Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kei and Kou of Japan. Living Proof that Amerika is falling behind in the Genetic Race for the Future of Agriculture, Science and Medicine...

Genetically modified primates that glow green and pass the trait on to their offspring could aid the fight against human disease.

Though primates that make a glowing protein have been created before, these are the first to keep the change in their bloodlines.

Future modifications could lead to treatments for a range of diseases. The "transgenic" marmosets, created by a Japanese team, have been described in the journal Nature. The work raises a number of ethical questions about deliberately exposing a bloodline of animals to such diseases.

Scientists have managed to modify the genes of many living organisms in recent years, ranging from bacteria to mice. Mice have been particularly useful experimental models for studying a wide range of human diseases as modified genes are passed on from parents to progeny.

However, mice are not useful for some human diseases because they are not sufficiently similar to produce effects that are meaningful to human disease. Studies of mice with Alzheimer's disease, for example, were stymied simply because their brains were too small to scan at sufficient resolution.


Green fluorescent protein (GFP) in their tissues.
The protein is so-called because it glows green in a process known as fluorescence.

From 91 embryos, a total of five GFP-enabled transgenic marmosets were born, including twins Kei and Kou ("keikou" is Japanese for "fluorescence").

GFP was originally isolated from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria, which glows green when exposed to blue light. The protein has become a standard in biology and genetic engineering, and its discovery even warranted a Nobel prize.
'Glowing' jellyfish grabs Nobel

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