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Listed under:  Technologies  >  Engineering  >  Genetic engineering

Gene technology

This collection of 24 digital curriculum resources is organised into five categories - how genes work, techniques of gene technology, applications and examples, GM food and genetic engineering in fiction. Interactive learning objects explore the nature of genes and how they are manipulated. There are images of cells under ...

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Genetically modified food: divided perspectives

Imagine that farmers were able to droughtproof or pest-proof their crops. Manipulating genes in food can provide solutions to many farming and food supply problems. However, not everyone agrees on how this new technology should be used. Watch this clip to find out why some Australian farmers are divided on this issue.

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Greenpeace takes a stand against GM crops

Watch Greenpeace activists mow down a research crop of genetically modified (GM) wheat grown by CSIRO. Consider some arguments for and against GM foods and find out the number of GM crops being trialled around Australia.

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GM bananas

Meet a scientist who is genetically modifying bananas to make them more nutritious. Learn about some of the benefits and concerns about using gene technologies to modify foods.

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Who funds GM research trials?

Genetically modified (GM) foods are expensive to develop. They are often created through research partnerships between publicly funded scientists and private corporations. This offers advantages but also raises concerns about research objectivity and potential bias. Explore some of the issues surrounding the commercialisation ...

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Cloning stem cells

Cell cloning involves making an exact copy of a cell. Geneticists have discovered that cell cloning can be used to create large numbers of stem cells. Stem-cell therapy holds much hope for the treatment of some of our most debilitating genetic diseases. Watch this clip to learn more about this exciting breakthrough and ...

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Winning the race to feed a growing population

The race is on to produce higher crop-yielding plants that will feed an ever-growing world population. See how scientists at the Plant Accelerator facility are investigating ways of increasing crop production. Some are focusing on conventional plant-breeding techniques while others are using GM (genetic modification) technology.

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When does life begin?

The use of embryonic stem cells for medical research is a hotly debated ethical issue, with much of the discussion focusing on when human life begins. Listen to the views both of scientists and of some people from several faith traditions. In a major stem-cell breakthrough, scientists have discovered a new type of stem ...

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Building cells synthetically

A cell's own genetic material provides the instructions for how it works, but what if we could design our own set of instructions? Synthetic biology combines biology and engineering in the design of new systems and functions for cells. Watch this animated clip for an explanation of this new, innovative technology. See examples ...

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Harnessing stem cells to grow new cells

Have you ever wanted to know what the fuss about stem cells is? Watch this 2009 clip to find out what stem cells are and why they are valuable to medical research. Learn about a breakthrough that might defuse the ethical debate.


Extinct Australian animals over time

This collection of 21 digital curriculum resources is organised into five categories - fossils and geological time, early mammals and megafauna, recent extinctions, dinosaurs and invertebrates. The diverse groups of extinct Australian animals in the collection are represented in images of fossils, scientific reconstructions ...


'Laboratory procedures', 2002

This is a large format colour photograph made in 2002 by Patricia Piccinini (1965-) as part of the series 'Science story'. Measuring 100 cm x 200 cm, the image shows a man and a woman in what appears to be the interior of a hospital laboratory - there is a medical examination table with large overhead lights, breathing ...


Catalyst - Genius of Junk, 2003: Triumph and tragedy

This clip shows immunologist Dr Malcolm Simons, who at the time of filming was a patient in a cancer ward, describing his prognosis as being terminal unless better therapies or a cure for his condition are discovered. A narrator explains that such therapies and even a cure may lie in the research into DNA that Simons himself ...


Wicked Science - The Gift Episode 1, 2003: Cloning a dodo

This clip shows Toby (André De Vanny) at Sandy Bay High School deciding to clone a dodo. Elizabeth (Bridget Neval) overhears him telling Russ (Ben Schnideg) to get a dodo bone from the school laboratory. Russ is delayed and this gives Elizabeth time to soak a 'Tyrannosaurus rex' (T-Rex) bone in axolotl tank water and exchange ...


Wicked Science - The Gift Episode 1, 2003: She mixed axolotl DNA with T-Rex DNA

This clip shows a malevolent Elizabeth (Bridget Neval) at Sandy Bay High School indicating to Toby (André De Vanny) that she has interfered with his dodo cloning experiment. Indeed, when Toby and school friend Russ (Ben Schnideg) get to Toby's 'lab', a rapidly growing T-Rex has hatched. When Russ recalls what happened at ...

Interactive Resource

Syllabus Bites: Biotechnology

This website defines biotechnology and highlights some examples from the broad spectrum constituting biotechnology, describing potential for benefits and harm. It explores both the science and ethical issues.


Choice: food warnings and safety

This is a web page providing reviews of various food products, packaging and production in terms of food safety including food hygiene, genetically modified food, pesticides and food additives. It covers Bisphenol A (BPA) in canned foods, pesticides in vegetables, plastic and plasticiser contamination in food, food additives ...


Sustainable table: organic sceptics

This is a website about organic farming. It contains sections on: the difference between conventional and organic farming; the health benefits associated with eating organic food; the price of organic food; the damage conventional farming causes to the environment; certification of organic food; and feeding the world organically. ...

Teacher resource

Genetically engineered crops

Explore how DNA and genes transmit heritable characteristics from one generation to the next. Discover how artificial selection and genetic engineering can be used to introduce desirable traits into plant foods. Use video clips to explore the arguments for and against genetically engineered crops.Examine different perspectives ...

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Breeding a sustainable future: video

This is video (5:04 mins) and supporting teacher notes are about the research and breeding programs of the Australian Cotton Research Institute. Presented by its program leaders, senior scientists and managers, the resource begins by describing how cotton growing has changed since the 1960s, how Australia now has the world’s ...