Introduction to Biotechnology, Global Edition

William J. Thieman / Michael A. Palladino  
Total pages
November 2019
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Introduction to Biotechnology, Global Edition
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For courses in biotechnology.
Introduction to Biotechnology brings the latest information students need to understand the science and business of biotechnology. The popular text emphasises the future of biotechnology and the biotechnology student’s role in that future with balanced coverage of basic cell and molecular biology, fundamental techniques, historical accounts, new advances, and hands-on applications.
The 4th Edition features content updates in every chapter that reflect the most relevant, up-to-date changes in technology, applications, ethical issues, and regulations. Additionally, every chapter now includes an analytic Case Study that highlights current research and asks students to use what they’ve learned about key chapter concepts to answer questions. New Career Profiles, written by biotech professionals highlight potential jobs in the biotech industry. The chapter on biotechnology regulations has been revised to include regulations involving international bodies.


  • A “Business of Biotechnology” section in Chapter 1 describes biotech company organisation and structure, top biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and features updated data on the biotechnology industry worldwide.
  • Concise overviews examine cutting-edge techniques and concepts including bioinformatics, proteomics, gene editing, and genomics, as well as detailed information on agricultural, medical, forensic, and regulatory issues that impact the biotechnology industry.
  • Coverage of recent research and developments includes discussions of gene editing approaches like CRISPR, precision medicine, immunotherapies, biosimilar drugs, transgenic crops, 3D bioprinting of tissues and organs, the Human Microbiome Project, and the Cancer Atlas Genome Project.
  • Tools of the Trade Boxes provide details on modern techniques and methods related to each chapter’s content and the biotech industry.
  • Making a Difference inspires and engages students by discussing how real people, real companies, and real organisations are putting biotech to use to improve the quality of life. Making a Difference appears at the end of each chapter and provides short case studies that contain an example of the chapter’s content and how it can be applied in the real world.
  • A revised Chapter 12 discusses international regulatory authorities that oversee biotechnology regulations.
  • Forecasting the Future begins each chapter and highlights biotechnology-driven questions that have yet to be answered, are in the process of being researched, or are topics/research/policy that are under development and will have an impact on our future. This feature demonstrates to students that biotechnology is a dynamic field, encompassing a broad range of career options, and that there are still many problems and questions that they can get involved in solving and answering.

New to this Edition

  • Career Profiles highlight potential jobs in the biotech industry. Career Profiles introduce students to different career paths in the biotechnology industry and provide detailed information on job functions, salaries, and guidance for preparing to enter the workforce.
  • Analytic Case Studies, at the end of every chapter, highlight current research connected to key topics from the chapter. Each case study provides students an opportunity to answer a series of questions that require them to apply their knowledge to a new situation.
  • 18 New - “You Decide” activities provide expanded coverage of ethics based on contemporary ethical issues. Thirty-seven “You Decide” boxes, integrated across all chapters, stimulate ethical discussion by giving students information relating to the social and ethical implications of biotechnology and regulations and asking students to grapple with open-ended questions. These include explorations of topics like labeling of genetically modified foods, human embryo and germline editing, and genetic screening to improve breast cancer prevention.
  • Updated overview of the biotech industry and its workforce.
  • Updated details about the revenue of various biotech sectors.
  • A new section on Do-It-Yourself biotech
  • Updated information on epigenetics.
  • A new section on CRISPR-Cas as an example of a basic cell biology discovery that has promising applications in biotechnology.
  • Trimmed coverage of DNA libraries and library screening.
  • Major updates on new sequencing technologies, including Third-Gen Sequencing.
  • New coverage of transgenics, knockouts, and CRISPR.
  • New coverage of ENCODE and personal genomics.
  • New section on systems biology and synthetic biology.
  • Coverage of disease discoveries made using new gene cancelling technologies.
  • New coverage of instrumentation improvements for protein purification and identification.
  • Updates on progress in identifying protein biomarkers that can detect disease at earlier stages.
  • Expanded coverage of superbugs like MRSA.
  • Additional content on microbial bots and nanoparticles.
  • Discussion of phage using CRISPR-Cas as novel approach to antimicrobial treatment of antibiotic resistant microbes.
  • Extensive additions to vaccine development, including coverage of Ebola and Zika.
  • Major updates on the Human Microbiome Project.
  • New coverage of newly approved crops that use gene silencing technology.
  • Updated coverage of labeling of GM foods.
  • Updates on how gene editing tools, like CRISPR-Cas, are being used in plants.
  • Updated coverage of government regulations to protect animals used in drug testing.
  • Coverage of progress and limitations in the use of animals for engineered products and potential organ donation.
  • Additional content on the benefits of CRISPR for gene silencing and insertion in disease mechanism discovery.
  • New coverage of progress in methods used to treat mitochondrial diseases.
  • Coverage of new CODIS markers.
  • New content about improvements in ‘touch DNA’ analysis methods.
  • Updates on utilizing personal DNA sequence markers as a precursor to diagnosis.
  • Updated content on genomics and GM species for bioremediation.
  • Updates on the effects of bioremediation at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
  • New content on endocrine disruptors.
  • New section on ocean pollution by macro- and microplastics.
  • Major updates to coverage of AquAdvantage salmon as first genetically-modified animal approved by the FDA for human consumption.

Table of Contents

  • 1. The Biotechnology Century and Its Workforce
  • 2. An Introduction to Genes and Genomes
  • 3. Recombinant DNA Technology and Genomics
  • 4. Proteins as Products
  • 5. Microbial Biotechnology
  • 6. Plant Biotechnology
  • 7. Animal Biotechnology
  • 8. DNA Fingerprinting and Forensic Analysis
  • 9. Bioremediation
  • 10. Aquatic Biotechnology
  • 11. Medical Biotechnology
  • 12. International Biotechnology Regulations
  • 13. Ethics and Biotechnology
  • Appendix I: Answers to Questions
  • Appendix II: The 20 Amino Acids of Proteins
  • Glossary
  • Index


William J. Thieman taught biology at Ventura College for 40 years and biotechnology for 11 years before retiring from full time teaching in 2005. He continues to serve as an advisor to the college biotechnology program. He received his B.A. in biology from California State University at Northridge in 1966 and his M.A. degree in Zoology in 1969 at UCLA. In 1995, he started the biotechnology program at Ventura College. In 1998, he added the laboratory skills course, and it was articulated as a state-approved vocational program. He identified technical skills needed for the program while serving three summer internships at Amgen, Biosource (now Invotrogen) and Biopool. The internships provided an opportunity to learn protocols, interact with lab directors, and query technicians, focusing on identifying the skills needed in these biotechnology companies. He routinely engaged his contacts at these biotechnology companies to lead lab protocols and describe their experiences to his classes.

Mr. Thieman has taught a broad range of undergraduate courses including general, human, and cancer biology. He received the Outstanding Teaching Award from the National Association of Biology Teachers in 1996 and the 1997 and 2000 Student Success Award from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. The Economic Development Association presented its 1998 Program for Economic Development Award to the biotechnology training program at Ventura College for its work with local biotechnology companies. His success in acquiring grants to support the program was recognized at the 2007 Conference of the National Center for Resource Development.

Michael A. Palladino is Vice Provost for Graduate Studies, former Dean of the School of Science and Professor of Biology at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. He received his B.S. degree in Biology from Trenton State College (now known as The College of New Jersey) in 1987 and his Ph.D. in Anatomy and Cell Biology from the University of Virginia in 1994.

Dr. Palladino has taught a wide range of courses including anatomy and physiology, biotechnology, cell and molecular biology, general biology, genetics, and endocrinology. He has received several awards for research and teaching, including the Distinguished Teacher Award from Monmouth University, the Caring Heart Award from the New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research, and the Young Andrologist Award from the American Society of Andrology. For more than 15 years he directed a laboratory of undergraduate student researchers supported by external funding from the National Institutes of Health, biopharma companies, and other agencies. He and his undergraduates studied molecular mechanisms involved in innate immunity and oxygen homeostasis of mammalian male reproductive organs.

Dr. Palladino started writing with Benjamin Cummings a co-author of BiologyLabs On-Line, a series of Internet based interactive laboratories for undergraduate students. He was Series Editor for the Benjamin Cummings Special Topics in Biology booklet series, and author of the first booklet in the series, Understanding the Human Genome Project. Dr. Palladino is a co-author on the writing team of W. S. Klug, M. R. Cummings, C. A. Spencer, and D. J. Killian for the textbooks Concepts of Genetics and Essentials of Genetics, both published by Pearson Education.