Biotechnology and the Law

Division of Online Learning

This course examines a variety of legal, policy, scientific, social, and ethical issues in the realm of biotechnology. Biotechnology is actually a set of enabling technologies across many scientific disciplines: biology, cell biology, molecular biology, immunology, microbiology, chemical engineering, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, computer science, and mathematics. Course topics include examination of foundational technologies such as recombinant DNA technology; current applications, including nanobiotechnology and synthetic biology; research and development; funding; academic-industry relationships; human subjects research and institutional review of clinical trials; regulatory oversight by federal agencies; data, privacy, and security issues; and protection of intellectual property.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Examine the history and development of the field of biotechnology
  2. Appreciate the enabling tools and resulting applications of biotechnology
  3. Assess the scope of federal administrative agency oversight of biotechnology in agriculture, industry, and health care
  4. Interpret relevant statutes, case law, and regulations pertaining to biotechnology
  5. Assess incentives for innovation, such as federal funding, licensing, and patents
  6. Analyze biotechnology case studies, including problems raised by synthetic biology and rDNA in agriculture
  7. Evaluate broad ethical considerations and mechanisms for bioethical assessment of biotechnology
  8. Identify legal and policy issues resulting from “dual use” research

The Biotechnology and the Law course can be completed in just 8 weeks. Coursework must be completed in the sequence in which it is offered. You should plan to spend about 6-8 hours per week on online coursework, including reading assignments, research and writing projects, and online discussions.



Master of Science in Jurisprudence Online Degree | Open House - February 7, 2015