Improving life with biology?

Your task is to pick an area of biotechnology that is or was intended to improve the quality of life.

On Thursday....

  • Do some searching
  • Keep track of useful search terms
  • Keep a bread crumb trail of useful sites that you find, what you learn, and where it leads you.
  • At the end of the period, write a summary of what you learned.
  • I will reply, provide some questions and/or direction Thursday night.

Mrs. Sandbo's Breadcrumb Trail

At first, I thought I wanted to research the role of DNA with organ transplants because I heard about this topic on NPR recently. So, I did a search for DNA + organ transplants + + personalized medicine + NPR

1. I found a link to a story called “would you accept DNA from a murder?” It talked about the possibility of people experiencing changes after having organ transplants. It sounded really interested, but didn’t focus on DNA research

2. I changed directions after looking at the links from my search and changed my keywords to DNA and organ transplants.

3. I found an article about using DNA sequencing to detect early organ rejection written by the National Human Genome Research Project

4. I followed a link in this article to information about single nucleotide polymorphisms, and went to

5. This page provided interesting about these molecules as well as Francis Collin’s research with Cystic Fibrosis.

I decided to focus my research on using gene therapy to cure cystic fibrosis.

6. I found a resource we covered in Advanced Biology at the Learn Genetics site, so I reviewed that information at, which lead me to….


Today I learned…..

Tomorrow, I am going to specifically focus on...

As you explore,

  • Steer yourself toward topics that include information about DNA technology.
  • Keep track of the timeline -- it is OK to go back in history, focus on the present, or dream about the future, but know where you are.
  • Look for areas of misunderstanding and/or controversy.
  • Look for evidence that this technology has/had the potential to improve quality of life.
  • Look for questions that arise.
  • Keep track of useful resources.
  • Think about linking to videos or animations that explain the technology being used.
  • Think about how this will affect you as a voting citizen.