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Unit 19: Biotechnology

About this unit

What is biotechnology? Well, if you've ever taken the antibiotic penicillin or eaten bread made with yeast, you've experienced it firsthand! Biotechnology is the use of a living organism, or some component of a living system, to make a useful product. Learn more about modern biotechnology and how it is used in research and biomedical applications.

Check your understanding of biotechnology!


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What is biotechnology? Learn how biotechnology can include a wide range of products and applications, from penicillin to beer to gene therapy, and get an overview of modern DNA technologies.
What is DNA cloning? Hint: It's not the same thing as cloning an organism! DNA cloning involves making many copies of a target DNA sequence, usually using bacterial cells as tiny factories. Learn about this process and how it can be used to make medically important products, such as insulin or human growth hormone.
We talk a lot about DNA being important in biology. But how do we actually copy, sequence, or visualize pieces of DNA? Learn about common laboratory techniques used for these purpose
Stem cells are cells that have the potential to give rise to many different cell types. Stem cells have many potential applications in medicine, but there are also questions and ethical considerations surrounding their use. Learn more about the properties of stem cells.