Gene editing technology for lighting

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"Gene technology" for lighting on the 26th, the news that "the world's first genetic baby immunized against AIDS" was released by the team of Chinese scientist hejiankui, which must be repaired in time, caused a great shock in the scientific and biomedical circles, and also aroused public doubts about the safety and ethics of this experiment. The focus of scientists' doubt is that "gene technology" has long been applied to animal and plant experiments, but has not been applied to human embryonic cells, which has great risks and uncertainties

indeed, gene technology has been used in the experimental research of animals and plants for a long time. It is not only hot in the laboratory, but also widely used in the field and farm. People use this tool to transform animals and plants in order to obtain higher quality and higher yield varieties. There are also many cases of genetic technology for "lighting"

"luminous" plants

the force applied during the test will shake greatly

people who have seen the film "a developed" may be impressed by this scene. "There are luminous plants everywhere, and even late at night, the forest is full of bright light." Now, scientists and some enterprises are making this scene a reality. Their vision is to hope that the trees on the roadside and the plants at home can shine like lamps, and become a new generation of environmental protection and energy-saving lighting

as early as 2013, media reported that the R & D team in the United States was studying the project of "sustainable luminous plants", so that plants can be used as night lighting in the future. According to scientists, about 20 kinds of organisms have biological fluorescence properties, such as fireflies, short tailed squid and deep-sea angler. The R & D team used synthetic biology technology to extract the gene that produces fluorescein from the DNA of these organisms, and used special bacteria to implant this gene sequence into the DNA of plants, and then made them reproduce unisexually, so as to obtain the seeds of this luminous plant

in 2014, American scientists cultivated a luminous plant called "Starlight Avatar", which is the first luminous plant in the world. They genetically modified pot plants of Nicotiana tabacum, which can emit light continuously. Starlight avatar is similar to fireflies. Its "luminescence mechanism" is embedded in cells and can continuously release visible light after 2-3 months of plant survival. The brightness of this luminous plant is comparable to that of starlight. In a dark room at night, the plant can continue to glow, and it takes people's eyes a few minutes to adapt to this environment

△ star avatar

in 2015, a company in the United States, genome compiler, also developed a self luminous plant glowing plant and sold it in the government. A glowing plant luminous plant costs $100 (about 620 yuan), and a bag of glowing plant seeds luminous plant seeds costs $40 (about 248 yuan). There are 50 to 100 seeds in it to grow luminous plants. It is understood that the agency is studying luminous roses

△ glowing plant

in China, last May, the team of scientists in Yunnan successfully cultivated noctilucent plants for the first time. Through bioengineering technology, scientists introduced the genes of marine luminescent microorganisms into the cells of Ben's tobacco plants. After plant tissue culture and screening, they obtained the noctilucent plants, filling the gap of relevant technologies in China, It lays a foundation for the further application of this technology in China

△ noctilucent plants cultivated by Yunnan scientists

according to Duan Kang of Yunnan Nabo technology, the main person in charge of the project, in the past, the luminous plants cultivated by bioengineering must wear glasses under the irradiation of blue and purple light to see fluorescence, or add fluorescein substrate to achieve short-term luminescence. The luminous intensity is invisible to the naked eye and cannot emit light independently at night, but this plant cultivated in China is completely different, It can continuously and independently emit light under dark conditions, and its brightness can reach the level of starlight and illuminate a certain range

"luminous" animals

in addition to plants, "lighting" gene technology has also been applied to animals

in 2011, American scientists bred luminous cats that can resist feline immunodeficiency virus. They hope to find a way to treat AIDS by breeding luminous cats. During the research, they used a gene that can resist a virus similar to AIDS virus to modify the DNA of domestic cats. At the same time, they used a gene from fluorescent jellyfish to make their bodies glow under green ultraviolet radiation

△ glowing cat

the purpose of this study is to verify how a natural protein that prevents macaques from contracting AIDS plays a role in cats. The two genes implanted in domestic cats are linked to each other, and the jellyfish gene is used to track another gene. Under the irradiation of ultraviolet light, transgenic domestic cats emit strange green light, indicating that the protein has been successfully implanted into their tissues. This technology plays a role

this technology is similar to the gene baby project of he Jiankui's team. During the study, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in the United States used harmless viruses to implant genes into eggs from ovariectomized cats. One gene produces a fluorescent protein, and the other gene produces a protein that can fight the feline immunodeficiency virus (the feline version of AIDS virus)

then, they fertilized the egg by IVF and implanted it into the surrogate mother. After 22 attempts, they bred five glowing cats and finally survived three. Two of them were healthy and the other one was ill, but the researchers did not believe that the disease was related to genetic modification. The two glowing cats have bred their own offspring, and their children also carry these new genes

△ two of the eight rabbits bred by the University of Hawaii can emit light

two years later, another animal "fluorescent rabbit" was born. The research was jointly completed by the University of Hawaii and two Turkish universities. Scientists injected the DNA of luminous jellyfish into rabbits to cultivate this luminous "fluorescent rabbit"

according to scientists, the rabbit was bred by artificial insemination. The researchers first removed embryos from an adult female rabbit. Then they injected the plasmid into it

plasmids, also known as cell appendages, are small DNA molecules that can replicate autonomously in the original DNA of non cellular chromosome or nuclear region attached to cells. It contains enzymes from jellyfish DNA and a tool called piggyBac, which transports the aforementioned enzymes. According to the design, once the mission is completed, the piggyBac tool will automatically decompose. The egg is then re implanted into the mother. The whole process above will last no more than half an hour, but you don't know what the final result will be until the female rabbit completes the whole pregnancy and delivery process

in fact, to sum up, the hair of jellyfish is a detailed introduction to the ordinary protection, maintenance and use skills of bellows ring stiffness testing machine. There is no practical use for light gene implantation into rabbits. This is just to "obviously" tell scientists that such transgenic technology is successful and feasible

in addition to ethical issues, it is undeniable that gene technology plays a positive role in biomedicine. However, the most important safety is the most concerned problem of scientists and the general public, because genetic technology is not mature, but the risk of this technology can not be evaluated at present, and the consequences are unknown. As scientists have said, it is unknown whether the life cycle and growth of organisms containing genes will be affected, whether biological variation will occur, and whether it will affect the genes of future generations and the whole human race

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