PCR is a series of temperature-controlled reactions which enable us to amplify a very tiny sample of DNA, producing enough material for it to be analysed or used in DNA profiling.
Cells which can divide repeatedly without becoming differentiated and have the capacity to develop into a diverse range of specialised cell types.
This indicates that an animal or plant has had its genetic makeup altered in some way. This is often by combining the genes from different organisms to produce an organism with desirable characteristics
Genetic engineering involves changing the DNA of an organism, usually by deleting, inserting or editing a gene to produce desired characteristics.
Reusable protein molecules which act as biological catalysts, changing the rate of chemical reactions in the body without being affected themselves
Deoxyribonucleic acid. This is the molecule which contains the genetic code. It coils up tightly inside chromosomes. DNA is a double helix made from two strands which are joined together by pairs of bases.
The use of biological organisms or enzymes to create, break down or transform a material.
Biotechnology is the use of biological organisms or enzymes in the synthesis, breakdown or transformation of materials.
Biotechnology includes a whole range of processes, from the traditional production of cheeses, wine, bread and beer to the latest technologies that manipulate the DNA to produce genetically modified organisms which can be used to synthesise medicines or other chemicals for medical use.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the medical developments with the greatest potential to improve human health are all linked to biotechnology.
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There are a number of interactive features in this e-source:
A list of often difficult or specialised words with their definitions.