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Biotech’s GREEN EGGS & HAM Coming SOON to a supermarketpharmacy near you! Gloria Vachino, MS CityLab Academy Instructor, Biomedical Laboratory and Clinical.

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Presentation on theme: "Biotech’s GREEN EGGS & HAM Coming SOON to a supermarketpharmacy near you! Gloria Vachino, MS CityLab Academy Instructor, Biomedical Laboratory and Clinical."— Presentation transcript:

1 Biotech’s GREEN EGGS & HAM Coming SOON to a supermarketpharmacy near you! Gloria Vachino, MS CityLab Academy Instructor, Biomedical Laboratory and Clinical Sciences Boston University School of Medicine Health Care Pathways: Connecting Education with Careers Friday April 11, 2008

2 Introduction to Biotechnology - explanation of how biotech industry emerged and introduction to core science of biotechnology -applications of biotechnology/ significance of green eggs and ham Bringing Biotech into the Classroom -types of resources -approaches to building a foundation Career Paths in Biotech -educational requirements for jobs in biotech -types of jobs SUMMARY

3 How did the Biotechnology industry get started? Biotech industry emerged in 1970’s around the discovery of methods that allowed human genes to be transferred (“cut and pasted”) into bacteria. First commercial application of gene transfer: ▪ Human gene for insulin was transferred into bacterial cells. ▪ Bacteria containing the human insulin gene manufactured human insulin. ▪ Process of fermentation allowed large quantities of human insulin to be produced for the first time ever. INTRODUCTION TO BIOTECH

4 What is a gene? HUMAN CELL

5 How is it possible for bacteria to manufacture human proteins? Genes are made of DNA. DNA is constructed of 4 types of building blocks (nucleotides), which are the same across species. Genes provide instructions- in DNA language- on how to make proteins. The vast majority of species use the same genetic code to interpret these instructions. The genetic code specifies which sequence of nucleotides corresponds to a particular amino acid. (Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins). Thus, bacterial cells carrying the human gene for insulin: -have the instructions for making human insulin -can manufacture insulin because they use the same genetic code as human cells

6 4) Bacterial cells produce recombinant human insulin. 2) “Hybrid” DNA (referred to as recombinant DNA) is transferred to bacterial cell. + bacterial DNA 1) Human gene for insulin is merged with DNA from bacteria. Human gene for insulin Biotech Industry’s Production of Human Insulin by Bacteria Recombinant DNA Technology ( Genetic Engineering) 3) Bacteria multiply,,, Bacterial cell Recombinant DNA technology permits: 1)gene cloning (making multiple copies of a gene) and 2)production of the protein encoded by the gene

7 Is Recombinant DNA Technology Still Used Today in the Biotech Industry? Applications of Recombinant DNA Technology:  production of genetically engineered / recombinant protein drugs Examples: interferon, blood clotting proteins, growth hormones EPO, Avastin, Xolair, Remicade, Humulin (insulin)  genetically engineered animals (referred to as transgenic animals) for drugs, food and as models of human diseases  gene therapy  vaccines (e.g. hepatitis B)  genetically engineered plants (referred to as transgenic plants) Recombinant DNA technology is also used to make multiple copies of genes for:  DNA fingerprinting  DNA sequencing -Human Genome Project - identify genes involved in disease processes - study evolutionary trends YES! Please note that other technologies also allow copying of DNA ; e.g. PCR

8 …..and the Green Eggs and Ham? The transfer of genes into cells is a hit-or-miss process. The ability to easily identify which cells have successfully taken up a gene of interest is extremely important. A popular method of tracking transferred genes relies on Aequorea victoria, a jellyfish that carries the gene for GFP (green fluorescent protein). When a gene of interest is linked to the GFP gene, cells that take up the linked genes glow green under blue light. Thus, GFP provides a “visual report” on the location of the gene of interest. Example of how the GFP method benefits gene transfer processes: When creating transgenic animals, the GFP method makes it possible to determine which cells and tissues carry a gene of interest. 

9 01/10/these_little_piggies_were_born_green/?rss_id= Boston+Globe+--+Today's+paper+A+to+Z Biotech’s Green Eggs and Ham pacific/4605202.stm ages/GFP%2520retro%2520embryo%25206in%2520 copy.jpg&imgrefurl= lab/people/lansford/research/research.html&h=527&w =900&sz=74&hl=en&start=25&tbnid=kzGf_jZkuAiDo M:&tbnh=85&tbnw=146&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dgfp %2Bin%2Bchicken%2Bembryo%26start%3D20%26g bv%3D2%26ndsp%3D20%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN Applications of transgenic animals:  producers of recombinant protein drugs (e.g. chicken eggs, dairy animals)  source of organs for transplantation (e.g. pigs)  source of vaccines (e.g. chicken eggs)

10 BRINGING BIOTECH INTO THE CLASSROOM Resources Online ▪ written materials for middle school and high school levels ▪ images and animations ▪ exercises with paper & scissor models ▪ simple lab experiments for classroom Online documentaries The Secret of Life Cracking the Code of Life Books ▪ Biotechnology: Science for the New Millennium, Ellyn Dougherty, EMC Paradigm Publications 2007 ▪ Shoestring Biotechnology: Budget-Oriented High Quality Biotechnology Laboratories for Two-Year College and High School, National Association of Biology Teachers Kits ▪ educational companies / lab supply companies  Websites listed in “Building a Foundation” slide below

11 Hands-on lab workshops and other supplementary resources CityLab Boston University ▪ conducts hands-on lab workshops for middle and high school students ▪ in partnership with MBC (Massachusetts Biotechnology Council): - staffs MobileLab that travels to schools state-wide - conducts BioTeach program to train teachers Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MBC) ▪ awards funds to help schools incorporate biotechnology into curriculum ▪ provides information on biotech careers, salaries and educational requirements: ▪ lists publications on biotech for K-12 PBS Resources (continued)

12 I) FUNDAMENTAL SCIENCE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY Cells, Genes and DNA ▪ cell structure and function/ eukaryotes vs. prokaryotes ▪ relationship between chromosomes, genes and DNA and proteins DNA Structure / Function ▪ structure of nucleotides, DNA’s “building blocks” ▪ how 2 chains of DNA’s double helix bind to each other ▪ role of genes / gene expression ▪ DNA sequence / The Human Genome Project ▪ protein synthesis / RNA / the genetic code the above websites range from written information to paper/scissor exercises and simple lab experiments. Many emphasize inquiry-based learning. BRINGING BIOTECH INTO THE CLASSROOM Building a Foundation

13 II) CONCEPT OF USING DNA AS A “TOOL” IN BIOTECH ▪ assist students with investigating how knowledge of DNA structure and function has allowed DNA to be used as a tool. & (text and simple lab exercises that can be tailored to grade level) ▪ have students explore the uses of DNA in biotechnology Medicine: recombinant protein drugs, diagnostic tests, genome sequencing Agriculture: a) transgenic plants that withstand pests, disease, drought b) transgenic animals with desirable traits Forensics: Biofuels: Building a Foundation Building a Foundation (continued)

14 Also important in preparing students for careers in biotechnology (and other applied sciences) is teaching them how to: ▪ collect data ▪ write lab reports ▪ maintain lab notebooks ▪ draw and interpret graphs (by hand using graph paper and using computer software e.g. Excel) ▪ do basic math without a calculator! ▪ tackle word problems ▪ apply the scientific method Building a Foundation Building a Foundation (continued)

15 JOBS EDUCATION Certificate Associate’s Degree Bachelor’s Degree Career/ Education Options in Biomedical Science / Biotechnology for High School Graduates Environmental Technician Glasswasher Shipper/Receiver Lab Assistant Manufacturing Technician/Associate Aseptic Fill Technician Quality Control (QC) Technician Quality Assurance (QA) Documentation Coordinator/Associate Lab Technician Research Assistant Aseptic Fill Technician Quality Control (QC) Analyst Please note the overlap in credentials needed for some jobs. Many variables influence an employer’s decision to hire individuals who do not meet minimal educational requirements. For a complete list of jobs and job descriptions, visit:,,,

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