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Heredity, Human
Environmental Sciences — Study and Teaching
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Developments in the Food Industry [electronic resource]: Science, Technology, and the Environment

Although genetic modification of plants and animals has been going on since the dawn of agriculture, technological changes of unprecedented scope have taken place in the food industry within the past few decades. This program explores the impact of technology on food production and the development of new and emerging foods. Viewers are introduced to recently devised methods of genetic modification and selective breeding which have expanded both crop and livestock yields. Other topics include the growth of the novelty food industry and new approaches to food packaging design, reflecting concern over ecological issues. Prominent academics add commentary.
2009; 2007

Genes and Cloning [electronic resource]: Science of Selective Breeding

Public controversy surrounding cloning and genetic modification increases with each new development in the field. Illustrating concepts at the heart of the debate, this program shows how biotechnology now drives large-scale agriculture through genetic engineering and sophisticated selective breeding. Outlining ways in which humans have indirectly modified plants and animals since the dawn of agriculture, the program details our ability to construct and insert genes for desirable characteristics into plants and increase livestock productivity with beneficial traits-screening out animals with disease or lower food yields. Engaging animation sequences reinforce important biotech concepts.
2009; 2006

Designer Genes [electronic resource]: Science and Ethics of Genetic Engineering

From selective breeding in agriculture to animal cloning and the production of recombinant proteins, science continues to develop ways to modify the genetic code. This program spotlights the basic tools and techniques for manipulating DNA and how these are also used to investigate genetic functions. Viewers will learn about the coding and non-coding sections of DNA; the basics of PCR or the polymerase chain reaction; the use of viral vectors and plasmids in order to transfer DNA; and the various types of cloning, including molecular, cellular, and nuclear. Ethical questions arising from genetic engineering and the manipulation of DNA are also discussed.
2009; 2008

Epigenetics [electronic resource]: How Food Upsets Our Genes

Why are girls entering puberty at progressively younger ages? Why are the rates of heart attack, cancer, and adult-onset diabetes rising? This program examines growing indications that food affects our genes-a concept vitally important to the science of epigenetics. Viewers encounter a wide range of experiments, case studies, and historical evidence, including Dutch birth records and testimonials from WWII that point to the epigenetic effects of starvation. Findings from animal and human nutritional studies, as well as evidence involving diet habits and environmental threats around the globe, are also presented. DNA methylation, the "on-and-off switch" of the epigenome, and other important concepts are featured.
2009; 2008