How bizarre Can Genetically Engineered Plants/Animals Be?

How about a tree which grows meat?

Fear and loathing is already gathering:

Screw that. We’ve been playing God since the first primitive chewed on some bark to ‘make the pain go away’. Bedlow can get stuffed, I wanna nice grilled fruit-steak!

As Edwino says, we’re so very far away from understanding enough of how different genes and proteins interact with each other that it’s not possible to do the sci-fi mutations like feathered mice. Oft times, the introduction of one gene will inhibit the expression of another seemingly unrelated gene. For example,(and this is very over-simplified) let’s say I modified mice by adding the xy gene. The result is feathered mice. It would seem logical to conclude xy results in the formation of feathers, but there’s a possibility that all xy did was bind to a protein which activates a gene yz which functions by preventing feather formation.

On a side note, I took my then 14 year old son to a conference with me once and while there, he attended a lecture wherein it was noted that mutations in the hh (hedgehog) gene caused wing mutations in flies. All rather straightforward from my point of view. What he got out of it, however, was that hedgehogs had been mutated to grow wings but that the wings were non-functional.

Yeah, but I’ll bet that if you tried this you’d get the carnivore part of the polar bear, and you’e end up with a Charles River preator that snatched sculler’s, sailboaters, and the occasional jogger before disappearing down into the chinese water chestnut-infested waters of the Charles.
BTW, the wo “Fly” movies (there were actually a total of five movies if you count all the sequels) owe their existence to a George Langelaan (sic) story that appeared in Playboy back in the 1950s. See my essay Teleportation Angst in Teemings:

http://www.teemings.com/issue14/calmeacham.html

http://www.snopes.com/humor/iftrue/meattree.htm

Those mice aren’t actually emitting their own light, are they? (i.e. bioluminescence). I get the impression that something has been added to their tissues that makes them flouresce under ultraviolet light.

Academician Prokhor Zakharov
“Nonlinear Genetics”

I got suckered.

:smack:

Thanks for the link.

It’s obvious that nobody knows what the hell is going to happen over the next few years, just that it’s possible that some pretty exciting things MAY happen. But unlike many other scientific endeavors, there’s a HUGE profit potential for quite a range of advances in genetics. so there’ll be a LOT of well-founded work on the topic. If there’s any potential for breakthroughs in the area – and there have ALREADY been several, indicating it has huge potential for breakthroughs – then it’s likely they’ll happen.

NutWrench, the mice contain a transgene (exogenous gene inserted into the mouse’s genome) that codes for green fluorescent protein (GFP) which I believe is isolated from jellyfish IIRC. Wherever the GFP is expressed, the cells will glow green when exposed to UV light. The mouse will be able to pass this trait to his/her offspring since it is now incorporated into its genome.

John

Spiffy! :slight_smile: