A2 OCR Biology - Unit 2, Module 2 - Biotechnology

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Name 4 foods that are produced with the help of microorganisms
Cheese, yoghurt, mycoprotein, soya sauce
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Definition of biotechnology
Industrial use of living organisms to produce food, drugs and other products
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What is the Latin name of the fungus that produces Penicillin?
Penicillium
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Why is the treatment of water a biotechnological process?
Bacteria and fungi use the organic waste and nutrients in the water to make the waste harmless
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What are the advantages of using microorganisms?
1. Grow rapidly in favourable conditions/ 2. Can be genetically engineered/ 3. Often produce chemicals that can be harvested from the surrounding medium/ 4. Grow well at lower temperatures/ 5. Can be grown using useless/toxic materials
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Definition of cloning
The process of producing genetically identical cells or organisms from the cells of an existing organism
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What do scientists use clones for?
Research - testing new drugs, saving endangered animals from extinction, farmers increasing desired characteristics
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What is non-reproductive cloning also known as?
Therapeutic cloning
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Why are embryonic stem cells (harvested from young embryos) used for cloning?
They have the potential to become any cell type in an organism so could replace any tissues
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Describe the process of nuclear transfer
Body cell taken with nucleus extracted and kept/ Egg cell taken from another animal with its nucleus removed to make an enucleated cell/ insert nucleus into enucleated cell/ divides/ embryo formed/ implanted in surrogate mother
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What are the advantages of cloning animals?
Desirable genetic characteristics always passed on to clones, reproduce infertile animals, don't need to have a breeding season - can be done at any time
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What are the disadvantages of cloning animals?
Undesirable genetic characteristics always passed on to clones, difficult, time-consuming, expensive, clones may not live as long
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What are the ethical issues to do with human cloning?
Embryos destroyed after harvesting embryonic stem cells - destroying life/ lower quality of life - social exclusion maybe/ undermines natural sexual reproduction and traditional family structures
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How can you clone plants from existing plants?
Tissue culture
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How is tissue culture done?
Cells taken from original plant from stem and root tips (undifferentiated stem cells)/ Sterilisation kills any microorganisms/ Placed on culture medium with nutrients and growth factors/ Divide and grow/ Planted into soil
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What is the term that describes how some plants produce natural clones?
Vegetative propagation
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What are the structures on elm trees that produce clones?
Suckers
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What is a sucker?
A shoot that grows from the shallow roots of an elm tree
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When are suckers activated?
During times of stress - drought, damage, disease - or when a tree is dying
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Do suckers grow close or far away from the original tree?
Normally would grow close, but they can pop up many metres away from the parent tree to help avoid any stress that triggered their growth
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What are the advantages of cloning plants?
Desirable genetic characteristics always passed on, can be produced in any season (indoors), quick, sterile plants can be reproduced
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What are the disadvantages of cloning plants?
Undesirable genetic characteristics always passed on, no genetic variability - single disease could kill them all, high production costs - high energy use and training skilled workers
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Why are bacteria and fungi mostly used in biotechnology?
Can easily create their ideal growth conditions, grow rapidly, grown any time of the year, grow on toxic/waste materials
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What are intracellular enzymes?
Enzymes contained within the cells of organisms
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What are the main ways to immobilise enzymes?
Encapsulated in alginate beads, covalently bonded to a support (clay), adsorption to clays, resins, porous carbon or glass beads, trapping in a network of cellulose fibres, separation from substrate mixture by a partially permeable membrane
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What are the advantages of immobilising enzymes?
Can be washed and reused, no time or money spent separating the product from the enzymes, more stable than free enzymes
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Definition of a culture
A population of one type of microorganism that's been under controlled conditions
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Under what conditions do a population of microorganisms follow a standard growth curve?
In a closed culture of a population of microorganisms - isolated fromt he external environment where extra nutrients aren't added and waste products aren't removed
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What are the 4 phases of the standard growth curve (in order)?
Lag, exponential, stationary, decline
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What happens during the lag phase?
Population size increases slowly - mircroorganisms have to make enzymes and other molecules before they can reproduce
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What happens during the exponential phase?
Population size increases quickly - favourable conditions for reproduction (lots of food and little competition) - number of microorganisms doubles at regular intervals
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What happens during the stationary phase?
Population size stays level - death rate is equal to the reproduction rate - not enough food and poisonous wastes build up
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What happens during the decline phase?
Population size falls - death rate is greater than reproduction rate - food is scarce and waste products have build up at toxic levels
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What are primary metabolites?
Small molecules that are essential fro the growth of microorganisms - produced when conditions are favourable
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What are secondary metabolites?
Molecules that aren't essential for growth but are useful in other ways
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Give an example of a secondary metabolite
Penicillin
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Name 2 things that are monitored in fermentation vessels
pH and temperature
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How is temperature kept at the optimum level?
With a water jacket that surrounds the vessel
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Why are there paddles in a fermentor?
Microorganisms can be kept in contact with fresh medium by paddles that circulate the medium around the vessel - microorganisms can always access the nutrients needed for growth
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Why is the volume of oxygen kept at optimum level?
For respiration
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What happens to the vessels between uses?
They are sterilised with superheated steam to kill unwanted microorganisms - reduces competition
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What are the two main culture methods?
Batch and continuous
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Which culture (batch or continuous) is kept in an open system?
Continuous culture
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Which culture (batch or continuous) goes only through the lag phase and is then kept at the exponential phase?
Continuous culture
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Why is the product yield in a batch culture quite low?
Stopping the reaction and sterilising the vessel between fermentations means there's a period when no product is being harvested
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Which culture (batch or continuous) is used to produce primary metabolites?
Continous culture
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Why can contamination on an industrial scale be very costly?
Entire cultures may have to be thrown away
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Name some aseptic techniques that can be used when working with microorganisms?
Regularily disinfect work surfaces/ Wear gloves/ Long hair is tied back/ Sterilise instruments before and after use to kill microorganisms/ lids held over open containers after they're removed so unwanted microorganisms don't fall onto the culture
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Name a way to sterilise the instruments used in the culture of microorganisms
Inoculation loops are heated using a Bunsen burner to kill any microrganisms on them
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Card 2

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Definition of biotechnology

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Industrial use of living organisms to produce food, drugs and other products

Card 3

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What is the Latin name of the fungus that produces Penicillin?

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Card 4

Front

Why is the treatment of water a biotechnological process?

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Card 5

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What are the advantages of using microorganisms?

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