis -HAB Construction     

2/5                                             Mission to Mars: HAB Construction

2/7                                           Mission to Mars: HAB Construction   






2/9                                           Objective:    Prepare HAB for plants/ Study Photosynthesis        link:

                                                    1. Know the structure/function of a plant leaf in detail

                                                    2. The Process of Photosynthesis in detail

                                                    3. Light-dependent reactions in detail

                                                    4. Light-independent reactions in detail

                                                    5. Recognize/diagram/describe the 3 types of photosynthesis

                                                    6. Watch Bozeman video on youtube to help prepare for Photosynthesis test           


2/13                                         Begin planting in HAB


2/20                                           Photosynthesis Testenlightened


2/26                                         Objectives: Recognizing Pathogens in plants





                                                                                Data Check:      Complete the Plant Data Gathering Chart  [Record in your white binders]

                                                                                 Also, add to your Data Chart:  

                                                                                 Measure girth and height of plants

                                                                                     Record any abiotic problems or identify pathogens and diseases in the plants.

                                                                                     Provide details of confirmation of pathogens and/or diseases present.

                                                                                     If abiotic problems or pathogens are detected have cultures been taken? Describe.

                                                                                     Record date of cultures and growth determined of cultures.

                                                                                     What treatments or alterations were necessary to improve plant condition? Describe.




2/28                                         Learn about "Cultivating Earthworms to Live in Regolith" and "Martian Regolith"





                                                                                                Break it Down... so We Can Better Understand:   

                                                                                                Read/Prepare to present to all: 








                                                                                                    * Continue collecting Plant Data 




3/2                                                                                Read...

                                                                                      Continue collecting plant data

                                                                                  *Making the Connection between class/world:  Biotechnology and Agriculture (you will be quizzed)

Biotechnology has applications in four major industrial areas, including health care (medical), crop production and agriculture, non-food (industrial) uses of crops and other products (e.g. biodegradable plastics, vegetable oil, biofuels), and environmental uses.                                  

Genetically modified crops ("GM crops", or "biotech crops") are plants used in agriculture, the DNA of which has been modified with genetic engineering techniques. In most cases, the aim is to introduce a new trait to the plant which does not occur naturally in the species.

Examples in food crops include resistance to certain pests, diseases, stressful environmental conditions, resistance to chemical treatments (e.g. resistance to a herbicide), reduction of spoilage, or improving the nutrient profile of the crop. Examples of non-food crops include the production of pharmaceutical agents, biofuels, and other industrially useful goods, as well as for bioremediation.

Farmers have widely adopted GM technology. Between 1996 and 2011, the total surface area of land cultivated with GM crops had increased by a factor of 94, from 17,000 square kilometers (4,200,000 acres) to 1,600,000 km2 (395 million acres). 10% of the world's crop lands were planted with GM crops in 2010. As of 2011, 11 different transgenic crops were grown commercially on 395 million acres (160 million hectares) in 29 countries such as the USA, Brazil, Argentina, India, Canada, China, Paraguay, Pakistan, South Africa, Uruguay, Bolivia, Australia, Philippines, Myanmar, Burkina Faso, Mexico and Spain. 

Genetically modified foods are foods produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA with the methods of genetic engineering. These techniques have allowed for the introduction of new crop traits as well as a far greater control over a food's genetic structure than previously afforded by methods such as selective breeding and mutation breeding. Commercial sale of genetically modified foods began in 1994 when Calgene first marketed its Flavr Savr delayed ripening tomato. To date, most genetic modification of foods has primarily focused on cash crops in high demand by farmers such as soybean, corn, canola, and cottonseed oil. These have been engineered for resistance to pathogens and herbicides and better nutrient profiles. GM livestock has also been experimentally developed, although as of November 2013 none are currently on the market.

There is a scientific consensus that currently available food derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food, but that each GM food needs to be tested on a case-by-case basis before introduction. Nonetheless, members of the public are much less likely than scientists to perceive GM foods as safe. The legal and regulatory status of GM foods varies by country, with some nations banning or restricting them, and others permitting them with widely differing degrees of regulation.

GM crops also provide a number of ecological benefits, if not used in excess. However, opponents have objected to GM crops per se on several grounds, including environmental concerns, whether food produced from GM crops is safe, whether GM crops are needed to address the world's food needs, and economic concerns raised by the fact these organisms are subject to intellectual property law.

Industrial biotechnology (known mainly in Europe as white biotechnology) is the application of biotechnology for industrial purposes, including industrial fermentation. It includes the practice of using cells such as micro-organisms, or components of cells like enzymes, to generate industrially useful products in sectors such as chemicals, food and feed, detergents, paper and pulp, textiles and biofuels.

In doing so, biotechnology uses renewable raw materials and may contribute to lowering greenhouse gas emissions and moving away from a petrochemical-based economy.

The environment can be affected by biotechnologies, both positively and adversely. Vallero and others have argued that the difference between beneficial biotechnology (e.g. bioremediation to clean up an oil spill or hazard chemical leak) versus the adverse effects stemming from biotechnological enterprises (e.g. flow of genetic material from transgenic organisms into wild strains) can be seen as applications and implications, respectively. Cleaning up environmental wastes is an example of an application of environmental biotechnology; whereas loss of biodiversity or loss of containment of a harmful microbe is an example of environmental implications of biotechnology.

Regulation of genetic engineering and Regulation of the release of genetically modified organisms
The regulation of genetic engineering concerns approaches taken by governments to assess and manage the risks associated with the use of genetic engineering technology, and the development and release of genetically modified organisms (GMO), including genetically modified crops and genetically modified fish. There are differences in the regulation of GMOs between countries, with some of the most marked differences occurring between the USA and Europe.  Regulation varies in a given country depending on the intended use of the products of the genetic engineering. For example, a crop not intended for food use is generally not reviewed by authorities responsible for food safety.  The European Union differentiates between approval for cultivation within the EU and approval for import and processing. While only a few GMOs have been approved for cultivation in the EU a number of GMOs have been approved for import and processing.  The cultivation of GMOs has triggered a debate about the coexistence of GM and non-GM crops. Depending on the coexistence regulations incentives for the cultivation of GM crops differ. 


3/6                                           Plant Data obtained

                                                  Presentations continue




3/8                                           Pop Quiz on Biotechnology Applications

                                                  Class Film: Bacterial Symbiosis






Lab #7  Microbiology in Biotechnology (In your lab Notebook)

1. What happens to the way plants grow if there are no microorganisms in the soil?

Take a sample of fertile soil from a field or garden and divide it into two portions.

Bake one in an oven (to destroy the microorganisms).

Leave the other portion alone as a control.

Plant the same number of seeds in each soil sample.

Remember to treat both samples the same while the plants are growing.

Make sure all the plants receive the same amounts of water and light and are kept at the same temperature.

Obtain working data for 6 weeks

How do the plants differ as they grow?

2. Are different plants affected in different ways by specific microorganisms?
Some microorganisms and plants form mutually beneficial partnerships.

For example, certain bacteria make a natural nitrogen fertilizer for plants in the family called legumes.

Peas, alfalfa, and soybeans are legumes.

Grow both legumes and non-legume plants with and without the bacteria.

Are there differences in how well the plants grow?

                                                  Continue planting in HAB/Plant Data obtained

                   About MARS  



Notes and facts about MARS

•    Mars is about 1.5 times further than the earth from the sun
•    Temperature is -87 to  -2 degrees Celsius
•    Diameter is about ½ earth diameter
•    Mars has no liquid water but does have frozen water
•    Mars has a very thin atmosphere
•    Mars is tilted like Earth and therefore has seasons
•    The land mass surface of Mars is the same as Earth’s dry land mass
•    Mars gravity is 40% of Earth’s gravity
•    1 orbit (1 year) of Mars is 687 days
•    Mar rotates once in 24 hours and 37 mins (1 day)
•    the usual concentration of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere is 21%
•    The usual concentration of CO2 in outdoor air is .05%
•    At 1% concentration of carbon dioxide CO2 (10,000 parts per million or ppm) and under continuous exposure at that level, such as in an auditorium filled with occupants and poor fresh air ventilation, some occupants are likely to feel drowsy.
•    The concentration of carbon dioxide must be over about 2% (20,000 ppm) before most people are aware of its presence unless the odor of an associated material (auto exhaust or fermenting yeast, for instance) is present at lower concentrations.
•    Above 2%, carbon dioxide may cause a feeling of heaviness in the chest and/or more frequent and deeper respirations.
•    If exposure continues at that level for several hours, minimal "acidosis" (an acid condition of the blood) may occur but more frequently is absent.
•    Breathing rate doubles at 3% CO2 and is four times the normal rate at 5% CO2.
•    Toxic levels of carbon dioxide: at levels above 5%, concentration CO2 is directly toxic. [At lower levels we may be seeing effects of a reduction in the relative amount of oxygen rather than direct toxicity       of CO2.]

3/12                           Objective:  Farming in Space Developing a Sustainable Food Supply on Mars (Case Study) 

Goal: The first manned mission on Mars has been already planned for the 20s of our century. It is clear that there will be only irregular re-visits in the first decade after the first successful mission. However, the implementation of the permanent manned missions is planned. The main purpose of those irregular missions is to launch the processes necessary for Mars inhabitance and terraforming. The most significant space agencies, such as NASA and ESA as well as several other prestigious science institutions (such as SpaceX) have been performing research concerning Mars Reconcile Program.

It is obvious that the primary stage for Mars terraforming is an introduction of the plants on the planet, in order to assure long-term food and oxygen supply of the living module - "Mars Hab". It is clear that the survival of the plants is crucial for the settlement of the artificial living environment, and stable functionality of the human habitats on the hostile planet. None the less, according to the opinion of NASA science teams, existing methods and techniques of the plant growth on Mars suffer from imperfection and require significant improvements.



                                  Problem Posed?    enlightened                           

                                   If you were limited to choosing only three crops to sustainably farm in an arid, inhospitable environment,

                       what would they be and how would you decide?         

                                 This interrupted case study places students in the role of a proposed self-sufficient Martian colony that requires an optimized profile of food crops. 


                                   Open case study:

                                    You will work in pairs for this activity. 

                                   Teacher presentation: So you want to go to Mars?



                                    Continue Case Study

                                    Continue obtaining Plant Data from the HAB 


3/16                          Continue Case Study

                                   Continue obtaining Obtain Plant Data from the HAB


                                   Scientists of Wageningen University & Research identified the Mars landing sites that are favorable for plant species to grow.

                                   Check out their research!


3/ 20                        Case Study due

                                   Plant Data from the HAB due

                                   Lab Notebooks due


3/22                         "The Martian" film concludes...   




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                                                                                 4th Quarter Lessons

4/3 -4/5     Biotechnology Reading



 Objective: Biological Technology                         

Biological Technology
Cleaning agents generally separate soils from fabric or surface substrate by dissolving or suspending them in a water or solvent liquid solution to be carried away when the solution is removed.
The cleaning action of the primary formulation components is supplemented by additives to optimize the performance of the cleaners.

Biological additives are used to break down organic soils into smaller particles so that the soils are more readily separated and emulsified by surfactants for subsequent removal. Low levels of residual organic soils may often remain on surfaces due to incomplete solubilization or suspension of embedded soils or incomplete rinsing of the surface. Biological additives impart a residual activity to the cleaned surface allowing for a slow removal of deeply embedded soils.

Biological additives function through the action of enzymes. Enzymes are organic catalysts found in nature. These catalysts hasten specific chemical reactions. Each enzyme selectively speeds the breakdown of a single type of chemical bond. Four classes of enzymes are commonly used in cleaning: (1) protease which breaks down protein, (2) amylase which breaks down starch; (3) lipase which degrades fats and oils, and (4) cellulase which breaks down cellulose. Enzymes are produced via fermentation and can be added to cleaning products formulations in the form of a stabilized extracellular enzyme concentrate or a wild-type beneficial microorganism that can produce the enzyme needed as required at the site of use. Beneficial microorganisms are able to detect the organic soils present and provided they have the genetic capability, produce the specific enzymes needed to degrade those organics.


What is Green Cleaning?
Green Cleaning – It’s not “Black & White.”
“Green” is a color. To our children, it’s what you get when you mix the primary colors, blue and yellow. To an Astronomer, it is the portion of electromagnetic radiation continuum with wavelengths of approximately 490 to 570 nanometers. To the EPA “green chemistry” means, “to promote innovative chemical technologies that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances in the design, manufacture, and use of chemical products.” Originally “green” meant the ingredients in cleaners were derived from plants and biodegraded easily after joining our waste streams (e.g. water treatment plants).

To the everyday person cleaning their home, “Green” simply means something better for the environment. Now, to define Green Cleaning we need to understand what “Better for the Environment” and “hazardous” means. And that is where the confusion and the opportunities lie. The Environment is a big place – as big as the Planet. Does “Green” mean safe for fish? Made from plants and not petroleum? Biodegradable? Good for the Air (less smog)? No carcinogens? Less waste in Landfills? Energy conservation? Water conservation? Sustainable ingredients?

The answer is Yes to all the above and more, provided the cleaning product still does what it was intended to do – and that is to Clean! A cleaner that does not clean well is not good for the environment. It is a waste of resources and energy which is very “un-green”. There are plenty of NGOs (non-governmental organizations), EPA initiatives, non-U.S. country guidelines, etc., that are setting standards and reviewing chemical ingredients and cleaners.

However, there are no standards that, if met, have been proven to be better for the environment. Also, it is very difficult to prove a cleaner is “hazardous” to the environment. It depends on why, how and how often it is used – not just the ingredients it contains. A useful definition to help us evaluate cleaners  is “Risk = Exposure x Hazard.” Any “green” standard that does not take into account exposure is incomplete. The good news is that Environmental Groups, State legislators, the EPA and Industry are working together on continual improvement of the cleaners we use. Although the term “Green” has been with us for only the last decade or so, developing more environmentally-sound cleaning products has been the norm since the 1950s!

We learned that the biodegradability of cleaning ingredients was important in the 1950s. Industry removed ozone-harming chemicals from aerosols in the 1970s. Laws were passed to limit the use of Phosphorus in household cleaners due to Eutrophication beginning in the 1970s and continues today. All of these are examples of green initiatives that took place long before “green” came into vogue. Cleaning products have been becoming “greener” every decade – we are just finally talking about it and measuring “how green”. So what is “Green Cleaning?” It is taking all the “yellow” and “blue” nuances of the chemistry, processing, packaging, and disposal that go into creating and using a cleaning product and balancing them for environmentally safe and efficient cleaning. Green Cleaning is the commitment to make, use and dispose of cleaners with People, the Environment and Sustainability in mind.

Enzyme Science Link: 

A biological product is a formulation that includes one or more living beneficial microorganisms and is used for a wide variety of environmentally beneficial tasks such as waste treatment, cleaning, and odor control.

Microorganisms (such as bacteria or fungi) are naturally occurring, are ubiquitous (found everywhere) and are necessary for our environment to function.  At a very fundamental level, these microorganisms are harmless to humans, animals, and the environment.  Clearly, there are several pathogenic bacteria that present a public health risk (e.g. MRSA,  E. coli, Salmonella, etc.) but, it’s easy to forget that most microorganisms are beneficial and are necessary for survival. It is estimated that there are between 500 and 1,000 different species of bacteria in and on your body, each hard at work digesting your breakfast, producing vitamins required to keep you healthy, and boosting your immune system to help stave off illness.  This is the definition of a symbiotic relationship; beneficial microorganisms thrive off the organics that our bodies produce as waste by-products and in return provide vital vitamins and nutrients along with performing necessary functions that keep all of us happy and healthy.

Beyond our own bodies, beneficial microorganisms are also hard at work maintaining the critical cycles of life in nature. They break down organic materials (e.g. compost pile), help plants grow and thrive, and some even degrade toxic chemicals. As we have come to understand the great power of microorganisms, scientists have discovered ways to harness the talents of these beneficial microorganisms to do things like ferment wine, break down man-made waste, and enhance the effectiveness of cleaning and odor control products. The inclusion of beneficial microorganisms in many of the food and other consumer products which we use on a daily basis has been growing significantly. An excellent example of this is the use of microorganisms in foods such as yogurt, salami, cheese, and many others.

Biological products that contain beneficial microorganisms are safe for humans, animals, and the environment.

Some of the benefits of biological products:

Better stain removal
Waste degradation
Odor control
Deep cleaning
Grease removal
Drain and grease trap maintenance
Septic system maintenance
Increased fabric whiteness
Pest control

Home-Made Alternative Mixtures
Commercial vs. Home-Brewed:  The “Dirt” on Alternative Cleaners
If you’ve been channel surfing recently, you’ve probably seen all kinds of do-it-yourself shows.  From customizing your ride to building your own swimming pool, it seems like you can make almost anything yourself these days.  But what about cleaning products? It’s a fact that cleaning dirty surfaces in your home requires safe and effective household cleaning products.  Fortunately, the shelves at your local grocery store are filled with thousands of products that do just that.  If you need to clean it, you’ll find a product that was specially formulated to get the job done.

The recent do-it-yourself trend is inspiring many people to “brew at home,” avoiding commercially produced household cleaners in favor of home-brewed products that they believe are safer for the environment or less expensive.  Everyone wants to save money, and it feels good to do something healthy for the planet, but are homemade alternatives really the answer?
Let’s review the facts…

What is an Alternative Cleaner?
An alternative cleaner is a cleaning product that is not commercially produced.  Usually, these products are made at home using ingredients that are supposedly safer or more effective than the ones you find on store shelves.   But, despite what you may have heard, “safe” and “unsafe” has more to do with how you use a product than what is in a product.

Some alternative cleaners use common household ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, or lemon juice.  While vinegar and lemon juice certainly don’t pose a threat to you or your family, these ingredients are not quite as effective as commercially produced cleaners or as convenient.  First, you have to mix your own concoction in an unmarked container versus using a ready-to-use product with use directions.  Next, the resulting mixture may produce an odor, require you to work harder or use more of the product to accomplish the same result as a commercially formulated product, and may leave a sticky residue behind.  Your alternative product may be simpler but it is not as effective or as convenient as a commercial product.

Other types of homebrewed cleaners can create potentially unsafe circumstances in your home.  It is never a good idea to use commercially produced cleaners to create your own “super cleaners.”  Even if you dozed a little during chemistry class, you probably remember learning about chemicals and their properties – what they are made of, what they do, and how they react with other chemicals.  You probably also recall being warned about unsafe combinations.  The same goes for cleaning products.  For example, if you mix a bleach-based cleaner with an acid-based cleaner (like tub and tile cleaner), you will create chlorine gas, which can make you sick or even kill you.
Commercial cleaners are made of many different chemicals, and experimenting with them should be left to the experts, who know what’s safe to combine.
Let’s compare the facts and see how commercial products and the alternatives measure up.

Formula Safety and Stability:

Commercial products are tested and created to meet strict government safety standards.  Testing ensures that the chemicals are compatible and will remain stable over time.
Alternative cleaners are not tested or held to any standards.  Even some of the most common home-made mixtures may not be stable for storage and could even become breeding grounds for bacteria.  Even some common home-made mixtures can be unstable by releasing gas and building up the pressure in a closed container.

Packaging Safety and Compatibility:

The child-resistant packaging on commercially produced products helps protect your family’s safety.
Home-brewed products are not stored in child-resistant containers, posing an unintentional exposure hazard to young children.  Natural ingredients like Borax have been suggested for all kinds of household cleaning purposes, but it can still be harmful if ingested.

Quality Control:

Commercial products are manufactured with quality control procedures.  That means that they’ve been checked and double-checked for proper ingredients in correct amounts, and they are packaged in safe and appropriate containers.
Home-made mixtures are not quite as consistent.  You may get a slightly different concoction – and slightly different results – every time.

Instructions for Safe Use:

Commercially formulated cleaners include clearly written instructions and detailed precautionary information for safe use.  Warning labels let you know about potential hazards and how to avoid them.
Home-brewed cleaners, which are not professionally labeled, do not provide information about the product, its ingredients, or proper use and safety.

Home and Environmental Safety:

Commercial cleaners are tested to make sure that they are compatible with items in your home.  They have also been tested to ensure that they are safe for the environment during use and disposal.
Untested homemade mixtures may have unforeseen consequences, such as damaging your kitchen counters or stripping the finish from your brand new wood floors.  Their effect on the environment may be unknown.

Emergency Treatment:

Labels on commercial products include first aid and medical information.  The ingredients in these products are well-known to poison control centers, which are therefore able to give sound treatment advice.  They even include 1-800 numbers for accidental ingestion or misuse.
Unlabeled alternative products have no warnings or ingredient lists.  Emergency treatment could be difficult since poison control centers do not have product information ahead of time.


Commercial products are carefully tested and evaluated for their effectiveness.  In addition, products designed to address health issues (like antimicrobials, and pest management products) are subject to strict government-imposed efficacy testing requirements.
Homebrews are not evaluated by anyone and are not as safely effective as commercial products.  The lack of testing and standards can produce inferior results and even create unsafe conditions at home.

Understanding Your Alternatives
Many alternative cleaners are not as effective as store-bought cleaners, and some of them may become unstable over time.  If you need a do-it-yourself project, try repainting a room in your house or building something in the backyard.  Or you could always clean something.   But remember that a healthy environment starts with the responsible use of ANY product.

Below is a side by side comparison chart to help you understand the differences between Commercial Products vs. Home-Made Alternative Products.

COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS                                                                                                                             HOME-MADE ALTERNATIVE PRODUCTS

Must meet Federal and State Safety Regulations                                                                                          Not subject to any safety regulations
Labels contain all use directions and precautions for safe use                                                                   Labeling is not present and/or does not reflect use or precautions for safe use
Product ingredients are known to poison control centers

who can readily advise consumers in the event of accidental ingestion                                                   Ingredients and their combination may not be known to poison control centers so that consumer advice may not be accurate nor easily communicated in the event of an accidental ingestion                        Child-resistant packaging and closures are provided where needed     Packaging is not usually tested nor                                                                                                                                                                                        provided with child-resistant closures
Packaging is tested extensively for formulation compatibility and resistance to

damage from the point of manufacture to consumer use                                                                            Packaging is not tested for formulation compatibility nor damage during transport and use
Product formulations are stable and undergo extensive testing for stability and shelf life                  Products may degrade in the package and are generally not tested for stability nor shelf life
Preservatives and antimicrobial agents are often added to prevent bacterial growth                           

in the final product.                                                                                                                                               Antibacterial agents or preservatives are not added to prevent bacterial growth or chemical reactions                                                                                                                          
Final products undergo extensive performance testing for their intended use and

when used as directed will not harm the surfaces or goods on which they are used                              Valuable possessions and surfaces can be harmed as products are not generally tested for performance                                                                                                                                                                                          and may not have any use directions
Quality is carefully monitored and manufacturing standards are known                                                Most consumers are not sufficiently knowledgeable to control the quality
Products are evaluated extensively for safety and environmental compatibility                                    Product safety and environmental compatibility is not tested and often not known

Obtain Plant data

Establish new plants for cuttings


4/11/18      Genetics Review: Review Basic Concepts of Sexual and Asexual Reproduction and inheritance as well as Genetic Engineering


4/13/18      Genetics Exam




Lab #8        Clean Water Lab    


                        Collect Lab data in the Lab Notebook

                        Collect Plant data in binders    



4/23/18          Clean water lab continues

                          Collect data in binders   

                           Read information below

Role of Biotechnology in Water and Wastewater Technology

Environmental biotechnology "manages microbial communities to provide services to society." The key services today include detoxifying contaminated water and soil to reclaim lost resources and converting diffuse energy in biomass to forms easily used by society. Two timely examples are the reduction of oxidized water contaminants (e.g., nitrate, perchlorate, and chlorinated solvents) and the production of methane, hydrogen, electricity, ethanol, and biodiesel. The key science underlying environmental biotechnology is microbial ecology, which has advanced rapidly in the past 20 years through the proliferation of new DNA-and RNA-based techniques to characterize the communities' structure and function. The molecular methods provide detailed information that helps us understand what aspects of the microbial community need to be managed to ensure that it provides the desired service. Often, we are able to achieve the management goals through partnering the microorganisms with modern materials and physical/chemical processes. Introduction I define environmental biotechnology as "managing microbial communities to provide services to society." Most of the services can be broken into two major categories (Rittmann, 2006a): • Microbial communities can detoxify contaminants in water, soils, sediment, and sludge. This allows society to reclaim their resource value. • Microbial communities can convert the energy value in various types of biomass from its diffuse and sometimes hazardous form to energy outputs that are readily used by human society: e.g., methane, hydrogen, electricity, ethanol, and biodiesel. Common to both types of services is that they are based on microbially catalyzed oxidation and reduction reactions. Although oxidation and reduction form the basis for all life, microorganisms possess unparalleled capabilities to do oxidation and reductions reactions that provide them with energy to grow and human society with valuable services. Here, I focus on the value of the reduction products. Environmental biotechnology is a special case of the larger field of biotechnology. One thing that distinguished environmental biotechnology from the other parts of biotechnology is that its science base is the field of microbial ecology (Rittmann and McCarty, 2001; Rittmann et al., 2006). As a science, microbial ecology aims to characterize microbial communities in terms of • what types of microorganisms are present (its phylogenetic structure) • what metabolic reactions these microorganisms carry out (its metabolic function) • how the microorganisms interact with each other and their environment. In most cases, the metabolic reactions constitute the services to society. The past ~20 years have yielded remarkable advancements in DNA-and RNA-based tools that allow us to characterize the communities in these ways, and this has led to the discovery of new microorganisms, new metabolic capabilities, and new biotechnologies (Rittmann et al., 2006).


Microbial biotechnologies for potable water production
Sustainable Development Goal 6 requires the provision of safe drinking water to the world. We propose that increased exploitation of biological processes is fundamental to achieving this goal due to their low economic and energetic costs. Biological processes exist for the removal of most common contaminants, and biofiltration processes can establish a biologically stable product that retains high quality in distribution networks, minimizing opportunities for pathogen invasion.

The WHO suggests that humans require an absolute minimum of 7.5 L of water per day, while a minimum of about 20 L of water per person per day is recommended to ensure adequate hygienic standards. With a population of 7.5 billion, this works out to 150 billion liters of safe freshwater daily, globally. Much more than this is generally consumed in developed nations, while less than adequate amounts of safe water are available in some regions. Although sufficient freshwater resources exist to meet global water needs, the major limitation is the lack of infrastructure in some regions for production and distribution of safe water. The global provision of safe water is a key aim of UN Sustainable development goal (SDG) 6, but this goal also intersects closely with SDG 13, climate change, requiring energy efficiency and minimal GHG emissions, and SDG 12, requiring sustainable global water consumption and production patterns and reductions in pollution of water resources. Safe drinking water has a quality that would not present any significant risk to health over a lifetime of consumption. While physical and chemical disinfection processes may remain essential to reduce the pathogenic burden during water treatment, we believe that increased exploitation of microbiological processes for drinking water treatment is the most sustainable way forward for the global provision of safe water. Biological drinking water treatment processes are available for the removal of a wide range of chemical contaminants, are less costly and less energy intensive than advanced chemical or physical treatment methods and are robust over a wide range of operating conditions and water qualities. Furthermore, they reduce the use of potentially hazardous chemicals and typically result in complete mineralization of contaminants, rather than concentration in a waste stream, which then necessitates specialized treatment and/or disposal. In addition, recent and ongoing research indicates that providing biologically stable water can be accomplished by fostering the presence of a natural resident, non‐pathogenic drinking water microbiome that can resist pathogen invasion in water supplies, which can be achieved through the use of biological drinking water treatment processes.


Clean Air and Water, Green Products: Brought to You by Biotechnology
In recognition of Earth Day, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) is encouraging people to think beyond the usual ways we can help our planet by highlighting ten ways biotechnology is helping to save the planet.  The biotechnology industry plays a fundamental role in developing sustainable solutions for many of today’s most critical environmental concerns.  Biotech breakthroughs help reduce air emissions and water pollution while enabling the development of sustainable, Earth-friendly products.

“Earth Day is a day to appreciate the beauty and health of our planet and recognize the critical role each of us must play to sustain it,” said BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood.  “I am proud to recognize and celebrate the innovative products and technologies made by the men and women of the biotechnology community that are helping to increase the environmental sustainability of our planet for generations to come.”

Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology

New industrial and environmental biotechnology advances are helping to make manufacturing processes cleaner and more efficient by reducing toxic chemical pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.  Additionally, renewable biofuels from algae and other cellulosic materials decrease greenhouse gases while reducing our dependence on oil.  Bioplastic is another product that is available today and can substitute for petroleum-based plastics, replacing waste destined for a landfill with biodegradable, compostable consumer products. 

“People already know they can recycle things like plastic and that companies can take action to clean up their pollution,” stated Brent Erickson, executive vice president, Industrial and Environmental Section, BIO.  “What biotechnology has enabled us to do is eliminate toxic pollutants and petroleum-based products before they ever make it into our atmosphere, streams or landfills.”

Developments in Food and Agriculture

Agricultural biotechnology allows farmers to grow more food on existing farmland while reducing water and fuel consumption.  New developments allow farmers to address the challenges of producing food in less-than-adequate growing conditions with drought and flood-resistant crops.  In fact, growing biotech crops can actually help enhance air, water and soil quality and overall sustainability.  Agricultural biotechnology allows farmers to use less pesticide on their crops and helps reduce soil tillage, fossil fuel use, and runoff from farmers’ fields.

“The cultivation of food and crops affects everyone on the planet; not just by bringing food to their plates, but also ensuring that we’re doing it in the most environmentally friendly way possible to encourage the best use of our limited resources,” said Sharon Bomer, executive vice president, Food and Agriculture Section, BIO.  “Through farming practices like no-till agriculture and crops that can thrive even on marginal land, biotechnology is helping to feed and fuel the world in a much more sustainable manner.” 

Ten Ways Biotech is Helping to Save the Planet

Cellulosic biofuel, made from cellulose in wood, grasses, or the non-edible parts of plants- such as cornstalks- can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 85 percent compared to gasoline.  (Biotechnology Industry Organization.

Biotech is creating biodegradable plastics made from renewable sources.  These plastics are versatile and help us reduce our use of petrochemicals. (Barnett, Ron. “Biodegradable plastic made from plants, not oil, is emerging.” USA Today, Dec. 26, 2008.)

If all plastics were made from biobased polylactic acid, oil consumption would decrease by 90–145 million barrels per year—or about as much oil as the United States consumes in one week (Biotechnology Industry Organization. “New Biotech Tools for a Cleaner Environment.”

Biofuel from cellulose generates eight to 10 times as much net energy as is required for its production. (Biotechnology Industry Organization. “New Biotech Tools for a Cleaner Environment.”

Algae does not compete with food production and can be transformed into a variety of renewable fuels, including biodiesel, cooking oil and jet fuel.  (Biotechnology Industry Organization. “Biofuels: The Promise of Algae.”

Biotech is developing drought-resistant crops, enabling agricultural production to withstand adverse growing conditions. Researchers recently tested cutting-edge biotech plants by subjecting them to drought conditions of 70% less water than normal. They survived with almost no loss in yield. (Council for Biotechnology Information. “The Search for ‘More Crop Per Drop.’”

Pest-resistant biotech crops have reduced global pesticide applications by 630 million pounds.  (Biotechnology Industry Organization.

Biotech crops can be grown using no-till farming, which increases soil retention of carbon two or three times that of standard farming practices, causing less emissions of the harmful greenhouse gas. (Biotechnology Industry Organization.

By reducing the need for energy-intensive tilling, biotech crops have decreased fuel consumption on farms by 551 million gallons. (Biotechnology Industry Organization., PG Economics Ltd,

Processing just 30 percent of U.S. corn stover into biofuels would reduce net U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 90 to 150 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent each year, enough to offset the CO2 emissions of 10 typical coal-fired power plants. (Biotechnology Industry Organization. “Achieving Sustainable Production of Agriculture Biomass for Biorefinery Feedstock.”

All of these technologies allow for hope in the uphill battle to protect our environment.  With biotechnology, we can build a greener, cleaner, and more responsible future.  To learn more, please visit

Contact Information: 
Jeff Joseph

How Does Biotechnology Help Clean Up The Environment?
• Microbes break down many chemicals in the environment. Sewage treatment
plants harness these microbial recyclers to clean up wastewater before it
returns to streams, lakes, and groundwater. Some sewage plants also collect
methane made by the microbes and use the methane to fuel generators,
digesters, and air compressors.

• Another use is bioremediation - using microbes to clean up oil or chemical
spills, such as gasoline leaking from an underground tank.

• A third use is biopulping - using selected fungi to soften wood chips in the
process of making paper, with the goal of using less energy and fewer
chemicals. Biopulping is still experimental.

• A cleaner alternative to using fossil fuels is using renewable resources such as
whey and corn to produce plastics and ethanol (gasohol). And, by selecting
natural organisms, or the genes from those organisms, to combat crop insect
pests and diseases, farmers can reduce pollution by using fewer chemicals.




View the class video on Biotechnology techniques and  Inside Biosphere 2

Collect plant data in lab notebook and binder




collect plant data in lab notebook and binders


5/1/18        Super Testing


5/3/18         Professional Study Day: The Martian film concludes


5/7/18         Human Sexuality Lesson 1



5/9/18         Super Testing Day


5/11/18        Individual Presentations assigned


 Molecular Clocks
1.    Molecular clocks apply mutation rates to timescales in order to estimate when two individuals or types of organisms most recently shared ancestors.     Parsimony analysis selects likely evolutionary trees from DNA data.

Neanderthals Revisited
2.    Molecular clocks have been used to examine the relationship of Neanderthals to modern humans. Analysis of available DNA sequence data suggests that humans and Neanderthals did interbreed. Mitochondrial DNA analysis suggests that Neanderthals and modern humans last shared a common ancestor 550,000 to 700,000 years ago.

Choosing Clues
3.    Genes change (mutate) at different rates. Sometimes different conclusions arise from comparing different sequences.  Mitochondrial DNA clocks trace maternal lineages, and Y chromosome sequences trace paternal lineages. Mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosomal DNA support an "out of Africa" origin of Homo sapiens about 200,000 years ago.   An "out of Mongolia" model for the origin of Native Americans is supported by mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosomal DNA. Contributions from other Siberian populations are evident.

4.    Eugenics is the control of individual reproduction for societal goals.  In the early twentieth century, several different eugenic policies were promoted and implemented.
       Positive eugenic policies aimed to maximize the genetic contribution of those deemed acceptable or superior (positive eugenics). Negative eugenics policies were designed to minimize the contribution of those considered inferior. The goal of genetic screening is to alleviate human suffering rather than to change society. Laws have been proposed and passed in many nations around the world to prevent genetic discrimination.

Genetics of Immunity

5.  The Importance of Cell Surfaces.  Foreign antigens (molecules) elicit an immune response from a host.  Antibodies and cytokines produced by the immune system attack foreign antigens.     As many as 20,000 genes in the human genome may be, directly or indirectly, involved in an immune response.

Blood Groups. 

6.    Results of early transfusions were inconsistent. With the discovery of human blood groups systems, properly matched donor and recipient types resulted in successful transfusions.  Blood types, including the ABO groups, Rh factor, and others, result from self-antigen patterns on red blood cells.  Rh incompatibility may put a fetus at risk. RhoGAM can be used to prevent Rh incompatibility.

The Human Leukocyte Antigens
7.    In addition to blood group antigens, a large number of cell surface molecules are recognized by the immune system.  Many of the cell surface proteins that help to establish immunity are encoded by the approximately seventy genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) located on chromosome 6 in humans. Class I and II genes of the MHC encode human leukocyte antigens (HLA). Class III genes produce plasma proteins involved in the immune response.


8.    HLA antigens on leukocytes are involved in the processing of foreign antigens. HLA proteins are each encoded by several genes with many alleles and as a result only 2 in every 20,000 unrelated people match for the six major HLA genes by chance. Individuals with certain HLA combinations have an increased risk of developing certain HLA-linked diseases.

 The Immune System
9.    At the cellular level, the immune system consists of various types of lymphocytes and macrophages.  The immune response consists of an immediate, generalized, innate immunity and a slower, more specific adaptive immunity. ears, and saliva are examples of physical and chemical barriers that keep pathogens from entering the body. Pathogens that breach this barrier encounter an innate immune response consisting of inflammation, phagocytosis, complement, collectins, and cytokines.

10. The Adaptive (Acquired) Immune Response.18.    The innate response is rapid (minutes) while the acquired immune response must be stimulated to action and takes days to respond.  The acquired immune response is divided into the humoral and cellular immune responses. Both of these responses differ from the innate immune response in that they are more complex, highly specific and each has a cellular component with memory. The humoral response involves B cells that secrete antibodies in order to neutralize, clump, and stimulate the destruction of pathogens by recognizing and binding specific foreign antigens.   Antibodies are made of Y-shaped polypeptides consisting of constant and variable regions.  The astounding diversity of antibody binding activities is due to a shuffling of gene pieces (exons) encoding antibody polypeptide products in B cells. 

Abnormal Immunity

11. Inherited Immune Deficiencies. Inherited immune deficiencies represent defects in the genes that encode proteins involved in immunity. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome  is caused by HIV.  HIV replicates very rapidly, and T cell production matches it until the immune system is overwhelmed and AIDS begins. HIV is a retrovirus that injects its RNA into host cells by binding receptors. Reverse transcriptase then copies viral RNA into DNA. HIV uses the cell’s protein synthesis machinery to mass produce itself; then the cell bursts, releasing the virus. Reverse transcriptase and protease inhibitors have been effective in slowing down HIV.  A new fusion inhibitor was introduced in 2002.  HIV continually mutates and may become resistant to drugs.

12.    In autoimmune disorders, autoantibodies attack healthy tissue.  These conditions may be caused by a virus that borrows a self-antigen, T-cells that never learn to recognize self, or healthy cells bearing antigens that resemble nonself antigens.  Some conditions thought to be autoimmune may actually reflect an immune system response to retained fetal cells.  Mutations in some genes may present the symptoms of an autoimmune disease. 5.    An overly sensitive immune system causes allergies. In an allergic reaction, allergens bind to IgE antibodies on mast cells, which release allergy mediators.  A subset of helper T cells secrete cytokines that contribute to allergy symptoms.

Altering Immune Function

13. Vaccines are disabled pathogens or their parts that elicit an immune response, protecting against infection by the active pathogen. Detail the process.

14. Autografts transfer tissue from one part of a person's body to another.  Isografts are tissue transfers between identical twins.  Allografts involve tissue transfers between members of the same species. These transplants can cause tissue rejection reactions.  A Xenograft is a cross-species transplant. A danger of these transplants is that they can set off a hyperacute rejection.  Graft-versus-host disease involves a rejection of recipient tissues by transplanted bone marrow.  The success rate of transplants is improved by the use of immunosuppressive drugs, by stripping antigens from donor tissue, and by matching donor to the recipient.

A Genomic View of Immunity-The Pathogen's Perspective
15.    Analyzing the genomes of pathogens may reveal the molecular basis of pathogenesis. Crowd Diseases readily spread through populations and can cause epidemics.
   Native populations with no immunity can be devastated by the introduction of new diseases.

16.    A variety of pathogens have been adapted to military use including anthrax.



Biotechnology Lab #10   Working with Planaria  

 Objective: How do planarians adapt to their environments?

Planaria are common to many parts of the world, living in both saltwater and freshwater ponds and rivers. Some species are terrestrial and are found under logs, in or on the soil, and on plants in humid areas.

The planarian's body is covered in beating cilia on the ventral dermis and moves by swimming with an undulating motion or by laying down a layer of mucus over which it slides. It feeds on both dead material and smaller organisms. Land planarians devour earthworms, slugs, insect larvae, and are cannibalistic. Prey is located by chemoreceptors located in a single ciliated pit under the head or in a ciliated ventral groove. Struggling prey are held to the substrate and entangled in slimy secretions from the planarian.Its mouth is located in the middle of its body and feeds with a muscular tube extending from its mouth called a pharynx. The pharynx is protruded from the mouth and into the prey. Food is sucked into the pharynx, passes through the intestine, and is excreted back through the pharynx. Food is reduced to small particles prior to entering the gastrovascular cavity.The food particles are taken by epithelial cells in amoeboid fashion and formed into food vacuoles. Planaria store food in digestive epithelium and can survive many weeks shrinking slowly in size without feeding. They are capable of utilizing their own tissues such as reproductive tissue for food when reserves are exhausted.

Chemical wastes are eliminated through ducts that run the length of the body. Each duct contains many flame cells, which help to move the waste out of the body. Planarians have a cephalized nervous system (meaning it is centralized in a head-like region). They are able to sense differences in light due to eye spots and can sense touch, taste, and smell. The information is received in the ganglia, two clusters of nerve cells that act as a simple brain.

Planarians have a surprising ability to learn. They can learn to do things such as finding a way through a maze. Their memory is stored chemically, which means one planarian can learn by eating another planarian that already possesses information.

Planarians can reproduce both sexually and asexually but most commonly sexually. They are hermaphrodites, meaning they have both male and female parts which also allows them to reproduce faster. As Planaria are hermaphrodites, possessing both testes and ovaries, they can reproduce asexually with their own gametes or sexually with another planarian. In asexual reproduction, the planarian detaches its tail end and each half regrows the lost parts by regeneration. However several problems can occur with this, so this does not happen very often. Instead, in sexual reproduction, each planarian transports its excretion to the other planarian, giving and receiving sperm. Eggs develop inside the body and are shed in capsules. Weeks later, the eggs hatch and grow into adults. Sexual reproduction is desirable because it enhances the survival of the species by increasing the level of genetic diversity.


The most amazing thing about planarians is their ability to regenerate lost body parts. As shown below, planarians can be cut in half and grow to form two new organisms. It is also possible to cut one part, resulting in a two-headed planarian. For example, a planarian split lengthwise or crosswise will regenerate into two separate individuals.


Species similar to the 1/2 Inch long (1.27-cm) Dugesia tigrina, the most common planarian in the United States, are much studied in classrooms and laboratories for their additional capacity to reproduce asexually by transverse rupture of the body: a rupture line develops behind the mouth, and while the back half of the worm is anchored, the front half moves forward until the worm snaps in half. Each half regenerates the missing parts. Such planarians can also regenerate parts that are cut from the body. Planarians are classified in the phylum Platyhelminthes, class Turbellaria, order Tricladida. Planaria are non-parasitic flatworms of the biological family Planariidae, belonging to the order Seriata.



Objective: Staying Young: Regeneration in Planarians       Regeneration /Biotechnological Engineering




Many animals can regenerate—that is, regrow or grow new parts of their bodies to replace those that have been damaged. Here are a few of these amazing creatures.

A. Lizards who lose all or part of their tails can grow new ones. This is a good escape technique. A lost tail will continue to wiggle, which might distract the predator and give the lizard a chance to escape. Most lizards will have regrown their tail within nine months.

B. Sea cucumbers have bodies that can grow to be three feet long. If cut into pieces, each one can become a new sea cucumber.

C. Sharks continually replace lost teeth. A shark may grow 24,000 teeth in a lifetime.

D. Spiders can regrow missing legs or parts of legs.

E. Sponges can be divided. In that case, the cells of the sponge will regrow and combine exactly as before.

F. Starfish that lose arms can grow new ones; sometimes an entire animal can grow from a single lost arm.

G. Planarians are flatworms. If cut into pieces, each piece can grow into a new worm.


 Biotechnology Lab #11             Do electromagnetic waves effect the regeneration of planaria?





Reviewfor Final Exam

5/23/18    Study all concepts relating to the cell: Cell membrane, cell-mediated transportation, cellular signaling, electroporation

                                                                                        Origin/characteristics of life

                                                                                         Photosynthesis process

                                                                                         Biotechnology applications



                                                                                          Life on Mars/How to sustain/Problems in sustaining life    

Go back through readings/modules of these items previously covered in class.                                             


Final Exam will cover all material from the beginning of the year. Congratulations on completing Biotechnology 2