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Newsletter - August 2009

As term 3 begins, we’ve just published some new teaching resources aimed at primary and secondary schools. These resources showcase research on taewa (Māori potatoes) for technology teachers and some of the latest DNA techniques for science teachers.

What’s new on the Hub?

DNA lab – Theme
Our latest theme explores the DNA-based laboratory techniques used in genetic research. Find out more about techniques like DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), gel electrophoresis, DNA sequencing and DNA chips.

Taewa (Māori potatoes) – Focus story
Our new focus story showcases research at the Riddet Institute in Palmerston North. Find out more about taewa, including where these potatoes originally came from, their place in Māori culture and their unique qualities. You can also learn about some of the new taewa food products researchers are developing. The research is described in information sheets, images, video clips and animations.

Developing novels foods from taewa – Information sheet
Researchers at the Riddet Institute are developing prototypes of novel food products from taewa that have market appeal as indigenous New Zealand foods.

Making taewa snacks - Animation
Watch an animation of the extrusion process for making crispy snacks from taewa. These prototype snacks are being made at a pilot plant at the Riddet Institute.

Taewa video gallery – Video clips
Learn more about the taewa research and product development from our interviews with Dr Jaspreet Singh and Dr Nick Roskruge, the key scientists in this research.

Teaching activities

Develop a novel taewa product – Unit plan
A technology unit plan for upper primary and lower secondary school students. This unit plan will help students understand factors that influence new technologies and provide a real context for their own product development.

Design a label for a taewa product – Unit plan
A technology unit plan for upper primary and lower secondary school students. In this unit, students will explore the development of prototype taewa food products and their special qualities, and design an appropriate label for a new taewa product.

Latest biotech news

Keep up to date with the latest biotechnology news, events and radio broadcasts.

Study highlights blackcurrant benefits – News item
Blackcurrants could help athletes’ bodies recover from high intensity training, a new study from Plant & Food Research reveals.

Diabetes trial to begin in New Zealand – News item
Clinical trials to treat insulin-dependent diabetics with pig tissue will begin in New Zealand later this month.

Genes and ethics – Radio New Zealand audio
Genes and ethics are discussed by Mark Hanaghan, leader of the Human Genome Research Project, and clinical geneticist Ingrid Winship in this broadcast from Radio New Zealand’s Our Changing World programme.
Audio duration: 12:45

More news and events

We welcome your ideas

Email us at enquiries@biotechlearn.org.nz if you have any questions about the Hub, or complete our online feedback form.

Best wishes,
Dr Diane Dinnis, Project Manager
New Zealand Biotechnology Learning Hub


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