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Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: A Guide for Teachers, Third Edition

Editors: Helen Kreuzer1, Adrianne Massey2
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Affiliations: 1: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland,Washington; 2: A. Massey & Associates, Chapel Hill, North Carolina;
Content Type: Textbook
Publication Year: 2008

Category: Microbial Genetics and Molecular Biology; Applied and Industrial Microbiology

The third edition of this widely praised, best-selling textbook (formerly Recombinant DNA and Biotechnology) provides clear, indispensable information in cell and molecular biology that explains the exciting advances in biology and biotechnology. Because the field changes so rapidly, the need to provide crucial background information has never been more urgent. This text provides the vital information, latest knowledge, and clear-headed approaches that provide a basis for rationally discussing the interrelationship of science, technology, and society. Additionally, the authors significantly added to their explanations of the societal issues that this new research raises. They provide critical thinking tools and processes to analyze issues such as gene flow in plants, animal cloning, genetic screening, and embryonic stem cells.

In addition to providing the latest information on scientific foundations and technological applications of biotechnology, the book provides numerous activities to bring this exciting science to life. Specifically, the text addresses biotechnology applications and attendant societal issues including therapeutic cloning, embryonic stem cells, genetic testing, food safety, and potential environmental impacts.

The teacher volume includes all of the information contained within the student volume, and it also incorporates numerous pedagogical resources. For instance, the instructor's volume includes a comprehensive CD-ROM containing chapter figures, templates and worksheets, laboratory resources, and teaching resources. Additionally, the authors explain the nuts and bolts of running a molecular biology laboratory, such as aseptic technique, using micropipettes, keeping microbial cultures well fed and happy, and crucial safety steps.

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image of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: A Guide for Teachers, Third Edition

Quarterly Review of Biology

15 December 2013

Teaching molecular biology and biotechnology to undergraduate students requires not only relaying the basic concepts of molecular biology, but also providing firsthand experience in the use of molecular biology tools for biotechnological applications. Both teachers and students will find the third edition of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology to be an excellent and rich resource for understanding the foundations of molecular biology and a guide for many interesting and challenging activities and problems.

The guides for teachers and students are each separated into three main parts. Part I consists of five chapters that provide in-depth discussions on the foundations of molecular biology and serve as essential background for the classroom activities that follow in Part II. The third part of each book is dedicated to social issues that are an integral part of modern biotechnology. Part II is what truly makes this pair of volumes an excellent and most intriguing educational tool. It provides over 20 different activities, each consisting of one to several exercises that will engage students in specific biotechnological issues. For example, students can experience the basics of forensic DNA typing by analyzing three different scenarios: a mix-up between babies at the hospital, a paternity case, and a murder case. Although the last example is hypothetical in nature, other activities, such as the transduction of an antibiotic-resistance gene, are constructed to provide students with guidelines for hands-on laboratory experiments. Supported with an instructional CD-ROM for teachers that contains the images, tables, and other fact sheets from both guides and an appendix composed of a large number of worksheets that are an integral part of the student activities, these volumes can serve as excellent blueprints for a successful molecular biology and biotechnology course.

Quarterly Review of Biology

Volume 83

Reviewer: Tzvi Tzfira, Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Review Date: September 2008

Doody Enterprises

14 July 2013

At A Glance

The third edition of this widely praised, best-selling textbook (formerly Recombinant DNA and Biotechnology) provides clear, indispensable information in cell and molecular biology that explains the exciting advances in biology and biotechnology. Because the field changes so rapidly, the need to provide crucial background information has never been more urgent. This text provides the vital information, latest knowledge, and clear-headed approaches that provide a basis for rationally discussing the interrelationship of science, technology, and society. Additionally, the authors significantly added to their explanations of the societal issues that this new research raises. They provide critical thinking tools and processes to analyze issues such as gene flow in plants, animal cloning, genetic screening, and embryonic stem cells.

In addition to providing the latest information on scientific foundations and technological applications of biotechnology, the book provides numerous activities to bring this exciting science to life. Specifically, the text addresses biotechnology applications and attendant societal issues including therapeutic cloning, embryonic stem cells, genetic testing, food safety, and potential environmental impacts.

The teacher volume includes all of the information contained within the student volume, and it also incorporates numerous pedagogical resources, such as a comprehensive CD-ROM containing chapter figures, templates and worksheets, laboratory resources, and teaching resources.

Key Features

* Updates and revises the best-selling text formerly titled Recombinant DNA and Biotechnology

* Written in a clear, easy-to-understand language that makes complicated information accessible to

those with minimal background in this area

* Serves as both a textbook and a laboratory activities manual

* Designed for those instructors interested in "problem-based" approaches for teaching and learning

* Includes activities for both wet and dry laboratory settings

* Teaches essential critical thinking skills

* Teacher Volume provides instructor CD-ROM with many valuable teaching implements, including

worksheets, templates, and teaching tips

* Presents activities that have been field tested, most for more than a decade. Book comes with CDROM.

Description

This is a guide for high school teachers on modern molecular biology. This revised edition follows the previous one by five years.

Purpose

The goal is to provide teachers with a guide/manual/how-to text to accompany student exercises in a biology laboratory. Given the importance of understanding modern biology, this is a worthwhile effort. In general terms, the authors have succeeded.

Audience

The target audience is high school teachers, although some instructors at junior colleges may find value as well. The authors have educational experience and sufficient knowledge of the field to cover major areas.

Features

The first section of this book (identical for the student guide as well) provides a short overview of the main aspects of modern molecular biology. Although highly general and descriptive (likely necessary given the audience), key ideas are presented in a readable format. There is a tendency to oversell some technology (a bit of gee-whiz) beyond where the field actually is, but most naïve readers will come away with an appreciation of the potential inherent in this branch of science. The remainder is focused on a series of practical exercises designed to guide the teacher so that a class of students can execute the work. It is no small challenge to make such laboratory procedures student-proof. The instructions are clear and the examples chosen relatively foolproof. There are a few key references for each exercise, a set of worksheets as an appendix, and a resource disc to complement the material. Those using this volume should avoid the temptation to see these remarkable scientific advances as all encompassing. Students learning this material will also profit from an understanding of limitations, not fully covered here. Nonetheless, this is a worthy book for secondary school teachers who wish to convey, in a hands-on sense, the promise of modern biology.

Assessment

Dedicated teachers who have not had a science course for many years will profit substantially from having this book. The new edition is well justified. Although some of the survey material is too enthusiastic, better enthusiasm than disinterest.

Doody Enterprises

Reviewer: Eugene Davidson, PhD (Georgetown University School of Medicine)

Review Date: Unknown

©Doody’s Review Service

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