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Sustainable table: organic sceptics

This is a website about organic farming. It contains sections on: the difference between conventional and organic farming; the health benefits associated with eating organic food; the price of organic food; the damage conventional farming causes to the environment; certification of organic food; and feeding the world organically. ...

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Breeding a sustainable future

This is a unit of work that focuses on improvements in livestock and crop production brought about by agricultural practice, scientific research and technology. The unit is organised around six learning experiences that include investigating how agricultural products have developed over time; identifying the role of technology ...

Video

Building cells synthetically

A cell's own genetic material provides the instructions for how it works, but what if we could design our own set of instructions? Synthetic biology combines biology and engineering in the design of new systems and functions for cells. Watch this animated clip for an explanation of this new, innovative technology. See examples ...

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GM bananas

Meet a scientist who is genetically modifying bananas to make them more nutritious. Learn about some of the benefits and concerns about using gene technologies to modify foods.

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When does life begin?

The use of embryonic stem cells for medical research is a hotly debated ethical issue, with much of the discussion focusing on when human life begins. Listen to the views both of scientists and of some people from several faith traditions. In a major stem-cell breakthrough, scientists have discovered a new type of stem ...

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Genetically engineered crops

Explore how DNA and genes transmit heritable characteristics from one generation to the next. Discover how artificial selection and genetic engineering can be used to introduce desirable traits into plant foods. Use video clips to explore the arguments for and against genetically engineered crops.Examine different perspectives ...

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Harnessing stem cells to grow new cells

Have you ever wanted to know what the fuss about stem cells is? Watch this 2009 clip to find out what stem cells are and why they are valuable to medical research. Learn about a breakthrough that might defuse the ethical debate.

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Greenpeace takes a stand against GM crops

Watch Greenpeace activists mow down a research crop of genetically modified (GM) wheat grown by CSIRO. Consider some arguments for and against GM foods and find out the number of GM crops being trialled around Australia.

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Who funds GM research trials?

Genetically modified (GM) foods are expensive to develop. They are often created through research partnerships between publicly funded scientists and private corporations. This offers advantages but also raises concerns about research objectivity and potential bias. Explore some of the issues surrounding the commercialisation ...

Video

Genetically modified food: divided perspectives

Imagine that farmers were able to droughtproof or pest-proof their crops. Manipulating genes in food can provide solutions to many farming and food supply problems. However, not everyone agrees on how this new technology should be used. Watch this clip to find out why some Australian farmers are divided on this issue.

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Winning the race to feed a growing population

The race is on to produce higher crop-yielding plants that will feed an ever-growing world population. See how scientists at the Plant Accelerator facility are investigating ways of increasing crop production. Some are focusing on conventional plant-breeding techniques while others are using GM (genetic modification) technology.

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Syllabus Bites: Biotechnology

This website defines biotechnology and highlights some examples from the broad spectrum constituting biotechnology, describing potential for benefits and harm. It explores both the science and ethical issues.