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Drugs, Detectives and DNA

B04: Unit 4: Bioethics and the Future of Biotechnology


Unit 4: Bioethics and the Future of Biotechnology

Lesson Plans Unit 4 (90 minutes classes)

Lesson Plan 1

  1. Unit on Tay Sachs

Answer questions form Kevin Porch’s website from the video, "Cracking the Code" available on line ( April 2004.

Lesson Plan 2

  1. Watch and Discuss implications of the video, Children by Design." Students must take a stand for and against and present their arguments.

Lesson Plan 3

  1. Work on webquest concerning GMO (genetically modified organisms) foods:. Students must take a stand for or against and present their arguments.

Lesson Plan 4

  1. Work on webquests about cloning: and

Resources and References:


1. Kreuzer, Helen and Massey, Adrianne. “Recombinant DNA and Biotechnology: A Guide for Teachers.” American Society for Microbiology Press. 1325 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. Washington D.C. 20005. Copyright 1996. ISBN: 1-55581-101-9


  1. "Cracking the Code" The work of geneticists who have labored for years to map hyuman DNA is the subject of this offbeat yet highly informative documentary from the PBS series, Nova. Host Robert Krulwich, a correspondent for ABC Nightline. 2001 ASIN:B000050606
  2. "Children by Design", CHILDREN BY DESIGN, Films for the Humanities and Sciences, P.O. Box 2053, Princeton, NJ 08543, 1994. KU #: GX4336
    Annotation: This program, from the Secret of Life series, covers some of the ways that biogenetic engineering will affect the medical decisions we make: a couple is determined that their next child will be free of the CF gene, so they join in an experiment in which the fertilized egg is tested - and possibly rejected; a mother must decide whether to take a test that may tell her she has inherited Alzheimer's disease - and may have passed it on to her children; parents decide whether or not their child will be the first person to receive gene therapy. These are just a few of the extraordinary choices created by the current state of genetic engineering

Websites of Interest:



  1. cloning

Unit 4: Bioethics and the future of Biotechnology

  1. on evolution, genetic variation from the Spiderman movie, Jurassic Park and a unit on Tay Sachs)
Supplemental Information: 

Biotechnology Student Notes

Unit IV: Bioethics

  1. Genetic testing
  2. Genetic Screening
  3. Genetic Information
  4. Genetic Privacy
  5. Insurance Issues
  6. Employment Issues
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