Science Speaks - Blog by ISAAA

ISAAA’s Downloadable Biotech Lab Tour

By Kristine Grace N. Tome
June 15, 2023

Biotechnology is one of the most controversial fields of science and technology. Some people think that it is a highly complicated field of science, with questions raised against how things are done by scientists in the lab and what their real intentions are in developing genetically modified organisms. The fear of the unknown sometimes becomes an excuse to exercise the precautionary principle, which could block the progress of biotech innovations. ISAAA provides free resources to allow the public “visit” a biotech laboratory from wherever they are.

Take-away Lab Tour

One of the visual monographs in ISAAA Biotech Communication Series is titled Inside the Biotech Lab: How to Genetically Engineer a Plant? The monograph explains what actually happens inside the biotech laboratory. The process of developing a genetically engineered plant is presented using simple terms and actual images from the lab.

The visual monograph answers the frequently asked questions on biotechnology such as:

  • What’s inside a biotech lab?
  • What are the ways to insert a gene into a plant?
  • What’s the difference between particle bombardment and Agrobacterium-mediated transformation?
  • What are the steps in developing a genetically engineered crop?

Actual images taken from a lab at the University of the Philippines Los Banos are presented in the monograph to let the readers have a “take-away” tour of the lab. Several images in the booklet marked with the ISAAA logo are available for free download in the ISAAA Image Gallery

Video Inside the Biotech Lab 

The visual monograph is also supplemented with a video titled Inside the Biotech Lab. The video includes step-by-step footage of what actually happens when using a gene gun. The clips were filmed at the Institute of Plant Breeding, University of the Philippines Los Baños. The two-minute video is available on the ISAAA website and Youtube channel.

Image Gallery

Aside from the downloadable monograph and video, ISAAA also offers over 100 images of genetically engineered crops, scientists, and farmers for public use.  Biotech stakeholders, especially the media practitioners, are encouraged to use the ISAAA Image Gallery to better represent biotechnology in their articles and replace fear-mongering images that are widespread in the media, especially online. 

The images available in the gallery include Bt corn in the Philippines, Bt cotton in India and China, Bt eggplant in the Philippines, biotech cartoons created by Filipino artists, and biotech-inspired dresses designed by fashion designers in Malaysia. Aside from ISAAA’s collections, several images were also contributed by the ISAAA network of Biotechnology Information Centers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Uganda, and Kenya.

All photos are under Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0), They must be attributed, for non-commercial use, and no derivatives (remixed). Higher resolution versions of the photos are available for request through

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