Technology influences human existence by bringing new risks as well as improvements to our lives. To try to minimize the likelihood of unwanted side effects of a new technology, humans will employ risk analysis. You can use the resources found here to help you understand how technology influences human existence by examining the benefits and risks of different biotechnological advances.
Today, people are living longer and healthier lives thanks, in large part, to technological advances in the field of medicine. Read about some of the most important innovations in Health Technologies that we may take for granted now. Prepare a five-minute presentation of your topic to give to the class. Use your answers to the questions on the student sheet to guide the development of your presentation. In addition to briefly describing the technology you have selected, be sure to describe the benefits and risks associated with this technology.
Also include a short essay (no longer than one page) explaining what you have learned about the relationship between risk and benefit in the development of new technologies.
Sometimes, medical advances have unforeseen consequences. For example, there is no doubt that the development of antibiotics has greatly contributed to human health. However, the over prescription of these drugs has lead to antibiotic resistance. In Phage Comeback, you will read about how researchers are looking at older methods of treating infections and combining them with new technologies to create even better treatments. After you have listened to the story or read the transcript, read the section called Making Sense of the Research and think about the answers to these questions:
- What is phage?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of using phage to fight infections?
- Why is phage being re-considered after so many years of obscurity?
- Do you think the fight against antibiotic resistance should focus on new technology, or more judicious use of antibiotics? Give reasons for your answer.
Now you will select a particular scientific technology that has contributed to human health. You can use one of the ones you read about earlier or one of the ones described in the resources listed below:
- How X-rays work
- How Hair Replacement Works
- Human Trials of Artificial Arteries
- Reviving Artificial Hearts
- How MRI Works
- Fighting prostate cancer with radioactive seeds
- Growing Vocal Chords
After you have selected a health technology, get your teacher's approval before you conduct your research. Then complete the student sheet, Technology and Health. The questions on the student sheet can be used as a reference to present the pros and cons of your technology to the class at a later date.
This esheet is a part of the Technological Advances in Health lesson.