Genetic Engineering Examples - Directory Listing for Kent


Dec 12, 2012 (4 years and 4 months ago)


Genetically Engineered! Good or Bad?

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1. Ashera GD hypoallergenic cat
Lifestyle Pets

has created a cat it calls the Ashera

GD, which has been genetically
engineered to be hypoallergenic. The high
tech blend of exotic cat varieties doesn't come cheap: This kitty in the
window retails for $27,000

nothing to sneeze at. The ultra
rich around the world, however, don't mind the
tag. Six of the cats sold in December, three of them in the company's best market: Russia. Next year, expect a
transgenic cat, which will remain kitten
size throughout its life.

2. Butanol
E. coli
Genetic engineering is getting so easy,
even a kid can do it. A team of students from
the University of Alberta, "the Butanerds," competed in the
International Genetically Engineered Machines

competition, creating an
E. coli

strain t
produces butanol fuel

(albeit rather inefficiently). The Butanerds have
competition from a host of well
funded startups, like
Synthetic Genomics

, which are trying to genetically
modify single
celled organisms to create the fuels of the future.

3. Artful fluorescent tadpoles
At an Ohio State art show earlier this year, Russian artist Dmitry Bulatov presented
genetically engineered tadpoles
, which glow red and green. Bulatov,
the curator of the Kaliningrad Branch of
the National Centre for Contemporary Art in Russia, is one of a handful of artists around the world using
biotechnology to create art. The field is controversial, because it involves experimenting with living things

a medical or therapeutic purpose. Bulatov edited a collection of essays on these issues called
Contemporary Society and Genomic Culture

4. Insulin
ng lettuce
In July, a University of Central Florida researcher announced he had genetically
lettuce heads that produce insulin
. They could be transformed into time
release capsules for people with
diabetes, to help them maintain blood
sugar levels without regular injections.

5. Super CO2
absorbing trees
With global warming all over the news in 2007, many schemes have been proposed
for taking greenhouse gases out
of the atmosphere. Trees already do the world an admirable service sequestering
carbon dioxide, but scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee are also
genetically modifying
poplar trees

to increase the amount of carbon that the trees can store.

6. Rapid vaccine
making button mushrooms
In November, Darpa
funded Pennsylvania State University
researchers unveiled a new method for rapidly producing

genetically engineered button mushrooms
Pharming, using plants as chemical factories, is beginning to catch on as a cheap way to synthesize drugs. Within a
few years, the Penn S
tate scientists say their 'shrooms will be able to make 3 million doses of vaccine in 12 weeks.
response vaccine
making could come in handy in case of a bioterror attack or bird
flu outbreak.

7. Glow
dark cats
Photographs of
cats genetically engineered

by South Korean scientists to glow red when
exposed to UV light made headlines around the world. What

most news stories didn't mention was the

for fluorescent creatures: The animals' glow acts as a "green light" that lets scientists know that their
genetic transformations of other, non
glowing genes have worked.

8. Cancer
fighting Clostridium bacteria
Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment mean that a cancer
diagnosis is no longer always a death sentence. But certain oxygen
starved parts of tumors are still difficult to
with the old methods. Enter the Clostridium family of bacteria. Injected into the body, they grow and
multiply only in the oxygen
poor parts of cancer tumors. In September, scientists in the Netherlands showed they
could arm Clostridium bacteria with thera
peutic protein genes, essentially creating
destroy tumor

9. Schizophrenic mice
July's news that Johns Hopkins researchers had created
schizophrenic mice

was a surprise,
even to scientists who regularly create genetically altered mice to model human diseases. In recent years, we've
seen very big mice, fearless

Rain Man
mice and a host of others. But the schizophrenic experience of
hallucinations, delusions of grandeur and paranoia seemed somehow distinctly human. However, scientists
recently identified a single gene called DISC1 as a major schizophrenia r
isk factor, leading to the creation of these
mice, which lack the gene. Anatomical examinations revealed similarities between the mice's brains and those of
human patients. The mice also revealed behaviors

trouble finding food, agitation in open fields

researchers say parallel human schizophrenic activities.

10. Yeast with poison
sensing rat genes
Temple University doctors announced in May that they'd
modified a strain of yea

to glow green in the presence of DNT, an ingredient in dynamite. The scientists used rat
olfactory genes to sense the chemical and switch on fluorescent
protein producing genes. Biosensors might be
better than man
made sensors for applications like dete
cting nerve gas, because they are cheap to produce.

The GloFish was the first genetically modified animal to become available as a pet. It is a natural
Zebrafish which has had genetic information from bioluminescent jellyfish added to its DNA
. It was originally
produced to provide a warning system for pollution but with the addition of further colors its viability for the pet
market became clear. It was introduced to the US market in December 2003 by Yorktown Technologies of Austin,



is a patented brand of genetically modified (GM) fluorescent zebrafish with bright red, green,
and orange fluorescent color. The original zebrafish from which the GloFish was developed measures three
centimeters long and has gold and dark blue str
ipes. In 1999, Dr. Zhiyuan Gong and his colleagues at the National
University of Singapore were working with a gene called green fluorescent protein (GFP), originally extracted from
a jellyfish, that naturally produced bright green bioluminescence. They in
serted the gene into a zebrafish embryo,
allowing it to integrate into the zebrafish’s genome, which caused the fish to be brightly fluorescent under both
natural white light and ultraviolet light. Their goal was to develop a fish that could detect polluti
on by selectively
fluorescing in the presence of environmental toxins. It is the first genetically modified animal to become publicly
available as a pet.


The grapple is a relatively new fruit which is a genetic cross between an apple and a grape. The fruit
combines the size of the apple with the texture of an grape and the flavor of both parent fruits. The grapple was
originally designed to provide a much h
igher vitamin
c dose per fruit for third world aid. The majority of the
funding for the fruit came from UNICEF.


The graisin [giant raisin] is a variety of raisin which has been modified to grow to enormous
proportions. The graisin was produce
d by the
National Institute of Genetics

in Japan due to the Japanese love of
large fruit and the recent popularity of western foods such as raisins. The texture and taste is identical to that of

genetically normal parent and it is served raw or thinly sliced in a stir fry.

Rubber Cork Tree
Cork trees have long been used for producing cork
stoppers for wine though some wine
producers have also begun using plastic corks. Wine enthusiasts
have not taken to the rubber corks and so, in
order to appease the traditionalists and the cost
cutting wine makers, SABIC innovative plastics have developed a
tree which is a cross between a rubber tree and a cork tree. The corks taken from the bark of th
is new tree look
like real cork and have the same porous qualities, but has the permanence and flavorlessness of rubber. Ghislain
de Mongolfier, current manager and great grandson of the founder of champagne producer Bollinger, said: “This
new cork is the
greatest thing to happen to wine since the invention of bubbles”.


Umbuku Lizard
This creature is the only one on the list which was not designed for a practical reason, but
merely to prove that it could be done. Genetic Engineers in Zimbabwe (formerl
y Rhodesia) managed to unlock a
dormant “flying” strand in the DNA of the Umbuku lizard, a very small and rare lizard native to Africa. It is believed
that the lizard is a descendent of the Pterodactyl, which lost its ability to fly some millions of years
ago. To date
only 6 of these flying Umbuku have been produced and they are kept seperate from the natural Umbuku due the
risk of cross breeding.

Paper Tree
The paper tree has been developed to reduce production costs and loss of tree life in the pape
manufacturing industry. The recent explosion in popularity of recycled paper products lead a Swiss based company
to develop a tree which grows square leaves that, when dried, are already usable as writing paper. In the image
above we see a company employ
ee holding a dried leaf beside the trunk of one of the many Paper Trees now
grown by the company.


This is probably the most remarkable example of how far science is able to go with modern DNA and
cross fertilization techniques; the dolion is a

cross between a lion and a dog. In order to produce this incredible
rare animal (only 3 dolions exist in laboratories

the photo above is of Rex, the first ever produced), individual
strands of DNA from each creature must be combined and re
inserted in t
o a host egg. This is similar to the

(lion/tiger crossbreed) with the exception that the liger is able to be produced without prior manipulation of the
DNA of either breed of animal.

Tiny Piney
The Tiny Piney is a miniature pine tree which is a mere 2cm tall when fully grown. It was originally
developed to provide a fast growing source for pine
tree smell to be used in the fragrance industry but in very little
time its usefulness in
other areas became obvious. This tiny pine tree is now hugely popular as an edible plant in
Papua New Guinea where it is dipped in a batter made from coconut milk and shellac beetle shells and deep fried.
The Tiny Piney (official trademark) has a very subt
le pine flavor which is enhanced by the coconut milk. The Tiny
Piney is usually eaten as a dessert.

Fern Spider
The fern spider is unique on this list as it is the only combined plant and animal. At the time of
writing this is the only animal that h
as successfully been crossed with a plant. The spider is a cross between a
common Italian Wolf spider (Lycosa tarantula) and the ponga fern (Cyathea dealbata). The purpose of this bizarre
crossbreed was to study the survival

of spiders with built in camouflage versus those without in a series of
studies on Natural Selection at Massey University in New Zealand. The results of the study have not been


With the growing wealth of China, many rich Chinese women are seeking alternative and exotic pets
to show off their
. This has lead

to a number of Chinese medical and scientific research companies to
compete for this new income source by producing cross breed animals. The most successful (financially) so far has
been the Lemur Cat. It is (as the name suggests) a cross between a lemur
and a cat. It retains the soft fur of the cat
and the coloring, but has the striped tail and yellow eyes commonly found on a lemur. It is more ferocious than the
average cat but it is generally no more dangerous than a Chihuahua dog. The scientific name fo
r this new breed is
Prolos Fira.

Edible Cotton Seeds

By nature, cotton seeds are inedible because they contain gossypol, a component that
keeps bugs away. In 2006, Texas A&
M University and Cotton Inc. collaborated on research to produce genetically
engineered seeds without the inedible part while keeping it in the plant for protection. The researchers made
tasting meal from the seeds that could be used for flour, but t
he discovery has many regulatory and logistic
hurdles to clear before it could be a reality in cotton
growing areas.

Food or energy? With gas prices soaring, biofuel advocates find themselves going toe
toe with
farmers. Jatropha is an ine
dible plant whose seeds produce a liquid like palm oil t
hat could be used for biofuel.
Earlier this year the plant caused political tension in India, where tribal communities accused the government of
destroying their native crops to
plant jatropha for fue
l needs.
Plant breeding and genetic engineering will result in
yielding jatropha that will increase overall production and potentially reduce the hectares needed; Roger
Beachy says jatropha and other oil
producing, non
food plants also have the potent
ial to produce bioplastics that
can degrade in landfills.

Golden Rice
More than 120 million children globally don't get enough vitamin A and as a result are at risk for
blindness. Back in the 1990s, a scientific team at the Swiss Federal Institute of

Technology by Ingo Potrykis and
collaborators at Syngenta Company discovered that adding several key genes from flowering plants to rice could
dramatically increase the amount of beta carotene, a molecular that human beings can convert to Vitamin A. Even
though the research ran into intellectual property rights problems, a public
private partnership between the
inventors and agrichemical company Syngenta allowed the research to continue. Golden rice was successfully
tested in Louisiana four years ago
, but the inventors blame bureaucratic measures for slowing its adoption

Flood Resistant Rice
Husband and wife team Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak bridge the biotech
environmental divide in their book Tomorrow's Table, arguing that genetic
ngineering and organic farming can be
blended. Ronald, a professor of plant pathology at University of California
Davis, has been working with David
Mackill of the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines on genetically
modified rice that c
withstand flooding. If field trials are successful, the rice could be available as early as next year.

Sugar Beets
For something that's so sweet, the debate over this crop has been rather bitter. Last year the New
York Times chronicled sugar beet f
armers' woes as they battled weeds to harvest the beets that provide around
half the nation's sugar. They eagerly awaited Monsanto's Roundup Ready beets to produce higher yields and pay
less for herbicide and workers to weed the fields. Environmentalists,
meanwhile, raised alarm over the problem of
weeds that are resistant to Roundup herbicide, cross
pollination with organic crops, and a group of advocates sued
the U.S. Department of Agriculture over the matter. The beets became available to farmers earlier

this year.

Admittedly, this isn't a crop, but it will likely be cultivated like one. The London Times recently reported
that a biotechnology company in San Francisco called LS9 had genetically modified industrial yeast to munch on
plant sugars
and excrete crude oil. No, really.

This starchy, potato
like root is an essential plant for millions of people around the world, especially in
Africa. This staple lacks a range of vitamins that are crucial to development and its cultivation c
an be adversely
affected by drought. BioCassava Plus is a group of scientists led by Ohio State University Professor Richard Sayre
and financed with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Currently they're working on a virus
resistant cassava
that contains a day's worth of vitamins, proteins, and minerals. They plan to field test it in two
African countries within the next two years.

The company plans to feed the yeast agricultural waste, although they
haven't quite scaled up the operation up b
eyond the beaker level. And there's no word yet on whether they will be
able to engineer some bugs to eat up all the carbon dioxide from combustion.

Plant pathologist Dennis Gonsalves has been involved in papaya research for 30 years. It's not
a stretch
to say that papayas might have been wiped out entirely had it not been for his work. A virus was rapidly eating up
the orange
yellow tropical fruit when Gonsalves, then at Cornell University, and fellow researchers engineered the
SunUp papaya str
ain. Earlier this year, the University of Hawaii
Menoa led a group of 85 scientists to decode the
SunUp papaya's genome

the first fruit species sequenced. They'd like to use that information to strengthen the
fruit's resistance to pests so farmers can c
ut back on the chemicals.

0. Castor Beans
"Plants make so many things," Roger Beachy

says. He points to the castor plant, whose beans
make versatile oil that can be used in a wide range of products, from jet engine lubricant to shampoo. The castor
bean also contains a deadly toxin called ricin that has no antidote, which explains why the
crop isn't very popular
to grow. Two researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture became the first in the world to genetically
engineer castor plants, blocking ricin production as well as intense allergens that the plants make. In addition, the
esearchers would like to genetically engineer the plant to produce castor oil epoxy, which could replace
toxic solvents in paints.


Our number
one agricultural commodity. In 2000, 79.5 million acres of harvested cropland in the U.S.
were corn, 25%

of which was
genetically engineered
. This includes Bt and Roundup Ready corn varieties.

The number
two U.S. agricultural commodity. Sixty percent of p
rocessed foods contain soy ingredients,
and 82% of edible fats and oils consumed in the U.S. are soy
based. In 2000, 54% of the 74.5 million acres of
soybeans grown in the U.S. was Roundup Ready soy.

: Currently, the only GE potato is a Burbank R
usset variety, marketed under the name NewLeaf. This Bt
producing plant is lethal to the Colorado potato beetle

and possibly to beneficial insects.

: The first GE tomato, the Flavr Savr, was introduced commercially in 1994, but flopped because

proved tasteless. Since then, other varieties, including a cherry tomato, have been genetically engineered to delay
ripening and extend shelf life.

: Of the 15 million acres of canola grown in the U.S. and Canada annually, 35% is GE, mostly


Cottonseed Oil
: In 2000, 61% of the 15.5 million acres of cotton grown in the U.S. was genetically engineered.
Every year, half a million tons of cottonseed oil makes its way into salad dressings, baked goods and snack foods.

About 1.4 million tons of cottonseed meal is fed to livestock annually.


More than one third of Hawaiian papayas have been genetically engineered to withstand the papaya
ringspot virus. Organic papaya growers in Hawaii worry that the pollen fr
om GE papaya trees will contaminate
their crops.



Currently one variety of radicchio, called Seed Link, has been genetically engineered to be resistant
to the


Several varieties of summer squash have been genetically engineered to resist mosaic viruses. Some
scientists are concerned that resistance to the virus may spread to weedy relatives, such as gourds, found in the
U.S., creating

invasive superweeds.

: A company called Aqua Bounty has engineered a salmon with genes from two different fish species so
that it grows much more quickly than non
GE salmon. The company now seeks FDA approval to market this fish for
human consu
mption. Escaped into the environment, (which is inevitable on fish farms), the GE fish may be larger
and more aggressive, eat more food, and mate more often, though their offspring are less fit to survive in the wild,
raising the possibility of wild specie
s extinction. Human health effects are also relatively unknown. Currently,
research on transgenic strains of 35 fish
species world
wide is underway.

. Vacanti Mouse
Vacanti mouse

was a laboratory mouse that had what looked like a human ear grown on
its back. The “ear” was actually an ear
shaped cartilage structure grown by seeding cow cartilage cells into a
biodegradable ear
shaped mold. The earmouse, as it became known as, was cr
eated by Dr. Charles Vacanti, at the
University of Massachusetts in 1995. Created to demonstrate a method of fabricating cartilage structures for
transplantation into human patients, a resorbable polyester fabric was infiltrated with bovine cartilage cells

implanted under the skin of a hairless mouse. The mouse itself was a commonly used strain of
immunocompromised mouse, preventing a transplant rejection

. Sudden
Death Mosquito
Oxitec which is a British bio
tech company, has created genetically modi
mosquitoes, which are programmed for sudden, early death. Oxitec’s technology is a variation of a proven process
called “sterile insect technique” It involves irradiating male insects, causing mutations that make them sterile.
When released into the w
ild, they mate with females passing on lethal genes which either kills the female or at
least kills the youngs in her so then she fails to reproduce . Scientists at this British bio tech company said they
have evidence that their genetically modified mosqu
itoes can by this way for sure control the spread of dengue

. Dolly the Sheep
Not so cool or disturbing enough but dolly would hit this list for sure since she was the first
ever cloned animal which means that she was produced from a single micro
scopic cell from a single parent (who
hadn’t mated of
course). Cloning techniques might be used widely now in some part of worlds for food but dolly
remains remarkable in being the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell, using the process of
transfer. Normally off
springs are a result of interaction of sex cells but in case of dolly’s birth, sex cells weren’t
involved. She was cloned by Ian Wilmut, Keith Campbell and colleagues at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh in
Scotland. She wa
s born on 5 July 1996 and she lived until the age of six. She has been called “the world’s most
famous sheep” by sources including BBC News and
Scientific American
. To good, dolly was fertile and produced 6
lambs in total. She died in 2003, living about ha
lf as long as a typical sheep. She developed a lung disease common
in older sheep.

. See
Through Frog

Dissecting animals for science has sparked controversies worldwide, even prompting some
companies to create computer simulations as cruelty
free alter
natives. For high school students everywhere, this
revealing amphibian may be a cut above regular frogs. That’s because the see
through frog does not require
dissection to see its organs, blood vessels, and eggs. You can see through the skin how organs gro
w, how cancer
starts and develops. It’s a miracle of genetic engineering and surely a cool mutant gift to students.

. Ruppy
Ruppy (short for Ruby Puppy) is a cloned beagle from South Korea who glows red under ultraviolet
light. Ruppy was created in 2009

by a group of scientists in South Korea, led by Byeong
Chun Lee. The dog was
cloned using viral transfection of fibroblasts cells with a protein that expresses the red fluorescent gene.

. Land Mines Detecting Plants
Developed by Copenhagen firm Aresa B
iodetection, these genetically modified
plants can be handy when it comes to saving the world. Whenever flowers hit nitrogen dioxide (which leaches into
the soil from buried land mines), the plant changes color to red.

. Fuel Excreting Genetically
Modified Bugs
This isn’t made up nor it’s sci
fi, a researcher at silicon valley has
found genetically modified bugs which eat agricultural waste and excrete diesel fuel. [via


A genetically engineered pig approved for limited production which produces 65 percent less
phosphorous in animal waste thus very environmental friendly.