Assignment 2: Biological Basis
Due in week 5 and worth 80 points
Continuing on the research that you started in Week 3, explain what your chosen biotechnology accomplishes and how it is implemented, and describe the body of knowledge that it is based upon. The detailed guidelines are as follows:
- Begin with a description of the biotechnology and what it accomplishes. Then, explain whether it involves manipulating the DNA (or RNA) of an organism, or simply utilizing the DNA (or RNA) that is already there naturally.
- Provide a full and complete description of exactly how the technology works.
- If your technology involves manipulating the DNA of an organism, then you should explain how that is accomplished. Depending on the specific technology, adding DNA to cells is often accomplished with a vector, such as a virus or bacterium, but there are mechanical means as well, such as microinjection or use of a “gene gun.”
- If your technology involves interpreting the DNA in an organism (as one might do for personalized medicine), explain how that is accomplished. What are the means of collecting a sample? How is the sample processed? What exactly is being analyzed to generate the interpretation?
- Discuss the key biological principles that underlie the technology. Many of them are based on an understanding of genes and how they are expressed. Other technologies may be based on the concept of the genome, transcriptome, or proteome. Others are based on an understanding of non-coding DNA (such as the short-tandem repeats used in DNA fingerprinting). Many are based on an understanding of DNA replication, as well as basic heredity.
The expected length is a proxy for how much detail to go into. Go into enough detail to get at least one page of double-spaced text (about 300 words), but not much more than two pages of double-spaced text (about 600 words). Your overall goal in this assignment is to show the instructor that you understand the underlying science behind the technology.
You must have a reference section which contains an SWS reference to your chosen article and all other sources. Additionally, you must provide in-text citations (in SWS format) to your references in the body of the text. Integrate all sources into your paper using proper techniques of quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing, along with your in-text citations. Double-space your paper. Use standard margins and fonts. Also, follow any additional formatting instructions provided by your instructor.
A large portion of the grading of this assignment is based upon the coherence, depth, and accuracy of your writing.
Objectives evaluated by this assessment:
- Categorize a wide range of organisms, from single-celled to multi-celled organisms.
- Describe how organisms acquire and utilize both energy and material.
- Describe the cell cycle, cell reproduction, and control.
- Investigate DNA and gene expression as well as technologies based on our understanding of them.
- Discuss interactions between organisms in ecosystems.