Goats Who Spin Spider Webs And Other Strange But True Genetically Engineered Hybrids

Super carbon-capturing plants
Mankind now distributes nine gigatons of carbon to the atmosphere each year, and plants and trees can only absorb about five of those gigatons. The remaining carbon contributes to the greenhouse effect and global warming, but scientists are creating genetically engineered plants and trees that are able to capture this excess carbon. Scientists are currently working to genetically modify perennials like switchgrass and Miscanthus because of their extensive root systems.
Barnevelder_eggsPhoto by MOrgan Leigh
Medicine Eggs
Scientists have created a breed of hens that make cancer-fighting cells in their eggs. These hens had human genes added to their DNA so that human proteins are secreted into the whites of their eggs, along with complex medicinal proteins similar to drugs used to treat skin cancer and other diseases.
What exactly do these disease-fighting eggs contain? The hens lay eggs that have miR24, a molecule with potential for treating malignant melanoma and arthritis, and human interferon b-1a, an antiviral drug that resembles modern treatments for multiple sclerosis.
Trees_and_timber,_Glenariff_Forest_Park_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1543536By Ross
Yes trees are now being genetically altered to grow faster, yield better wood and even detect biological attacks. Proponents of genetically engineered trees say biotechnology can help reverse deforestation while satisfying demand for wood and paper products. For example, Australian eucalyptus trees have been altered to withstand freezing temperatures, and loblolly pines have been created with less lignin, the substance that gives trees their rigidity.
Vaccine Bananas
How would you like to get vaccinated for diseases like hepatitis B and cholera by eating a banana. Researchers have successfully engineered bananas, potatoes, lettuce, carrots and tobacco to produce vaccines, but they say bananas are the ideal production and delivery vehicle.
When an altered form of a virus is injected into a banana sapling, the virus’ genetic material quickly becomes a permanent part of the plant’s cells. As the plant grows, its cells produce the virus proteins — but not the infectious part of the virus. When people eat a bite of a genetically engineered banana, which is full of virus proteins, their immune systems build up antibodies to fight the disease — just like a traditional vaccine.

AquaBounty Technologies
Super Fast Growing Fish
AquaBounty’s genetically modified salmon grows twice as fast as the conventional variety, the photo shows two same-age salmon with the genetically altered one in the rear. The company claims the fish has the same taste as normal salmon; but it is still up in the air whether the fish is safe to eat.
Genetically engineered Atlantic salmon has an added growth hormone from a Chinook salmon that allows the fish to produce growth hormone year-round. Scientists were able to keep the hormone active by using a gene from an eel-like fish called an ocean pout, which acts as an “on switch” for the hormone.
Web Spinning Goats

Spider silk, among the most valuable materials in nature, used in artificial ligaments to parachute cords, but it’s very hard to produce on a  commercial scale. In 2000, Nexia Biotechnologies announced that it made a goat that produced spiders’ web protein in its milk.

Researchers inserted a spiders’ dragline silk gene into the goats’ DNA in such a way that the goats would make the silk protein only in their milk. This “silk milk” could then be used to manufacture a web-like material called Bioste

This Cabbage Contains Venom
Scientists have now taken the gene that programs poison in scorpion tails and found ways to combine it with cabbage. Why would they want to create venomous cabbage? To limit pesticide use while still preventing caterpillars from damaging cabbage crops. These genetically modified cabbages would produce scorpion poison that kills caterpillars when they bite leaves — but the toxin is modified so it isn’t harmful to humans.
cats_0Choi Byung-kil

Glow in the dark cats
In 2007, scientists altered a cat’s DNA to make it glow in the dark and then took that DNA and cloned other cats from it — creating, fluorescent felines. Here’s how they did it: The researchers took skin cells from Turkish Angora female cats and used a virus to insert genetic instructions for making red fluorescent protein. Then they put the gene-altered nuclei into the eggs for cloning, and the cloned embryos were implanted back into the donor cats — making the cats the surrogate mothers for their own clones.
What’s the point of creating a pet that doubles as a nightlight? Scientists say the ability to engineer animals with fluorescent proteins will enable them to artificially create animals with human genetic diseases.

University of Washington

Plants To Fight Polution
Scientists at the University of Washington are engineering poplar trees that can clean up contamination sites by absorbing groundwater pollutants through their roots. The plants then break the pollutants down into harmless byproducts that are incorporated into their roots, stems and leaves or released into the air.
In laboratory tests, the transgenic plants are able to remove as much as 91 percent of trichloroethylene — the most common groundwater contaminant at U.S. Superfund sites — out of a liquid solution. Regular poplar plants removed just 3 percent of the contaminant.

Mosquitos Are Scary Dude


Malaria Fighting Mosquitoes

Each year, one million deaths are caused by malaria, and another 300 million people are infected—so it stands to reason that scientists should develop ways to end the fight against this disease. With the inspiration of fighting fire with fire, scientists have come up with malaria fighting mosquitoes. These types of mosquitoes have been genetically modified to develop resistance against the plasmodium parasite—making it near impossible to infect the host mosquito. But past experiences have shown that plasmodium parasites are able to quickly evolve and develop an immunity to anything that threatens to destroy them. So would it be better if scientists just killed all mosquitoes?

A team of scientists have banded together to create a type of mosquito that are supposed to pass on a “sudden death” gene to their offspring, which will cause those baby mosquitoes to die of old age before they reach sexual maturity. However, the devastating ecological effect must be taken into consideration: if mosquitoes were eradicated, organisms like bats, which depend on mosquitoes for food would quickly face extinction as well.

Belgian BluOH MY GOD


Super Cows

Herman the Bull, the first genetically modified bovine, was created in 1990 to humanize his calves’ milk, but we’ve come a long way since him. We now have cows that are less horny and resistant to mad cow disease and udder infections. We can even determine their sex or turn out a Belgian Blue.

Although the Belgian Blue was not created through genetic modifications, you can be forgiven for thinking otherwise. The Belgian Blue is a breed that has a defective myostatin gene (the gene that is responsible for muscle inhibition) that results in double muscling. Belgian Blues are said to have more lean meat and reduced fat content, which leads to significantly more health risks (and inbreeding) than other breeds and puts a premium price on these steaks.

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