MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Biotechnology: Can It Help in Making the Desert Green?

Ziad W. Jaradat, PhD
Department of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering
Jordan University of Science and Technology
Irbid 22110 Jordan

This learning video introduces high school students to a topic they would not ordinarily study in school, biotechnology, and to different applications of biotechnology that relate to the main theme of the module - making the desert greener. After reviewing traditional methods used for manipulating plants to produce desired traits, students will learn about the methods of making transgenic plants. Dr. Ziad discusses a real world problem that is critical in his country, Jordan, where much of the land is desert. A prerequisite to this video lesson is some background in biology. There are no materials necessary, and time required for the lesson is approximately fifty minutes, depending on in-class time spent between segments. Handouts of the images used in the lesson can be downloaded in PDF format. Examples of activities suggested for in-class participation include discussion of questions posed by Dr. Ziad and brainstorming about ways biotechnology can improve the lives of humans.

Dr. Jaradat graduated with a B.Sc. in Public Health from Yarmouk University in Jordan. He obtained an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Microbiology/Biotechnology from the University of Manitoba in Canada and trained as a postdoctoral research associate in Biotechnology at Purdue University, Indiana, USA. 

The goal of this web site is to provide balanced information and links to other resources on the technology and issues surrounding transgenic crops. There are specific resources for teachers.
http://cls.casa.colostate.edu/TransgenicCrops/

The goal of this site is to provide quality learning materials for educators wishing to teach the science of crop biotechnology and the debate surrounding the safety of genetically modified food crops in the classroom. Curricula and lesson plans are featured.
http://agbiosafety.unl.edu/education.shtml

The Secrets of the Sequence Video Series offers an innovative way for teachers to incorporate astounding advances in the life sciences from gene research into their teaching. See video, “Got Silk? – Biotech Applications”.
http://www.sosq.vcu.edu/videos.aspx

Comprehensive Overview article – A Review of the Progression of Transgenic Plants Used to Produce Plantibodies For Human Usage
http://www.jyi.org/volumes/volume4/issue1/articles/ferrante.html

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This Lesson is in the following clusters: Environmental Sustainability