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Newsletter – September 2011

A new teaching focus story about breeding red-fleshed apples has just been published on the Hub. We’ve also added some resources that show how you could use ethical frameworks to explore the Transgenic cows focus story with your students.

Breeding red-fleshed apples

Breeding red-fleshed apples – Focus story
The idea of breeding a red-fleshed apple came out of a trip by a New Zealand scientist to the wild apple forests of Kazakhstan to collect different apples and expand Plant & Food Research’s apple germplasm collection.

Resources supporting the technology curriculum levels 5–8

Consumer and sensory science in plant breeding – Info sheet
Consumer and sensory science play an integral role in developing new fruit varieties such as the red-fleshed apple.

Designing a sensory trial for apples – Video clip
Assessing apple attributes – Interactive
Investigating apple attributes – Teaching activity

Resources supporting the science curriculum levels 7–8  

Genetic information and apple breeding – Info sheet   
Information about apple genetics is helping breeders at Plant & Food Research in New Zealand to breed new apple cultivars faster and more efficiently.

Making a transgenic plant – Interactive
DNA markers and apple breeding – Video clip
What controls apple flesh colour – Video clip 

Ethics and transgenic cows

In New Zealand, transgenic cows are modified to make casein-enriched milk or to produce a human protein in their milk that may be used to treat patients with multiple sclerosis. 

Explore the ethics of generating transgenic animals with our new teaching resources, which support NCEA AS90718 (Biology 3.6) Describe applications of biotechnological techniques.

Ethics of transgenic cows – Unit plan
In this unit, students develop their knowledge of transgenics so they can formulate an argument and make ethical decisions about using transgenic cows to make medicines to treat human diseases.

Ethical frameworks and transgenics – Student activity
Ethics of modifying cows with human genes – Student activity
Role-play ethics and transgenics – Student activity

News and events

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

Pig cell transplants could fuel health tourism – News item
A New Zealand treatment centre offering transplants of pig tissue to diabetics will lead to the growth of ‘xenotransplant tourism’, says medical researcher Professor Robert Elliott.

New technology gives honey pharmaceutical properties – News item
Natural health science company Mānuka Health New Zealand Ltd is developing a technology it says will turn the active ingredient in its Mānuka honey into pharmaceutical products.

Biocomposites – Radio NZ audio
Biocomposites made entirely of cellulose are the focus of current research at the University of Canterbury. These materials offer a more environmentally friendly alternative to composites made from petrochemical resources.

More news and events

Contact us

We’d like to hear from you if you’re using Hub resources in the classroom or if you’re interested in helping us develop new resources. Please email enquiries@biotechlearn.org.nz, and we’ll be in touch.

Best wishes
The Biotechnology Learning Hub team


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