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Station 1: Time Period = B.C.

Can you imagine life without bread as we know it? Before


2000 B.C., the bread that people ate was flat and hard. Then
Egyptians discovered yeast, a living organism that makes
bread rise. These ancient people used yeast to modify bread,
Student Challenge Questions
yet never fully understood how the process worked. In fact,
no one would understand exactly how yeast makes bread
1.
Would
you consider
the ancient
rise
until nearly
38 centuries
later. Egyptians to be
biotechnologists? Why? Why not?
2. How do you think yeast causes bread to rise?
3. a. What do you think the Latin root "bio" means?
b. Define the word "technology".

Station 2: Time Period =


1 A.D.1900 A.D.
An Introduction to Mendelian Genetics
Do you play with your food? Most of us get in trouble for
playing with food, but Gregor Mendel didn't. In fact, Mendel
spent his life playing with peas. He noticed that not all peas
looked alike. Mendel also recognized that many peas from the
same family had similar characteristics. He then began to mix
or breed families of peas with desirable traits such as richer
color, better texture and more flavors. This mixing to produce a
better crop is called classical breeding.

Student Challenge Questions


1.List one characteristic, or desirable trait that may have
been "bred" for in the following:
bananas
mangoes
chicken
2. If you were a plant/animal breeder, what steps are you
going to perform to ensure that the desirable trait will
be observed in succeeding generations?

Station 3: Time Period =


19001970
Application of Mendelian Genetics
What do you get when you cross a poodle with a shitzu? A
pooshit! Seriously, scientists have been attempting to combine
the desirable characteristics of different plants or animals for
centuries. Traditionally, this has been done by classical
breeding. The application of Mendelian genetics to classical
breeding has led to the formation of hybrids, or plants
containing the best traits from their two different parents. The
guapple presented in this station is a hybrid of apple and guava.

Student Challenge Questions


1. If you could mix any two plants to form a hybrid, what
two plants would you mix? Why these two? What
name would you give your hybrid?
2. What food(s) have you eaten that may be considered
to be a hybrid(s)?

Station 4: Time Period =


19701996
The pituitary gland at the base of the brain in all mammals
produces growth hormones. Cow growth hormone is called
bovine somatotropin (BST). Scientists have known since the
1930s that injecting dairy cows with this pituitary substance
increases milk yield. The production of BST in large
quantities could allow dairy farmers to produce milk at lower
cost. Biotechnologists can produce large quantities of a
biosynthetic version of the naturally occurring BST using
bacteria in the laboratory. Bovine somatotropin prepared in
the laboratory is called recombinant BST (or rBST).

Student Challenge Questions

1. Do you have any worries or concerns about drinking


milk that has come from cows injected with
recombinant BST?
What are your concerns?
2. Some dairy farmers refuse to use recombinant BST.
Can you think of a reason why?

Station 5: Time Period =


The Future
Here are some examples of some foods scientists are working
on for the not-too-distant future:
- fruits and vegetables with higher levels of nutrients
such as Vitamin C
- lower fat french fries and potato chips
- garlic cloves with more allicin, a substance which
helps to lower a person's cholesterol
- popcorn that is modified to taste better so that people
- won't be so tempted to add lots of salt and butter

Student Challenge Questions


1. List one of your most favorite unprocessed foods.
2. What new trait would make this food even better?
3. List one of your least favorite unprocessed foods.
4. What new trait would make this food better?
5. Do you feel that changing foods to exhibit more
desirable traits is OK? Explain why or why not.