Jump to content

Fluorecent Piggies?


Recommended Posts

Is it a protein in fire flies or something else as that should really be incorporated into the DNA of a foreign organism as that would be awesome.

 

Fireflies rely on bioluminescence, what we have here is just fluorescence due to the green fluorescent protein. I'd imagine making something chemiluminescent would require a significant amount of genetic manipulation. But yes, it would be awesome.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You have to wonder what was going through the researcher's minds.

 

- Hey Clive, this cloning thing is being done to death at the moment.

- You're right Dennis. What else can we do?

- I know... let's make them glow!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Scientific American had an article about this a couple of months ago. If I remember rightly, the researchers inserted jellyfish genes into a pig embryo. I think the green glowing was under UV light, but still a pretty impressive accomplishment.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think that you will have glowing ham sandwiches or bacon. Green Fluorescent Protein is a protein and cooking it would denature it and most likely remove its fluorescent abilities. Plus, you'd need a black light to see it glow anyways. Of course, eating it would be no different than eating any other protein.

Link to post
Share on other sites
IIRC, they glow because they incorporated DNA from cephalopods, not just because they were "cloned."

 

Incorporating DNA into a genome that way is a cloning experiment.

 

Fireflies rely on bioluminescence
Well in theory you could clone the required protein (luciferase) the same way as you would GFP. The main problem might be to get the substrate (luciferin) to the cells.
Link to post
Share on other sites
Why? What is it about that particular protein that you are so afraid of? You eat thousands of different kinds of proteins all the time, what is so special about this one?

 

Other than my being a vegetarian, there is probably nothing wrong with it. Likewise, chickens with four wings, cloned beef, or any other abberation of an animal you can think of. Not that I think that those are any worse than the "normal" meat for eating, they are just not on the menu.:D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Um, plants are full of proteins as well. They have a lower proportion of proteins because they use cellulose for their cell walls, whereas animal cells don't have a cell wall so are mostly protein. It wouldn't surprise me if plants have a larger variety of proteins than animals.

 

And as for aberrations, you do realize that most of the plants you eat are aberrations, right? For example compare our food corn with wild corn. All those seedless fruits (eg banana) are aberrations of nature and would never survive without our interference. Many flowers are aberrations as well, having twice as many petals as they should in place of other flower parts. But of course it is the animal aberrations you worry about.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Likewise, chickens with four wings, cloned beef, or any other abberation of an animal you can think of.

 

Yummy... Reading this made my mouth water. I mean, a chicken with four legs? I might start believing in god if there were such a thing available. Well, maybe I would not go THAT far, but it would still totally rock.

 

Also, I'd like someone to clone me a t-bone steak that doesn't cause heart disease. Hell yeah! Pass the genetically modified sweet corn while you're at it, and the genetically modified strawberries for desert. If they glow too, that's just a bonus and I can save on electricity while I eat. :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are far better reasons to be a vegetarian than any concern for cows or chickens. It is a personal choice I don't expect anyone else to follow unless they care to for their own reasons. Whether any "aberration" of an animal or plant is a good or bad thing, I think is an entirely different subject of discussion. Other than proof of concept, I see little reason to make pigs flourescent. Whether this is good or bad, I guess you would have to consult with a bio-ethicist (kinda like asking the preacher if it's ok).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most likely it is for research purposes. Green Fluorescent Protein is used so much in biology research, that there was a Nobel prize given for its discovery.

 

The pigs would likely be inferior to farm pigs in that they make a useless (to them) protein, thought they might be able to be sold at a higher price as a novelty item.

 

According to the article, the objective is for organ transplants that allow tracking the foreign cells due to their fluorescence.

"He said the presence of the green protein would allow genetically modified cells to be tracked if they were transplanted into a human."

Link to post
Share on other sites

That is amazingly cool, glowing pigs, but is it a useful thing to do? I mean is the technology useful or is it just a bit of fun?

 

Whats IIRC i'm seeing it everywhere in these forums, it looks familiar like a molecular biology term but i can't find any of my molecular biology text books. :confused:

Edited by Ulna
Link to post
Share on other sites
Whats IIRC i'm seeing it everywhere in these forums, it looks familiar like a molecular biology term but i can't find any of my molecular biology text books.

 

IIRC = "If I recall correctly..." It's just shorthand for online communication, like BRB = Be Right Back... Not related to biology at all. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

IIRC = if I recall correctly

 

And the paper was basically a proof of principle paper. It was possible to transfect somatic pig cells with a vector carrying a GFP gene and promoter and let the cell express it. Afterwards the nucleus was transplanted into denucleated oocytes. This precise setup is not likely to be useful, but it demonstrates that it is feasible. More useful experiments would include site-specific insertions (or fusions) so that expression can be tracked in vivo.

 

Edit: too slow...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.