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SEPGuides: Science Education Partnership: Teaching Biotechnology

SEPGuides is the go-to place for all SEP kit protocols and activities, as well as the posting area for announcements and program updates. If something is missing or you have an idea to contribute, please e-mail us at

NH list of biotech teaching resources

Biotechnology Texts appropriate to High School for use or Reference

DNA Science: A First Course (2003, 2nd edition)
David Micklos and Greg Freyer
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. 500 pages. Hardcover list price $47. ISBN: 0879696362
Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: A Guide for Teachers (2007, 3rd edition; formerly Recombinant DNA and Biotechnology)
Helen Kreuzer and Adrianne Massey
ASM Press, Washington, D.C. 718 pages.  ~ $80. 978-1-55581-471-7
Student version also available ~$70.
Biology and Biotechnology: Science, Applications, and Issues (2005)
Helen Kreuzer and Adrianne Massey
AMS Press, Washington, DC. 669 pages. Softcover Price $79.95. ISBN 1-55581-304-6

NEW! from Cold Spring Harbor Dolan DNA Learning Center: Genome Science: A Practical and Conceptual Introduction to Molecular Generic Analysis in Eukaryotes by Dave Micklos, Bruce Nash, and Uwe Hilgert. (2012)   $55 List Price for hardback ISBN-10: 0879698594    ISBN-13: 978-0879698591

Detailed Table of Contents:
Genome Science is a textbook and laboratory manual for advanced secondary and post-secondary education. It combines approachable narrative with extensively tested lab exercises that illustrate key concepts of genome biology in humans, invertebrates, and plants. Nineteen labs, organized into four chapters, engage students with both bioinformatics exercises and in vitro experiments. Each chapter also includes an extensive introduction that provides an historical and conceptual framework. This modular structure offers many options for enhancing existing courses, starting new courses, or supporting student research projects. The book is complete with advice for instructors, laboratory planning guidelines, recipes for solutions, and answers to student questions.


Biotechnology: A Laboratory Skills Course. J. Kirk Brown  (Published by Bio Rad, 2011)

Biotechnology laboratory textbook with student and teacher editions. ISBN 978-0-9832396-0-4 (student);  978-0-9832396-1-1 (teacher edition plus student book)
Biotechnology (2007)
Mary Vail, Claire Borg, and Susan Cumming
Oxford University Press. 216 pages. Paper. ~$50. ISBN: 9780195561180
Biotechnology: Science for the New Millennium
Ellyn Daugherty (2007)
ECM Paradigm Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-76382-282-8. List Price ~$88.
Also available: student text, lab manual, lab notebook, course planner, and multimedia extras
Basic Laboratory Methods for Biotechnology: Textbook and Laboratory
Lisa Seidman and Cynthia Moore (2008, 2nd edition) Spiral Bound
Benjamin Cummings. 450 pages. ISBN: 978-0321570147. ~$75.
excellent, comprehensive reference
Biotechnology Explorations: Applying the Fundamentals (2000)
Judith A. Schepplier, Patricia E. Cassin, and Rosa M. Gambier.
ASM Press, Washington, D.C.288 pages with illustrations. ISBN: 978-1-55581-178-5
From ASM Press web site:
This exciting volume offers a broad collection of college-level experiments that provides students a hands-on understanding of biotechnology and molecular biology, including applications and practical uses.
The inquiry-based activities, chosen for their safety, reliability, and flexibility, are designed to pique the students' interest and provide them with opportunities for independent study. The clear, readable text makes concepts easily understandable, and the user-friendly format allows students to easily follow protocols.
Each investigation includes suggested reading, laboratory language, and analysis questions that help direct student thinking. Side-bar comments offer special hints and detailed information to ensure success, but keep the protocols themselves easy to follow. Comprehensive laboratory safety guidelines are also included.
The experiments, organized into fundamental laboratory activities and applications of these protocols, are easily adapted to fit the time frame of a one- or two-semester laboratory course. Biotechnology Explorations is an ideal companion volume to Glick and Pasternak's Molecular Biotechnology: Principles and Applications of Recombinant DNA.
Key Features
    * Experiments progress from simple to complex, presenting continuity within the experiment stream
    * Historical perspective and extensive background information included with each exercise
    * Exercises are self-contained
    * Side bar notes give students special hints and detailed information
    * Inquiry-based experiments stimulate students to internalize process of making science
Unraveling DNA: Molecular Biology for the Laboratory An Innovative Manual of Modern Molecular Biology Techniques   (1997)
Michael R. Winfrey, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
Marc A. Rott, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
Alan Wortman, Applied Biosystems, Foster City, California
Benjamin Cummings  $83. ISBN-13: 978-0132700344
From Fotodyne web site: This innovative manual introduces students to all of the basic techniques of modern molecular biology using an integrated series of laboratory exercises that involve the cloning and analysis of the bioluminescence (lux) genes from the marine bacterium Vibrio fischeri. By organizing the exercises as part of a major cloning project, students get the sense of performing a complete cloning project, rather than just learning a collection of procedures. The manual is divided into discrete units, each demonstrating one or more aspects of the cloning project. Collectively, the entire series of exercises requires approximately three quarters to one full semester to complete with two laboratory periods per week. Smaller portions of the manual are easily adapted to fewer lab periods.

At the Bench: A Laboratory Navigator, updated edition by Kathy Barker  (1998; updated 2005) (Kathy is in Seattle at the Institute for Systems Biology)
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press,.  $~45. ISBN 978-087969708-2
Description from CSHP: At the Bench is the unique and hugely successful handbook for living and working in the laboratory, an essential aid to understanding basic lab techniques and how research groups work at a human level. In this newly revised edition, chapters have been rewritten to accommodate the impact of computer technology and the Internet, not only on the acquisition and analysis of data, but also on its organization and presentation. Alternatives to the use of radiation have been expanded, and figures and illustrations have been redrawn to reflect changes in laboratory equipment and procedures.



Bio-Rad Biotechnology Explorer kits/instruction manuals:

**Destiny curricula:
Several of the Destiny modules have been developed into Bio-Rad kits. These units are great, free resources. The Destiny program is part of the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at the University of North Carolina.

Modern Biology--catalog and lab protocols:

Carolina Biological


Genetic Science Learning Center:

Dolan DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories
The Gene Gateway Workbook (June 2008 update) and chromosome poster--download from the ORNL website:
A collection of five activities with screenshots and step-by-step instructions designed to introduce new users to genetic disorder and bioinformatics resources on the Web.


Washington University at St. Louis: Biology Curriculum
register for free download   
Building Food for the Future--Agricultural Biotechnology Activities for Urban Students
Grades 10-12, 2007, 164 pages
By Bruce Chapman, Sandra Clifton, Carla L. Easter, Janet Eubanks, Susan K. Flowers, Anna Cristina Garza, Elmer Kellmann, John McGrath, Chuck McWilliams, Victoria L. May, Valerie Mertz, Eric J. Richards, William C. Thoele, Marcia N. Vincent, Larry Wegmann

Explore issues regarding land use, food production, world hunger, and selective breeding, through activities designed for students who have little or no experience with agriculture. Learn about genetically modified foods, and grow mini "fields" of soybeans and weeds to test how a biotech herbicide works. Test samples of powdered potatoes from transgenic plants to determine how scientists are biopharming human insulin. Explore controversial issues in agricultural biotechnology, including regulation, labeling, ecology, ethics, and economics through studies of current news. Finally, discuss how to alleviate world hunger in the face of population growth through farming, biotechnology, policy, and education.

Significant Sequences--Genomics Activities for Advanced Biology Students
Grades 10-12, 2007, 188 pages
By Bruce Chapman, Juanita Chambers, Sandra Clifton, Carla L. Easter, Sarah C.R. Elgin, Janet Eubanks, Gabriella Farkas, Susan K. Flowers, Anna Cristina Garza, Michael Grupe, Elmer Kellmann, John McGrath, Chuck McWilliams, Victoria L. May, Valerie Mertz, Eric J. Richards, William C. Thoele, Marcia N. Vincent, Larry Wegmann

Genomic sequence data allows scientists to determine the similarities and differences between species. Studies of these essential differences indicate how genes create the proteins that determine an organism's ability to function as a healthy individual. Significant Sequences focuses on the importance of genomic data and how it is discovered. A series of paper modeling activities provides a visual representation of the genome sequencing process. Compare human, chimpanzee, and mouse genomes, then compare differences in genomic information between human individuals. Transcribed DNA sequences in a simulated microarray show mutations from normal to cancerous tissue. Activities explore ethical issues inherent in gathering and publishing genome sequences. Group discussions highlight the implications of genetic testing, and of sharing results with employers and insurance companies.

Modern Genetics for All Students
Grades 9-12, 2003 edition, 490 pages
By Sarah C.R. Elgin, Cynthia J. Moore, David Kirk, Victoria L. May, Gary Corbin, Susan K. Flowers, Rebecca Aulenbacher, David Brock, Mark Kalk, Martha Thompson

Genetics has always been central to biology. Today genetic findings are impacting human health at an increasing pace. Since 1991, Modern Genetics for All Students has helped more than 39,000 high school students learn DNA basics in the biology lab. Active investigations include extracting and spooling DNA, engineering glow-in-the-dark bacteria, crossing strains of different-colored yeast, growing Wisconsin Fast Plants, and inducing mutations in bacteria using UV light. Modeling activities help conceptualize how genes code for proteins and how they are expressed, how DNA structure allows replication, and how traits and genetic diseases are inherited. Group discussions about genetic testing, GM foods, and biotechnology highlight how advances in genetics are impacting society.

Gene Gateway, originally designed as a Web companion to the popular Human Genome Landmarks poster, is a collection of guides and tutorials designed to help students and other novice users get started with some of the resources that make these data available to the public. This Web site introduces various Internet tools that anyone can use to investigate genetic disorders, chromosomes, genome maps, genes, sequence data, genetic variants, and molecular structures. At the site, you can download a PDF workbook which is a collection of five activities with screenshots and step-by-step instructions designed to introduce new users to genetic disorder and bioinformatics resources on the Web. The workbook was last updated June 2008.
Gene Gateway poster:
The Gene Gateway materials are developed by the Department of Ennergy Biological and Environmental Research Program.


Biotech Programs

Fralin Life Science Institute at Virginia Tech--biotech kit loan program

3 year high school program of  Tina Doss at Carlmont High School in the Bay Area

IISME’s Website of the Week: Lab Action
LabAction is a community-driven free resource for information on biotechnology, cloning, human genetics, genetic disorders, stem cell research, marine biology and more!  This website houses the latest videos, movies and information on a variety of topics including science experiments, science projects and current biology news.  Whether you want to show your students a video on DNA Wrapping and Replication, PCR in real time or post your own video demonstrating a lab experiment or model, Lab Action is the place to go!  The possibilities are endless! Check it out!

Biotech Industry e-news:

Xconomy Seattle  (as well as Boston, San Diego, or national)--sign up for daily news update or visit their website:

WBBA website  Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association

Washington Life Sciences

SEP Board Games

Available in the SEP Resource Collection:

CTE Biotech Advisory Committee