Cover image for Issues and dilemmas of biotechnology : a reference guide
Issues and dilemmas of biotechnology : a reference guide
Schacter, Bernice Zeldin, 1943-
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiv, 205 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
The origins of biotechnology -- The Asilomar Conference of 1975 -- Patenting of life -- The release of a genetically engineered microorganism -- Corn genetically engineered with an insecticide -- Bovine growth hormone, a dairy farmer and ice cream suits -- The Human Genome Project -- Genetic testing for risk assessment for disease -- Gene therapy -- Forensic DNA testing and databanking: basics of DNA fingerprinting -- Cloning of a mammal -- Appendix: Internet sites.
Reading Level:
1490 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TP248.2 .S33 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Recent advances in biotechnology in areas as diverse as agriculture, the environment, food, and healthcare have led to much debate and media attention. This unique reference resource for advanced high school students and teachers explores the science behind these new technologies and examines the stakeholders and their stakes in the various debates. The author presents views of scientists, doctors, insurance companies, and big businesses, among others, on such issues as genetic testing, patenting of human gene sequences, cloning, and genetically engineered food.

Each chapter addresses a specific issue with the goals of helping readers understand all the different ways biotechnology is being explored and implemented in our lives today, as well as to critically perceive the arguments being made concerning these issues. Students will learn there is more to biotechnology than cloning sheep, that it is also used for such purposes as making cheese and beer. Each topic is presented as a Case Study describing of a range of technologies and a diversity of stakeholders that will allow users to draw their own conclusions. This introduction to the technologies and the debates surrounding them also encourages students to take advantage of the many available sources for further research, particularly on the Internet.

Author Notes

BERNICE SCHACTER is a biotechnology consultant and visiting professor at Wesleyan University.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Provides background information on genetic engineering, gene therapy, and other issues.

Choice Review

Biotechnology has dominated the news in the 1990s and will continue to be a top story well into the 2000s. Schacter (visiting professor, Wesleyan Univ.) provides a cursory analysis of the ethical and legal issues raised by modern biotechnological developments in the US. She limits her definition of biotechnology to the developments that have taken place since 1970. Much coverage is given to gene technology and DNA sciences; cloning, forensic DNA analysis, gene therapy, gene testing, and genetically modified organisms are included as case studies to analyze the pertinent ethics and government policies. Little is mentioned about large-scale biotechnology production of beverages, foods, industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and textiles. A well-organized book for advanced high school students, undergraduates, and teachers, it is designed to furnish a general background on biotechnology issues, using actual events and hypothetical case studies backed by factual information. With few exceptions, it is accurate and comprehensive without being exhaustive; however, those wishing a more detailed analysis of biotechnology legal issues and policy will need a more technical resource. List of abbreviations; contemporary references; current Internet site list. Appropriate for high school and lower-division undergraduate students as well as two-year technical program students. B. R. Shmaefsky; Kingwood College

Table of Contents

The Origins of Biotechnology: A Primer on the Science and Beginnings of Its Regulations
The Asilomar Conference of 1975 Patenting of Life: Chakrabarty, General Electric, the Patent Office, and the Supreme Court
The Release of a Genetically Engineered Microorganism Corn
Genetically Engineered with an Insecticide Bovine Growth Hormone
The Human Genome Project Genetic
Testing for Risk Assessment for Disease Gene Therapy Forensic DNA Testing