The SIVB is proud to announce that it has hosted a video recorded Lecture Series titled Issues in Biotechnologyon their website under the Education Tab; Educational Opportunities.  The applications and developments in biotechnology are among the most provocative and socially relevant topics today. This Lecture Series, Issues in Biotechnology, by Dr. Albert Kausch, Professor at the University of Rhode Island and Education Chair for the SIVB, is widely accessible and intended for a broad audience; including members of the general public, those involved in the associated industries (both scientists and non-scientists), teachers, students of all levels and majors and is free to members and non-members of SIVB as an open resource. This Series provides information on the many perspectives for the wide-ranging topics in biotechnology today.   These lectures can be viewed as an entire series or selected individually. They provide an excellent resource for teachers (HS and up), instructors and professors. The Series includes Study Guide questions which can be used on assessments, as well as polling questions for discussion purposes.

The Lecture Series is presented in two parts.  First, in Part I, the basic questions What is Life? and How does it work? are examined.  How do we go from DNA, to an organism that can discuss it? let alone engineer it. To address these questions, the fundamental mechanics of biological life: DNA, gene expression and cloning, are presented in basic terms.  This serves as a basis for the understanding the current applications of modern biotechnology. In addition, the question; What is evolution?  How does it happen? Why is it controversial? is explained.

In Part II,  the Applications in Biotechnology are discussed; including Agricultural Biotechnology (Where does our food come from?; GMOs in food, what are they, how are they made, why are they controversial?; etc.); Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (history of drugs used by humans, small molecule drugs, vaccines, antibodies, personalized pharmacy etc.); Medical Biotechnology (stem cells, gene therapy, tissue engineering, nanotechnology etc.); Pandemic Flu and Bioweapons (dual use knowledge dilemma); Cancer Biology and Emergent Technologies; and Forensics (DNA and Crime Solving, Public Databasing and the Future).  The implications of biotechnology to world economy, politics, careers, ecology, social concerns and ethics are also discussed throughout. The link for the Issues in BiotechnologyLectures Series can be found on the Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB) website under the Education Tab and accessed at    In addition, this Series is part of a popular OnLine course offered at the University of Rhode Island and can be taken for credit by interested students anywhere. Dr. Kausch can be reached at, for any questions or comments.


Submitted by Albert Kausch