• 7th Grade


    Fundamentals of Biotechnology

    Biotechnology is an area of science that uses the cells and DNA of living organisms to make useful, everyday products. Topics covered in this class include an introduction to biotechnology, biotechnology history, lab safety, disease and infection control, cellular design, DNA, heredity, forensics, agricultural biotechnology and environmental biotechnology.

    What Is Biotechnology?

    It's in the news a lot and, because North Carolina is one of the nation’s leading states in biotechnology, you may have seen headlines about new companies and jobs. But in fact, biotechnology has been around a long time. Traditional biotechnology was (and still is) the use of living organisms to solve problems and make useful products. Domesticating crop plants and farm animals through selective breeding and using yeast to make bread rise and produce wine are examples of traditional biotechnology. New biotechnology: the use of living cells and their molecules to solve problems and make useful products. New biotechnology is based on scientific advances over the last 50 years that have enabled us to understand how living organisms work—and how they can work for us. The key knowledge is an understanding of cells, the basic units of life, and—at a still deeper level—the molecules that make up cells. Now, our understanding of how cells work makes it possible to create new varieties of plants with better nutrients for our diet, and the traditional fermentation processes used to make wine or beer have been re-tooled to produce cutting-edge pharmaceuticals for previously incurable diseases.