Biotechnology, Genetic Engineering and Cloning in Biology.. Are they the same? These terms are easily confused by my students. Or maybe, these fields are not really understood by them. So, my dear students.. wait no more..

What is Biotechnology?

Biotechnology has been around almost as long as the human species. The first attempts at agriculture involved the spreading of seeds on the ground and the harvesting of the plants that grew from them. Over time they noticed that certain plants from the same species had superior characteristics. By selecting seeds from these desirable plants they were able to produce a greater amount of high quality food. Similar practices led to the development of many breeds of domestic animals. For example the domestic cow has been developed to produce good milk or meat. The biological processes of microorganisms were used for 6,000 years to make useful food products, such as bread and cheese, and to preserve dairy products and crops.
Early examples of biotechnology involved manipulating entire organisms. Today it is possible to manipulate organisms at the molecular level. During the 1960s and '70s the understanding of biology reached a point where began the use of the smallest parts of organisms, their cells and molecules, in addition to using whole organisms. The biological molecules most often used are nucleic acids, such as DNA, and proteins. The concept of the gene has changed from that of particles or 'unit characters' to that of segments of the DNA molecule. Bioengineering involves the manipulation of specific genes. For example the gene for human growth hormone can be extracted and inserted into bacteria that will in turn manufacture the hormone.

Biotechnology: A Collection of Technologies
Better meaning of the word biotechnology can be derived by simply changed singular noun to its plural form; 'biotechnologies', because biotechnology is a collection of technologies using cells and biological molecules.
Cells and molecules are extraordinarily specific in their interactions. Because of this specificity, the tools and techniques of biotechnology are quite precise and are tailored to operate in known, predictable ways. As a result, the products of biotechnology will be better targeted to solving specific problems, generating lesser side effects and having fewer unintended consequences. Specific, precise, and predictable are the words that best describe today's biotechnology.

What are some technologies included in Biotechnology?
  • Fermentation
  • Cell and Tissue Culture
  • Genetic Modification or recombinant DNA technology
  • Genetic engineering technology
  • Antisense technology
  • Protein engineering technology
  • Monoclonal antibody technology
  • Biosensor technology
  • DNA fingerprinting and diagnostic techniques
  • Biodegradation
Extracted from http://home.123india.com/nbsc/btech/intro.htm. Surf this website for more information on the technologies and their applications.. especially the Genetic Engineering Technology.
To know the history of biotechnology.. refer
http://www.biotechno.netfirms.com/Biotechnology.htm. Don't miss this tour!
More on Genetic Engineering
Genes and Genetic Engineering.. refer http://www.psrast.org/gefirstintro.htm.
Several web-definitions on Genetic Engineering..
  • Tools and techniques used to isolate one or more genes from an organism, modify the material obtained, and transfer it into another organism.
  • Scientific alteration of the structure of genetic material in a living organism. It involves the production and use of recombinant DNA and has been employed to create bacteria that synthesise insulin and other human proteins.
  • The science of altering and cloning genes to produce a new trait in an organism or to make a biological substance, such as a protein or hormone. Genetic engineering mainly involves the creation of recombinant DNA, which is then inserted into the genetic material of a cell or virus. (Don't confuse gene cloning with animal cloning. Refer below for better understanding on these.)
  • A deliberate, controlled manipulation of genes in an organism with the intention of making the organism better in some way.The result is a so-called genetically modified organism (GMO).
Surf this website
http://www.safe-food.org/-issue/ge.html to know more about the genetic engineering. Questions to be answered by this website..
What are the dangers?
Are government scientists concerned?
What do other scientists say?
Are the claims valid?
What do people want?
What is Cloning in Biology then?
..sorry later.


Specially for you.. Yes, YOU.

PROKED.. What's that?

Recent news.. another 7 teachers in our school have been promoted as GCs.. congratulations! So including me, there are 10 of us. As a senior, I need to do something.. a team-building is needed.. plus another at least 10 senior teachers.. a 'Proactive KUSESS Educators' team will be organised. So, as short.. PROKED.. ok tak? This is only a suggestion.. it's open for amendments.

So.. what's the first thing to do? According to a simple survey circulated yesterday.. the finding on priority is; (1) Building Teaching and Learning Materials, (2) Conducting Action Research, another (2) Creating Weblogs, (4) Publishing a School Journal (or something near to it), and (5) Using 'Skype' in Communication.
(1) and (2).. should be no problem.. I have some materials and sources to share. 'Weblog' and 'Skype'.. the more you know, the more you want to learn.. so, they involve a never ending lesson. My knowledge in this field, for the time being, is very limited.. however I'm willing to share. We'll see who can help.. maybe Brahym, Hanafi, Sam, or anybody in the PROKED team. The other one is..
publishing a school journal to be used in teaching and learning. Don't know much actually. Journals that I used to know are usually compiling research reports.. quite heavy stuffs. Let's search information at http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/journal/index.htm. This website might be usefull; http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/tabletpc/learnmore/templates.mspx. Let's find out.
PROKED team.. remember that next Monday and Wednesday, we're to meet.. to deal with this mission. Wait no more.. time is running. Till then..

National Young Scientist Competition

An event in.. The National Education of Science and Technology Carnival 2009.
Date: 12 August 2009
Venue: SM Sains Tuaku Syed Putra, Perlis

Here's my report..

August 10th, 2130 hr: Journey to Perlis.. by a double-decker Executive Bus. My first experience sitting on the second deck. Nothing much to share.. cos' most of the time I was sound asleep.

August 11th, 0545 hr: Reached Kangar Bus Station.. an unfamiliar place. A colleague, Hj Jamaluddin was waiting for me there.. good enough of him to volunteer. The thing is.. I didn't get down the bus.. and the bus moved with me inside! I was dropped at a Petronas Gas Station.. early morning at the road side. Hj hired a taxi to lead him to that place. At last.. I was picked.

August 11th, 0630 hr: Reached Putra Brasmana Hotel, Kuala Perlis. Freshened up.. had breakfast.. and prepared to leave for SM Sains Tuanku Syed Putra.

August 11th, 0930 hr: Waiting for all the competition juries to come.. went to the office and then met the lab staff. We only used the school's lab.. but all the materials and apparatus were prepared by SMK Arau staff. Everything laid.. all checked.. experiments worked.. and all set for the competition the next day.

August 11th, 1400 hr: Gave a short briefing to all the juries and the lab staffs. Everybody must be well prepared for the event next day. Shortcomings need to be avoided.

August 11th, 1630 hr: Datin Noridah, a friend teaching in that school, brought us to her house. After performing solat, she took us to Padang Besar.. a must-go place if you're in Perlis. Bought some ole-ole to take home.

August 11th, 2030 hr: Datin Noridah belanja us dinner.. a place near our hotel. YM Raja Azahar (MOE officer in charged of the carnival) and En Hamzani (SBP officer) were with us too.

August 12th, 0730 hr: The day.. registration.. briefing to all competitors (representating 16 states in Malaysia).. the competition ran smoothly.. ended by 1230 hr.. near perfection.. no shortcomings. A job well done!

August 12th, 1430 hr: All the competition juries.. Hj Jamaluddin, Roziah, Haryati and me.. jumped in a ferry to Langkawi.. time to break away. After a few minutes in our seats.. we dozzzzzed of.. no time to enjoy the ferry ride. 1530 hr; reached Langkawi.. performed solat.. we had about 3 hrs(+) to do shooping. 1930 hr; back to Kuala Perlis. Reached our hotel.. packing.. retired for the day.. getting ready for home tomorrow.

Identify us by the photo-pictures below..

To know more.. just post a comment.


Challenge You Challenge Me

Here's something I would like to share..

In my Bio class last Tuesday, with the 4N-17'most-loved'bunch.. I used my power-point for the lesson. In one of the slides I showed them this (see the images). I warned them.. if anybody falls asleep in my class I'll panggang them like this. (Ayo.. brutal nye!!)

Know what.. Z and B have been trying very hard not to doze off. B managed.. but the other one macam biasa terlentuk for few seconds. So.. what do you think.. nak panggang ke budak nie? I've been trying several teaching techniques for this class.. belum give-up lagi!! Please pray for me.. give me the energy to do more.

However, in yesterday's Bio class.. ALL were fully awake. Z said; Yeh.. harini tak tidopun. He seemed happy. Somebody responded.. Dia takut kena panggang, teacher.

Help needed.. The images are supposed to be animated.. don't know why they're not working. Please anyblogger.. post me a suggestion.

What I know about how to create a blog (maybe useful for beginners)

I'm a beginner too. However, it's never too early to share.

Follow these steps:
1. Open this website:
2. Press button; Create a Blog.
3. Sign in. The password of your email address must at least 8 characters. If not, you'll be guided how to change it.
4. Press Continue.
5. Create your blog now. Fill up; Blog title, Blog address, and copy the 'eye-twister' so called word.
6. Press Continue.
7. Choose a template. Search for the best one to your liking.. if you change later, it might change your layout.
8. Press Continue.
9. Start blogging.

You'll have more choices of template designs at
http://www.deluxetemplates.net/. They're free of charge the last time I looked at them.. however, no guarantee, sometimes they change their minds. There are more at http://thecutestsiteontheblock.com/. Just bear in mind.. most of them are not for free.

Beginners.. wait no more. Just do it. This is for sure.. the more you browse the net, the more you know about blogging.

Don't forget to post your comments.. I'm waiting!! ..include your suggestions, and even new findings to share. (In Malay pun OK)

Not forgetting.. Thanx Brahym for your 1-hour(+) guidance just now. (Terima kasih daun keladi = Yam leaf thanx !!)


occurs to provide oxygen to the alveoli and remove carbon dioxide and water from the body. Don't get confused with the term 'external respiration'.. refer gaseous exchange below.

The purpose of respiration is to provide oxygen to cells for the process of cellular respiration. Cellular respiration occurs in the mitochondria of cells and produces ATP energy for cellular processes. During cellular respiration, glucose and oxygen (nutrients) are converted to carbon dioxide and water (wastes). Respiration also removes these waste products with the help of the circulatory system. As before, don't get confused with the term 'internal respiration'.. just refer gaseous exchange below.

  • Inhalation = Breathing in air
  • Exhalation = Breathing out air
Refer images of 'breathing in and breathing out' at www.singintune.org/voice-production.html.

Refer explanations on breathing mechanism at http://www.geocities.com/hkbiology/gaseousexchange.htm.
The diaphragm
looks like an overturned bowl, whose lip is at the base of the rib cage. Air flows into the lungs when the diaphragm contracts downward, giving the lungs room to expand downwards. The intercostal muscles of the ribs expand the rib cage outward, creating a partial vacuum. The external intercostal muscles contract and the internal intercostal muscles relax. This causes air to flow into the lungs where the air pressure is low, allowing equilibrium to be achieved. Breathing is not a matter of "sucking" in air. The rib cage expands first, causing the air to flow into the lungs.
Try this task..
External intercostal muscles ............... >>Internal intercostal muscles .............. >>Rib cage moves upwards and .............
>>Diaphragm ............. and flattens. >>Volume of thoracic cavity .............. >>Air pressure in lungs ............. >>........... from outside enters the lungs
Just like the 'inhalation'.. but the opposite.

  • External respiration = The gas exchange between the alveoli and blood capillaries of the lungs
  • Internal respiration = The gas exchange between the blood capillaries of the body and the body tissues. (If you learn more, this transport in not directly from the blood capillaries to the body tissues.. but via the interstitial fluid.. the fluid that bathes the body tissues)

Refer image at designanduniverse.com/articles/blood.php.

Refer (i) http://www.tutorvista.com/content/science/science-ii/respiration/gaseous-exchange.php and (ii) http://www.personal.psu.edu/dum153/blogs/writing/assignment-4/assignment-4.html for information on gaseous exchange in the lungs and in the body tissues.


(i) The partial pressure of gas is equivalent to the concentration of the gas. (The higher the gas concentration, the higher the gas partial pressure).

(ii) Gas diffuses from a region of higher partial pressure (higher concentration) to a region of lower partial pressure (lower concentration).. by simple diffusion.

Describe these..


(i) The diffusion of oxygen from the air in an alveolus into the blood capillary. .....?
(ii) The diffusion of carbon dioxide from the blood capillary into an alveolus. .....?


(i) The diffusion of oxygen from the blood capillary into a body cell. .....?
(ii) The diffusion of carbon dioxide from a body cell into the blood capillary. .....?


Blood transports oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water between the lungs and body cells.

Fill in the blank spaces..
1. Oxygen is carried by ................. molecules inside the ...............
Reaction in the red blood cell (Lungs): Hb (............) + O2 (...........) ->> HbO2 (............)
2. Upon reaching the body cells, .............. dissociates to form ............. and ...........
Reaction in the red blood cell (Body cells): HbO2 (..............) ->> Hb (...........) + O2 (........)

3. Blood high in oxygen gas releases oxygen gas into the body cells by ...................


1. Carbon dioxide is transported mainly in blood plasma in the form of bicarbonate ion (70%).

Reaction in the blood (Body cells): CO2 (.............) + H2O (.........) ->> H2CO3 (..............) ->> H+ (..............) + HCO3- (.............) (Enzyme used .....................).
Water and carbon dioxide diffuse into the blood where they form carbonic acid. In the blood, carbonic acid is converted into bicarbonate ions and hydrogen ions by the enzyme carbonic anhydrase.
Reaction in the blood (Lungs): H+ (.............) + HCO3- (..............) ->> H2CO3 (..............) ->> CO2 (.............) + H2O (...........)
2. A small amount (23%) of the carbon dioxide combines with hemoglobin to form ............. in the red blood cells and is returned to the lungs in this form.
3. About 7% of the carbon dioxide is transported as dissolved carbon dioxide in the ............
4. Blood high in carbon dioxide gas releases carbon dioxide gas into the lungs by ...............


My First Post

Al last I've created my own blog. Know what.. my daughter, Nazirah, showed me how to start with it. She is actually in the learning process too! That's her.. as seen thru my hp lens.. >>>