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Social sciences


Development issues

Grade 9

Module 4

Political background

The role of technological development in solving environmental issues

Technology and the growing need for food

As the world population grows, natural resources become more strained. This means that the soil must produce even more crops to feed the population. Traditional methods of cultivating crops are no longer efficient to produce food for the entire world population. In some countries, however a surplus or overproduction of agricultural crops is presently produced (e.g. in the USA), while other countries still have a problem in respect of meeting the nutritional needs of the population (e.g. in Ethiopia, where a famine rages).

In an effort to rectify the situation, scientific methods are applied to increase the production of agricultural crops. For this, however, money, manpower, technology and research are needed. If it is successful, new cultivars may be developed, yielding higher crops than traditional crops. Certain cultivars of maize yield more heads than in the past. This in turn leads to a higher agricultural production, which means that more people can be fed. People suffering from malnutrition cannot remain healthy, continue working, and care for their families. Where people do not earn money to meet their basic needs, they cannot develop, and nor can their children. Neither can they contribute to the development their country.


Biotechnology refers to scientific techniques based on a knowledge of biology. Biology studies life processes, for instance in plants. This knowledge plays an important role in the development of new crops. It may help to reduce the time and costs attached to the process of development. Other methods include the use of genes to combat soil toxicity, making plants insect-resistant, as well as increasing the nutritional value of plants.

In developing countries farmers can profit from methods such as adding a certain gene to the canola plant that produces betacarotene. This helps to replenish Vitamin A-deficiencies and thereby prevent damage to the eyes. Certain aspects related to safety and the ethics of genetic manipulation, however, still need to be clarified. Ethics deals with the moral principles of what is “right and wrong”.

The sciences also contribute to the improved management of our natural resources. In this way problems such as water shortages, the loss of fertile soil, the loss of natural trees and forests, an impairment of biodiversity, as well as the exhaustion of our fishing resources can be avoided.

Activity 1:

To find information on biotechnology and the application of scientific techniques

[[lo 2.3]

  1. Although these processes are highly scientific, it might be a good idea to ask a person specialising in this field to speak to you in clear, everyday language. Most farmers and agricultural officers are particularly good at this, while someone from a local cooperative, laboratory or agricultural school could also make a contribution.
  2. You could form small groups to conduct interviews with a number of these individuals.
  3. Posters on your findings can make an interesting exhibition for all the learners of your school, and even for neighbouring schools and members of the public.
  4. Why is biodiversity (maintaining different forms of life) so important?

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Geography grade 9. OpenStax CNX. Sep 14, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11057/1.1
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