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Genetically Modified Animals That Glow!
Transcript of Genetically Modified Animals That Glow!
Endocrine disruptors are substances found in a wide range of industrial products, including plastics, as well as in many female contraceptives. The chemicals mimic the actions of sexual hormones, resulting in various reproductive problems in both people and animals.
Previous research has shown the chemicals cause fish to change gender, and in people, endocrine disruptors have been associated with lower sperm counts and breast and testicular cancers. Yet scientists have had difficulty tracking what endocrine disruptors do inside a person or an animal's body. So a team genetically engineered zebrafish to glow in places where an endocrine-disrupting chemical is present—and thus show where it may be harming the body Article #3: Glow in the dark dog The saying, “dog is man’s best friend” certainly wasn’t meant to include their role in medical research. But recent work by researchers at the Seoul National University highlights – literally – the growing role for dogs in genetics research.
The team inserted a gene into a group of dogs that made them glow under UV light. Although technology that gives them their aura could lead to breakthroughs in diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
The lab, led by Lee Byeong-chun, is the same lab that last year introduced us to Ruby Puppy – Ruppy for short – the world’s first transgenic dog. As with Ruppy the current work involved cloning beagles via somatic cell nuclear transfer, the same technique used to produce Dolly.
It involved taking the nucleus of a skin cell, added the fluorescent protein gene to the nucleus, and swapped out an egg nucleus for the modified one. The egg was left to divide in Petri dish for a few hours then implanted into a surrogate mother. The newborn, genetically modified, female beagle was named Tegon. Article #3 continued In the beginning the goal was to make sure researchers could successfully insert novel genes into the cast. Novel genes are genes that have been predicted by Ensembl on the basis of similarity to protein or cDNA sequences, they cannot be mapped. Past efforts at cloning and injecting DNA into fertilized cat embryo's among other genetic modification techniques had failed. The good doctors at the Mayo Clinic and Yamaguchi University in Japan succeeded by injecting a lentivirus bearing the novel genetics directly into unfertilized cat eggs. (Human immunodeficiency viruses 1 and 2 (HIV-1 and HIV-2), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) are all lentiviruses, named for their slow incubation period.)
The result is visible to the naked eye (under blue light).The goal is to use genetically modified cats as a better proxy for human diseases. After all, FIV plagues cats in much the same way that HIV plagues people.
For that reason, cats can serve as useful animal models for learning more about the human version of the disease. The researchers, or their colleagues, plan to continue manipulating the cat genome to test potential gene therapies for HIV and other potential cures for AIDS. Article#1: Researchers inject the jellyfish proteins into cats Conclusion Instead of glowing red as Ruppy had, Tegon’s fluorescent protein glows green. A more important difference is the fact that Tegon’s fluorescent protein can be turned on or off with a drug – they just add it to the dog’s food. The ability to experimentally turn a gene on or off is already used in many other animal disease models. It’s a powerful tool with which scientists can monitor the effects of a given gene.
For example, the gene beta-amyloid is thought to disrupt proper neuronal function in Alzheimer’s disease. Turning the gene on and then monitoring neuronal function over time could reveal clues as to how Alzheimer’s disease develops.
Right now the green fluorescent gene in Tegon’s cells serves only to confirm that the technology works, but Lee Byeong-chun told Reuters that he’s looking ahead: “The creation of Tegon opens new horizons since the gene injected to make the dog glow can be substituted with genes that trigger fatal human diseases.” Article #1: The potential cure for HIV and AIDS is hidden within a cat. Article #2: A genetically engineered fish that glows green from the inside out is helping illuminate what pollutants do inside the body. Article #3: Tegon the genetically modified beagle. Works Cited Bello, David. "Jellyfish Genes Make Glow-in-the-Dark Cats | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network." Jellyfish Genes Make Glow-in-the-Dark Cats | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network. N.p., 12 Sept. 2011. Web. 7 Dec. 2012.
Handwerk, Brian. "Fish Glow Green After Genetic Engineering." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 23 Apr. 2012. Web. 7 Dec. 2012.
Murray, Peter. "Korean Genetic Scientists Create Glow In The Dark Dog | Singularity Hub." Singularity Hub. N.p., 29 July 2011. Web. 7 Dec. 2012. The substance that makes the animal glow is a version of the green fluorescent protein that lights up the crystal jelly, a type of jellyfish that lives off the west coast of the United States.
Years ago scientists realized that the gene for GFP is a perfect marker when they insert another new gene into an organism. By inserting a version of GFP along with their gene of choice, they could easily see if they were successful because the organism would glow.
Since the technique was first developed researchers have made many glowing animals including pigs, mice, dogs, even fish you can buy in the pet store. Our topic is on genetically modified animals that glow. We chose this topic because it sparked our interest and we wanted to learn more about it. By Lindsay and Jess