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Polymerase chain reaction

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.

Stem cells

Cells which can divide repeatedly without becoming differentiated and have the capacity to develop into a diverse range of specialised cell types.

Genetically modified

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

Genetic engineering involves changing the DNA of an organism, usually by deleting, inserting or editing a gene to produce desired characteristics.

Enzymes

Reusable protein molecules which act as biological catalysts, changing the rate of chemical reactions in the body without being affected themselves

DNA

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.

Biotechnology

The use of biological organisms or enzymes to create, break down or transform a material.

Biotechnology

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.

Contents

Click here to download the Biotechnology poster shown below.

biotechnology poster

To order a free set of ABPI schools posters on the following topics: biotechnology, cloning, genetic engineering, unravelling the genome, polymerase chain reaction and stem cells, please fill in our order form.

How to use this site

There are a number of interactive features in this e-source:

    Glossary

    A list of often difficult or specialised words with their definitions.

  • A glossary of terms: any word with a glossary entry is highlighted like this.
  • Quick questions: at the end of most pages or sections there is a question or set of quick questions to test your understanding.
  • Animations: most of the animations can be expanded to full screen size, ideal for showing on an interactive whiteboard. The animations will play all the way through or can be viewed one section at a time.
  • Downloads: Teachers can download individual diagrams, animations and other content from the Download Library area of the website. Terms and Conditions apply.