Science.gov

Sample records for genetically engineered animals

  1. Obstructive nephropathy: insights from genetically engineered animals.

    PubMed

    Bascands, Jean-Loup; Schanstra, Joost P

    2005-09-01

    Congenital obstructive nephropathy is the primary cause for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in children. An increasingly used animal model of obstructive nephropathy is unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO). This model mimics, in an accelerated manner, the different stages of obstructive nephropathy leading to tubulointerstitial fibrosis: cellular infiltration, tubular proliferation and apoptosis, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), (myo)fibroblast accumulation, increased extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition, and tubular atrophy. During the last decade genetically modified animals are increasingly used to study the development of obstructive nephropathy. Although the use of these animals (mainly knockouts) has highlighted some pitfalls of this approach (compensation by closely related gene products, absence of temporal knockouts) it has brought important information about the role of specific gene-products in the pathogenesis of obstructive nephropathy. Besides confirming the important pathologic role for angiotensin II (Ang II) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) in obstructive nephropathy, these animals have shown the complexity of the development of tubulointerstitial fibrosis involving a large number of closely functionally related molecules. More interestingly, the use of these animals has led to the discovery of unexpected and contradictory roles (both potentially pro- and antifibrotic) for Ang II, for ECM degrading enzymes matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) and tissue plasminogen activators (PAs), for plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1), and for the adhesion molecule osteopontin (OPN) in obstructive nephropathy. Further use of these animals, especially in combination with pharmacologic tools, should help to better identify potential antifibrotic strategies in obstructive nephropathy.

  2. Genetic Engineering of Animals for Medical Research: Students' Views.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Ruaraidh; Stanisstreet, Martin; O'Sullivan, Helen; Boyes, Edward

    1999-01-01

    Reports on the results of a survey meant to ascertain the views of 16- to 18-year-old students (n=778) on using animals in medical research. Suggests that students have no greater objection to the use of genetically engineered animals over naturally bred animals in medical research. Contains 16 references. (Author/WRM)

  3. Exogenous enzymes upgrade transgenesis and genetic engineering of farm animals.

    PubMed

    Bosch, Pablo; Forcato, Diego O; Alustiza, Fabrisio E; Alessio, Ana P; Fili, Alejandro E; Olmos Nicotra, María F; Liaudat, Ana C; Rodríguez, Nancy; Talluri, Thirumala R; Kues, Wilfried A

    2015-05-01

    Transgenic farm animals are attractive alternative mammalian models to rodents for the study of developmental, genetic, reproductive and disease-related biological questions, as well for the production of recombinant proteins, or the assessment of xenotransplants for human patients. Until recently, the ability to generate transgenic farm animals relied on methods of passive transgenesis. In recent years, significant improvements have been made to introduce and apply active techniques of transgenesis and genetic engineering in these species. These new approaches dramatically enhance the ease and speed with which livestock species can be genetically modified, and allow to performing precise genetic modifications. This paper provides a synopsis of enzyme-mediated genetic engineering in livestock species covering the early attempts employing naturally occurring DNA-modifying proteins to recent approaches working with tailored enzymatic systems.

  4. Role of genetically engineered animals in future food production.

    PubMed

    McColl, K A; Clarke, B; Doran, T J

    2013-03-01

    Genetically engineered (GE) animals are likely to have an important role in the future in meeting the food demand of a burgeoning global population. There have already been many notable achievements using this technology in livestock, poultry and aquatic species. In particular, the use of RNA interference (RNAi) to produce virus-resistant animals is a rapidly-developing area of research. However, despite the promise of this technology, very few GE animals have been commercialised. This review aims to provide information so that veterinarians and animal health scientists are better able to participate in the debate on GE animals.

  5. [Biosafety assessment of genetically engineered animals: a review].

    PubMed

    Xu, Jianxiang; Li, Ning

    2012-03-01

    With the research and development of genetically engineered animals (GEAs) in breeding of new variety, xenotransplantation, bioreactor and disease model, biosafety issues of GEAs have attracted widespread attentions worldwide. So far, governments and agencies have established corresponding laws and regulations to regulate research and application of GEAs or their derived products. We reviewed research contents, evaluated principles, policies and procedures for biosafety of GEAs, also enumerated upcoming approved products of GEAs. Finally, we suggested perspectives of research and application of GEAs or their derived products.

  6. Genetic Engineering

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, John

    1973-01-01

    Presents a review of genetic engineering, in which the genotypes of plants and animals (including human genotypes) may be manipulated for the benefit of the human species. Discusses associated problems and solutions and provides an extensive bibliography of literature relating to genetic engineering. (JR)

  7. Telos, conservation of welfare, and ethical issues in genetic engineering of animals.

    PubMed

    Rollin, Bernard E

    2015-01-01

    The most long-lived metaphysics or view of reality in the history of Western thought is Aristotle's teleology, which reigned for almost 2,000 years. Biology was expressed in terms of function or telos, and accorded perfectly with common sense. The rise of mechanistic, Newtonian science vanquished teleological explanations. Understanding and accommodating animal telos was essential to success in animal husbandry, which involved respect for telos, and was presuppositional to our "ancient contract" with domestic animals. Telos was further abandoned with the rise of industrial agriculture, which utilized "technological fixes" to force animal into environments they were unsuited for, while continuing to be productive. Loss of husbandry and respect for telos created major issues for farm animal welfare, and forced the creation of a new ethic demanding respect for telos. As genetic engineering developed, the notion arose of modifying animals to fit their environment in order to avoid animal suffering, rather than fitting them into congenial environments. Most people do not favor changing the animals, rather than changing the conditions under which they are reared. Aesthetic appreciation of husbandry and virtue ethics militate in favor of restoring husbandry, rather than radically changing animal teloi. One, however, does not morally wrong teloi by changing them-one can only wrong individuals. In biomedical research, we do indeed inflict major pain, suffering and disease on animals. And genetic engineering seems to augment our ability to create animals to model diseases, particularly more than 3,000 known human genetic diseases. The disease, known as Lesch-Nyhan's syndrome or HPRT deficiency, which causes self-mutilation and mental retardation, provides us with a real possibility for genetically creating "animal models" of this disease, animals doomed to a life of great and unalleviable suffering. This of course creates a major moral dilemma. Perhaps one can use the very

  8. Telos, conservation of welfare, and ethical issues in genetic engineering of animals.

    PubMed

    Rollin, Bernard E

    2015-01-01

    The most long-lived metaphysics or view of reality in the history of Western thought is Aristotle's teleology, which reigned for almost 2,000 years. Biology was expressed in terms of function or telos, and accorded perfectly with common sense. The rise of mechanistic, Newtonian science vanquished teleological explanations. Understanding and accommodating animal telos was essential to success in animal husbandry, which involved respect for telos, and was presuppositional to our "ancient contract" with domestic animals. Telos was further abandoned with the rise of industrial agriculture, which utilized "technological fixes" to force animal into environments they were unsuited for, while continuing to be productive. Loss of husbandry and respect for telos created major issues for farm animal welfare, and forced the creation of a new ethic demanding respect for telos. As genetic engineering developed, the notion arose of modifying animals to fit their environment in order to avoid animal suffering, rather than fitting them into congenial environments. Most people do not favor changing the animals, rather than changing the conditions under which they are reared. Aesthetic appreciation of husbandry and virtue ethics militate in favor of restoring husbandry, rather than radically changing animal teloi. One, however, does not morally wrong teloi by changing them-one can only wrong individuals. In biomedical research, we do indeed inflict major pain, suffering and disease on animals. And genetic engineering seems to augment our ability to create animals to model diseases, particularly more than 3,000 known human genetic diseases. The disease, known as Lesch-Nyhan's syndrome or HPRT deficiency, which causes self-mutilation and mental retardation, provides us with a real possibility for genetically creating "animal models" of this disease, animals doomed to a life of great and unalleviable suffering. This of course creates a major moral dilemma. Perhaps one can use the very

  9. Stakeholder views on the creation and use of genetically-engineered animals in research.

    PubMed

    Ormandy, Elisabeth H

    2016-05-01

    This interview-based study examined the diversity of views relating to the creation and use of genetically-engineered (GE) animals in biomedical science. Twenty Canadian participants (eight researchers, five research technicians and seven members of the public) took part in the interviews, in which four main themes were discussed: a) how participants felt about the genetic engineering of animals as a practice; b) governance of the creation and use of GE animals in research, and whether current guidelines are sufficient; c) the Three Rs (Replacement, Reduction, Refinement) and how they are applied during the creation and use of GE animals in research; and d) whether public opinion should play a greater role in the creation and use of GE animals. Most of the participants felt that the creation and use of GE animals for biomedical research purposes (as opposed to food purposes) is acceptable, provided that tangible human health benefits are gained. However, obstacles to Three Rs implementation were identified, and the participants agreed that more effort should be placed on engaging the public on the use of GE animals in research.

  10. Stakeholder views on the creation and use of genetically-engineered animals in research.

    PubMed

    Ormandy, Elisabeth H

    2016-05-01

    This interview-based study examined the diversity of views relating to the creation and use of genetically-engineered (GE) animals in biomedical science. Twenty Canadian participants (eight researchers, five research technicians and seven members of the public) took part in the interviews, in which four main themes were discussed: a) how participants felt about the genetic engineering of animals as a practice; b) governance of the creation and use of GE animals in research, and whether current guidelines are sufficient; c) the Three Rs (Replacement, Reduction, Refinement) and how they are applied during the creation and use of GE animals in research; and d) whether public opinion should play a greater role in the creation and use of GE animals. Most of the participants felt that the creation and use of GE animals for biomedical research purposes (as opposed to food purposes) is acceptable, provided that tangible human health benefits are gained. However, obstacles to Three Rs implementation were identified, and the participants agreed that more effort should be placed on engaging the public on the use of GE animals in research. PMID:27256452

  11. History and future of genetically engineered food animal regulation: an open request.

    PubMed

    Wells, Kevin D

    2016-06-01

    Modern biotechnology resulted from of a series of incremental improvements in the understanding of DNA and the enzymes that nature evolved to manipulate it. As the potential impact of genetic engineering became apparent, scientists began the process of trying to identify the potential unintended consequences. Restrictions to recombinant DNA experimentation were at first self-imposed. Collaborative efforts between scientists and lawyers formalized an initial set of guidelines. These guidelines have been used to promulgate regulations around world. However, the initial guidelines were only intended as a starting point and were motivated by a specific set of concerns. As new data became available, the guidelines and regulations should have been adapted to the new knowledge. Instead, other social drivers drove the development of regulations. For most species and most applications, the framework that was established has slowly allowed some products to reach the market. However, genetically engineered livestock that are intended for food have been left in a regulatory state of limbo. To date, no genetically engineered food animal is available in the marketplace. A short history and a U.S.-based genetic engineer's perspective are presented. In addition, a request to regulatory agencies is presented for consideration as regulation continues to evolve. Regulators appear to have shown preference for the slow, random progression of evolution over the efficiency of intentional design.

  12. Genetically engineered livestock for agriculture: a generation after the first transgenic animal research conference.

    PubMed

    Murray, James D; Maga, Elizabeth A

    2016-06-01

    At the time of the first Transgenic Animal Research Conference, the lack of knowledge about promoter, enhancer and coding regions of genes of interest greatly hampered our efforts to create transgenes that would express appropriately in livestock. Additionally, we were limited to gene insertion by pronuclear microinjection. As predicted then, widespread genome sequencing efforts and technological advancements have profoundly altered what we can do. There have been many developments in technology to create transgenic animals since we first met at Granlibakken in 1997, including the advent of somatic cell nuclear transfer-based cloning and gene editing. We can now create new transgenes that will express when and where we want and can target precisely in the genome where we want to make a change or insert a transgene. With the large number of sequenced genomes, we have unprecedented access to sequence information including, control regions, coding regions, and known allelic variants. These technological developments have ushered in new and renewed enthusiasm for the production of transgenic animals among scientists and animal agriculturalists around the world, both for the production of more relevant biomedical research models as well as for agricultural applications. However, even though great advancements have been made in our ability to control gene expression and target genetic changes in our animals, there still are no genetically engineered animal products on the market for food. World-wide there has been a failure of the regulatory processes to effectively move forward. Estimates suggest the world will need to increase our current food production 70 % by 2050; that is we will have to produce the total amount of food each year that has been consumed by mankind over the past 500 years. The combination of transgenic animal technology and gene editing will become increasingly more important tools to help feed the world. However, to date the practical benefits of

  13. Genetically engineered livestock for agriculture: a generation after the first transgenic animal research conference.

    PubMed

    Murray, James D; Maga, Elizabeth A

    2016-06-01

    At the time of the first Transgenic Animal Research Conference, the lack of knowledge about promoter, enhancer and coding regions of genes of interest greatly hampered our efforts to create transgenes that would express appropriately in livestock. Additionally, we were limited to gene insertion by pronuclear microinjection. As predicted then, widespread genome sequencing efforts and technological advancements have profoundly altered what we can do. There have been many developments in technology to create transgenic animals since we first met at Granlibakken in 1997, including the advent of somatic cell nuclear transfer-based cloning and gene editing. We can now create new transgenes that will express when and where we want and can target precisely in the genome where we want to make a change or insert a transgene. With the large number of sequenced genomes, we have unprecedented access to sequence information including, control regions, coding regions, and known allelic variants. These technological developments have ushered in new and renewed enthusiasm for the production of transgenic animals among scientists and animal agriculturalists around the world, both for the production of more relevant biomedical research models as well as for agricultural applications. However, even though great advancements have been made in our ability to control gene expression and target genetic changes in our animals, there still are no genetically engineered animal products on the market for food. World-wide there has been a failure of the regulatory processes to effectively move forward. Estimates suggest the world will need to increase our current food production 70 % by 2050; that is we will have to produce the total amount of food each year that has been consumed by mankind over the past 500 years. The combination of transgenic animal technology and gene editing will become increasingly more important tools to help feed the world. However, to date the practical benefits of

  14. Causation of nervous system tumors in children: insights from traditional and genetically engineered animal models.

    PubMed

    Rice, Jerry M

    2004-09-01

    Pediatric neurogenic tumors include primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs), especially medulloblastoma; ependymomas and choroid plexus papillomas; astrocytomas; retinoblastoma; and sympathetic neuroblastoma. Meningiomas and nerve sheath tumors, although uncommon in childhood, are also significant because they can result from exposures of children to ionizing radiation. Specific chromosomal loci and specific genes are related to each of these tumor types. Virtually all these genes appear to act as tumor suppressor genes, which are inactivated in tumor cells by mutations or by chromosomal loss. In genetically engineered mice, some genes that are clearly associated with specific human tumors (e.g., RB1 in retinoblastoma and NF2 in meningiomas and schwannomas) have no such effect. Other genetic constructs in mice involving the genes p53, ptc1, and Nf1 have produced tumors remarkably similar to some of the human pediatric neoplasms. Some of these tumors become clinically apparent after only a few weeks, while the mice are still juveniles, especially when two or more tumor suppressor genes are inactivated in the same genetic construct. Conversely, at least one genetic pathway in rodents involving point mutation in the coding region of a transforming gene (neu in malignant schwannomas) does not appear to operate in any human tumors. The nervous system is markedly susceptible to experimental carcinogenesis during early life in rodents, dogs, primates, and other nonhuman species, and there is no obvious reason why this generalization should not also apply to humans. However, except for therapeutic ionizing radiation, no physical, chemical, or biological cause of human pediatric nervous system tumors is known. The failure of experimental transplacental carcinogenesis to mirror human pediatric experience more closely may reflect the need for multiple mutational events in target cells, and for experimental carcinogens that are capable of causing the full spectrum of

  15. Genetically engineered flavonol enriched tomato fruit modulates chondrogenesis to increase bone length in growing animals.

    PubMed

    Choudhary, Dharmendra; Pandey, Ashutosh; Adhikary, Sulekha; Ahmad, Naseer; Bhatia, Chitra; Bhambhani, Sweta; Trivedi, Prabodh Kumar; Trivedi, Ritu

    2016-01-01

    Externally visible body and longitudinal bone growth is a result of proliferation of chondrocytes. In growth disorder, there is delay in the age associated increase in height. The present study evaluates the effect of extract from transgenic tomato fruit expressing AtMYB12 transcription factor on bone health including longitudinal growth. Constitutive expression of AtMYB12 in tomato led to a significantly enhanced biosynthesis of flavonoids in general and the flavonol biosynthesis in particular. Pre-pubertal ovary intact BALB/c mice received daily oral administration of vehicle and ethanolic extract of wild type (WT-TOM) and transgenic AtMYB12-tomato (MYB12-TOM) fruits for six weeks. Animal fed with MYB12-TOM showed no inflammation in hepatic tissues and normal sinusoidal Kupffer cell morphology. MYB12-TOM extract significantly increased tibial and femoral growth and subsequently improved the bone length as compared to vehicle and WT-TOM. Histomorphometry exhibited significantly wider distal femoral and proximal tibial growth plate, increased number and size of hypertrophic chondrocytes in MYB12-TOM which corroborated with micro-CT and expression of BMP-2 and COL-10, marker genes for hypertrophic cells. We conclude that metabolic reprogramming of tomato by AtMYB12 has the potential to improve longitudinal bone growth thus helping in achievement of greater peak bone mass during adolescence. PMID:26917158

  16. Genetically engineered flavonol enriched tomato fruit modulates chondrogenesis to increase bone length in growing animals

    PubMed Central

    Choudhary, Dharmendra; Pandey, Ashutosh; Adhikary, Sulekha; Ahmad, Naseer; Bhatia, Chitra; Bhambhani, Sweta; Trivedi, Prabodh Kumar; Trivedi, Ritu

    2016-01-01

    Externally visible body and longitudinal bone growth is a result of proliferation of chondrocytes. In growth disorder, there is delay in the age associated increase in height. The present study evaluates the effect of extract from transgenic tomato fruit expressing AtMYB12 transcription factor on bone health including longitudinal growth. Constitutive expression of AtMYB12 in tomato led to a significantly enhanced biosynthesis of flavonoids in general and the flavonol biosynthesis in particular. Pre-pubertal ovary intact BALB/c mice received daily oral administration of vehicle and ethanolic extract of wild type (WT-TOM) and transgenic AtMYB12-tomato (MYB12-TOM) fruits for six weeks. Animal fed with MYB12-TOM showed no inflammation in hepatic tissues and normal sinusoidal Kupffer cell morphology. MYB12-TOM extract significantly increased tibial and femoral growth and subsequently improved the bone length as compared to vehicle and WT-TOM. Histomorphometry exhibited significantly wider distal femoral and proximal tibial growth plate, increased number and size of hypertrophic chondrocytes in MYB12-TOM which corroborated with micro-CT and expression of BMP-2 and COL-10, marker genes for hypertrophic cells. We conclude that metabolic reprogramming of tomato by AtMYB12 has the potential to improve longitudinal bone growth thus helping in achievement of greater peak bone mass during adolescence. PMID:26917158

  17. Genetic engineering, medicine and medical genetics.

    PubMed

    Motulsky, A G

    1984-01-01

    The impact of DNA technology in the near future will be on the manufacture of biologic agents and reagents that will lead to improved therapy and diagnosis. The use of DNA technology for prenatal and preclinical diagnosis in genetic diseases is likely to affect management of genetic diseases considerably. New and old questions regarding selective abortion and the psychosocial impact of early diagnosis of late appearing diseases and of genetic susceptibilities are being raised. Somatic therapy with isolated genes to treat disease has not been achieved. True germinal genetic engineering is far off for humans but may find applications in animal agriculture.

  18. Engineering visualization utilizing advanced animation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sabionski, Gunter R.; Robinson, Thomas L., Jr.

    1989-01-01

    Engineering visualization is the use of computer graphics to depict engineering analysis and simulation in visual form from project planning through documentation. Graphics displays let engineers see data represented dynamically which permits the quick evaluation of results. The current state of graphics hardware and software generally allows the creation of two types of 3D graphics. The use of animated video as an engineering visualization tool is presented. The engineering, animation, and videography aspects of animated video production are each discussed. Specific issues include the integration of staffing expertise, hardware, software, and the various production processes. A detailed explanation of the animation process reveals the capabilities of this unique engineering visualization method. Automation of animation and video production processes are covered and future directions are proposed.

  19. Genetically Engineered Cyanobacteria

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhou, Ruanbao (Inventor); Gibbons, William (Inventor)

    2015-01-01

    The disclosed embodiments provide cyanobacteria spp. that have been genetically engineered to have increased production of carbon-based products of interest. These genetically engineered hosts efficiently convert carbon dioxide and light into carbon-based products of interest such as long chained hydrocarbons. Several constructs containing polynucleotides encoding enzymes active in the metabolic pathways of cyanobacteria are disclosed. In many instances, the cyanobacteria strains have been further genetically modified to optimize production of the carbon-based products of interest. The optimization includes both up-regulation and down-regulation of particular genes.

  20. Genetically Engineering Entomopathogenic Fungi.

    PubMed

    Zhao, H; Lovett, B; Fang, W

    2016-01-01

    Entomopathogenic fungi have been developed as environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical insecticides in biocontrol programs for agricultural pests and vectors of disease. However, mycoinsecticides currently have a small market share due to low virulence and inconsistencies in their performance. Genetic engineering has made it possible to significantly improve the virulence of fungi and their tolerance to adverse conditions. Virulence enhancement has been achieved by engineering fungi to express insect proteins and insecticidal proteins/peptides from insect predators and other insect pathogens, or by overexpressing the pathogen's own genes. Importantly, protein engineering can be used to mix and match functional domains from diverse genes sourced from entomopathogenic fungi and other organisms, producing insecticidal proteins with novel characteristics. Fungal tolerance to abiotic stresses, especially UV radiation, has been greatly improved by introducing into entomopathogens a photoreactivation system from an archaean and pigment synthesis pathways from nonentomopathogenic fungi. Conversely, gene knockout strategies have produced strains with reduced ecological fitness as recipients for genetic engineering to improve virulence; the resulting strains are hypervirulent, but will not persist in the environment. Coupled with their natural insect specificity, safety concerns can also be mitigated by using safe effector proteins with selection marker genes removed after transformation. With the increasing public concern over the continued use of synthetic chemical insecticides and growing public acceptance of genetically modified organisms, new types of biological insecticides produced by genetic engineering offer a range of environmentally friendly options for cost-effective control of insect pests. PMID:27131325

  1. Genetically Engineering Entomopathogenic Fungi.

    PubMed

    Zhao, H; Lovett, B; Fang, W

    2016-01-01

    Entomopathogenic fungi have been developed as environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical insecticides in biocontrol programs for agricultural pests and vectors of disease. However, mycoinsecticides currently have a small market share due to low virulence and inconsistencies in their performance. Genetic engineering has made it possible to significantly improve the virulence of fungi and their tolerance to adverse conditions. Virulence enhancement has been achieved by engineering fungi to express insect proteins and insecticidal proteins/peptides from insect predators and other insect pathogens, or by overexpressing the pathogen's own genes. Importantly, protein engineering can be used to mix and match functional domains from diverse genes sourced from entomopathogenic fungi and other organisms, producing insecticidal proteins with novel characteristics. Fungal tolerance to abiotic stresses, especially UV radiation, has been greatly improved by introducing into entomopathogens a photoreactivation system from an archaean and pigment synthesis pathways from nonentomopathogenic fungi. Conversely, gene knockout strategies have produced strains with reduced ecological fitness as recipients for genetic engineering to improve virulence; the resulting strains are hypervirulent, but will not persist in the environment. Coupled with their natural insect specificity, safety concerns can also be mitigated by using safe effector proteins with selection marker genes removed after transformation. With the increasing public concern over the continued use of synthetic chemical insecticides and growing public acceptance of genetically modified organisms, new types of biological insecticides produced by genetic engineering offer a range of environmentally friendly options for cost-effective control of insect pests.

  2. Paper Genetic Engineering.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacClintic, Scott D.; Nelson, Genevieve M.

    Bacterial transformation is a commonly used technique in genetic engineering that involves transferring a gene of interest into a bacterial host so that the bacteria can be used to produce large quantities of the gene product. Although several kits are available for performing bacterial transformation in the classroom, students do not always…

  3. [Genetic engineering in plants].

    PubMed

    Demarly, Y

    1992-11-01

    Until recent years, plant genetic was involved in heredity studies through the analysis of segregations in progenies after crossing. New potentiality arose as genetic tools with the use of dissociated plant elements, transforming and cultivating them in vitro. When plants are regenerated from manipulated tissues, new structures of varieties (clones) new genotypes (transgenic plants) and new regulations of genes expression (vitrovariants) open new ways for plant genetic engineering. Progressively these technological tools are integrated in the methods of plant breeding. Yet all possible consequences of these new types of heredity and of these new genetic structures must be evaluated. As first priority the analysis of possible incidences in the field of food, nutrition and health gives the basis for diagnostics and organisations aiming to avoid the release of genotypes which could have unwanted effects.

  4. Safe genetically engineered plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosellini, D.; Veronesi, F.

    2007-10-01

    The application of genetic engineering to plants has provided genetically modified plants (GMPs, or transgenic plants) that are cultivated worldwide on increasing areas. The most widespread GMPs are herbicide-resistant soybean and canola and insect-resistant corn and cotton. New GMPs that produce vaccines, pharmaceutical or industrial proteins, and fortified food are approaching the market. The techniques employed to introduce foreign genes into plants allow a quite good degree of predictability of the results, and their genome is minimally modified. However, some aspects of GMPs have raised concern: (a) control of the insertion site of the introduced DNA sequences into the plant genome and of its mutagenic effect; (b) presence of selectable marker genes conferring resistance to an antibiotic or an herbicide, linked to the useful gene; (c) insertion of undesired bacterial plasmid sequences; and (d) gene flow from transgenic plants to non-transgenic crops or wild plants. In response to public concerns, genetic engineering techniques are continuously being improved. Techniques to direct foreign gene integration into chosen genomic sites, to avoid the use of selectable genes or to remove them from the cultivated plants, to reduce the transfer of undesired bacterial sequences, and make use of alternative, safer selectable genes, are all fields of active research. In our laboratory, some of these new techniques are applied to alfalfa, an important forage plant. These emerging methods for plant genetic engineering are briefly reviewed in this work.

  5. Selected Readings in Genetic Engineering

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mertens, Thomas R.; Robinson, Sandra K.

    1973-01-01

    Describes different sources of readings for understanding issues and concepts of genetic engineering. Broad categories of reading materials are: concerns about genetic engineering; its background; procedures; and social, ethical and legal issues. References are listed. (PS)

  6. Genetic Engineering of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.).

    PubMed

    Wang, Dan; Khurshid, Muhammad; Sun, Zhan Min; Tang, Yi Xiong; Zhou, Mei Liang; Wu, Yan Min

    2016-01-01

    Alfalfa is excellent perennial legume forage for its extensive ecological adaptability, high nutrition value, palatability and biological nitrogen fixation. It plays a very important role in the agriculture, animal husbandry and ecological construction. It is cultivated in all continents. With the development of modern plant breeding and genetic engineering techniques, a large amount of work has been carried out on alfalfa. Here we summarize the recent research advances in genetic engineering of alfalfa breeding, including transformation, quality improvement, stress resistance and as a bioreactor. The review article can enables us to understand the research method, direction and achievements of genetic engineering technology of Alfalfa.

  7. Genetic engineering and the patent office

    SciTech Connect

    Sheldon, J.G.; Anderson, D.L.

    1987-10-01

    Higher life forms created through genetic engineering are now recognized as potentially patentable. On 7 April 1987, the US Patent and Trademark Office announced that it now considers non-naturally occurring non-human multi-cellular living organisms, including animals, to be patentable subject matter. The response to this announcement has been an emotion controversy centering on the patent office. The announcement has become the lightning rod for all of the practical and moral questions surrounding the overwhelming potential of genetic engineering. Environmentalists claim that genetic engineering will ruin the ecology. The Humane Society of the US, headquartered in Washington, DC, claims that genetic engineering will cause undo suffering to animals produced through genetic experiments and may ultimately lead to the demise of overly engineered animal species. Religious fundamentalists claim that genetic engineering is wrongfully tinkering with the handiwork of the Almighty. While it may be good that such questions are being raised, the patent office is being wrongly singled out as the source of the problem. This paper discusses the legal problems that patents on new lifeforms have caused.

  8. Genetically engineered probiotics.

    PubMed

    Steidler, Lothar

    2003-10-01

    Probiotic micro-organisms have been used for many years. Originating as food supplements, they are now most often administered orally and offer an attractive alternative for treating of intestinal disorders. A better understanding of the mechanisms by which these micro-organisms act has now opened up possibilities for designing new probiotic strains. Through genetic engineering, it is possible not only to strengthen the effects of existing strains, but also to create completely new probiotics. These need not necessarily be composed only of bacterial products but can also include elements of regulatory systems or enzymes derived from a foreign-human-source. If designed carefully and with absolute attention to biological safety in its broadest sense, the development of genetically modified probiotics has the potential to revolutionize alimentary health.

  9. Genetically Engineered Pig Models for Human Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Prather, Randall S.; Lorson, Monique; Ross, Jason W.; Whyte, Jeffrey J.; Walters, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Although pigs are used widely as models of human disease, their utility as models has been enhanced by genetic engineering. Initially, transgenes were added randomly to the genome, but with the application of homologous recombination, zinc finger nucleases, and transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) technologies, now most any genetic change that can be envisioned can be completed. To date these genetic modifications have resulted in animals that have the potential to provide new insights into human diseases for which a good animal model did not exist previously. These new animal models should provide the preclinical data for treatments that are developed for diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, cystic fibrosis, retinitis pigmentosa, spinal muscular atrophy, diabetes, and organ failure. These new models will help to uncover aspects and treatments of these diseases that were otherwise unattainable. The focus of this review is to describe genetically engineered pigs that have resulted in models of human diseases. PMID:25387017

  10. Genetically engineered plasmonic nanoarrays.

    PubMed

    Forestiere, Carlo; Pasquale, Alyssa J; Capretti, Antonio; Miano, Giovanni; Tamburrino, Antonello; Lee, Sylvanus Y; Reinhard, Björn M; Dal Negro, Luca

    2012-04-11

    In the present Letter, we demonstrate how the design of metallic nanoparticle arrays with large electric field enhancement can be performed using the basic paradigm of engineering, namely the optimization of a well-defined objective function. Such optimization is carried out by coupling a genetic algorithm with the analytical multiparticle Mie theory. General design criteria for best enhancement of electric fields are obtained, unveiling the fundamental interplay between the near-field plasmonic and radiative photonic coupling. Our optimization approach is experimentally validated by surface-enhanced Raman scattering measurements, which demonstrate how genetically optimized arrays, fabricated using electron beam lithography, lead to order of ten improvement of Raman enhancement over nanoparticle dimer antennas, and order of one hundred improvement over optimal nanoparticle gratings. A rigorous design of nanoparticle arrays with optimal field enhancement is essential to the engineering of numerous nanoscale optical devices such as plasmon-enhanced biosensors, photodetectors, light sources and more efficient nonlinear optical elements for on chip integration. PMID:22381056

  11. Agrobacterium: nature's genetic engineer.

    PubMed

    Nester, Eugene W

    2014-01-01

    Agrobacterium was identified as the agent causing the plant tumor, crown gall over 100 years ago. Since then, studies have resulted in many surprising observations. Armin Braun demonstrated that Agrobacterium infected cells had unusual nutritional properties, and that the bacterium was necessary to start the infection but not for continued tumor development. He developed the concept of a tumor inducing principle (TIP), the factor that actually caused the disease. Thirty years later the TIP was shown to be a piece of a tumor inducing (Ti) plasmid excised by an endonuclease. In the next 20 years, most of the key features of the disease were described. The single-strand DNA (T-DNA) with the endonuclease attached is transferred through a type IV secretion system into the host cell where it is likely coated and protected from nucleases by a bacterial secreted protein to form the T-complex. A nuclear localization signal in the endonuclease guides the transferred strand (T-strand), into the nucleus where it is integrated randomly into the host chromosome. Other secreted proteins likely aid in uncoating the T-complex. The T-DNA encodes enzymes of auxin, cytokinin, and opine synthesis, the latter a food source for Agrobacterium. The genes associated with T-strand formation and transfer (vir) map to the Ti plasmid and are only expressed when the bacteria are in close association with a plant. Plant signals are recognized by a two-component regulatory system which activates vir genes. Chromosomal genes with pleiotropic functions also play important roles in plant transformation. The data now explain Braun's old observations and also explain why Agrobacterium is nature's genetic engineer. Any DNA inserted between the border sequences which define the T-DNA will be transferred and integrated into host cells. Thus, Agrobacterium has become the major vector in plant genetic engineering. PMID:25610442

  12. Moral Fantasy in Genetic Engineering.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boone, C. Keith

    1984-01-01

    Discusses the main ethical issues generated by the new genetics and suggests ways to think about them. Concerns include "playing God," violation of the natural order of the universe, and abuse of genetic technology. Critical distinctions for making difficult decisions about genetic engineering issues are noted. (DH)

  13. Genetically engineered vaccines.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Wayne R; Hales, Belinda J; Smith, Wendy-Anne

    2005-05-01

    The application of recombinant DNA technology to allergen research has provided the sequence information and genetic material to produce new types of allergy vaccines. One general strategy has been to use the knowledge to produce synthetic peptides that represent selected T-cell or B-cell epitopes. The production of genetically engineered allergens provides an alternative strategy to construct hypoallergenic vaccines, which can provide a better and less selected representation of the epitopes. Many strategies have been used to produce such hypoallergens, and their ability to reduce allergenicity has been amply demonstrated by skin and nasal provocation tests. The retention of T cell-stimulating activity has also been demonstrated, and a consistent feature of the vaccines has been, despite the reduced immunoglobulin E (IgE)-binding reactivity, the ability to induce anti-allergen IgG antibody. The lead hypoallergens have been polypeptide fragments and trimeric constructs of the birch allergen Bet v 1. A clinical trial with these medicaments has shown the ability to modify IgE and IgG antibody production, skin test reactivity, and symptom scores. This is the first trial of a recombinant allergy vaccine, and it has set a benchmark for further studies. A new generation of hypoallergens is now being produced based on the detailed knowledge of the tertiary structures of the allergens and of the T-cell and B-cell epitopes. The modifications have been made to change the topography of the allergens while retaining a stable, folding structure. In the case of Bet v 1, tertiary structures of hypoallergens have been determined. Structurally modeled hypoallergens have been produced for pollen, venom, food, and latex allergens, with promising characteristics from preclinical studies. PMID:15842957

  14. Engineering genetic injustice.

    PubMed

    Wenz, Peter

    2005-02-01

    In their jointly written book, From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice, Allen Buchanan, Dan Brock, Norman Daniels and Daniel Wikler defend 'the development and deployment of genetic intervention technologies..', including genetic enhancements, against charges that they exacerbate injustice. The present paper examines some of their arguments. The first section shows that the authors confuse real societies with just societies. The second shows that without this confusion, their arguments reveal the enormous justice-impairing potential of deploying genetic enhancements in such societies as the United States.

  15. Congenital and Genetic Disease in Domestic Animals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mulvihill, John J.

    1972-01-01

    Reviews observations on domestic animals that have led to the identification of environmental teratogens, and have provided insight into the pathogenesis of congenital defects and genetic diseases in man." (Author/AL)

  16. Plastid genetic engineering in Solanaceae.

    PubMed

    Venkatesh, Jelli; Park, Se Won

    2012-10-01

    Plastid genetic engineering has come of age, becoming today an attractive alternative approach for the expression of foreign genes, as it offers several advantages over nuclear transformants. Significant progress has been made in plastid genetic engineering in tobacco and other Solanaceae plants, through the use of improved regeneration procedures and transformation vectors with efficient promoters and untranslated regions. Many genes encoding for industrially important proteins and vaccines, as well as genes conferring important agronomic traits, have been stably integrated and expressed in the plastid genome. Despite these advances, it remains a challenge to achieve marked levels of plastid transgene expression in non-green tissues. In this review, we summarize the basic requirements of plastid genetic engineering and discuss the current status, limitations, and the potential of plastid transformation for expanding future studies relating to Solanaceae plants.

  17. Genetic Engineering Workshop Report, 2010

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, J; Slezak, T

    2010-11-03

    The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) Bioinformatics group has recently taken on a role in DTRA's Transformation Medical Technologies (TMT) program. The high-level goal of TMT is to accelerate the development of broad-spectrum countermeasures. To achieve this goal, there is a need to assess the genetic engineering (GE) approaches, potential application as well as detection and mitigation strategies. LLNL was tasked to coordinate a workshop to determine the scope of investments that DTRA should make to stay current with the rapid advances in genetic engineering technologies, so that accidental or malicious uses of GE technologies could be adequately detected and characterized. Attachment A is an earlier report produced by LLNL for TMT that provides some relevant background on Genetic Engineering detection. A workshop was held on September 23-24, 2010 in Springfield, Virginia. It was attended by a total of 55 people (see Attachment B). Twenty four (44%) of the attendees were academic researchers involved in GE or bioinformatics technology, 6 (11%) were from DTRA or the TMT program management, 7 (13%) were current TMT performers (including Jonathan Allen and Tom Slezak of LLNL who hosted the workshop), 11 (20%) were from other Federal agencies, and 7 (13%) were from industries that are involved in genetic engineering. Several attendees could be placed in multiple categories. There were 26 attendees (47%) who were from out of the DC area and received travel assistance through Invitational Travel Orders (ITOs). We note that this workshop could not have been as successful without the ability to invite experts from outside of the Beltway region. This workshop was an unclassified discussion of the science behind current genetic engineering capabilities. US citizenship was not required for attendance. While this may have limited some discussions concerning risk, we felt that it was more important for this first workshop to focus on the scientific state of the

  18. Genetic engineering of Geobacillus spp.

    PubMed

    Kananavičiūtė, Rūta; Čitavičius, Donaldas

    2015-04-01

    Members of the genus Geobacillus are thermophiles that are of great biotechnological importance, since they are sources of many thermostable enzymes. Because of their metabolic versatility, geobacilli can be used as whole-cell catalysts in processes such as bioconversion and bioremediation. The effective employment of Geobacillus spp. requires the development of reliable methods for genetic engineering of these bacteria. Currently, genetic manipulation tools and protocols are under rapid development. However, there are several convenient cloning vectors, some of which replicate autonomously, while others are suitable for the genetic modification of chromosomal genes. Gene expression systems are also intensively studied. Combining these tools together with proper techniques for DNA transfer, some Geobacillus strains were shown to be valuable producers of recombinant proteins and industrially important biochemicals, such as ethanol or isobutanol. This review encompasses the progress made in the genetic engineering of Geobacillus spp. and surveys the vectors and transformation methods that are available for this genus.

  19. Genetically modified animals and pharmacological research.

    PubMed

    Wells, Dominic J

    2010-01-01

    This chapter reviews the use of genetically modified animals and the increasingly detailed knowledge of the genomes of the domestic species. The different approaches to genetic modification are outlined as are the advantages and disadvantages of the techniques in different species. Genetically modified mice have been fundamental in understanding gene function and in generating affordable models of human disease although these are not without their drawbacks. Transgenic farm animals have been developed for nutritionally enhanced food, disease resistance and xenografting. Transgenic rabbits, goats, sheep and cows have been developed as living bioreactors producing potentially high value biopharmaceuticals, commonly referred to as "pharming". Domestic animals are also important as a target as well as for testing genetic-based therapies for both inherited and acquired disease. This latter field may be the most important of all, in the future development of novel therapies.

  20. Genetically modified animals and pharmacological research.

    PubMed

    Wells, Dominic J

    2010-01-01

    This chapter reviews the use of genetically modified animals and the increasingly detailed knowledge of the genomes of the domestic species. The different approaches to genetic modification are outlined as are the advantages and disadvantages of the techniques in different species. Genetically modified mice have been fundamental in understanding gene function and in generating affordable models of human disease although these are not without their drawbacks. Transgenic farm animals have been developed for nutritionally enhanced food, disease resistance and xenografting. Transgenic rabbits, goats, sheep and cows have been developed as living bioreactors producing potentially high value biopharmaceuticals, commonly referred to as "pharming". Domestic animals are also important as a target as well as for testing genetic-based therapies for both inherited and acquired disease. This latter field may be the most important of all, in the future development of novel therapies. PMID:20204589

  1. "Genetically Engineered" Nanoelectronics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klimeck, Gerhard; Salazar-Lazaro, Carlos H.; Stoica, Adrian; Cwik, Thomas

    2000-01-01

    The quantum mechanical functionality of nanoelectronic devices such as resonant tunneling diodes (RTDs), quantum well infrared-photodetectors (QWIPs), quantum well lasers, and heterostructure field effect transistors (HFETs) is enabled by material variations on an atomic scale. The design and optimization of such devices requires a fundamental understanding of electron transport in such dimensions. The Nanoelectronic Modeling Tool (NEMO) is a general-purpose quantum device design and analysis tool based on a fundamental non-equilibrium electron transport theory. NEW was combined with a parallelized genetic algorithm package (PGAPACK) to evolve structural and material parameters to match a desired set of experimental data. A numerical experiment that evolves structural variations such as layer widths and doping concentrations is performed to analyze an experimental current voltage characteristic. The genetic algorithm is found to drive the NEMO simulation parameters close to the experimentally prescribed layer thicknesses and doping profiles. With such a quantitative agreement between theory and experiment design synthesis can be performed.

  2. Genetic Engineering and Crop Production.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Helen C.; Frost, S.

    1991-01-01

    With a spotlight upon current agricultural difficulties and environmental dilemmas, this paper considers both the extant and potential applications of genetic engineering with respect to crop production. The nonagricultural factors most likely to sway the impact of this emergent technology upon future crop production are illustrated. (JJK)

  3. Engineering Large Animal Species to Model Human Diseases.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Christopher S

    2016-07-01

    Animal models are an important resource for studying human diseases. Genetically engineered mice are the most commonly used species and have made significant contributions to our understanding of basic biology, disease mechanisms, and drug development. However, they often fail to recreate important aspects of human diseases and thus can have limited utility as translational research tools. Developing disease models in species more similar to humans may provide a better setting in which to study disease pathogenesis and test new treatments. This unit provides an overview of the history of genetically engineered large animals and the techniques that have made their development possible. Factors to consider when planning a large animal model, including choice of species, type of modification and methodology, characterization, production methods, and regulatory compliance, are also covered. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  4. Engineering Large Animal Species to Model Human Diseases.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Christopher S

    2016-01-01

    Animal models are an important resource for studying human diseases. Genetically engineered mice are the most commonly used species and have made significant contributions to our understanding of basic biology, disease mechanisms, and drug development. However, they often fail to recreate important aspects of human diseases and thus can have limited utility as translational research tools. Developing disease models in species more similar to humans may provide a better setting in which to study disease pathogenesis and test new treatments. This unit provides an overview of the history of genetically engineered large animals and the techniques that have made their development possible. Factors to consider when planning a large animal model, including choice of species, type of modification and methodology, characterization, production methods, and regulatory compliance, are also covered. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. PMID:27367161

  5. Genetic engineering of filamentous fungi.

    PubMed

    Timberlake, W E; Marshall, M A

    1989-06-16

    Filamentous fungi are important in medicine, industry, agriculture, and basic biological research. For example, some fungal species are pathogenic to humans, whereas others produce beta-lactam antibiotics (penicillin and cephalosporin). Industrial strains produce large amounts of enzymes, such as glucoamylase and proteases, and low molecular weight compounds, such as citric acid. The largest and most economically important group of plant pathogens are fungi. Several fungal species have biological properties and genetic systems that make them ideally suited for basic biological research. Recently developed techniques for genetic engineering of filamentous fungi make it possible to alter their detrimental and beneficial activities in novel ways.

  6. Animal Genetic Resource Trade Flows: Economic Assessment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Throughout human history, livestock producers have relied on a vibrant international exchange of genetic resources to achieve improvements in the quality and productivity of their animals. In recent years, however, some observers have argued that changes in the legal, technological, and economic env...

  7. Genetically Engineered Mouse Models of Pituitary Tumors

    PubMed Central

    Cano, David A.; Soto-Moreno, Alfonso; Leal-Cerro, Alfonso

    2014-01-01

    Animal models constitute valuable tools for investigating the pathogenesis of cancer as well as for preclinical testing of novel therapeutics approaches. However, the pathogenic mechanisms of pituitary-tumor formation remain poorly understood, particularly in sporadic adenomas, thus, making it a challenge to model pituitary tumors in mice. Nevertheless, genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) of pituitary tumors have provided important insight into pituitary tumor biology. In this paper, we review various GEMMs of pituitary tumors, highlighting their contributions and limitations, and discuss opportunities for research in the field. PMID:25136513

  8. Genetically engineered humanized mouse models for preclinical antibody studies.

    PubMed

    Proetzel, Gabriele; Wiles, Michael V; Roopenian, Derry C

    2014-04-01

    The use of genetic engineering has vastly improved our capabilities to create animal models relevant in preclinical research. With the recent advances in gene-editing technologies, it is now possible to very rapidly create highly tunable mouse models as needs arise. Here, we provide an overview of genetic engineering methods, as well as the development of humanized neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) models and their use for monoclonal antibody in vivo studies.

  9. Recent advances in small animal genetics.

    PubMed

    Bannasch, Danika L; Hughes, Angela M

    2006-05-01

    The whole genome sequence of the dog is complete, and partial sequencing of the cat genome is underway. Sequences allow the molecular basis for inherited diseases to be more easily determined, leading to development of DNA tests to verify carrier and affected states as well as potential gene therapy for the treatment of those diseases. To help veterinarians provide genetic services to their clients, the molecular genetic tests currently available are listed in this article. In addition, cloning of small animals is now available to clients on a commercial basis. Information about the cloning process and possible health issues in clones are discussed.

  10. Genetically engineered livestock: ethical use for food and medical models.

    PubMed

    Garas, Lydia C; Murray, James D; Maga, Elizabeth A

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances in the production of genetically engineered (GE) livestock have resulted in a variety of new transgenic animals with desirable production and composition changes. GE animals have been generated to improve growth efficiency, food composition, and disease resistance in domesticated livestock species. GE animals are also used to produce pharmaceuticals and as medical models for human diseases. The potential use of these food animals for human consumption has prompted an intense debate about food safety and animal welfare concerns with the GE approach. Additionally, public perception and ethical concerns about their use have caused delays in establishing a clear and efficient regulatory approval process. Ethically, there are far-reaching implications of not using genetically engineered livestock, at a detriment to both producers and consumers, as use of this technology can improve both human and animal health and welfare.

  11. Genetically Engineered Microelectronic Infrared Filters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cwik, Tom; Klimeck, Gerhard

    1998-01-01

    A genetic algorithm is used for design of infrared filters and in the understanding of the material structure of a resonant tunneling diode. These two components are examples of microdevices and nanodevices that can be numerically simulated using fundamental mathematical and physical models. Because the number of parameters that can be used in the design of one of these devices is large, and because experimental exploration of the design space is unfeasible, reliable software models integrated with global optimization methods are examined The genetic algorithm and engineering design codes have been implemented on massively parallel computers to exploit their high performance. Design results are presented for the infrared filter showing new and optimized device design. Results for nanodevices are presented in a companion paper at this workshop.

  12. The Genetic Architecture of Domestication in Animals

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Dominic

    2015-01-01

    Domestication has been essential to the progress of human civilization, and the process itself has fascinated biologists for hundreds of years. Domestication has led to a series of remarkable changes in a variety of plants and animals, in what is termed the “domestication phenotype.” In domesticated animals, this general phenotype typically consists of similar changes in tameness, behavior, size/morphology, color, brain composition, and adrenal gland size. This domestication phenotype is seen in a range of different animals. However, the genetic basis of these associated changes is still puzzling. The genes for these different traits tend to be grouped together in clusters in the genome, though it is still not clear whether these clusters represent pleiotropic effects, or are in fact linked clusters. This review focuses on what is currently known about the genetic architecture of domesticated animal species, if genes of large effect (often referred to as major genes) are prevalent in driving the domestication phenotype, and whether pleiotropy can explain the loci underpinning these diverse traits being colocated. PMID:26512200

  13. The Genetic Architecture of Domestication in Animals.

    PubMed

    Wright, Dominic

    2015-01-01

    Domestication has been essential to the progress of human civilization, and the process itself has fascinated biologists for hundreds of years. Domestication has led to a series of remarkable changes in a variety of plants and animals, in what is termed the "domestication phenotype." In domesticated animals, this general phenotype typically consists of similar changes in tameness, behavior, size/morphology, color, brain composition, and adrenal gland size. This domestication phenotype is seen in a range of different animals. However, the genetic basis of these associated changes is still puzzling. The genes for these different traits tend to be grouped together in clusters in the genome, though it is still not clear whether these clusters represent pleiotropic effects, or are in fact linked clusters. This review focuses on what is currently known about the genetic architecture of domesticated animal species, if genes of large effect (often referred to as major genes) are prevalent in driving the domestication phenotype, and whether pleiotropy can explain the loci underpinning these diverse traits being colocated.

  14. A population genetics view of animal domestication.

    PubMed

    Larson, Greger; Burger, Joachim

    2013-04-01

    The fundamental shift associated with the domestication of plants and animals allowed for a dramatic increase in human population sizes and the emergence of modern society. Despite its importance and the decades of research devoted to studying it, questions regarding the origins and processes of domestication remain. Here, we review recent theoretical advances and present a perspective that underscores the crucial role that population admixture has played in influencing the genomes of domestic animals over the past 10000 years. We then discuss novel approaches to generating and analysing genetic data, emphasising the importance of an explicit hypothesis-testing approach for the inference of the origins and subsequent evolution and demography of domestic animals. By applying next-generation sequencing technology alongside appropriate biostatistical methodologies, a substantially deeper understanding of domestication is on the horizon.

  15. Overcoming Challenges in Engineering the Genetic Code.

    PubMed

    Lajoie, M J; Söll, D; Church, G M

    2016-02-27

    Withstanding 3.5 billion years of genetic drift, the canonical genetic code remains such a fundamental foundation for the complexity of life that it is highly conserved across all three phylogenetic domains. Genome engineering technologies are now making it possible to rationally change the genetic code, offering resistance to viruses, genetic isolation from horizontal gene transfer, and prevention of environmental escape by genetically modified organisms. We discuss the biochemical, genetic, and technological challenges that must be overcome in order to engineer the genetic code. PMID:26348789

  16. Overcoming Challenges in Engineering the Genetic Code.

    PubMed

    Lajoie, M J; Söll, D; Church, G M

    2016-02-27

    Withstanding 3.5 billion years of genetic drift, the canonical genetic code remains such a fundamental foundation for the complexity of life that it is highly conserved across all three phylogenetic domains. Genome engineering technologies are now making it possible to rationally change the genetic code, offering resistance to viruses, genetic isolation from horizontal gene transfer, and prevention of environmental escape by genetically modified organisms. We discuss the biochemical, genetic, and technological challenges that must be overcome in order to engineer the genetic code.

  17. Animal models for genetic neuromuscular diseases.

    PubMed

    Vainzof, Mariz; Ayub-Guerrieri, Danielle; Onofre, Paula C G; Martins, Poliana C M; Lopes, Vanessa F; Zilberztajn, Dinorah; Maia, Lucas S; Sell, Karen; Yamamoto, Lydia U

    2008-03-01

    The neuromuscular disorders are a heterogeneous group of genetic diseases, caused by mutations in genes coding sarcolemmal, sarcomeric, and citosolic muscle proteins. Deficiencies or loss of function of these proteins leads to variable degree of progressive loss of motor ability. Several animal models, manifesting phenotypes observed in neuromuscular diseases, have been identified in nature or generated in laboratory. These models generally present physiological alterations observed in human patients and can be used as important tools for genetic, clinic, and histopathological studies. The mdx mouse is the most widely used animal model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Although it is a good genetic and biochemical model, presenting total deficiency of the protein dystrophin in the muscle, this mouse is not useful for clinical trials because of its very mild phenotype. The canine golden retriever MD model represents a more clinically similar model of DMD due to its larger size and significant muscle weakness. Autosomal recessive limb-girdle MD forms models include the SJL/J mice, which develop a spontaneous myopathy resulting from a mutation in the Dysferlin gene, being a model for LGMD2B. For the human sarcoglycanopahties (SG), the BIO14.6 hamster is the spontaneous animal model for delta-SG deficiency, whereas some canine models with deficiency of SG proteins have also been identified. More recently, using the homologous recombination technique in embryonic stem cell, several mouse models have been developed with null mutations in each one of the four SG genes. All sarcoglycan-null animals display a progressive muscular dystrophy of variable severity and share the property of a significant secondary reduction in the expression of the other members of the sarcoglycan subcomplex and other components of the Dystrophin-glycoprotein complex. Mouse models for congenital MD include the dy/dy (dystrophia-muscularis) mouse and the allelic mutant dy(2J)/dy(2J) mouse

  18. Genetically Engineered Immunotherapy for Advanced Cancer

    Cancer.gov

    In this trial, doctors will collect T lymphocytes from patients with advanced mesothelin-expressing cancer and genetically engineer them to recognize mesothelin. The gene-engineered cells will be multiplied and infused into the patient to fight the cancer

  19. Genetically engineered livestock for biomedical models.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Christopher S

    2016-06-01

    To commemorate Transgenic Animal Research Conference X, this review summarizes the recent progress in developing genetically engineered livestock species as biomedical models. The first of these conferences was held in 1997, which turned out to be a watershed year for the field, with two significant events occurring. One was the publication of the first transgenic livestock animal disease model, a pig with retinitis pigmentosa. Before that, the use of livestock species in biomedical research had been limited to wild-type animals or disease models that had been induced or were naturally occurring. The second event was the report of Dolly, a cloned sheep produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer. Cloning subsequently became an essential part of the process for most of the models developed in the last 18 years and is stilled used prominently today. This review is intended to highlight the biomedical modeling achievements that followed those key events, many of which were first reported at one of the previous nine Transgenic Animal Research Conferences. Also discussed are the practical challenges of utilizing livestock disease models now that the technical hurdles of model development have been largely overcome.

  20. Genetically engineered livestock for biomedical models.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Christopher S

    2016-06-01

    To commemorate Transgenic Animal Research Conference X, this review summarizes the recent progress in developing genetically engineered livestock species as biomedical models. The first of these conferences was held in 1997, which turned out to be a watershed year for the field, with two significant events occurring. One was the publication of the first transgenic livestock animal disease model, a pig with retinitis pigmentosa. Before that, the use of livestock species in biomedical research had been limited to wild-type animals or disease models that had been induced or were naturally occurring. The second event was the report of Dolly, a cloned sheep produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer. Cloning subsequently became an essential part of the process for most of the models developed in the last 18 years and is stilled used prominently today. This review is intended to highlight the biomedical modeling achievements that followed those key events, many of which were first reported at one of the previous nine Transgenic Animal Research Conferences. Also discussed are the practical challenges of utilizing livestock disease models now that the technical hurdles of model development have been largely overcome. PMID:26820410

  1. Large genetic animal models of Huntington's Disease.

    PubMed

    Morton, A Jennifer; Howland, David S

    2013-01-01

    The dominant nature of the Huntington's disease gene mutation has allowed genetic models to be developed in multiple species, with the mutation causing an abnormal neurological phenotype in all animals in which it is expressed. Many different rodent models have been generated. The most widely used of these, the transgenic R6/2 mouse, carries the mutation in a fragment of the human huntingtin gene and has a rapidly progressive and fatal neurological phenotype with many relevant pathological changes. Nevertheless, their rapid decline has been frequently questioned in the context of a disease that takes years to manifest in humans, and strenuous efforts have been made to make rodent models that are genetically more 'relevant' to the human condition, including full length huntingtin gene transgenic and knock-in mice. While there is no doubt that we have learned, and continue to learn much from rodent models, their usefulness is limited by two species constraints. First, the brains of rodents differ significantly from humans in both their small size and their neuroanatomical organization. Second, rodents have much shorter lifespans than humans. Here, we review new approaches taken to these challenges in the development of models of Huntington's disease in large brained, long-lived animals. We discuss the need for such models, and how they might be used to fill specific niches in preclinical Huntington's disease research, particularly in testing gene-based therapeutics. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of animals in which the prodromal period of disease extends over a long time span. We suggest that there is considerable 'value added' for large animal models in preclinical Huntington's disease research.

  2. Genetic engineering for high methionine grain legumes.

    PubMed

    Müntz, K; Christov, V; Saalbach, G; Saalbach, I; Waddell, D; Pickardt, T; Schieder, O; Wüstenhagen, T

    1998-08-01

    Methionine (Met) is the primary limiting essential amino acid in grain legumes. The imbalance in amino acid composition restricts their biological value (BV) to 55 to 75% of that of animal protein. So far improvement of the BV could not be achieved by conventional breeding. Therefore, genetic engineering was employed by several laboratories to resolve the problem. Three strategies have been followed. A) Engineering for increased free Met levels; B) engineering of endogenous storage proteins with increased numbers of Met residues; C) transfer of foreign genes encoding Met-rich proteins, e.g. the Brazil nut 2S albumin (BNA) and its homologue from sunflower, into grain legumes. The latter strategy turned out to be most promising. In all cases the gene was put under the control of a developmentally regulated seed specific promoter and transferred into grain legumes using the bacterial Agrobacterium tumefaciens-system. Integration into and copy numbers in the plant genome as well as Mendelian inheritance and gene dosage effects were verified. After correct precursor processing the mature 2S albumin was intracellularly deposited in protein bodies which are part of the vacuolar compartment. The foreign protein amounted to 5 to 10% of the total seed protein in the best transgenic lines of narbon bean (Vicia narbonensis L., used in the authors' laboratories), lupins (Lupinus angustifolius L., used in CSIRO, Australia), and soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr., used by Pioneer Hi-Bred, Inc., USA). In the narbon bean the increase of Met was directly related to the amount of 2S albumin in the transgenic seeds, but in soybean it remained below the theoretically expected value. Nevertheless, trangenic soybean reached 100%, whereas narbon bean and lupins reached approximately 80% of the FAO-standard for nutritionally balanced food proteins. These results document that the Met problem of grain legumes can be resolved by genetic engineering.

  3. University Students' Knowledge and Attitude about Genetic Engineering

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bal, Senol; Samanci, Nilay Keskin; Bozkurt, Orçun

    2007-01-01

    Genetic engineering and biotechnology made possible of gene transfer without discriminating microorganism, plant, animal or human. However, although these scientific techniques have benefits, they cause arguments because of their ethical and social impacts. The arguments about ethical ad social impacts of biotechnology made clear that not only…

  4. Enhanced genetic tools for engineering multigene traits into green algae.

    PubMed

    Rasala, Beth A; Chao, Syh-Shiuan; Pier, Matthew; Barrera, Daniel J; Mayfield, Stephen P

    2014-01-01

    Transgenic microalgae have the potential to impact many diverse biotechnological industries including energy, human and animal nutrition, pharmaceuticals, health and beauty, and specialty chemicals. However, major obstacles to sophisticated genetic and metabolic engineering in algae have been the lack of well-characterized transformation vectors to direct engineered gene products to specific subcellular locations, and the inability to robustly express multiple nuclear-encoded transgenes within a single cell. Here we validate a set of genetic tools that enable protein targeting to distinct subcellular locations, and present two complementary methods for multigene engineering in the eukaryotic green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The tools described here will enable advanced metabolic and genetic engineering to promote microalgae biotechnology and product commercialization. PMID:24710110

  5. Engineering to support wellbeing of dairy animals.

    PubMed

    Caja, Gerardo; Castro-Costa, Andreia; Knight, Christopher H

    2016-05-01

    Current trends in the global milk market and the recent abolition of milk quotas have accelerated the trend of the European dairy industry towards larger farm sizes and higher-yielding animals. Dairy cows remain in focus, but there is a growing interest in other dairy species, whose milk is often directed to traditional and protected designation of origin and gourmet dairy products. The challenge for dairy farms in general is to achieve the best possible standards of animal health and welfare, together with high lactational performance and minimal environmental impact. For larger farms, this may need to be done with a much lower ratio of husbandry staff to animals. Recent engineering advances and the decreasing cost of electronic technologies has allowed the development of 'sensing solutions' that automatically collect data, such as physiological parameters, production measures and behavioural traits. Such data can potentially help the decision making process, enabling early detection of health or wellbeing problems in individual animals and hence the application of appropriate corrective husbandry practices. This review focuses on new knowledge and emerging developments in welfare biomarkers (e.g. stress and metabolic diseases), activity-based welfare assessment (e.g. oestrus and lameness detection) and sensors of temperature and pH (e.g. calving alert and rumen function) and their combination and integration into 'smart' husbandry support systems that will ensure optimum wellbeing for dairy animals and thereby maximise farm profitability. Use of novel sensors combined with new technologies for information handling and communication are expected to produce dramatic changes in traditional dairy farming systems.

  6. Engineering to support wellbeing of dairy animals.

    PubMed

    Caja, Gerardo; Castro-Costa, Andreia; Knight, Christopher H

    2016-05-01

    Current trends in the global milk market and the recent abolition of milk quotas have accelerated the trend of the European dairy industry towards larger farm sizes and higher-yielding animals. Dairy cows remain in focus, but there is a growing interest in other dairy species, whose milk is often directed to traditional and protected designation of origin and gourmet dairy products. The challenge for dairy farms in general is to achieve the best possible standards of animal health and welfare, together with high lactational performance and minimal environmental impact. For larger farms, this may need to be done with a much lower ratio of husbandry staff to animals. Recent engineering advances and the decreasing cost of electronic technologies has allowed the development of 'sensing solutions' that automatically collect data, such as physiological parameters, production measures and behavioural traits. Such data can potentially help the decision making process, enabling early detection of health or wellbeing problems in individual animals and hence the application of appropriate corrective husbandry practices. This review focuses on new knowledge and emerging developments in welfare biomarkers (e.g. stress and metabolic diseases), activity-based welfare assessment (e.g. oestrus and lameness detection) and sensors of temperature and pH (e.g. calving alert and rumen function) and their combination and integration into 'smart' husbandry support systems that will ensure optimum wellbeing for dairy animals and thereby maximise farm profitability. Use of novel sensors combined with new technologies for information handling and communication are expected to produce dramatic changes in traditional dairy farming systems. PMID:27210489

  7. Genetic engineering of the chloroplast.

    PubMed

    Heifetz, P B

    2000-01-01

    Transformation of the plastid genome has a number of inherent advantages for the engineering of gene expression in plants. These advantages include: 10-50 times higher transgene expression levels; the absence of gene silencing and position effect variation; the ability to express polycistronic messages from a single promoter; uniparental plastid gene inheritance in most crop plants that prevents pollen transmission of foreign DNA; integration via a homologous recombination process that facilitates targeted gene replacement and precise transgene control; and sequestration of foreign proteins in the organelle which prevents adverse interactions with the cytoplasmic environment. It is now 12 years since the first conclusive demonstration of stable introduction of cloned DNA into the Chlamydomonas chloroplast by the Boynton and Gillham laboratory, and 10 years since the laboratory of Pal Maliga successfully extended these approaches to tobacco. Since then, technical developments in plastid transformation and advances in our understanding of the rules of plastid gene expression have facilitated tremendous progress towards the goal of establishing the chloroplast as a feasible platform for genetic modification of plants.

  8. The Genetics of Deafness in Domestic Animals

    PubMed Central

    Strain, George M.

    2015-01-01

    Although deafness can be acquired throughout an animal’s life from a variety of causes, hereditary deafness, especially congenital hereditary deafness, is a significant problem in several species. Extensive reviews exist of the genetics of deafness in humans and mice, but not for deafness in domestic animals. Hereditary deafness in many species and breeds is associated with loci for white pigmentation, where the cochlear pathology is cochleo-saccular. In other cases, there is no pigmentation association and the cochlear pathology is neuroepithelial. Late onset hereditary deafness has recently been identified in dogs and may be present but not yet recognized in other species. Few genes responsible for deafness have been identified in animals, but progress has been made for identifying genes responsible for the associated pigmentation phenotypes. Across species, the genes identified with deafness or white pigmentation patterns include MITF, PMEL, KIT, EDNRB, CDH23, TYR, and TRPM1 in dog, cat, horse, cow, pig, sheep, ferret, mink, camelid, and rabbit. Multiple causative genes are present in some species. Significant work remains in many cases to identify specific chromosomal deafness genes so that DNA testing can be used to identify carriers of the mutated genes and thereby reduce deafness prevalence. PMID:26664958

  9. Aquatic Plants and Animals as Ecosystem Engineers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wotton, R. S.

    2005-05-01

    Studies on aquatic plants and animals focus on population dynamics, the structure of communities and the part played by organisms in food webs and other ecosystem processes. As Lawton and Jones point out in "Linking Species and Ecosystems", less attention is given to the role of organisms as ecosystem engineers, modifying the environment in which they live. Yet plants can have a profound effect on their surroundings, altering flow patterns and trapping large amounts of organic and inorganic material. Animals also affect aquatic ecosystems in many ways, both in building structures such as tubes and shelters, and in their feeding. For example, detritus feeders often produce large numbers of faecal pellets (and pseudofaeces in bivalves) and these are very different in size to the materials ingested. Pellets are deposited in masses over the bed of streams, lakes and the sea and therefore effect a translocation of nutrients. The action of plants and animals in altering their environment is likely to be a significant process in all water bodies, from both small to large scale.

  10. What is morally distinctive about genetic engineering?

    PubMed

    Porter, J

    1990-01-01

    It sometimes seems that genetic engineering is suspect, both to its practitioners and to the general public, because it is perceived as being somehow unnatural. This essay argues, on the basis of an analysis of two senses of "natural," that there is nothing distinctively morally problematic about genetic engineering, at least on the grounds of its alleged unnaturalness. It does not follow that we cannot distinguish among morally legitimate and morally suspect uses of genetic engineering. But these distinctions can and should be drawn on the basis of the same considerations that enter into the evaluation of particular uses of any other medical procedure.

  11. Genetic engineering of rotaviruses by reverse genetics.

    PubMed

    Komoto, Satoshi; Taniguchi, Koki

    2013-07-01

    The rotavirus genome is composed of 11 gene segments of dsRNA. A recent breakthrough in the field of rotaviruses is the development of a reverse genetics system for generating recombinant rotaviruses possessing a gene segment derived from cloned cDNA. Although this approach is a helper virus-driven system that is technically limited and gives low levels of recombinant viruses, it allows alteration of the rotavirus genome, thus contributing to our understanding of these medically important viruses. So far, this approach has successfully been applied to three of the 11 viral segments in our laboratory and others, and the efficiency of recovery of recombinant viruses has been improved. However, we are still waiting for the development of a helper virus-free reverse genetics system for generating an infectious rotavirus entirely from cDNAs, as has been achieved for other members of the Reoviridae family.

  12. Genetically engineered crops: from idea to product.

    PubMed

    Prado, Jose Rafael; Segers, Gerrit; Voelker, Toni; Carson, Dave; Dobert, Raymond; Phillips, Jonathan; Cook, Kevin; Cornejo, Camilo; Monken, Josh; Grapes, Laura; Reynolds, Tracey; Martino-Catt, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Genetically engineered crops were first commercialized in 1994 and since then have been rapidly adopted, enabling growers to more effectively manage pests and increase crop productivity while ensuring food, feed, and environmental safety. The development of these crops is complex and based on rigorous science that must be well coordinated to create a plant with desired beneficial phenotypes. This article describes the general process by which a genetically engineered crop is developed from an initial concept to a commercialized product.

  13. Genetic Engineering: The Modification of Man

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sinsheimer, Robert L.

    1970-01-01

    Describes somatic and genetic manipulations of individual genotypes, using diabetes control as an example of the first mode that is potentially realizable be derepression or viral transduction of genes. Advocates the use of genetic engineering of the second mode to remove man from his biological limitations, but offers maxims to ensure the…

  14. Genetic engineering and autonomous agency.

    PubMed

    Barclay, Linda

    2003-01-01

    In this paper I argue that the genetic manipulation of sexual orientation at the embryo stage could have a detrimental effect on the subsequent person's later capacity for autonomous agency. By focussing on an example of sexist oppression I show that the norms and expectations expressed with this type of genetic manipulation can threaten the development of autonomous agency and the kind of social environment that makes its exercise likely. PMID:14989287

  15. Genetically engineered nanocarriers for drug delivery

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Pu; Gustafson, Joshua A; MacKay, J Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Cytotoxicity, low water solubility, rapid clearance from circulation, and off-target side-effects are common drawbacks of conventional small-molecule drugs. To overcome these shortcomings, many multifunctional nanocarriers have been proposed to enhance drug delivery. In concept, multifunctional nanoparticles might carry multiple agents, control release rate, biodegrade, and utilize target-mediated drug delivery; however, the design of these particles presents many challenges at the stage of pharmaceutical development. An emerging solution to improve control over these particles is to turn to genetic engineering. Genetically engineered nanocarriers are precisely controlled in size and structure and can provide specific control over sites for chemical attachment of drugs. Genetically engineered drug carriers that assemble nanostructures including nanoparticles and nanofibers can be polymeric or non-polymeric. This review summarizes the recent development of applications in drug and gene delivery utilizing nanostructures of polymeric genetically engineered drug carriers such as elastin-like polypeptides, silk-like polypeptides, and silk-elastin-like protein polymers, and non-polymeric genetically engineered drug carriers such as vault proteins and viral proteins. PMID:24741309

  16. Genetic engineering and the use of bovine somatotropin

    SciTech Connect

    Grossman, C.J. Xavier Univ., Cincinnati, OH )

    1990-08-22

    During the last decade there has been an unfortunate reappearance in our society of an antitechnology and antiscience attitude. This is exemplified by those advocates who would ban all animals in research and block fetal tissue studies and by those who support creationism. An especially vocal group consists of those people who are against any form of genetic engineering regardless of the benefits or potential benefits that might be realized.

  17. Genetic Engineering Strategies for Enhanced Biodiesel Production.

    PubMed

    Hegde, Krishnamoorthy; Chandra, Niharika; Sarma, Saurabh Jyoti; Brar, Satinder Kaur; Veeranki, Venkata Dasu

    2015-07-01

    The focus on biodiesel research has shown a tremendous growth over the last few years. Several microbial and plant sources are being explored for the sustainable biodiesel production to replace the petroleum diesel. Conventional methods of biodiesel production have several limitations related to yield and quality, which led to development of new engineering strategies to improve the biodiesel production in plants, and microorganisms. Substantial progress in utilizing algae, yeast, and Escherichia coli for the renewable production of biodiesel feedstock via genetic engineering of fatty acid metabolic pathways has been reported in the past few years. However, in most of the cases, the successful commercialization of such engineering strategies for sustainable biodiesel production is yet to be seen. This paper systematically presents the drawbacks in the conventional methods for biodiesel production and an exhaustive review on the present status of research in genetic engineering strategies for production of biodiesel in plants, and microorganisms. Further, we summarize the technical challenges need to be tackled to make genetic engineering technology economically sustainable. Finally, the need and prospects of genetic engineering technology for the sustainable biodiesel production and the recommendations for the future research are discussed.

  18. Genetic Engineering: and the Law

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Australian Journal of Mental Retardation, 1977

    1977-01-01

    In a transcript from a radio show, Nobel Prize Winner Sir Macfarlane Burnet stresses the critical need for scientists to regulate their own activities in genetic research and cites the potential danger of creating a new form of polio which might escape. (CL)

  19. Engineering Values Into Genetic Engineering: A Proposed Analytic Framework for Scientific Social Responsibility.

    PubMed

    Sankar, Pamela L; Cho, Mildred K

    2015-01-01

    Recent experiments have been used to "edit" genomes of various plant, animal and other species, including humans, with unprecedented precision. Furthermore, editing the Cas9 endonuclease gene with a gene encoding the desired guide RNA into an organism, adjacent to an altered gene, could create a "gene drive" that could spread a trait through an entire population of organisms. These experiments represent advances along a spectrum of technological abilities that genetic engineers have been working on since the advent of recombinant DNA techniques. The scientific and bioethics communities have built substantial literatures about the ethical and policy implications of genetic engineering, especially in the age of bioterrorism. However, recent CRISPr/Cas experiments have triggered a rehashing of previous policy discussions, suggesting that the scientific community requires guidance on how to think about social responsibility. We propose a framework to enable analysis of social responsibility, using two examples of genetic engineering experiments.

  20. Engineering Values into Genetic Engineering: A Proposed Analytic Framework for Scientific Social Responsibility

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Mildred K.

    2016-01-01

    Recent experiments have been used to “edit” genomes of various plant, animal and other species, including humans, with unprecedented precision. Furthermore, editing Cas9 endonuclease gene with a gene encoding the desired guide RNA into an organism, adjacent to an altered gene, could create a “gene drive” that could spread a trait through an entire population of organisms. These experiments represent advances along a spectrum of technological abilities that genetic engineers have been working on since the advent of recombinant DNA techniques. The scientific and bioethics communities have built substantial literatures about the ethical and policy implications of genetic engineering, especially in the age of bioterrorism. However, recent CRISPr/Cas experiments have triggered a rehashing of previous policy discussions, suggesting that the scientific community requires guidance on how to think about social responsibility. We propose a framework to enable analysis of social responsibility, using two examples of genetic engineering experiments. PMID:26632356

  1. Engineering Values Into Genetic Engineering: A Proposed Analytic Framework for Scientific Social Responsibility.

    PubMed

    Sankar, Pamela L; Cho, Mildred K

    2015-01-01

    Recent experiments have been used to "edit" genomes of various plant, animal and other species, including humans, with unprecedented precision. Furthermore, editing the Cas9 endonuclease gene with a gene encoding the desired guide RNA into an organism, adjacent to an altered gene, could create a "gene drive" that could spread a trait through an entire population of organisms. These experiments represent advances along a spectrum of technological abilities that genetic engineers have been working on since the advent of recombinant DNA techniques. The scientific and bioethics communities have built substantial literatures about the ethical and policy implications of genetic engineering, especially in the age of bioterrorism. However, recent CRISPr/Cas experiments have triggered a rehashing of previous policy discussions, suggesting that the scientific community requires guidance on how to think about social responsibility. We propose a framework to enable analysis of social responsibility, using two examples of genetic engineering experiments. PMID:26632356

  2. Potency of Animal Models in KANSEI Engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozaki, Shigeru; Hisano, Setsuji; Iwamoto, Yoshiki

    Various species of animals have been used as animal models for neuroscience and provided critical information about the brain functions. Although it seems difficult to elucidate a highly advanced function of the human brain, animal models have potency to clarify the fundamental mechanisms of emotion, decision-making and social behavior. In this review, we will pick up common animal models and point to both the merits and demerits caused by the characteristics. We will also mention that wide-ranging approaches from animal models are advantageous to understand KANSEI as well as mind in humans.

  3. Genetic engineering for skeletal regenerative medicine.

    PubMed

    Gersbach, Charles A; Phillips, Jennifer E; García, Andrés J

    2007-01-01

    The clinical challenges of skeletal regenerative medicine have motivated significant advances in cellular and tissue engineering in recent years. In particular, advances in molecular biology have provided the tools necessary for the design of gene-based strategies for skeletal tissue repair. Consequently, genetic engineering has emerged as a promising method to address the need for sustained and robust cellular differentiation and extracellular matrix production. As a result, gene therapy has been established as a conventional approach to enhance cellular activities for skeletal tissue repair. Recent literature clearly demonstrates that genetic engineering is a principal factor in constructing effective methods for tissue engineering approaches to bone, cartilage, and connective tissue regeneration. This review highlights this literature, including advances in the development of efficacious gene carriers, novel cell sources, successful delivery strategies, and optimal target genes. The current status of the field and the challenges impeding the clinical realization of these approaches are also discussed.

  4. Genetic engineering for haemophilia A.

    PubMed

    Gan, Shu Uin; Kon, Oi Lian; Calne, Roy Y

    2006-10-01

    At first sight, haemophilia A would appear to be an ideal candidate for treatment by gene therapy. There is a single gene defect; cells in different parts of the body, but especially the liver, produce Factor VIII, and only 5% of normal levels of Factor VIII are necessary to prevent the serious symptoms of bleeding. This review attempts to outline the status of gene therapy at present and efforts that have been made to overcome the difficulties and remaining problems that require solving. Undoubtedly, success will be achieved, but it is likely that considerably more work will be necessary before experimental models can be introduced into the clinic with any likelihood of success. The most successful results in animals that may have clinical application were from introducing the Factor VIII gene to newborn animals before antibodies are produced, presumably inducing a state of tolerance.

  5. Genetic animal models of dystonia: common features and diversities.

    PubMed

    Richter, Franziska; Richter, Angelika

    2014-10-01

    Animal models are pivotal for studies of pathogenesis and treatment of disorders of the central nervous system which in its complexity cannot yet be modeled in vitro or using computer simulations. The choice of a specific model to test novel therapeutic strategies for a human disease should be based on validity of the model for the approach: does the model reflect symptoms, pathogenesis and treatment response present in human patients? In the movement disorder dystonia, prior to the availability of genetically engineered mice, spontaneous mutants were chosen based on expression of dystonic features, including abnormal muscle contraction, movements and postures. Recent discovery of a number of genes and gene products involved in dystonia initiated research on pathogenesis of the disorder, and the creation of novel models based on gene mutations. Here we present a review of current models of dystonia, with a focus on genetic rodent models, which will likely be first choice in the future either for pathophysiological or for preclinical drug testing or both. In order to help selection of a model depending on expression of a specific feature of dystonia, this review is organized by symptoms and current knowledge of pathogenesis of dystonia. We conclude that albeit there is increasing need for research on pathogenesis of the disease and development of improved models, current models do replicate features of dystonia and are useful tools to develop urgently demanded treatment for this debilitating disorder.

  6. Pluripotent stem cells and livestock genetic engineering.

    PubMed

    Soto, Delia A; Ross, Pablo J

    2016-06-01

    The unlimited proliferative ability and capacity to contribute to germline chimeras make pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs) perfect candidates for complex genetic engineering. The utility of ESCs is best exemplified by the numerous genetic models that have been developed in mice, for which such cells are readily available. However, the traditional systems for mouse genetic engineering may not be practical for livestock species, as it requires several generations of mating and selection in order to establish homozygous founders. Nevertheless, the self-renewal and pluripotent characteristics of ESCs could provide advantages for livestock genetic engineering such as ease of genetic manipulation and improved efficiency of cloning by nuclear transplantation. These advantages have resulted in many attempts to isolate livestock ESCs, yet it has been generally concluded that the culture conditions tested so far are not supportive of livestock ESCs self-renewal and proliferation. In contrast, there are numerous reports of derivation of livestock induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), with demonstrated capacity for long term proliferation and in vivo pluripotency, as indicated by teratoma formation assay. However, to what extent these iPSCs represent fully reprogrammed PSCs remains controversial, as most livestock iPSCs depend on continuous expression of reprogramming factors. Moreover, germline chimerism has not been robustly demonstrated, with only one successful report with very low efficiency. Therefore, even 34 years after derivation of mouse ESCs and their extensive use in the generation of genetic models, the livestock genetic engineering field can stand to gain enormously from continued investigations into the derivation and application of ESCs and iPSCs.

  7. Engineering Genetically Encoded FRET Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Lindenburg, Laurens; Merkx, Maarten

    2014-01-01

    Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) between two fluorescent proteins can be exploited to create fully genetically encoded and thus subcellularly targetable sensors. FRET sensors report changes in energy transfer between a donor and an acceptor fluorescent protein that occur when an attached sensor domain undergoes a change in conformation in response to ligand binding. The design of sensitive FRET sensors remains challenging as there are few generally applicable design rules and each sensor must be optimized anew. In this review we discuss various strategies that address this shortcoming, including rational design approaches that exploit self-associating fluorescent domains and the directed evolution of FRET sensors using high-throughput screening. PMID:24991940

  8. Genetically Engineered Fluorescent Voltage Reporters

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Fluorescent membrane voltage indicators that enable optical imaging of neuronal circuit operations in the living mammalian brain are powerful tools for biology and particularly neuroscience. Classical voltage-sensitive dyes, typically low molecular-weight organic compounds, have been in widespread use for decades but are limited by issues related to optical noise, the lack of generally applicable procedures that enable staining of specific cell populations, and difficulties in performing imaging experiments over days and weeks. Genetically encoded voltage indicators (GEVIs) represent a newer alternative that overcomes several of the limitations inherent to classical voltage-sensitive dyes. We critically review the fundamental concepts of this approach, the variety of available probes and their state of development. PMID:22896802

  9. Engineering large animal models of human disease.

    PubMed

    Whitelaw, C Bruce A; Sheets, Timothy P; Lillico, Simon G; Telugu, Bhanu P

    2016-01-01

    The recent development of gene editing tools and methodology for use in livestock enables the production of new animal disease models. These tools facilitate site-specific mutation of the genome, allowing animals carrying known human disease mutations to be produced. In this review, we describe the various gene editing tools and how they can be used for a range of large animal models of diseases. This genomic technology is in its infancy but the expectation is that through the use of gene editing tools we will see a dramatic increase in animal model resources available for both the study of human disease and the translation of this knowledge into the clinic. Comparative pathology will be central to the productive use of these animal models and the successful translation of new therapeutic strategies.

  10. [The microencapsulated genetic engineering cells: a new platform on treatment of cancer instead of genetic engineering drugs].

    PubMed

    Pan, Yuelong; Zheng, Shu

    2003-06-01

    The microencapsulated genetic cells may be a new platform instead of genetic engineering drugs, as they can overcome the genetic engineering drugs' shortages such as short half-life in vivo, low activity, and incomplete elimination of organic solvent. This article reviews and summarizes the advantages, possible problems and solution and the feasibility of using microencapsulated genetic engineering cells in the treatment of cancer.

  11. "This food may contain ..." What nurses should know about genetically engineered foods.

    PubMed

    Whitney, Stuart L; Maltby, Hendrika J; Carr, Jeanine M

    2004-01-01

    Genetic engineering has been in existence since 1973. The process involves placing genetic DNA from one organism into another. Genetically engineered organisms (GEOs) are the name given to such new species of plants created through this process. Proponents of GEOs assert that foods we are now able to produce have greater nutritional value, longer shelf life, better appearance, taste and smell. There are positive benefits to genetic engineering of plants and animals. A growing concern for the health safety of genetically engineered plants and foods is developing among the cautious. The purpose of this article is to define genetic engineering, present benefits and risks, describe the impact on human health, and address implications for nursing. PMID:15499316

  12. "This food may contain ..." What nurses should know about genetically engineered foods.

    PubMed

    Whitney, Stuart L; Maltby, Hendrika J; Carr, Jeanine M

    2004-01-01

    Genetic engineering has been in existence since 1973. The process involves placing genetic DNA from one organism into another. Genetically engineered organisms (GEOs) are the name given to such new species of plants created through this process. Proponents of GEOs assert that foods we are now able to produce have greater nutritional value, longer shelf life, better appearance, taste and smell. There are positive benefits to genetic engineering of plants and animals. A growing concern for the health safety of genetically engineered plants and foods is developing among the cautious. The purpose of this article is to define genetic engineering, present benefits and risks, describe the impact on human health, and address implications for nursing.

  13. Conservation of animal genetic resources – A new tact

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For the past 20 years countries have initiated programs to sustainably conserve farm animal genetic resources. At the same time the growing need for increased animal productivity has emerged. Viewing gene banks and in vivo conservation in the context of food security, climate change, and product dem...

  14. An algorithm for the identification of genetically modified animals.

    PubMed

    Forabosco, Flavio; Sundström, Fredrik L; Rydhmer, Lotta

    2013-05-01

    The diffusion of genetically modified (GM) animals has generated a demand for accurate and unique identification to assure compliance with relevant national and international legislation. Individual identification of GM animals is essential to improve safety and traceability, as well as to fulfill the present and future expectations of producers, consumers, and authorities.

  15. Recent developments in the genetic engineering of barley

    SciTech Connect

    Mannonen, L.; Kauppinen, V.; Enari, T.M. )

    1994-01-01

    Cereals are the most important group of plants for human nutrition and animal feed. Partially due to the commercial value of crop plants, there has been an ever-increasing interest in using modern biotechnological methods for the improvement of the characteristics of cereals during the past decade. The rapid progress in molecular biology, plant cell culture techniques, and gene transfer technology has resulted in successful transformations of all the major cereals--maize, rice, wheat, and barley. This brings the biotechnological methods closer to the routine also in barley breeding. In this article, the current status of barley genetic engineering, including the patent situation, is reviewed. The needs aims, and possible applications of genetic engineering in barley breeding are discussed. 179 refs.

  16. Genetic engineering of a mouse: Dr. Frank Ruddle and somatic cell genetics.

    PubMed

    Jones, Dennis

    2011-06-01

    Genetic engineering is the process of modifying an organism's genetic composition by adding foreign genes to produce desired traits or evaluate function. Dr. Jon W. Gordon and Sterling Professor Emeritus at Yale Dr. Frank H. Ruddle were pioneers in mammalian gene transfer research. Their research resulted in production of the first transgenic animals, which contained foreign DNA that was passed on to offspring. Transgenic mice have revolutionized biology, medicine, and biotechnology in the 21st century. In brief, this review revisits their creation of transgenic mice and discusses a few evolving applications of their transgenic technology used in biomedical research.

  17. Genetic engineering of a mouse: Dr. Frank Ruddle and somatic cell genetics.

    PubMed

    Jones, Dennis

    2011-06-01

    Genetic engineering is the process of modifying an organism's genetic composition by adding foreign genes to produce desired traits or evaluate function. Dr. Jon W. Gordon and Sterling Professor Emeritus at Yale Dr. Frank H. Ruddle were pioneers in mammalian gene transfer research. Their research resulted in production of the first transgenic animals, which contained foreign DNA that was passed on to offspring. Transgenic mice have revolutionized biology, medicine, and biotechnology in the 21st century. In brief, this review revisits their creation of transgenic mice and discusses a few evolving applications of their transgenic technology used in biomedical research. PMID:21698043

  18. What Ideas Do Students Associate with "Biotechnology" and "Genetic Engineering"?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Ruaraidh; Stanisstreet, Martin; Boyes, Edward

    2000-01-01

    Explores the ideas that students aged 16-19 associate with the terms 'biotechnology' and 'genetic engineering'. Indicates that some students see biotechnology as risky whereas genetic engineering was described as ethically wrong. (Author/ASK)

  19. Genetically modified animals for use in research and biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Chaible, L M; Corat, M A; Abdelhay, E; Dagli, M L Z

    2010-07-27

    Transgenic animals are used extensively in the study of in vivo gene function, as models for human diseases and in the production of biopharmaceuticals. The technology behind obtaining these animals involves molecular biology techniques, cell culture and embryo manipulation; the mouse is the species most widely used as an experimental model. In scientific research, diverse models are available as tools for the elucidation of gene function, such as transgenic animals, knockout and conditional knockout animals, knock-in animals, humanized animals, and knockdown animals. We examined the evolution of the science for the development of these animals, as well as the techniques currently used in obtaining these animal models. We review the phenotypic techniques used for elucidation of alterations caused by genetic modification. We also investigated the role of genetically modified animals in the biotechnology industry, where they promise a revolution in obtaining heterologous proteins through natural secretions, such as milk, increasing the scale of production and facilitating purification, thereby lowering the cost of production of hormones, growth factors and enzymes.

  20. Genetic elements of plant viruses as tools for genetic engineering.

    PubMed Central

    Mushegian, A R; Shepherd, R J

    1995-01-01

    Viruses have developed successful strategies for propagation at the expense of their host cells. Efficient gene expression, genome multiplication, and invasion of the host are enabled by virus-encoded genetic elements, many of which are well characterized. Sequences derived from plant DNA and RNA viruses can be used to control expression of other genes in vivo. The main groups of plant virus genetic elements useful in genetic engineering are reviewed, including the signals for DNA-dependent and RNA-dependent RNA synthesis, sequences on the virus mRNAs that enable translational control, and sequences that control processing and intracellular sorting of virus proteins. Use of plant viruses as extrachromosomal expression vectors is also discussed, along with the issue of their stability. PMID:8531885

  1. Behavior genetics and the domestication of animals.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Per

    2014-02-01

    Across species, a similar suite of traits tends to develop in response to domestication, including modifications in behavior. Reduced fear and increased stress tolerance were central in early domestication, and many domestication-related behaviors may have developed as traits correlated to reduced fear. Genetic mechanisms involved in domestication of behavior can be investigated by using top-down or bottom-up approaches, either starting from the behavior variation and searching for underlying genes or finding selected loci and then attempting to identify the associated phenotypes. Combinations of these approaches have proven powerful, and examples of results from such studies are presented and discussed. This includes loci associated with tameness in foxes and dogs, as well as loci correlated with reduced aggression and increased sociality in chickens. Finally, some examples are provided on epigenetic mechanisms in behavior, and it is suggested that selection of favorable epigenetic variants may have been an important mechanism in domestication.

  2. Behavior genetics and the domestication of animals.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Per

    2014-02-01

    Across species, a similar suite of traits tends to develop in response to domestication, including modifications in behavior. Reduced fear and increased stress tolerance were central in early domestication, and many domestication-related behaviors may have developed as traits correlated to reduced fear. Genetic mechanisms involved in domestication of behavior can be investigated by using top-down or bottom-up approaches, either starting from the behavior variation and searching for underlying genes or finding selected loci and then attempting to identify the associated phenotypes. Combinations of these approaches have proven powerful, and examples of results from such studies are presented and discussed. This includes loci associated with tameness in foxes and dogs, as well as loci correlated with reduced aggression and increased sociality in chickens. Finally, some examples are provided on epigenetic mechanisms in behavior, and it is suggested that selection of favorable epigenetic variants may have been an important mechanism in domestication. PMID:25384136

  3. Review: domestic animal forensic genetics - biological evidence, genetic markers, analytical approaches and challenges.

    PubMed

    Kanthaswamy, S

    2015-10-01

    This review highlights the importance of domestic animal genetic evidence sources, genetic testing, markers and analytical approaches as well as the challenges this field is facing in view of the de facto 'gold standard' human DNA identification. Because of the genetic similarity between humans and domestic animals, genetic analysis of domestic animal hair, saliva, urine, blood and other biological material has generated vital investigative leads that have been admitted into a variety of court proceedings, including criminal and civil litigation. Information on validated short tandem repeat, single nucleotide polymorphism and mitochondrial DNA markers and public access to genetic databases for forensic DNA analysis is becoming readily available. Although the fundamental aspects of animal forensic genetic testing may be reliable and acceptable, animal forensic testing still lacks the standardized testing protocols that human genetic profiling requires, probably because of the absence of monetary support from government agencies and the difficulty in promoting cooperation among competing laboratories. Moreover, there is a lack in consensus about how to best present the results and expert opinion to comply with court standards and bear judicial scrutiny. This has been the single most persistent challenge ever since the earliest use of domestic animal forensic genetic testing in a criminal case in the mid-1990s. Crime laboratory accreditation ensures that genetic test results have the courts' confidence. Because accreditation requires significant commitments of effort, time and resources, the vast majority of animal forensic genetic laboratories are not accredited nor are their analysts certified forensic examiners. The relevance of domestic animal forensic genetics in the criminal justice system is undeniable. However, further improvements are needed in a wide range of supporting resources, including standardized quality assurance and control protocols for sample

  4. Review: domestic animal forensic genetics - biological evidence, genetic markers, analytical approaches and challenges.

    PubMed

    Kanthaswamy, S

    2015-10-01

    This review highlights the importance of domestic animal genetic evidence sources, genetic testing, markers and analytical approaches as well as the challenges this field is facing in view of the de facto 'gold standard' human DNA identification. Because of the genetic similarity between humans and domestic animals, genetic analysis of domestic animal hair, saliva, urine, blood and other biological material has generated vital investigative leads that have been admitted into a variety of court proceedings, including criminal and civil litigation. Information on validated short tandem repeat, single nucleotide polymorphism and mitochondrial DNA markers and public access to genetic databases for forensic DNA analysis is becoming readily available. Although the fundamental aspects of animal forensic genetic testing may be reliable and acceptable, animal forensic testing still lacks the standardized testing protocols that human genetic profiling requires, probably because of the absence of monetary support from government agencies and the difficulty in promoting cooperation among competing laboratories. Moreover, there is a lack in consensus about how to best present the results and expert opinion to comply with court standards and bear judicial scrutiny. This has been the single most persistent challenge ever since the earliest use of domestic animal forensic genetic testing in a criminal case in the mid-1990s. Crime laboratory accreditation ensures that genetic test results have the courts' confidence. Because accreditation requires significant commitments of effort, time and resources, the vast majority of animal forensic genetic laboratories are not accredited nor are their analysts certified forensic examiners. The relevance of domestic animal forensic genetics in the criminal justice system is undeniable. However, further improvements are needed in a wide range of supporting resources, including standardized quality assurance and control protocols for sample

  5. Genetic engineering of cyanobacteria as biodiesel feedstock.

    SciTech Connect

    Ruffing, Anne.; Trahan, Christine Alexandra; Jones, Howland D. T.

    2013-01-01

    Algal biofuels are a renewable energy source with the potential to replace conventional petroleum-based fuels, while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The economic feasibility of commercial algal fuel production, however, is limited by low productivity of the natural algal strains. The project described in this SAND report addresses this low algal productivity by genetically engineering cyanobacteria (i.e. blue-green algae) to produce free fatty acids as fuel precursors. The engineered strains were characterized using Sandias unique imaging capabilities along with cutting-edge RNA-seq technology. These tools are applied to identify additional genetic targets for improving fuel production in cyanobacteria. This proof-of-concept study demonstrates successful fuel production from engineered cyanobacteria, identifies potential limitations, and investigates several strategies to overcome these limitations. This project was funded from FY10-FY13 through the President Harry S. Truman Fellowship in National Security Science and Engineering, a program sponsored by the LDRD office at Sandia National Laboratories.

  6. Genetics of cardiac disease in the small animal patient.

    PubMed

    Meurs, Kathryn M

    2010-07-01

    There is increasing evidence that many forms of congenital and acquired cardiovascular disease in small animal patients are of familial origin. The large number of familial diseases in domestic purebred animals is thought to be associated with the desire to breed related animals to maintain a specific appearance and the selection of animals from a small group of popular founders (founder effect). Clinicians can use knowledge that a particular trait or disease may be inherited to provide guidance to owners and animal breeders to reduce the frequency of the trait. Even if the molecular cause is not known, identification of a pattern of inheritance and information on clinical screening can be useful for a breeder trying to make breeding decisions. Common forms of inheritance for veterinary diseases include autosomal recessive, autosomal dominant, X-linked recessive, and polygenic. These genetic traits and their possible involvement in cardiac disease in small animals are discussed in this article.

  7. ASAS centennial paper: Future needs in animal breeding and genetics.

    PubMed

    Green, R D

    2009-02-01

    The past century has seen animal breeding and genetics evolve and expand from definition and validation of basic population genetics theory to development of selection index theory to today's relatively sophisticated genetic prediction systems enabling industry genetic improvement. The end of the first century of the American Society of Animal Science coincides with the rapid movement of the field into the era of genome-enabled genetic improvement and precision management systems. Led by recent research infrastructure investments by the United States and international partners to develop chicken, bovine, swine, ovine, and equine "genomic toolboxes," the animal breeding community is poised to play a crucial role in the century to come. These genomic toolboxes provide the needed platforms for developing whole-genome selection programs based on linkage disequilibrium for a wide spectrum of traits; allow the opportunity to redefine genetic prediction based on allele sharing as opposed to traditional pedigree relationships; and provide for the first time simultaneous information upon which to practice genetic selection and plan precision management of specific genotypes, all early in the life of the animal. An area of major focus will be mining of the genomes through systems biology approaches to better understand gene and metabolic networks--what has previously been lumped into poorly understood genotype by environment and genotype by genotype interactions. Perhaps the greatest obstacle to the successful merger of genomic and quantitative approaches will be the lack of necessary animal resource populations to appropriately define and measure phenotypes (i.e., the so-called phenomic gap) for difficult-to-measure traits such as resistance to disease and stress, adaptability, longevity, and efficiency of nutrient utilization. Additionally, because of de-emphasis of quantitative genetics and animal breeding programs in academia over the past quarter century, a dearth of

  8. Natural and Genetically Engineered Proteins for Tissue Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Sílvia; Leonor, Isabel B.; Mano, João F.; Reis, Rui L.

    2011-01-01

    To overcome the limitations of traditionally used autografts, allografts and, to a lesser extent, synthetic materials, there is the need to develop a new generation of scaffolds with adequate mechanical and structural support, control of cell attachment, migration, proliferation and differentiation and with bio-resorbable features. This suite of properties would allow the body to heal itself at the same rate as implant degradation. Genetic engineering offers a route to this level of control of biomaterial systems. The possibility of expressing biological components in nature and to modify or bioengineer them further, offers a path towards multifunctional biomaterial systems. This includes opportunities to generate new protein sequences, new self-assembling peptides or fusions of different bioactive domains or protein motifs. New protein sequences with tunable properties can be generated that can be used as new biomaterials. In this review we address some of the most frequently used proteins for tissue engineering and biomedical applications and describe the techniques most commonly used to functionalize protein-based biomaterials by combining them with bioactive molecules to enhance biological performance. We also highlight the use of genetic engineering, for protein heterologous expression and the synthesis of new protein-based biopolymers, focusing the advantages of these functionalized biopolymers when compared with their counterparts extracted directly from nature and modified by techniques such as physical adsorption or chemical modification. PMID:22058578

  9. Genetically engineering adenoviral vectors for gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Coughlan, Lynda

    2014-01-01

    Adenoviral (Ad) vectors are commonly used for various gene therapy applications. Significant advances in the genetic engineering of Ad vectors in recent years has highlighted their potential for the treatment of metastatic disease. There are several methods to genetically modify the Ad genome to incorporate retargeting peptides which will redirect the natural tropism of the viruses, including homologous recombination in bacteria or yeast. However, homologous recombination in yeast is highly efficient and can be achieved without the need for extensive cloning strategies. In addition, the method does not rely on the presence of unique restriction sites within the Ad genome and the reagents required for this method are widely available and inexpensive. Large plasmids containing the entire adenoviral genome (~36 kbp) can be modified within Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast and genomes easily rescued in Escherichia coli hosts for analysis or amplification. A method for two-step homologous recombination in yeast is described in this chapter.

  10. Genetic engineering of microorganisms for biodiesel production.

    PubMed

    Lin, Hui; Wang, Qun; Shen, Qi; Zhan, Jumei; Zhao, Yuhua

    2013-01-01

    Biodiesel, as one type of renewable energy, is an ideal substitute for petroleum-based diesel fuel and is usually made from triacylglycerides by transesterification with alcohols. Biodiesel production based on microbial fermentation aiming to establish more efficient, less-cost and sustainable biodiesel production strategies is under current investigation by various start-up biotechnology companies and research centers. Genetic engineering plays a key role in the transformation of microbes into the desired cell factories with high efficiency of biodiesel production. Here, we present an overview of principal microorganisms used in the microbial biodiesel production and recent advances in metabolic engineering for the modification required. Overexpression or deletion of the related enzymes for de novo synthesis of biodiesel is highlighted with relevant examples.

  11. Genetic engineering of microorganisms for biodiesel production

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Hui; Wang, Qun; Shen, Qi; Zhan, Jumei; Zhao, Yuhua

    2013-01-01

    Biodiesel, as one type of renewable energy, is an ideal substitute for petroleum-based diesel fuel and is usually made from triacylglycerides by transesterification with alcohols. Biodiesel production based on microbial fermentation aiming to establish more efficient, less-cost and sustainable biodiesel production strategies is under current investigation by various start-up biotechnology companies and research centers. Genetic engineering plays a key role in the transformation of microbes into the desired cell factories with high efficiency of biodiesel production. Here, we present an overview of principal microorganisms used in the microbial biodiesel production and recent advances in metabolic engineering for the modification required. Overexpression or deletion of the related enzymes for de novo synthesis of biodiesel is highlighted with relevant examples. PMID:23222170

  12. Xenomicrobiology: a roadmap for genetic code engineering.

    PubMed

    Acevedo-Rocha, Carlos G; Budisa, Nediljko

    2016-09-01

    Biology is an analytical and informational science that is becoming increasingly dependent on chemical synthesis. One example is the high-throughput and low-cost synthesis of DNA, which is a foundation for the research field of synthetic biology (SB). The aim of SB is to provide biotechnological solutions to health, energy and environmental issues as well as unsustainable manufacturing processes in the frame of naturally existing chemical building blocks. Xenobiology (XB) goes a step further by implementing non-natural building blocks in living cells. In this context, genetic code engineering respectively enables the re-design of genes/genomes and proteins/proteomes with non-canonical nucleic (XNAs) and amino (ncAAs) acids. Besides studying information flow and evolutionary innovation in living systems, XB allows the development of new-to-nature therapeutic proteins/peptides, new biocatalysts for potential applications in synthetic organic chemistry and biocontainment strategies for enhanced biosafety. In this perspective, we provide a brief history and evolution of the genetic code in the context of XB. We then discuss the latest efforts and challenges ahead for engineering the genetic code with focus on substitutions and additions of ncAAs as well as standard amino acid reductions. Finally, we present a roadmap for the directed evolution of artificial microbes for emancipating rare sense codons that could be used to introduce novel building blocks. The development of such xenomicroorganisms endowed with a 'genetic firewall' will also allow to study and understand the relation between code evolution and horizontal gene transfer. PMID:27489097

  13. Xenomicrobiology: a roadmap for genetic code engineering.

    PubMed

    Acevedo-Rocha, Carlos G; Budisa, Nediljko

    2016-09-01

    Biology is an analytical and informational science that is becoming increasingly dependent on chemical synthesis. One example is the high-throughput and low-cost synthesis of DNA, which is a foundation for the research field of synthetic biology (SB). The aim of SB is to provide biotechnological solutions to health, energy and environmental issues as well as unsustainable manufacturing processes in the frame of naturally existing chemical building blocks. Xenobiology (XB) goes a step further by implementing non-natural building blocks in living cells. In this context, genetic code engineering respectively enables the re-design of genes/genomes and proteins/proteomes with non-canonical nucleic (XNAs) and amino (ncAAs) acids. Besides studying information flow and evolutionary innovation in living systems, XB allows the development of new-to-nature therapeutic proteins/peptides, new biocatalysts for potential applications in synthetic organic chemistry and biocontainment strategies for enhanced biosafety. In this perspective, we provide a brief history and evolution of the genetic code in the context of XB. We then discuss the latest efforts and challenges ahead for engineering the genetic code with focus on substitutions and additions of ncAAs as well as standard amino acid reductions. Finally, we present a roadmap for the directed evolution of artificial microbes for emancipating rare sense codons that could be used to introduce novel building blocks. The development of such xenomicroorganisms endowed with a 'genetic firewall' will also allow to study and understand the relation between code evolution and horizontal gene transfer.

  14. Genetic polymorphism as a background of animal behavior.

    PubMed

    Inoue-Murayama, Miho

    2009-04-01

    Various studies have shown the associations between differences in human behavioral traits and genetic polymorphism of neurotransmitter-related proteins such as receptors, transporters and monoamine oxidase. To clarify the genetic background of animal behavior, corresponding regions in animals have been analyzed. The study has been especially focused on primates, as the evolutionally closest animal to humans, and on dogs, as the socially closest animal to humans. In primates, polymorphisms were discovered between or within species, and the functional effects on neural transmission were found to be different by alleles. Even in apes, the closest species to humans, function was different from that in humans. In dogs, allele distributions of several genes were different among breeds showing different behavioral traits, and genes associated with individual differences in aggressiveness and aptitude of working dogs were surveyed. The survey of behavior-related genes has also been carried out in other mammals such as horses and cetaceans. Genes controlling various behaviors in birds have also been reported. The marker genes for behavior will provide useful information for human evolution, welfare of zoo animals and effective selection of working dogs and industry animals. PMID:20163580

  15. Specific genetic modifications of domestic animals by gene targeting and animal cloning.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bin; Zhou, Jiangfeng

    2003-11-13

    The technology of gene targeting through homologous recombination has been extremely useful for elucidating gene functions in mice. The application of this technology was thought impossible in the large livestock species until the successful creation of the first mammalian clone "Dolly" the sheep. The combination of the technologies for gene targeting of somatic cells with those of animal cloning made it possible to introduce specific genetic mutations into domestic animals. In this review, the principles of gene targeting in somatic cells and the challenges of nuclear transfer using gene-targeted cells are discussed. The relevance of gene targeting in domestic animals for applications in bio-medicine and agriculture are also examined.

  16. Genetically modified animal models recapitulating molecular events altered in human hepatocarcinogenesis.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Aránzazu; Fabregat, Isabel

    2009-04-01

    New advancements have been made in recent years in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms that govern human liver tumorigenesis. Experimental animal models have been widely used, especially mouse models. In this review we highlight some of the genetically engineered mouse models that have proved to be excellent tools to study the intracellular signalling pathways altered in hepatocarcinogenesis and establish potential correlations with data from humans, with special focus on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of primary liver cancer. Information obtained from these animal models will help to design future therapeutic approaches to HCC, particularly those that explore drugs that specifically target the altered molecular pathways.

  17. Can Man Control His Biological Evolution? A Symposium on Genetic Engineering. Genetic Engineering

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ramsey, Paul

    1972-01-01

    Presented are issues related to genetic engineering. Increased knowledge of techniques to manipulate genes are apt to create confusion about moral values in relation to unborn babies and other living organisms on earth. Human beings may use this knowledge to disturb the balance maintained by nature. (PS)

  18. Human Genetic Engineering: A Survey of Student Value Stances

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Sara McCormack; And Others

    1975-01-01

    Assesses the values of high school and college students relative to human genetic engineering and recommends that biology educators explore instructional strategies merging human genetic information with value clarification techniques. (LS)

  19. Genetic engineering with T cell receptors.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ling; Morgan, Richard A

    2012-06-01

    In the past two decades, human gene transfer research has been translated from a laboratory technology to clinical evaluation. The success of adoptive transfer of tumor-reactive lymphocytes to treat the patients with metastatic melanoma has led to new strategies to redirect normal T cells to recognize tumor antigens by genetic engineering with tumor antigen-specific T cell receptor (TCR) genes. This new strategy can generate large numbers of defined antigen-specific cells for therapeutic application. Much progress has been made to TCR gene transfer systems by optimizing gene expression and gene transfer protocols. Vector and protein modifications have enabled excellent expression of introduced TCR chains in human lymphocytes with reduced mis-pairing between the introduced and endogenous TCR chains. Initial clinical studies have demonstrated that TCR gene-engineered T cells could mediate tumor regression in vivo. In this review, we discuss the progress and prospects of TCR gene-engineered T cells as a therapeutic strategy for treating patients with melanoma and other cancers.

  20. Seeking perfection: a Kantian look at human genetic engineering.

    PubMed

    Gunderson, Martin

    2007-01-01

    It is tempting to argue that Kantian moral philosophy justifies prohibiting both human germ-line genetic engineering and non-therapeutic genetic engineering because they fail to respect human dignity. There are, however, good reasons for resisting this temptation. In fact, Kant's moral philosophy provides reasons that support genetic engineering-even germ-line and non-therapeutic. This is true of Kant's imperfect duties to seek one's own perfection and the happiness of others. It is also true of the categorical imperative. Kant's moral philosophy does, however, provide limits to justifiable genetic engineering. PMID:17516148

  1. Seeking perfection: a Kantian look at human genetic engineering.

    PubMed

    Gunderson, Martin

    2007-01-01

    It is tempting to argue that Kantian moral philosophy justifies prohibiting both human germ-line genetic engineering and non-therapeutic genetic engineering because they fail to respect human dignity. There are, however, good reasons for resisting this temptation. In fact, Kant's moral philosophy provides reasons that support genetic engineering-even germ-line and non-therapeutic. This is true of Kant's imperfect duties to seek one's own perfection and the happiness of others. It is also true of the categorical imperative. Kant's moral philosophy does, however, provide limits to justifiable genetic engineering.

  2. Genetic and genomic interactions of animals with different ploidy levels.

    PubMed

    Bogart, J P; Bi, K

    2013-01-01

    Polyploid animals have independently evolved from diploids in diverse taxa across the tree of life. We review a few polyploid animal species or biotypes where recently developed molecular and cytogenetic methods have significantly improved our understanding of their genetics, reproduction and evolution. Mitochondrial sequences that target the maternal ancestor of a polyploid show that polyploids may have single (e.g. unisexual salamanders in the genus Ambystoma) or multiple (e.g. parthenogenetic polyploid lizards in the genus Aspidoscelis) origins. Microsatellites are nuclear markers that can be used to analyze genetic recombinations, reproductive modes (e.g. Ambystoma) and recombination events (e.g. polyploid frogs such as Pelophylax esculentus). Hom(e)ologous chromosomes and rare intergenomic exchanges in allopolyploids have been distinguished by applying genome-specific fluorescent probes to chromosome spreads. Polyploids arise, and are maintained, through perturbations of the 'normal' meiotic program that would include pre-meiotic chromosome replication and genomic integrity of homologs. When possible, asexual, unisexual and bisexual polyploid species or biotypes interact with diploid relatives, and genes are passed from diploid to polyploid gene pools, which increase genetic diversity and ultimately evolutionary flexibility in the polyploid. When diploid relatives do not exist, polyploids can interact with another polyploid (e.g. species of African Clawed Frogs in the genus Xenopus). Some polyploid fish (e.g. salmonids) and frogs (Xenopus) represent independent lineages whose ancestors experienced whole genome duplication events. Some tetraploid frogs (P. esculentus) and fish (Squaliusalburnoides) may be in the process of becoming independent species, but diploid and triploid forms of these 'species' continue to genetically interact with the comparatively few tetraploid populations. Genetic and genomic interaction between polyploids and diploids is a complex

  3. Molecular scissors and their application in genetically modified farm animals.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Bjoern; Niemann, Heiner

    2015-06-01

    Molecular scissors (MS), incl. Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFN), Transcription-activator like endoncleases (TALENS) and meganucleases possess long recognition sites and are thus capable of cutting DNA in a very specific manner. These molecular scissors mediate targeted genetic alterations by enhancing the DNA mutation rate via induction of double-strand breaks at a predetermined genomic site. Compared to conventional homologous recombination based gene targeting, MS can increase the targeting rate 10,000-fold, and gene disruption via mutagenic DNA repair is stimulated at a similar frequency. The successful application of different MS has been shown in different organisms, including insects, amphibians, plants, nematodes, and mammals, including humans. Recently, another novel class of molecular scissors was described that uses RNAs to target a specific genomic site. The CRISPR/Cas9 system is capable of targeting even multiple genomic sites in one shot and thus could be superior to ZFNs or TALEN, especially by its easy design. MS can be successfully employed for improving the understanding of complex physiological systems, producing transgenic animals, incl. creating large animal models for human diseases, creating specific cell lines, and plants, and even for treating human genetic diseases. This review provides an update on molecular scissors, their underlying mechanism and focuses on new opportunities for generating genetically modified farm animals. PMID:25603988

  4. Molecular scissors and their application in genetically modified farm animals.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Bjoern; Niemann, Heiner

    2015-06-01

    Molecular scissors (MS), incl. Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFN), Transcription-activator like endoncleases (TALENS) and meganucleases possess long recognition sites and are thus capable of cutting DNA in a very specific manner. These molecular scissors mediate targeted genetic alterations by enhancing the DNA mutation rate via induction of double-strand breaks at a predetermined genomic site. Compared to conventional homologous recombination based gene targeting, MS can increase the targeting rate 10,000-fold, and gene disruption via mutagenic DNA repair is stimulated at a similar frequency. The successful application of different MS has been shown in different organisms, including insects, amphibians, plants, nematodes, and mammals, including humans. Recently, another novel class of molecular scissors was described that uses RNAs to target a specific genomic site. The CRISPR/Cas9 system is capable of targeting even multiple genomic sites in one shot and thus could be superior to ZFNs or TALEN, especially by its easy design. MS can be successfully employed for improving the understanding of complex physiological systems, producing transgenic animals, incl. creating large animal models for human diseases, creating specific cell lines, and plants, and even for treating human genetic diseases. This review provides an update on molecular scissors, their underlying mechanism and focuses on new opportunities for generating genetically modified farm animals.

  5. Prevalence and impacts of genetically engineered feedstuffs on livestock populations.

    PubMed

    Van Eenennaam, A L; Young, A E

    2014-10-01

    Globally, food-producing animals consume 70 to 90% of genetically engineered (GE) crop biomass. This review briefly summarizes the scientific literature on performance and health of animals consuming feed containing GE ingredients and composition of products derived from them. It also discusses the field experience of feeding GE feed sources to commercial livestock populations and summarizes the suppliers of GE and non-GE animal feed in global trade. Numerous experimental studies have consistently revealed that the performance and health of GE-fed animals are comparable with those fed isogenic non-GE crop lines. United States animal agriculture produces over 9 billion food-producing animals annually, and more than 95% of these animals consume feed containing GE ingredients. Data on livestock productivity and health were collated from publicly available sources from 1983, before the introduction of GE crops in 1996, and subsequently through 2011, a period with high levels of predominately GE animal feed. These field data sets, representing over 100 billion animals following the introduction of GE crops, did not reveal unfavorable or perturbed trends in livestock health and productivity. No study has revealed any differences in the nutritional profile of animal products derived from GE-fed animals. Because DNA and protein are normal components of the diet that are digested, there are no detectable or reliably quantifiable traces of GE components in milk, meat, and eggs following consumption of GE feed. Globally, countries that are cultivating GE corn and soy are the major livestock feed exporters. Asynchronous regulatory approvals (i.e., cultivation approvals of GE varieties in exporting countries occurring before food and feed approvals in importing countries) have resulted in trade disruptions. This is likely to be increasingly problematic in the future as there are a large number of "second generation" GE crops with altered output traits for improved livestock

  6. Genetically engineered antibody molecules and their application.

    PubMed

    Morrison, S L; Wims, L; Wallick, S; Tan, L; Oi, V T

    1987-01-01

    Immunoglobulin genes can be efficiently expressed following transfection into myeloma cells. Using protoplast fusion, transfection frequencies greater than 10(-3) can be achieved. Compatible plasmids containing two different selectible markers are used to simultaneously deliver heavy and light chain genes to the same cell. To produce molecules with differing specificities the rearranged and expressed variable regions can be cloned from the appropriate hybridoma. In some cases, variable regions from cDNAs can be inserted into the expression vectors. It is possible to manipulate the immunoglobulin genes and produce novel antibody molecules. Antibodies have been produced in which the variable regions from mouse antibodies have been joined to human constant regions. In addition, antibodies with altered constant regions have been produced. These genetically engineered antibodies provide a unique set of reagents to study structure-function relationships within the molecule. They also can potentially be used in the diagnosis and therapy of human disease.

  7. Genetic engineering of plants for virus resistance.

    PubMed

    Gadani, F; Mansky, L M; Medici, R; Miller, W A; Hill, J H

    1990-01-01

    Historically, control of plant virus disease has involved numerous strategies which have often been combined to provide effective durable resistance in the field. In recent years, the dramatic advances obtained in plant molecular virology have enhanced our understanding of viral genome organizations and gene functions. Moreover, genetic engineering of plants for virus resistance has recently provided promising additional strategies for control of virus disease. At present, the most promising of these has been the expression of coat-protein coding sequences in plants transformed with a coat protein gene. Other potential methods include the expression of anti-sense viral transcripts in transgenic plants, the application of artificial anti-sense mediated gene regulation to viral systems, and the expression of viral satellite RNAs, RNAs with endoribonuclease activity, antiviral antibody genes, or human interferon genes in plants.

  8. Programmable genetic circuits for pathway engineering.

    PubMed

    Hoynes-O'Connor, Allison; Moon, Tae Seok

    2015-12-01

    Synthetic biology has the potential to provide decisive advances in genetic control of metabolic pathways. However, there are several challenges that synthetic biologists must overcome before this vision becomes a reality. First, a library of diverse and well-characterized sensors, such as metabolite-sensing or condition-sensing promoters, must be constructed. Second, robust programmable circuits that link input conditions with a specific gene regulation response must be developed. Finally, multi-gene targeting strategies must be integrated with metabolically relevant sensors and complex, robust logic. Achievements in each of these areas, which employ the CRISPR/Cas system, in silico modeling, and dynamic sensor-regulators, among other tools, provide a strong basis for future research. Overall, the future for synthetic biology approaches in metabolic engineering holds immense promise.

  9. Facts and fiction of genetically engineered food.

    PubMed

    Batista, Rita; Oliveira, Maria Margarida

    2009-05-01

    The generation of genetically engineered (GE) foods has been raising several concerns and controversies that divide not only the general public but also the scientific community. The fear and importance of the new technology, as well as commercial interests, have supported many of the ongoing discussions. The recent increase in the number of GE foods approved for import into the European Union and the increasingly global commercial food trades justify revisiting the facts and fiction surrounding this technology with the aim of increasing public awareness for well-informed decisions. Techniques that have recently become available for assessing food quality and its impact on human health, as well as the wealth of scientific data previously generated, clearly support the safety of commercialized GE products.

  10. Precision genetics for complex objectives in animal agriculture.

    PubMed

    Fahrenkrug, S C; Blake, A; Carlson, D F; Doran, T; Van Eenennaam, A; Faber, D; Galli, C; Gao, Q; Hackett, P B; Li, N; Maga, E A; Muir, W M; Murray, J D; Shi, D; Stotish, R; Sullivan, E; Taylor, J F; Walton, M; Wheeler, M; Whitelaw, B; Glenn, B P

    2010-07-01

    Indirect modification of animal genomes by interspecific hybridization, cross-breeding, and selection has produced an enormous spectrum of phenotypic diversity over more than 10,000 yr of animal domestication. Using these established technologies, the farming community has successfully increased the yield and efficiency of production in most agricultural species while utilizing land resources that are often unsuitable for other agricultural purposes. Moving forward, animal well-being and agricultural sustainability are moral and economic priorities of consumers and producers alike. Therefore, these considerations will be included in any strategy designed to meet the challenges produced by global climate change and an expanding world population. Improvements in the efficiency and precision of genetic technologies will enable a timely response to meet the multifaceted food requirements of a rapidly increasing world population.

  11. Agrobacterium: nature’s genetic engineer

    PubMed Central

    Nester, Eugene W.

    2015-01-01

    Agrobacterium was identified as the agent causing the plant tumor, crown gall over 100 years ago. Since then, studies have resulted in many surprising observations. Armin Braun demonstrated that Agrobacterium infected cells had unusual nutritional properties, and that the bacterium was necessary to start the infection but not for continued tumor development. He developed the concept of a tumor inducing principle (TIP), the factor that actually caused the disease. Thirty years later the TIP was shown to be a piece of a tumor inducing (Ti) plasmid excised by an endonuclease. In the next 20 years, most of the key features of the disease were described. The single-strand DNA (T-DNA) with the endonuclease attached is transferred through a type IV secretion system into the host cell where it is likely coated and protected from nucleases by a bacterial secreted protein to form the T-complex. A nuclear localization signal in the endonuclease guides the transferred strand (T-strand), into the nucleus where it is integrated randomly into the host chromosome. Other secreted proteins likely aid in uncoating the T-complex. The T-DNA encodes enzymes of auxin, cytokinin, and opine synthesis, the latter a food source for Agrobacterium. The genes associated with T-strand formation and transfer (vir) map to the Ti plasmid and are only expressed when the bacteria are in close association with a plant. Plant signals are recognized by a two-component regulatory system which activates vir genes. Chromosomal genes with pleiotropic functions also play important roles in plant transformation. The data now explain Braun’s old observations and also explain why Agrobacterium is nature’s genetic engineer. Any DNA inserted between the border sequences which define the T-DNA will be transferred and integrated into host cells. Thus, Agrobacterium has become the major vector in plant genetic engineering. PMID:25610442

  12. Modularization of genetic elements promotes synthetic metabolic engineering.

    PubMed

    Qi, Hao; Li, Bing-Zhi; Zhang, Wen-Qian; Liu, Duo; Yuan, Ying-Jin

    2015-11-15

    In the context of emerging synthetic biology, metabolic engineering is moving to the next stage powered by new technologies. Systematical modularization of genetic elements makes it more convenient to engineer biological systems for chemical production or other desired purposes. In the past few years, progresses were made in engineering metabolic pathway using synthetic biology tools. Here, we spotlighted the topic of implementation of modularized genetic elements in metabolic engineering. First, we overviewed the principle developed for modularizing genetic elements and then discussed how the genetic modules advanced metabolic engineering studies. Next, we picked up some milestones of engineered metabolic pathway achieved in the past few years. Last, we discussed the rapid raised synthetic biology field of "building a genome" and the potential in metabolic engineering.

  13. Genetic Engineering of Optical Properties of Biomaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gourley, Paul; Naviaux, Robert; Yaffe, Michael

    2008-03-01

    Baker's yeast cells are easily cultured and can be manipulated genetically to produce large numbers of bioparticles (cells and mitochondria) with controllable size and optical properties. We have recently employed nanolaser spectroscopy to study the refractive index of individual cells and isolated mitochondria from two mutant strains. Results show that biomolecular changes induced by mutation can produce bioparticles with radical changes in refractive index. Wild-type mitochondria exhibit a distribution with a well-defined mean and small variance. In striking contrast, mitochondria from one mutant strain produced a histogram that is highly collapsed with a ten-fold decrease in the mean and standard deviation. In a second mutant strain we observed an opposite effect with the mean nearly unchanged but the variance increased nearly a thousand-fold. Both histograms could be self-consistently modeled with a single, log-normal distribution. The strains were further examined by 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis to measure changes in protein composition. All of these data show that genetic manipulation of cells represents a new approach to engineering optical properties of bioparticles.

  14. Geomorphological implications of engineering bed sediments by lotic animals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Statzner, Bernhard

    2012-07-01

    Recent developments in zoogeomorphology in combination with the increasing interest of ecologists in ecosystem engineering by organisms initiated considerable research on the impact of running water (i.e., lotic) animals (and other organisms) on fluvial bed sediments and the transport of solids. This research provided multiple evidence from field and laboratory observations and experiments that many species among mammals, amphibians, fish, insects, crustaceans, mollusks, and worms engineer bed sediments of running waters with diverse mechanistic "tools", thereby perturbing or consolidating the sediments in many types of running waters across continents, seasons, habitat types, particle sizes, and discharge levels (baseflow vs. flood). Furthermore, many animals modify the bed-sediment engineering by plants (algae, larger macrophytes, riparian vegetation). Modeling effects of bioturbating lotic animals across species and relatively simple environmental conditions (in mesocosms) provided highly significant results (P-range: < 10- 6- < 10- 15) for nine sediment variables describing baseflow and flood-induced sediment transport as well as sediment surface modifications. For example, bioturbator biomass and/or algal abundance in combination with physical variables, such as baseflow shear stress or gravel size, explained between ~ 70 and ~ 90% of the variability in sediment responses such as the overall baseflow sediment transport and, as a result of the baseflow sediment-surface engineering by the animals, the flood-induced gravel or sand transport. Confronting these seemingly encouraging experimental results with real world conditions, however, illustrates considerable problems to unravel the complexity of biotic and physical factors that vary temporally and interfere/interact non-linearly in a patchy pattern in small parts of real river beds, where baseflow bed-sediment engineering by lotic animals prevents or fosters mass erosion during subsequent floods. Despite

  15. RNAi-mediated resistance to viruses in genetically engineered plants.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Abdulrazak B; Aragão, Francisco J L

    2015-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) has emerged as a leading technology in designing genetically modified crops engineered to resist viral infection. The last decades have seen the development of a large number of crops whose inherent posttranscriptional gene silencing mechanism has been exploited to target essential viral genes through the production of dsRNA that triggers an endogenous RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), leading to gene silencing in susceptible viruses conferring them with resistance even before the onset of infection. Selection and breeding events have allowed for establishing this highly important agronomic trait in diverse crops. With improved techniques and the availability of new data on genetic diversity among several viruses, significant progress is being made in engineering plants using RNAi with the release of a number of commercially available crops. Biosafety concerns with respect to consumption of RNAi crops, while relevant, have been addressed, given the fact that experimental evidence using miRNAs associated with the crops shows that they do not pose any health risk to humans and animals. PMID:25740357

  16. Use of genetically-engineered pig donors in islet transplantation

    PubMed Central

    Bottino, Rita; Trucco, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease wherein the pancreas does not produce enough insulin due to islet beta cell destruction. Despite improvements in delivering exogenous insulin to T1D patients, pancreas or islet transplantation remains the best way to regulate their glycaemia. Results from experimental islet transplantation have improved dramatically in the last 15 years, to the point where it can be comparable to pancreas transplantation, but without the accompanying morbidity associated with this procedure. As with other transplants, the limiting factor in islet allotransplantation is the relatively small number of organs made available by deceased human donors throughout the world. A strong case can be made for islet xenotransplantation to fill the gap between supply and demand; however, transplantation across species presents challenges that are unique to that setting. In the search for the most suitable animal for human xenotransplantation, the pig has many advantages that make it the likely animal of choice. Potentially one of the most beneficial advantages is the ability to genetically engineer porcine donors to be more compatible with human recipients. Several genetic manipulations have already proven useful in relation to hyperacute rejection and inflammation (instant blood mediated inflammatory reaction), with the potential of even further advancement in the near future. PMID:26722651

  17. Genetic Engineering of Plants. Agricultural Research Opportunities and Policy Concerns.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, Leslie

    Plant scientists and science policymakers from government, private companies, and universities met at a convocation on the genetic engineering of plants. During the convocation, researchers described some of the ways genetic engineering may be used to address agricultural problems. Policymakers delineated and debated changes in research funding…

  18. Animal nutrition with feeds from genetically modified plants.

    PubMed

    Flachowsky, Gerhard; Chesson, Andrew; Aulrich, Karen

    2005-02-01

    Plant breeders have made and will continue to make important contributions toward meeting the need for more and better feed and food. The use of new techniques to modify the genetic makeup of plants to improve their properties has led to a new generation of crops, grains and their by-products for feed. The use of ingredients and products from genetically modified plants (GMP) in animal nutrition properly raises many questions and issues, such as the role of a nutritional assessment of the modified feed or feed additive as part of safety assessment, the possible influence of genetically modified (GM) products on animal health and product quality and the persistence of the recombinant DNA and of the 'novel' protein in the digestive tract and tissues of food-producing animals. During the last few years many studies have determined the nutrient value of GM feeds compared to their conventional counterparts and some have additionally followed the fate of DNA and novel protein. The results available to date are reassuring and reveal no significant differences in the safety and nutritional value of feedstuffs containing material derived from the so-called 1st generation of genetically modified plants (those with unchanged gross composition) in comparison with non-GM varieties. In addition, no residues of recombinant DNA or novel proteins have been found in any organ or tissue samples obtained from animals fed with GMP. These results indicate that for compositionally equivalent GMP routine-feeding studies with target species generally add little to nutritional and safety assessment. However, the strategies devised for the nutritional and safety assessment of the 1st generation products will be much more difficult to apply to 2nd generation GMP in which significant changes in constituents have been deliberately introduced (e.g., increased fatty acids or amino acids content or a reduced concentration of undesirable constituents). It is suggested that studies made with animals

  19. Specific genetic modifications of domestic animals by gene targeting and animal cloning.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bin; Zhou, Jiangfeng

    2003-11-13

    The technology of gene targeting through homologous recombination has been extremely useful for elucidating gene functions in mice. The application of this technology was thought impossible in the large livestock species until the successful creation of the first mammalian clone "Dolly" the sheep. The combination of the technologies for gene targeting of somatic cells with those of animal cloning made it possible to introduce specific genetic mutations into domestic animals. In this review, the principles of gene targeting in somatic cells and the challenges of nuclear transfer using gene-targeted cells are discussed. The relevance of gene targeting in domestic animals for applications in bio-medicine and agriculture are also examined. PMID:14614774

  20. Large animal models of rare genetic disorders: sheep as phenotypically relevant models of human genetic disease.

    PubMed

    Pinnapureddy, Ashish R; Stayner, Cherie; McEwan, John; Baddeley, Olivia; Forman, John; Eccles, Michael R

    2015-09-02

    Animals that accurately model human disease are invaluable in medical research, allowing a critical understanding of disease mechanisms, and the opportunity to evaluate the effect of therapeutic compounds in pre-clinical studies. Many types of animal models are used world-wide, with the most common being small laboratory animals, such as mice. However, rodents often do not faithfully replicate human disease, despite their predominant use in research. This discordancy is due in part to physiological differences, such as body size and longevity. In contrast, large animal models, including sheep, provide an alternative to mice for biomedical research due to their greater physiological parallels with humans. Completion of the full genome sequences of many species, and the advent of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies, means it is now feasible to screen large populations of domesticated animals for genetic variants that resemble human genetic diseases, and generate models that more accurately model rare human pathologies. In this review, we discuss the notion of using sheep as large animal models, and their advantages in modelling human genetic disease. We exemplify several existing naturally occurring ovine variants in genes that are orthologous to human disease genes, such as the Cln6 sheep model for Batten disease. These, and other sheep models, have contributed significantly to our understanding of the relevant human disease process, in addition to providing opportunities to trial new therapies in animals with similar body and organ size to humans. Therefore sheep are a significant species with respect to the modelling of rare genetic human disease, which we summarize in this review.

  1. Sexual selection and genetic colour polymorphisms in animals.

    PubMed

    Wellenreuther, Maren; Svensson, Erik I; Hansson, Bengt

    2014-11-01

    Genetic colour polymorphisms are widespread across animals and often subjected to complex selection regimes. Traditionally, colour morphs were used as simple visual markers to measure allele frequency changes in nature, selection, population divergence and speciation. With advances in sequencing technology and analysis methods, several model systems are emerging where the molecular targets of selection are being described. Here, we discuss recent studies on the genetics of sexually selected colour polymorphisms, aiming at (i) reviewing the evidence of sexual selection on colour polymorphisms, (ii) highlighting the genetic architecture, molecular and developmental basis underlying phenotypic colour diversification and (iii) discuss how the maintenance of such polymorphisms might be facilitated or constrained by these. Studies of the genetic architecture of colour polymorphism point towards the importance of tight clustering of colour loci with other trait loci, such as in the case of inversions and supergene structures. Other interesting findings include linkage between colour loci and mate preferences or sex determination, and the role of introgression and regulatory variation in fuelling polymorphisms. We highlight that more studies are needed that explicitly integrate fitness consequences of sexual selection on colour with the underlying molecular targets of colour to gain insights into the evolutionary consequences of sexual selection on polymorphism maintenance.

  2. Genetic and ecological studies of animals in Chernobyl and Fukushima.

    PubMed

    Mousseau, Timothy A; Møller, Anders P

    2014-01-01

    Recent advances in genetic and ecological studies of wild animal populations in Chernobyl and Fukushima have demonstrated significant genetic, physiological, developmental, and fitness effects stemming from exposure to radioactive contaminants. The few genetic studies that have been conducted in Chernobyl generally show elevated rates of genetic damage and mutation rates. All major taxonomic groups investigated (i.e., birds, bees, butterflies, grasshoppers, dragonflies, spiders, mammals) displayed reduced population sizes in highly radioactive parts of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. In Fukushima, population censuses of birds, butterflies, and cicadas suggested that abundances were negatively impacted by exposure to radioactive contaminants, while other groups (e.g., dragonflies, grasshoppers, bees, spiders) showed no significant declines, at least during the first summer following the disaster. Insufficient information exists for groups other than insects and birds to assess effects on life history at this time. The differences observed between Fukushima and Chernobyl may reflect the different times of exposure and the significance of multigenerational mutation accumulation in Chernobyl compared to Fukushima. There was considerable variation among taxa in their apparent sensitivity to radiation and this reflects in part life history, physiology, behavior, and evolutionary history. Interestingly, for birds, population declines in Chernobyl can be predicted by historical mitochondrial DNA base-pair substitution rates that may reflect intrinsic DNA repair ability.

  3. Estimating genetic parameters in natural populations using the "animal model".

    PubMed Central

    Kruuk, Loeske E B

    2004-01-01

    Estimating the genetic basis of quantitative traits can be tricky for wild populations in natural environments, as environmental variation frequently obscures the underlying evolutionary patterns. I review the recent application of restricted maximum-likelihood "animal models" to multigenerational data from natural populations, and show how the estimation of variance components and prediction of breeding values using these methods offer a powerful means of tackling the potentially confounding effects of environmental variation, as well as generating a wealth of new areas of investigation. PMID:15306404

  4. Genetic recombination between human and animal parasites creates novel strains of human pathogen.

    PubMed

    Gibson, Wendy; Peacock, Lori; Ferris, Vanessa; Fischer, Katrin; Livingstone, Jennifer; Thomas, James; Bailey, Mick

    2015-03-01

    Genetic recombination between pathogens derived from humans and livestock has the potential to create novel pathogen strains, highlighted by the influenza pandemic H1N1/09, which was derived from a re-assortment of swine, avian and human influenza A viruses. Here we investigated whether genetic recombination between subspecies of the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma brucei, from humans and animals can generate new strains of human pathogen, T. b. rhodesiense (Tbr) responsible for sleeping sickness (Human African Trypanosomiasis, HAT) in East Africa. The trait of human infectivity in Tbr is conferred by a single gene, SRA, which is potentially transferable to the animal pathogen Tbb by sexual reproduction. We tracked the inheritance of SRA in crosses of Tbr and Tbb set up by co-transmitting genetically-engineered fluorescent parental trypanosome lines through tsetse flies. SRA was readily transferred into new genetic backgrounds by sexual reproduction between Tbr and Tbb, thus creating new strains of the human pathogen, Tbr. There was no evidence of diminished growth or transmissibility of hybrid trypanosomes carrying SRA. Although expression of SRA is critical to survival of Tbr in the human host, we show that the gene exists as a single copy in a representative collection of Tbr strains. SRA was found on one homologue of chromosome IV in the majority of Tbr isolates examined, but some Ugandan Tbr had SRA on both homologues. The mobility of SRA by genetic recombination readily explains the observed genetic variability of Tbr in East Africa. We conclude that new strains of the human pathogen Tbr are being generated continuously by recombination with the much larger pool of animal-infective trypanosomes. Such novel recombinants present a risk for future outbreaks of HAT. PMID:25816228

  5. Genetic recombination between human and animal parasites creates novel strains of human pathogen.

    PubMed

    Gibson, Wendy; Peacock, Lori; Ferris, Vanessa; Fischer, Katrin; Livingstone, Jennifer; Thomas, James; Bailey, Mick

    2015-03-01

    Genetic recombination between pathogens derived from humans and livestock has the potential to create novel pathogen strains, highlighted by the influenza pandemic H1N1/09, which was derived from a re-assortment of swine, avian and human influenza A viruses. Here we investigated whether genetic recombination between subspecies of the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma brucei, from humans and animals can generate new strains of human pathogen, T. b. rhodesiense (Tbr) responsible for sleeping sickness (Human African Trypanosomiasis, HAT) in East Africa. The trait of human infectivity in Tbr is conferred by a single gene, SRA, which is potentially transferable to the animal pathogen Tbb by sexual reproduction. We tracked the inheritance of SRA in crosses of Tbr and Tbb set up by co-transmitting genetically-engineered fluorescent parental trypanosome lines through tsetse flies. SRA was readily transferred into new genetic backgrounds by sexual reproduction between Tbr and Tbb, thus creating new strains of the human pathogen, Tbr. There was no evidence of diminished growth or transmissibility of hybrid trypanosomes carrying SRA. Although expression of SRA is critical to survival of Tbr in the human host, we show that the gene exists as a single copy in a representative collection of Tbr strains. SRA was found on one homologue of chromosome IV in the majority of Tbr isolates examined, but some Ugandan Tbr had SRA on both homologues. The mobility of SRA by genetic recombination readily explains the observed genetic variability of Tbr in East Africa. We conclude that new strains of the human pathogen Tbr are being generated continuously by recombination with the much larger pool of animal-infective trypanosomes. Such novel recombinants present a risk for future outbreaks of HAT.

  6. Genetic Recombination between Human and Animal Parasites Creates Novel Strains of Human Pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, Wendy; Peacock, Lori; Ferris, Vanessa; Fischer, Katrin; Livingstone, Jennifer; Thomas, James; Bailey, Mick

    2015-01-01

    Genetic recombination between pathogens derived from humans and livestock has the potential to create novel pathogen strains, highlighted by the influenza pandemic H1N1/09, which was derived from a re-assortment of swine, avian and human influenza A viruses. Here we investigated whether genetic recombination between subspecies of the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma brucei, from humans and animals can generate new strains of human pathogen, T. b. rhodesiense (Tbr) responsible for sleeping sickness (Human African Trypanosomiasis, HAT) in East Africa. The trait of human infectivity in Tbr is conferred by a single gene, SRA, which is potentially transferable to the animal pathogen Tbb by sexual reproduction. We tracked the inheritance of SRA in crosses of Tbr and Tbb set up by co-transmitting genetically-engineered fluorescent parental trypanosome lines through tsetse flies. SRA was readily transferred into new genetic backgrounds by sexual reproduction between Tbr and Tbb, thus creating new strains of the human pathogen, Tbr. There was no evidence of diminished growth or transmissibility of hybrid trypanosomes carrying SRA. Although expression of SRA is critical to survival of Tbr in the human host, we show that the gene exists as a single copy in a representative collection of Tbr strains. SRA was found on one homologue of chromosome IV in the majority of Tbr isolates examined, but some Ugandan Tbr had SRA on both homologues. The mobility of SRA by genetic recombination readily explains the observed genetic variability of Tbr in East Africa. We conclude that new strains of the human pathogen Tbr are being generated continuously by recombination with the much larger pool of animal-infective trypanosomes. Such novel recombinants present a risk for future outbreaks of HAT. PMID:25816228

  7. The Genetic Engineering of Motor Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartz, Rachael M.

    Molecular motors are a remarkable feature within living organisms that are responsible for directional mechanical motion, which is driven by adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis. Actin-binding molecular motors are of specific interest in the field of nanotechnology as filamentous actin is capable of carrying cargo, such as quantum dots, while it is translocated along a motor coated surface. The binding regions of motor proteins, which are known to interact with actin, such as Myosin, have been thoroughly examined and identified. Rapid genetic engineering of the ATP-hydrolyzing enzyme, adenosine kinase, to incorporate these binding regions is possible through the use of site- directed mutagenesis. The sequences, which were mutated into the ADK wt gene, were incorporated in an unstructured loop region. During the phosphate transfer, the mutants switch between open and closed conformational states. The binding affinity of the sequences to the actin is altered during this conformational switch, thus causing the motor to move along actin filament. The ADK mutants and their interaction with filamentous actin was monitored by an in vitro motility assay. Two different mutants of ADK were found to have retained enzymatic functionality after the mutagenesis as well as function as actin-based motor proteins.

  8. Antimicrobial functionalized genetically engineered spider silk

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Sílvia; Leonor, Isabel B.; Mano, João F.; Reis, Rui L.; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    Genetically engineered fusion proteins offer potential as multifunctional biomaterials for medical use. Fusion or chimeric proteins can be formed using recombinant DNA technology by combining nucleotide sequences encoding different peptides or proteins that are otherwise not found together in nature. In the present study, three new fusion proteins were designed, cloned and expressed and assessed for function, by combining the consensus sequence of dragline spider silk with three different antimicrobial peptides. The human antimicrobial peptides human neutrophil defensin 2 (HNP-2), human neutrophil defensins 4 (HNP-4) and hepcidin were fused to spider silk through bioengineering. The spider silk domain maintained its self-assembly features, a key aspect of these new polymeric protein biomaterials, allowing the formation of β-sheets to lock in structures via physical interactions without the need for chemical cross-linking. These new functional silk proteins were assessed for antimicrobial activity against Gram - Escherichia coli and Gram + Staphylococcus aureus and microbicidal activity was demonstrated. Dynamic light scattering was used to assess protein aggregation to clarify the antimicrobial patterns observed. Attenuated-total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and circular dichroism (CD) were used to assess the secondary structure of the new recombinant proteins. In vitro cell studies with a human osteosarcoma cell line (SaOs-2) demonstrated the compatibility of these new proteins with mammalian cells. PMID:21458065

  9. Engineering plants for animal feed for improved nutritional value.

    PubMed

    Williams, Peter E V

    2003-05-01

    Feed formulation to meet nutritional requirements of livestock is becoming increasingly challenging. Regulations have banned the use of traditional high-quality protein supplements such as meat-and-bone meal, pollution from animal excreta of N and P is an issue and antibiotics are no longer available as insurance against the impact of enteric infection and feed anti-nutritional factors. The improved genetic potential of livestock is increasing daily requirement for energy and protein (essential amino acids). To benefit from the enhanced growth potential of livestock diets with high nutrient density are needed that can be formulated from crops without increased cost. Genetic modification of commodity crops used to manufacture animal feed in order to improve the density and quality of available nutrients is a potential solution to some of these problems. Furthermore, crops may be used as biofactories to produce molecules and products used in animal feed with considerable reductions in manufacturing fixed costs. Nevertheless, there are considerable not insurmountable challenges, such as the creation of sufficient economic value to deliver benefit to all members in the feed production chain, which is an essential element of identity preserving and delivering the technology to livestock producers. Individual output traits in the major commodity crops may not provide sufficient value to adequately compensate all the members of the feed production chain. Successful adoption of output traits may rely on inserting combinations of agronomic input traits with specific quality traits or increasing the value proposition by inserting combinations of output traits. PMID:14506877

  10. Engineering plants for animal feed for improved nutritional value.

    PubMed

    Williams, Peter E V

    2003-05-01

    Feed formulation to meet nutritional requirements of livestock is becoming increasingly challenging. Regulations have banned the use of traditional high-quality protein supplements such as meat-and-bone meal, pollution from animal excreta of N and P is an issue and antibiotics are no longer available as insurance against the impact of enteric infection and feed anti-nutritional factors. The improved genetic potential of livestock is increasing daily requirement for energy and protein (essential amino acids). To benefit from the enhanced growth potential of livestock diets with high nutrient density are needed that can be formulated from crops without increased cost. Genetic modification of commodity crops used to manufacture animal feed in order to improve the density and quality of available nutrients is a potential solution to some of these problems. Furthermore, crops may be used as biofactories to produce molecules and products used in animal feed with considerable reductions in manufacturing fixed costs. Nevertheless, there are considerable not insurmountable challenges, such as the creation of sufficient economic value to deliver benefit to all members in the feed production chain, which is an essential element of identity preserving and delivering the technology to livestock producers. Individual output traits in the major commodity crops may not provide sufficient value to adequately compensate all the members of the feed production chain. Successful adoption of output traits may rely on inserting combinations of agronomic input traits with specific quality traits or increasing the value proposition by inserting combinations of output traits.

  11. 78 FR 13286 - Sharing Certain Business Information Regarding the Introduction of Genetically Engineered...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-27

    ... Certain Business Information Regarding the Introduction of Genetically Engineered Organisms With State and... rule. SUMMARY: We are proposing to amend our regulations regarding genetically engineered organisms... regulate certain genetically engineered organisms. DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive...

  12. Genetic Engineering and the Amelioration of Genetic Defect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lederberg, Joshua

    1970-01-01

    Discusses the claims for a brave new world of genetic manipulation" and concludes that if we could agree upon applying genetic (or any other effective) remedies to global problems we probably would need no rescourse to them. Suggests that effective methods of preventing genetic disease are prevention of mutations and detection and containment of…

  13. An animal model of differential genetic risk for methamphetamine intake.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Tamara J; Shabani, Shkelzen

    2015-01-01

    The question of whether genetic factors contribute to risk for methamphetamine (MA) use and dependence has not been intensively investigated. Compared to human populations, genetic animal models offer the advantages of control over genetic family history and drug exposure. Using selective breeding, we created lines of mice that differ in genetic risk for voluntary MA intake and identified the chromosomal addresses of contributory genes. A quantitative trait locus was identified on chromosome 10 that accounts for more than 50% of the genetic variance in MA intake in the selected mouse lines. In addition, behavioral and physiological screening identified differences corresponding with risk for MA intake that have generated hypotheses that are testable in humans. Heightened sensitivity to aversive and certain physiological effects of MA, such as MA-induced reduction in body temperature, are hallmarks of mice bred for low MA intake. Furthermore, unlike MA-avoiding mice, MA-preferring mice are sensitive to rewarding and reinforcing MA effects, and to MA-induced increases in brain extracellular dopamine levels. Gene expression analyses implicate the importance of a network enriched in transcription factor genes, some of which regulate the mu opioid receptor gene, Oprm1, in risk for MA use. Neuroimmune factors appear to play a role in differential response to MA between the mice bred for high and low intake. In addition, chromosome 10 candidate gene studies provide strong support for a trace amine-associated receptor 1 gene, Taar1, polymorphism in risk for MA intake. MA is a trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1) agonist, and a non-functional Taar1 allele segregates with high MA consumption. Thus, reduced TAAR1 function has the potential to increase risk for MA use. Overall, existing findings support the MA drinking lines as a powerful model for identifying genetic factors involved in determining risk for harmful MA use. Future directions include the development of a

  14. An animal model of differential genetic risk for methamphetamine intake

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Tamara J.; Shabani, Shkelzen

    2015-01-01

    The question of whether genetic factors contribute to risk for methamphetamine (MA) use and dependence has not been intensively investigated. Compared to human populations, genetic animal models offer the advantages of control over genetic family history and drug exposure. Using selective breeding, we created lines of mice that differ in genetic risk for voluntary MA intake and identified the chromosomal addresses of contributory genes. A quantitative trait locus was identified on chromosome 10 that accounts for more than 50% of the genetic variance in MA intake in the selected mouse lines. In addition, behavioral and physiological screening identified differences corresponding with risk for MA intake that have generated hypotheses that are testable in humans. Heightened sensitivity to aversive and certain physiological effects of MA, such as MA-induced reduction in body temperature, are hallmarks of mice bred for low MA intake. Furthermore, unlike MA-avoiding mice, MA-preferring mice are sensitive to rewarding and reinforcing MA effects, and to MA-induced increases in brain extracellular dopamine levels. Gene expression analyses implicate the importance of a network enriched in transcription factor genes, some of which regulate the mu opioid receptor gene, Oprm1, in risk for MA use. Neuroimmune factors appear to play a role in differential response to MA between the mice bred for high and low intake. In addition, chromosome 10 candidate gene studies provide strong support for a trace amine-associated receptor 1 gene, Taar1, polymorphism in risk for MA intake. MA is a trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1) agonist, and a non-functional Taar1 allele segregates with high MA consumption. Thus, reduced TAAR1 function has the potential to increase risk for MA use. Overall, existing findings support the MA drinking lines as a powerful model for identifying genetic factors involved in determining risk for harmful MA use. Future directions include the development of a

  15. Genetic aspects of autism spectrum disorders: insights from animal models.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Swati; Riordan, Maeveen; Bhat, Manzoor A

    2014-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that display a triad of core behavioral deficits including restricted interests, often accompanied by repetitive behavior, deficits in language and communication, and an inability to engage in reciprocal social interactions. ASD is among the most heritable disorders but is not a simple disorder with a singular pathology and has a rather complex etiology. It is interesting to note that perturbations in synaptic growth, development, and stability underlie a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including ASD, schizophrenia, epilepsy, and intellectual disability. Biological characterization of an increasing repertoire of synaptic mutants in various model organisms indicates synaptic dysfunction as causal in the pathophysiology of ASD. Our understanding of the genes and genetic pathways that contribute toward the formation, stabilization, and maintenance of functional synapses coupled with an in-depth phenotypic analysis of the cellular and behavioral characteristics is therefore essential to unraveling the pathogenesis of these disorders. In this review, we discuss the genetic aspects of ASD emphasizing on the well conserved set of genes and genetic pathways implicated in this disorder, many of which contribute to synapse assembly and maintenance across species. We also review how fundamental research using animal models is providing key insights into the various facets of human ASD. PMID:24605088

  16. Population genetics of human, animal, and environmental Yersinia strains.

    PubMed

    Dolina, M; Peduzzi, R

    1993-02-01

    Multilocus enzyme electrophoresis was used to analyze 244 strains of nine Yersinia species isolated from the environment, animals, and humans at 18 genes encoding metabolic enzymes. All 18 enzymes were polymorphic. Among the 137 electrophoretic types (ETs) distinguished, the mean allelic diversity per locus was 0.531. Yersinia frederiksenii ETs were divided into three major clusters that were separated by a large genetic distance, and one ET was more closely related to Yersinia enterocolitica. Thus, strains classically identified as Y. frederiksenii may represent more than one species. Furthermore, two strains identified as Yersinia kristensenii proved to be more closely related to Yersinia mollaretii. Environmental strains formed independent groups. A very interesting ET consisting of as many as 61 isolates of Yersinia enterocolitica was detected, and the epidemiologic relevance of this ET is discussed. Human strains of Y. enterocolitica biotype 4 and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis were recognized as being closely related to animal strains of the same species. Therefore, animal strains of these two species may be considered potential human pathogens.

  17. Population genetics of human, animal, and environmental Yersinia strains.

    PubMed Central

    Dolina, M; Peduzzi, R

    1993-01-01

    Multilocus enzyme electrophoresis was used to analyze 244 strains of nine Yersinia species isolated from the environment, animals, and humans at 18 genes encoding metabolic enzymes. All 18 enzymes were polymorphic. Among the 137 electrophoretic types (ETs) distinguished, the mean allelic diversity per locus was 0.531. Yersinia frederiksenii ETs were divided into three major clusters that were separated by a large genetic distance, and one ET was more closely related to Yersinia enterocolitica. Thus, strains classically identified as Y. frederiksenii may represent more than one species. Furthermore, two strains identified as Yersinia kristensenii proved to be more closely related to Yersinia mollaretii. Environmental strains formed independent groups. A very interesting ET consisting of as many as 61 isolates of Yersinia enterocolitica was detected, and the epidemiologic relevance of this ET is discussed. Human strains of Y. enterocolitica biotype 4 and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis were recognized as being closely related to animal strains of the same species. Therefore, animal strains of these two species may be considered potential human pathogens. PMID:8434911

  18. Genetically Engineered Mouse Models for Drug Development and Preclinical Trials

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Ho

    2014-01-01

    Drug development and preclinical trials are challenging processes and more than 80% to 90% of drug candidates fail to gain approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration. Predictive and efficient tools are required to discover high quality targets and increase the probability of success in the process of new drug development. One such solution to the challenges faced in the development of new drugs and combination therapies is the use of low-cost and experimentally manageable in vivo animal models. Since the 1980’s, scientists have been able to genetically modify the mouse genome by removing or replacing a specific gene, which has improved the identification and validation of target genes of interest. Now genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) are widely used and have proved to be a powerful tool in drug discovery processes. This review particularly covers recent fascinating technologies for drug discovery and preclinical trials, targeted transgenesis and RNAi mouse, including application and combination of inducible system. Improvements in technologies and the development of new GEMMs are expected to guide future applications of these models to drug discovery and preclinical trials. PMID:25143803

  19. History of oncolytic viruses: genesis to genetic engineering.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Elizabeth; Russell, Stephen J

    2007-04-01

    Since the turn of the nineteenth century, when their existence was first recognized, viruses have attracted considerable interest as possible agents of tumor destruction. Early case reports emphasized regression of cancers during naturally acquired virus infections, providing the basis for clinical trials where body fluids containing human or animal viruses were used to transmit infections to cancer patients. Most often the viruses were arrested by the host immune system and failed to impact tumor growth, but sometimes, in immunosuppressed patients, infection persisted and tumors regressed, although morbidity as a result of the infection of normal tissues was unacceptable. With the advent of rodent models and new methods for virus propagation, there were numerous attempts through the 1950s and 1960s to force the evolution of viruses with greater tumor specificity, but success was limited and many researchers abandoned the field. Technology employing reverse genetics later brought about a renewal of interest in virotherapy that allowed the generation of more potent, tumor-specific oncolytics. Here, examination of early oncolytic virotherapy before genetic engineering serves to highlight tremendous advances, yet also hints at ways to penetrate host immune defenses, a significant remaining challenge in modern virotherapy research.

  20. Genetic engineering of platelets to neutralize circulating tumor cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Jiahe; Sharkey, Charles C; Wun, Brittany; Liesveld, Jane L; King, Michael R

    2016-04-28

    Mounting experimental evidence demonstrates that platelets support cancer metastasis. Within the circulatory system, platelets guard circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from immune elimination and promote their arrest at the endothelium, supporting CTC extravasation into secondary sites. Neutralization of CTCs in blood circulation can potentially attenuate metastases to distant organs. Therefore, extensive studies have explored the blockade of platelet-CTC interactions as an anti-metastatic strategy. Such an intervention approach, however, may cause bleeding disorders since the platelet-CTC interactions inherently rely on the blood coagulation cascade including platelet activation. On the other hand, platelets have been genetically engineered to correct inherited bleeding disorders in both animal models and human clinical trials. In this study, inspired by the physical association between platelets and CTCs, platelets were genetically modified to express surface-bound tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), a cytokine known to induce apoptosis specifically in tumor cells. The TRAIL-expressing platelets were demonstrated to kill cancer cells in vitro and significantly reduce metastases in a mouse model of prostate cancer metastasis. Our results suggest that using platelets to produce and deliver cancer-specific therapeutics can provide a Trojan-horse strategy of neutralizing CTCs to attenuate metastasis.

  1. The ecological risks of genetically engineered organisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolfenbarger, Lareesa

    2001-03-01

    Highly publicized studies have suggested environmental risks of releasing genetically engineered organisms (GEOs) and have renewed concerns over the evaluation and regulation of these products in domestic and international arenas. I present an overview of the risks of GEOs and the available evidence addressing these and discuss the challenges for risk assessment. Main categories of risk include non-target effects from GEOs, emergence of new viral diseases, and the spread of invasive (weedy) characteristics. Studies have detected non-target effects in some cases but not all; however, much less information exists on other risks, in part due to a lack of conceptual knowledge. For example, general models for predicting invasiveness are not well developed for any introduced organism. The risks of GEOs appear comparable to those for any introduced species or organism, but the magnitude of the risk or the pathway of exposure to the risk can differ among introduced organisms. Therefore, assessing the risks requires a case-by-case analysis so that any differences can be identified. Challenges to assessing risks to valued ecosystems include variability in effects and ecosystem complexity. Ecosystems are a dynamic and complex network of biological and physical interactions. Introducing a new biological entity, such as a GEO, may potentially alter any of these interactions, but evaluating all of these is unrealistic. Effects on a valued ecosystem could vary greatly depending on the geographical location of the experimental site, the GEO used, the plot size of the experiment (scaling effects), and the biological and physical parameters used in the experiment. Experiments that address these sources of variability will provide the most useful information for risk assessments.

  2. "Genetic Engineering" Gains Momentum (Science/Society Case Study).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, John W.; Moore, Elizabeth A., Eds.

    1980-01-01

    Reviews the benefits and hazards of genetic engineering, or "recombinant-DNA" research. Recent federal safety rules issued by NIH which ease the strict prohibitions on recombinant-DNA research are explained. (CS)

  3. Genetic and non-genetic animal models for autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

    PubMed

    Ergaz, Zivanit; Weinstein-Fudim, Liza; Ornoy, Asher

    2016-09-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is associated, in addition to complex genetic factors, with a variety of prenatal, perinatal and postnatal etiologies. We discuss the known animal models, mostly in mice and rats, of ASD that helps us to understand the etiology, pathogenesis and treatment of human ASD. We describe only models where behavioral testing has shown autistic like behaviors. Some genetic models mimic known human syndromes like fragile X where ASD is part of the clinical picture, and others are without defined human syndromes. Among the environmentally induced ASD models in rodents, the most common model is the one induced by valproic acid (VPA) either prenatally or early postnatally. VPA induces autism-like behaviors following single exposure during different phases of brain development, implying that the mechanism of action is via a general biological mechanism like epigenetic changes. Maternal infection and inflammation are also associated with ASD in man and animal models.

  4. Management of genetic diversity in small farm animal populations.

    PubMed

    Fernández, J; Meuwissen, T H E; Toro, M A; Mäki-Tanila, A

    2011-09-01

    Many local breeds of farm animals have small populations and, consequently, are highly endangered. The correct genetic management of such populations is crucial for their survival. Managing an animal population involves two steps: first, the individuals who will be permitted to leave descendants are to be chosen and the number offspring they will be permitted to produce has to be determined; second, the mating scheme has to be identified. Strategies dealing with the first step are directed towards the maximisation of effective population size and, therefore, act jointly on the reduction in the loss of genetic variation and in the increase of inbreeding. In this paper, the most relevant methods are summarised, including the so-called 'Optimum Contribution' methodology (contributions are proportional to the coancestry of each individual with the rest), which has been shown to be the best. Typically, this method is applied to pedigree information, but molecular marker data can be used to complete or replace the genealogy. When the population is subjected to explicit selection on any trait, the above methodology can be used by balancing the response to selection and the increase in coancestry/inbreeding. Different mating strategies also exist. Some of the mating schemes try to reduce the level of inbreeding in the short term by preventing mating between relatives. Others involve regular (circular) schemes that imply higher levels of inbreeding within populations in the short term, but demonstrate better performance in the long term. In addition, other tools such as cryopreservation and reproductive techniques aid in the management of small populations. In the future, genomic marker panels may replace the pedigree information in measuring the coancestry. The paper also includes the results of several experiments and field studies on the effectiveness and on the consequences of the use of the different strategies.

  5. Genetic animal models to decipher the pathogenic effects of vitamin B12 and folate deficiency.

    PubMed

    Peng, Lu; Dreumont, Natacha; Coelho, David; Guéant, Jean-Louis; Arnold, Carole

    2016-07-01

    Vitamin B12 and folate are essential micronutrients that provide methyl groups for cellular methylations through the so-called one-carbon metabolism. Deficits in the absorption and transport or defects of the enzymes can lead to human pathogenesis comprising hematologic, neural, gastrointestinal, hepatic, renal, cardiovascular and developmental manifestations. One-carbon metabolism is a complex, multistep and multi-organ metabolism, and the understanding of the mechanisms at work have benefited from human inborn errors and population studies, as well as from nutritional animal models. Since 15 years, a wide variety of genetically engineered mice has been developed and has proved to be useful to decipher the underlying mechanisms. These genetically engineered mice target all the genes that are important for the intestinal absorption, cellular transport and metabolism of vitamin B12 and folate, which are detailed in this article. In conclusion, these mouse models represent valuable experimental paradigms for human pathogenesis. Since no animal model recapitulates the full spectrum of a human disease, researchers have to choose the one that is the most relevant for their specific needs, and this review may help in this respect. PMID:27178438

  6. Genetically engineered mice in understanding the basis of neonatal lung disease.

    PubMed

    Glasser, Stephan W; Nogee, Lawrence M

    2006-12-01

    Advances in genetic engineering have allowed the creation of animals with additional or deleted genes. New genes may be inserted in mice, specific genes inactivated or "knocked out," and more complex animals created in which genes can be turned on or off at different times in development or in different tissues. These animal models allow for more detailed studies of the proteins encoded by the manipulated gene, an improved understanding of the pathophysiology of diseases resulting from the genetic alterations, and model organisms in which to study potential new therapies. Multiple mouse models involving genes important in surfactant production and regulation relevant to lung disease observed in human newborns have been created. This review will discuss the creation of such animals and illustrate their utility in understanding human disease. PMID:17142160

  7. Genetic Characterization and Classification of Human and Animal Sapoviruses.

    PubMed

    Oka, Tomoichiro; Lu, Zhongyan; Phan, Tung; Delwart, Eric L; Saif, Linda J; Wang, Qiuhong

    2016-01-01

    Sapoviruses (SaVs) are enteric caliciviruses that have been detected in multiple mammalian species, including humans, pigs, mink, dogs, sea lions, chimpanzees, and rats. They show a high level of diversity. A SaV genome commonly encodes seven nonstructural proteins (NSs), including the RNA polymerase protein NS7, and two structural proteins (VP1 and VP2). We classified human and animal SaVs into 15 genogroups (G) based on available VP1 sequences, including three newly characterized genomes from this study. We sequenced the full length genomes of one new genogroup V (GV), one GVII and one GVIII porcine SaV using long range RT-PCR including newly designed forward primers located in the conserved motifs of the putative NS3, and also 5' RACE methods. We also determined the 5'- and 3'-ends of sea lion GV SaV and canine GXIII SaV. Although the complete genomic sequences of GIX-GXII, and GXV SaVs are unavailable, common features of SaV genomes include: 1) "GTG" at the 5'-end of the genome, and a short (9~14 nt) 5'-untranslated region; and 2) the first five amino acids (M [A/V] S [K/R] P) of the putative NS1 and the five amino acids (FEMEG) surrounding the putative cleavage site between NS7 and VP1 were conserved among the chimpanzee, two of five genogroups of pig (GV and GVIII), sea lion, canine, and human SaVs. In contrast, these two amino acid motifs were clearly different in three genogroups of porcine (GIII, GVI and GVII), and bat SaVs. Our results suggest that several animal SaVs have genetic similarities to human SaVs. However, the ability of SaVs to be transmitted between humans and animals is uncertain. PMID:27228126

  8. Genetic Characterization and Classification of Human and Animal Sapoviruses

    PubMed Central

    Oka, Tomoichiro; Lu, Zhongyan; Phan, Tung; Delwart, Eric L.; Saif, Linda J.; Wang, Qiuhong

    2016-01-01

    Sapoviruses (SaVs) are enteric caliciviruses that have been detected in multiple mammalian species, including humans, pigs, mink, dogs, sea lions, chimpanzees, and rats. They show a high level of diversity. A SaV genome commonly encodes seven nonstructural proteins (NSs), including the RNA polymerase protein NS7, and two structural proteins (VP1 and VP2). We classified human and animal SaVs into 15 genogroups (G) based on available VP1 sequences, including three newly characterized genomes from this study. We sequenced the full length genomes of one new genogroup V (GV), one GVII and one GVIII porcine SaV using long range RT-PCR including newly designed forward primers located in the conserved motifs of the putative NS3, and also 5' RACE methods. We also determined the 5’- and 3’-ends of sea lion GV SaV and canine GXIII SaV. Although the complete genomic sequences of GIX-GXII, and GXV SaVs are unavailable, common features of SaV genomes include: 1) “GTG” at the 5′-end of the genome, and a short (9~14 nt) 5′-untranslated region; and 2) the first five amino acids (M [A/V] S [K/R] P) of the putative NS1 and the five amino acids (FEMEG) surrounding the putative cleavage site between NS7 and VP1 were conserved among the chimpanzee, two of five genogroups of pig (GV and GVIII), sea lion, canine, and human SaVs. In contrast, these two amino acid motifs were clearly different in three genogroups of porcine (GIII, GVI and GVII), and bat SaVs. Our results suggest that several animal SaVs have genetic similarities to human SaVs. However, the ability of SaVs to be transmitted between humans and animals is uncertain. PMID:27228126

  9. Prospects for Genetic Engineering in Plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genetically modified plants now constitute a significant portion of the worlds agricultural output. Genetically modified corn, soybean, canola, rice, and cotton are being adopted by growers in both industrialized and developing nations at an increasing rate. The most popular products have been eng...

  10. Genetically Engineered Mouse Models for Studying Inflammatory Bowel Disease

    PubMed Central

    Mizoguchi, Atsushi; Takeuchi, Takahito; Himuro, Hidetomo; Okada, Toshiyuki; Mizoguchi, Emiko

    2015-01-01

    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic intestinal inflammatory condition that is mediated by very complex mechanisms controlled by genetic, immune, and environmental factors. More than 74 kinds of genetically engineered mouse strains have been established since 1993 for studying IBD. Although mouse models cannot fully reflect human IBD, they have provided significant contributions for not only understanding the mechanism, but also developing new therapeutic means for IBD. Indeed, 20 kinds of genetically engineered mouse models carry the susceptibility genes identified in human IBD, and the functions of some other IBD susceptibility genes have also been dissected out using mouse models. Cutting-edge technologies such as cell-specific and inducible knockout systems, which were recently employed to mouse IBD models, have further enhanced the ability of investigators to provide important and unexpected rationales for developing new therapeutic strategies for IBD. In this review article, we briefly introduce 74 kinds of genetically engineered mouse models that spontaneously develop intestinal inflammation. PMID:26387641

  11. Teacher-to-Teacher: An Annotated Bibliography on DNA and Genetic Engineering.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mertens, Thomas R., Comp.

    1984-01-01

    Presented is an annotated bibliography of 24 books on DNA and genetic engineering. Areas considered in these books include: basic biological concepts to help understand advances in genetic engineering; applications of genetic engineering; social, legal, and moral issues of genetic engineering; and historical aspects leading to advances in…

  12. Molecular genetics and animal models in autistic disorder.

    PubMed

    Andres, Christian

    2002-01-01

    Autistic disorder is a behavioural syndrome beginning before the age of 3 years and lasting over the whole lifetime. It is characterised by impaired communication, impaired social interactions, and repetitive interests and behaviour. The prevalence is about 7/10,000 taking a restrictive definition and more than 1/500 with a broader definition, including all the pervasive developmental disorders. The importance of genetic factors has been highlighted by epidemiological studies showing that autistic disorder is one of the most genetic neuropsychiatric diseases. The relative risk of first relatives is about 100-fold higher than the risk in the normal population and the concordance in monozygotic twin is about 60%. Different strategies have been applied on the track of susceptibility genes. The systematic search of linked loci led to contradictory results, in part due to the heterogeneity of the clinical definitions, to the differences in the DNA markers, and to the different methods of analysis used. An oversimplification of the inferred model is probably also cause of our disappointment. More work is necessary to give a clearer picture. One region emerges more frequently: the long arm of chromosome 7. Several candidate genes have been studied and some gave indications of association: the Reelin gene and the Wnt2 gene. Cytogenetical abnormalities are frequent at 15q11-13, the region of the Angelman and Prader-Willi syndrome. Imprinting plays an important role in this region, no candidate gene has been identified in autism. Biochemical abnormalities have been found in the serotonin system. Association and linkage studies gave no consistent results with some serotonin receptors and in the transporter, although it seems interesting to go further in the biochemical characterisation of the serotonin transporter activity, particularly in platelets, easily accessible. Two monogenic diseases have been associated with autistic disorder: tuberous sclerosis and fragile X. A

  13. Genetically Engineered Plants and Foods: A Scientist's Analysis of the Issues (Part I).

    PubMed

    Lemaux, Peggy G

    2008-01-01

    Through the use of the new tools of genetic engineering, genes can be introduced into the same plant or animal species or into plants or animals that are not sexually compatible-the latter is a distinction with classical breeding. This technology has led to the commercial production of genetically engineered (GE) crops on approximately 250 million acres worldwide. These crops generally are herbicide and pest tolerant, but other GE crops in the pipeline focus on other traits. For some farmers and consumers, planting and eating foods from these crops are acceptable; for others they raise issues related to safety of the foods and the environment. In Part I of this review some general and food issues raised regarding GE crops and foods will be addressed. Responses to these issues, where possible, cite peer-reviewed scientific literature. In Part II to appear in 2009, issues related to environmental and socioeconomic aspects of GE crops and foods will be covered.

  14. Perspective on Models in Theoretical and Practical Traditions of Knowledge: The Example of Otto Engine Animations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haglund, Jesper; Stromdahl, Helge

    2012-01-01

    Nineteen informants (n = 19) were asked to study and comment two computer animations of the Otto combustion engine. One animation was non-interactive and realistic in the sense of depicting a physical engine. The other animation was more idealised, interactive and synchronised with a dynamic PV-graph. The informants represented practical and…

  15. Field Performance of a Genetically Engineered Strain of Pink Bollworm

    PubMed Central

    Simmons, Gregory S.; McKemey, Andrew R.; Morrison, Neil I.; O'Connell, Sinead; Tabashnik, Bruce E.; Claus, John; Fu, Guoliang; Tang, Guolei; Sledge, Mickey; Walker, Adam S.; Phillips, Caroline E.; Miller, Ernie D.; Rose, Robert I.; Staten, Robert T.; Donnelly, Christl A.; Alphey, Luke

    2011-01-01

    Pest insects harm crops, livestock and human health, either directly or by acting as vectors of disease. The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) – mass-release of sterile insects to mate with, and thereby control, their wild counterparts – has been used successfully for decades to control several pest species, including pink bollworm, a lepidopteran pest of cotton. Although it has been suggested that genetic engineering of pest insects provides potential improvements, there is uncertainty regarding its impact on their field performance. Discrimination between released and wild moths caught in monitoring traps is essential for estimating wild population levels. To address concerns about the reliability of current marking methods, we developed a genetically engineered strain of pink bollworm with a heritable fluorescent marker, to improve discrimination of sterile from wild moths. Here, we report the results of field trials showing that this engineered strain performed well under field conditions. Our data show that attributes critical to SIT in the field – ability to find a mate and to initiate copulation, as well as dispersal and persistence in the release area – were comparable between the genetically engineered strain and a standard strain. To our knowledge, these represent the first open-field experiments with a genetically engineered insect. The results described here provide encouragement for the genetic control of insect pests. PMID:21931649

  16. Chapter VIII. Contributions of propagation techniques and genetic modification to breeding - genetic engineering for disease resistance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genetic engineering offers an opportunity to develop flower bulb crops with resistance to fungal, viral, and bacterial pathogens. Several of the flower bulb crops, Lilium spp., Gladiolus, Zantedeschia, Muscari, Hyacinthus, Narcissus, Ornithogalum, Iris, and Alstroemeria, have been transformed with t...

  17. Transgenic dairy cattle: genetic engineering on a large scale.

    PubMed

    Wall, R J; Kerr, D E; Bondioli, K R

    1997-09-01

    Amid the explosion of fundamental knowledge generated from transgenic animal models, a small group of scientists has been producing transgenic livestock with goals of improving animal production efficiency and generating new products. The ability to modify mammary-specific genes provides an opportunity to pursue several distinctly different avenues of research. The objective of the emerging gene "pharming" industry is to produce pharmaceuticals for treating human diseases. It is argued that mammary glands are an ideal site for producing complex bioactive proteins that can be cost effectively harvested and purified. Consequently, during the past decade, approximately a dozen companies have been created to capture the US market for pharmaceuticals produced from transgenic bioreactors estimated at $3 billion annually. Several products produced in this way are now in human clinical trials. Another research direction, which has been widely discussed but has received less attention in the laboratory, is genetic engineering of the bovine mammary gland to alter the composition of milk destined for human consumption. Proposals include increasing or altering endogenous proteins, decreasing fat, and altering milk composition to resemble that of human milk. Initial studies using transgenic mice to investigate the feasibility of enhancing manufacturing properties of milk have been encouraging. The potential profitability of gene "pharming" seems clear, as do the benefits of transgenic cows producing milk that has been optimized for food products. To take full advantage of enhanced milk, it may be desirable to restructure the method by which dairy producers are compensated. However, the cost of producing functional transgenic cattle will remain a severe limitation to realizing the potential of transgenic cattle until inefficiencies of transgenic technology are overcome. These inefficiencies include low rates of gene integration, poor embryo survival, and unpredictable transgene

  18. Genetically engineered Mengo virus vaccination of multiple captive wildlife species.

    PubMed

    Backues, K A; Hill, M; Palmenberg, A C; Miller, C; Soike, K F; Aguilar, R

    1999-04-01

    Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV), has caused the deaths of many species of animals in zoological parks and research institutions. The Audubon Park Zoo, (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA) attempted vaccination of several species with a killed EMCV vaccine with mixed results. This paper reports an attempt at vaccination against EMCV using a genetically engineered, live attenuated Mengo virus (vMC0) at the Audubon Park Zoo and Miami Metro Zoo, (Miami, Florida, USA) from December 1996 to June 1997. Several species of animals were vaccinated with vMC0, which is serologically indistinguishable from the field strain of EMCV. Serum samples were taken at the time of vaccination and again 21 days later, then submitted for serum neutralization titers against EMCV. The vaccinate species included red capped mangebey (Cercocebus torquatus), colobus (Colobus guereza), angolan colobus (Colobus angolensis), ruffed lemur (Lemur variegatus ruber and Lemur variegatus variegatus), back lemur (Lemur macaco), ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), siamang (Hylobates syndactylus), diana guenon (Cercopithicus diana), spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi), common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), talapoin monkey (Cercopithecus talapoin), Brazilian tapir (Tapirus terrestris), Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii), Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus), dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius), bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus), gerenuk (Litocranius walleri), guanaco (Lama glama guanicoe), black duiker (Cephalophus niger), Vietnamese potbellied pig (Sus scrofa), babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa), collard peccary (Tayass tajacu), and African crested porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis). The vaccine response was variable, with high virus neutralizing antibody titer responses in some primate species and mixed to poor responses for other species. No ill effects were seen with vaccination. PMID:10231768

  19. Genetically Engineered Materials for Biofuels Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raab, Michael

    2012-02-01

    Agrivida, Inc., is an agricultural biotechnology company developing industrial crop feedstocks for the fuel and chemical industries. Agrivida's crops have improved processing traits that enable efficient, low cost conversion of the crops' cellulosic components into fermentable sugars. Currently, pretreatment and enzymatic conversion of the major cell wall components, cellulose and hemicellulose, into fermentable sugars is the most expensive processing step that prevents widespread adoption of biomass in biofuels processes. To lower production costs we are consolidating pretreatment and enzyme production within the crop. In this strategy, transgenic plants express engineered cell wall degrading enzymes in an inactive form, which can be reactivated after harvest. We have engineered protein elements that disrupt enzyme activity during normal plant growth. Upon exposure to specific processing conditions, the engineered enzymes are converted into their active forms. This mechanism significantly lowers pretreatment costs and enzyme loadings (>75% reduction) below those currently available to the industry.

  20. GENETIC ENGINEERING OF ENHANCED MICROBIAL NITRIFICATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Experiments were conducted to introduce genetic information in the form of antibiotic or mercuric ion resistance genes into Nitrobacter hamburgensis strain X14. The resistance genes were either stable components of broad host range plasmids or transposable genes on methods for p...

  1. Reducing the number of laboratory animals used in tissue engineering research by restricting the variety of animal models. Articular cartilage tissue engineering as a case study.

    PubMed

    de Vries, Rob B M; Buma, Pieter; Leenaars, Marlies; Ritskes-Hoitinga, Merel; Gordijn, Bert

    2012-12-01

    The use of laboratory animals in tissue engineering research is an important underexposed ethical issue. Several ethical questions may be raised about this use of animals. This article focuses on the possibilities of reducing the number of animals used. Given that there is considerable debate about the adequacy of the current animal models in tissue engineering research, we investigate whether it is possible to reduce the number of laboratory animals by selecting and using only those models that have greatest predictive value for future clinical application of the tissue engineered product. The field of articular cartilage tissue engineering is used as a case study. Based on a study of the scientific literature and interviews with leading experts in the field, an overview is provided of the animal models used and the advantages and disadvantages of each model, particularly in terms of extrapolation to the human situation. Starting from this overview, it is shown that, by skipping the small models and using only one large preclinical model, it is indeed possible to restrict the number of animal models, thereby reducing the number of laboratory animals used. Moreover, it is argued that the selection of animal models should become more evidence based and that researchers should seize more opportunities to choose or create characteristics in the animal models that increase their predictive value.

  2. [Research progress of genetic engineering on medicinal plants].

    PubMed

    Teng, Zhong-qiu; Shen, Ye

    2015-02-01

    The application of genetic engineering technology in modern agriculture shows its outstanding role in dealing with food shortage. Traditional medicinal plant cultivation and collection have also faced with challenges, such as lack of resources, deterioration of environment, germplasm of recession and a series of problems. Genetic engineering can be used to improve the disease resistance, insect resistance, herbicides resistant ability of medicinal plant, also can improve the medicinal plant yield and increase the content of active substances in medicinal plants. Thus, the potent biotechnology can play an important role in protection and large area planting of medicinal plants. In the development of medicinal plant genetic engineering, the safety of transgenic medicinal plants should also be paid attention to. A set of scientific safety evaluation and judgment standard which is suitable for transgenic medicinal plants should be established based on the recognition of the particularity of medicinal plants.

  3. TMTI Task 1.6 Genetic Engineering Methods and Detection

    SciTech Connect

    Slezak, T; Lenhoff, R; Allen, J; Borucki, M; Vitalis, E; Gardner, S

    2009-12-04

    A large number of GE techniques can be adapted from other microorganisms to biothreat bacteria and viruses. Detection of GE in a microorganism increases in difficulty as the size of the genetic change decreases. In addition to the size of the engineered change, the consensus genomic sequence of the microorganism can impact the difficulty of detecting an engineered change in genomes that are highly variable from strain to strain. This problem will require comprehensive databases of whole genome sequences for more genetically variable biothreat bacteria and viruses. Preliminary work with microarrays for detecting synthetic elements or virulence genes and analytic bioinformatic approaches for whole genome sequence comparison to detect genetic engineering show promise for attacking this difficult problem but a large amount of future work remains.

  4. Emergency deployment of genetically engineered veterinary vaccines in Europe.

    PubMed

    Ramezanpour, Bahar; de Foucauld, Jean; Kortekaas, Jeroen

    2016-06-24

    On the 9th of November 2015, preceding the World Veterinary Vaccine Congress, a workshop was held to discuss how veterinary vaccines can be deployed more rapidly to appropriately respond to future epizootics in Europe. Considering their potential and unprecedented suitability for surge production, the workshop focussed on vaccines based on genetically engineered viruses and replicon particles. The workshop was attended by academics and representatives from leading pharmaceutical companies, regulatory experts, the European Medicines Agency and the European Commission. We here outline the present regulatory pathways for genetically engineered vaccines in Europe and describe the incentive for the organization of the pre-congress workshop. The participants agreed that existing European regulations on the deliberate release of genetically engineered vaccines into the environment should be updated to facilitate quick deployment of these vaccines in emergency situations. PMID:27208587

  5. Use of genetically modified viruses and genetically engineered virus-vector vaccines: environmental effects.

    PubMed

    Chan, Vivian S W

    2006-11-01

    Despite major therapeutic advances, infectious diseases remain highly problematic. Recent advancements in technology in producing DNA-based vaccines, together with the growing knowledge of the immune system, have provided new insights into the identification of the epitopes needed to target the development of highly targeted vaccines. Genetically modified (GM) viruses and genetically engineered virus-vector vaccines possess significant unpredictability and a number of inherent harmful potential hazards. For all these vaccines, safety assessment concerning unintended and unwanted side effects with regard to targeted vaccinees has always been the main focus. Important questions concerning effects on nontargeted individuals within the same species or other species remain unknown. Horizontal transfer of genes, though lacking supportive experimental or epidemiological investigations, is well established. New hybrid virus progenies resulting from genetic recombination between genetically engineered vaccine viruses and their naturally occurring relatives may possess totally unpredictable characteristics with regard to host preferences and disease-causing potentials. Furthermore, when genetically modified or engineered virus particles break down in the environment, their nuclei acids are released. Appropriate risk management is the key to minimizing any potential risks to humans and environment resulting from the use of these GM vaccines. There is inadequate knowledge to define either the probability of unintended events or the consequences of genetic modifications. The objective of this article is to highlight the limitations in environmental risk assessment and raise awareness of the potential risks involving the use of genetically modified viruses and genetically engineered virus-vector vaccines. PMID:16982535

  6. Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals 2012: another increase in experimentation - genetically-altered animals dominate again.

    PubMed

    Hudson-Shore, Michelle

    2013-09-01

    The Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2012 reveal that the level of animal experimentation in Great Britain continues to rise, with just over 4.1 million procedures being started in that year. Despite the previous year's indication that the dominance of the production and use of genetically-altered (GA, i.e. genetically-modified animals plus animals with harmful genetic defects) animal might be abating, it returned with a vengeance in 2012. Breeding increased from 43% to 48% of all procedures, and GA animals were involved in 59% of all the procedures. Indeed, if the breeding of these animals were removed from the statistics, the total number of procedures would actually decline by 2%. In order to honour their pledge to reduce animal use in science, the Coalition Government will have to address this issue. The general trends in the species used, and the numbers and types of procedures, are also reviewed. Finally, forthcoming changes to the statistics are discussed.

  7. [Research Progress on Genetic Diversity in Animal Parasitic Nematodes].

    PubMed

    YIN, Fang-yuan; LI, Fa-cai; ZHAO, Jun-long; HU, Min

    2015-10-01

    The development of molecular genetic markers for parasitic nematodes has significant implications in fundamental and applied research in Veterinary Parasitology. Knowledge on genetic diversity of nematodes would not only provide a theoretical basis for understanding the spread of drug-resistance alleles, but also have implications in the development of nematode control strategies. This review discusses the applications of molecular genetic markers (RFLP, RAPD, PCR-SSCP, AFLP, SSR and mitochondrial DNA) in research on the genetic diversity of parasitic nematodes.

  8. [Research Progress on Genetic Diversity in Animal Parasitic Nematodes].

    PubMed

    YIN, Fang-yuan; LI, Fa-cai; ZHAO, Jun-long; HU, Min

    2015-10-01

    The development of molecular genetic markers for parasitic nematodes has significant implications in fundamental and applied research in Veterinary Parasitology. Knowledge on genetic diversity of nematodes would not only provide a theoretical basis for understanding the spread of drug-resistance alleles, but also have implications in the development of nematode control strategies. This review discusses the applications of molecular genetic markers (RFLP, RAPD, PCR-SSCP, AFLP, SSR and mitochondrial DNA) in research on the genetic diversity of parasitic nematodes. PMID:26931047

  9. Successes and failures in modular genetic engineering.

    PubMed

    Kittleson, Joshua T; Wu, Gabriel C; Anderson, J Christopher

    2012-08-01

    Synthetic biology relies on engineering concepts such as abstraction, standardization, and decoupling to develop systems that address environmental, clinical, and industrial needs. Recent advances in applying modular design to system development have enabled creation of increasingly complex systems. However, several challenges to module and system development remain, including syntactic errors, semantic errors, parameter mismatches, contextual sensitivity, noise and evolution, and load and stress. To combat these challenges, researchers should develop a framework for describing and reasoning about biological information, design systems with modularity in mind, and investigate how to predictively describe the diverse sources and consequences of metabolic load and stress.

  10. A Simple Interactive Introduction to Teaching Genetic Engineering

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child, Paula

    2013-01-01

    In the UK, at key stage 4, students aged 14-15 studying GCSE Core Science or Unit 1 of the GCSE Biology course are required to be able to describe the process of genetic engineering to produce bacteria that can produce insulin. The simple interactive introduction described in this article allows students to consider the problem, devise a model and…

  11. Current Progress of Genetically Engineered Pig Models for Biomedical Research

    PubMed Central

    Gün, Gökhan

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The first transgenic pigs were generated for agricultural purposes about three decades ago. Since then, the micromanipulation techniques of pig oocytes and embryos expanded from pronuclear injection of foreign DNA to somatic cell nuclear transfer, intracytoplasmic sperm injection-mediated gene transfer, lentiviral transduction, and cytoplasmic injection. Mechanistically, the passive transgenesis approach based on random integration of foreign DNA was developed to active genetic engineering techniques based on the transient activity of ectopic enzymes, such as transposases, recombinases, and programmable nucleases. Whole-genome sequencing and annotation of advanced genome maps of the pig complemented these developments. The full implementation of these tools promises to immensely increase the efficiency and, in parallel, to reduce the costs for the generation of genetically engineered pigs. Today, the major application of genetically engineered pigs is found in the field of biomedical disease modeling. It is anticipated that genetically engineered pigs will increasingly be used in biomedical research, since this model shows several similarities to humans with regard to physiology, metabolism, genome organization, pathology, and aging. PMID:25469311

  12. Genetic engineering of syringyl-enriched lignin in plants

    DOEpatents

    Chiang, Vincent Lee; Li, Laigeng

    2004-11-02

    The present invention relates to a novel DNA sequence, which encodes a previously unidentified lignin biosynthetic pathway enzyme, sinapyl alcohol dehydrogenase (SAD) that regulates the biosynthesis of syringyl lignin in plants. Also provided are methods for incorporating this novel SAD gene sequence or substantially similar sequences into a plant genome for genetic engineering of syringyl-enriched lignin in plants.

  13. Genetic Engineering--A Lesson on Bioethics for the Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Armstrong, Kerri; Weber, Kurt

    1991-01-01

    A unit designed to cover the topic of genetic engineering and its ethical considerations is presented. Students are expected to learn the material while using a debate format. A list of objectives for the unit, the debate format, and the results from an opinion questionnaire are described. (KR)

  14. The role of genetically engineered pigs in xenotransplantation research.

    PubMed

    Cooper, David K C; Ekser, Burcin; Ramsoondar, Jagdeece; Phelps, Carol; Ayares, David

    2016-01-01

    There is a critical shortage in the number of deceased human organs that become available for the purposes of clinical transplantation. This problem might be resolved by the transplantation of organs from pigs genetically engineered to protect them from the human immune response. The pathobiological barriers to successful pig organ transplantation in primates include activation of the innate and adaptive immune systems, coagulation dysregulation and inflammation. Genetic engineering of the pig as an organ source has increased the survival of the transplanted pig heart, kidney, islet and corneal graft in non-human primates (NHPs) from minutes to months or occasionally years. Genetic engineering may also contribute to any physiological barriers that might be identified, as well as to reducing the risks of transfer of a potentially infectious micro-organism with the organ. There are now an estimated 40 or more genetic alterations that have been carried out in pigs, with some pigs expressing five or six manipulations. With the new technology now available, it will become increasingly common for a pig to express even more genetic manipulations, and these could be tested in the pig-to-NHP models to assess their efficacy and benefit. It is therefore likely that clinical trials of pig kidney, heart and islet transplantation will become feasible in the near future.

  15. The role of genetically engineered pigs in xenotransplantation research.

    PubMed

    Cooper, David K C; Ekser, Burcin; Ramsoondar, Jagdeece; Phelps, Carol; Ayares, David

    2016-01-01

    There is a critical shortage in the number of deceased human organs that become available for the purposes of clinical transplantation. This problem might be resolved by the transplantation of organs from pigs genetically engineered to protect them from the human immune response. The pathobiological barriers to successful pig organ transplantation in primates include activation of the innate and adaptive immune systems, coagulation dysregulation and inflammation. Genetic engineering of the pig as an organ source has increased the survival of the transplanted pig heart, kidney, islet and corneal graft in non-human primates (NHPs) from minutes to months or occasionally years. Genetic engineering may also contribute to any physiological barriers that might be identified, as well as to reducing the risks of transfer of a potentially infectious micro-organism with the organ. There are now an estimated 40 or more genetic alterations that have been carried out in pigs, with some pigs expressing five or six manipulations. With the new technology now available, it will become increasingly common for a pig to express even more genetic manipulations, and these could be tested in the pig-to-NHP models to assess their efficacy and benefit. It is therefore likely that clinical trials of pig kidney, heart and islet transplantation will become feasible in the near future. PMID:26365762

  16. Genetic diversity in farm animals--a review.

    PubMed

    Groeneveld, L F; Lenstra, J A; Eding, H; Toro, M A; Scherf, B; Pilling, D; Negrini, R; Finlay, E K; Jianlin, H; Groeneveld, E; Weigend, S

    2010-05-01

    Domestication of livestock species and a long history of migrations, selection and adaptation have created an enormous variety of breeds. Conservation of these genetic resources relies on demographic characterization, recording of production environments and effective data management. In addition, molecular genetic studies allow a comparison of genetic diversity within and across breeds and a reconstruction of the history of breeds and ancestral populations. This has been summarized for cattle, yak, water buffalo, sheep, goats, camelids, pigs, horses, and chickens. Further progress is expected to benefit from advances in molecular technology.

  17. New insights and current tools for genetically engineered (GE) sheep and goats.

    PubMed

    Menchaca, A; Anegon, I; Whitelaw, C B A; Baldassarre, H; Crispo, M

    2016-07-01

    Genetically engineered sheep and goats represent useful models applied to proof of concepts, large-scale production of novel products or processes, and improvement of animal traits, which is of interest in biomedicine, biopharma, and livestock. This disruptive biotechnology arose in the 80s by injecting DNA fragments into the pronucleus of zygote-staged embryos. Pronuclear microinjection set the transgenic concept into people's mind but was characterized by inefficient and often frustrating results mostly because of uncontrolled and/or random integration and unpredictable transgene expression. Somatic cell nuclear transfer launched the second wave in the late 90s, solving several weaknesses of the previous technique by making feasible the transfer of a genetically modified and fully characterized cell into an enucleated oocyte, capable of cell reprogramming to generate genetically engineered animals. Important advances were also achieved during the 2000s with the arrival of new techniques like the lentivirus system, transposons, RNA interference, site-specific recombinases, and sperm-mediated transgenesis. We are now living the irruption of the third technological wave in which genome edition is possible by using endonucleases, particularly the CRISPR/Cas system. Sheep and goats were recently produced by CRISPR/Cas9, and for sure, cattle will be reported soon. We will see new genetically engineered farm animals produced by homologous recombination, multiple gene editing in one-step generation and conditional modifications, among other advancements. In the following decade, genome edition will continue expanding our technical possibilities, which will contribute to the advancement of science, the development of clinical or commercial applications, and the improvement of people's life quality around the world. PMID:27155732

  18. New insights and current tools for genetically engineered (GE) sheep and goats.

    PubMed

    Menchaca, A; Anegon, I; Whitelaw, C B A; Baldassarre, H; Crispo, M

    2016-07-01

    Genetically engineered sheep and goats represent useful models applied to proof of concepts, large-scale production of novel products or processes, and improvement of animal traits, which is of interest in biomedicine, biopharma, and livestock. This disruptive biotechnology arose in the 80s by injecting DNA fragments into the pronucleus of zygote-staged embryos. Pronuclear microinjection set the transgenic concept into people's mind but was characterized by inefficient and often frustrating results mostly because of uncontrolled and/or random integration and unpredictable transgene expression. Somatic cell nuclear transfer launched the second wave in the late 90s, solving several weaknesses of the previous technique by making feasible the transfer of a genetically modified and fully characterized cell into an enucleated oocyte, capable of cell reprogramming to generate genetically engineered animals. Important advances were also achieved during the 2000s with the arrival of new techniques like the lentivirus system, transposons, RNA interference, site-specific recombinases, and sperm-mediated transgenesis. We are now living the irruption of the third technological wave in which genome edition is possible by using endonucleases, particularly the CRISPR/Cas system. Sheep and goats were recently produced by CRISPR/Cas9, and for sure, cattle will be reported soon. We will see new genetically engineered farm animals produced by homologous recombination, multiple gene editing in one-step generation and conditional modifications, among other advancements. In the following decade, genome edition will continue expanding our technical possibilities, which will contribute to the advancement of science, the development of clinical or commercial applications, and the improvement of people's life quality around the world.

  19. Transplantation of Tissue-Engineered Cartilage in an Animal Model (Xenograft and Autograft): Construct Validation.

    PubMed

    Nemoto, Hitoshi; Watson, Deborah; Masuda, Koichi

    2015-01-01

    Tissue engineering holds great promise for cartilage repair with minimal donor-site morbidity. The in vivo maturation of a tissue-engineered construct can be tested in the subcutaneous tissues of the same species for autografts or of immunocompromised animals for allografts or xenografts. This section describes detailed protocols for the surgical transplantation of a tissue-engineered construct into an animal model to assess construct validity.

  20. Genetic Engineering of Algae for Enhanced Biofuel Production ▿

    PubMed Central

    Radakovits, Randor; Jinkerson, Robert E.; Darzins, Al; Posewitz, Matthew C.

    2010-01-01

    There are currently intensive global research efforts aimed at increasing and modifying the accumulation of lipids, alcohols, hydrocarbons, polysaccharides, and other energy storage compounds in photosynthetic organisms, yeast, and bacteria through genetic engineering. Many improvements have been realized, including increased lipid and carbohydrate production, improved H2 yields, and the diversion of central metabolic intermediates into fungible biofuels. Photosynthetic microorganisms are attracting considerable interest within these efforts due to their relatively high photosynthetic conversion efficiencies, diverse metabolic capabilities, superior growth rates, and ability to store or secrete energy-rich hydrocarbons. Relative to cyanobacteria, eukaryotic microalgae possess several unique metabolic attributes of relevance to biofuel production, including the accumulation of significant quantities of triacylglycerol; the synthesis of storage starch (amylopectin and amylose), which is similar to that found in higher plants; and the ability to efficiently couple photosynthetic electron transport to H2 production. Although the application of genetic engineering to improve energy production phenotypes in eukaryotic microalgae is in its infancy, significant advances in the development of genetic manipulation tools have recently been achieved with microalgal model systems and are being used to manipulate central carbon metabolism in these organisms. It is likely that many of these advances can be extended to industrially relevant organisms. This review is focused on potential avenues of genetic engineering that may be undertaken in order to improve microalgae as a biofuel platform for the production of biohydrogen, starch-derived alcohols, diesel fuel surrogates, and/or alkanes. PMID:20139239

  1. Conceptualizing "suicidal genetically engineered microorganisms" for bioremediation applications.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Gunjan; Paul, Debarati; Jain, Rakesh K

    2005-02-18

    Use of genetically modified microorganisms (GEMs) for pollution abatement has been limited because of risks associated with their release in the environment. Recent developments in the area of recombinant DNA technologies have paved the way for conceptualizing "suicidal genetically engineered microorganisms" (S-GEMS) to minimize such anticipated hazards and to achieve efficient and safer bioremediation of contaminated sites. Our strategy of designing a novel S-GEM is based on the knowledge of killer-anti-killer gene(s) that would be susceptible to programmed cell death after detoxification of any given contaminated site(s). PMID:15649393

  2. Enhanced energy transport in genetically engineered excitonic networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Heechul; Heldman, Nimrod; Rebentrost, Patrick; Abbondanza, Luigi; Iagatti, Alessandro; Alessi, Andrea; Patrizi, Barbara; Salvalaggio, Mario; Bussotti, Laura; Mohseni, Masoud; Caruso, Filippo; Johnsen, Hannah C.; Fusco, Roberto; Foggi, Paolo; Scudo, Petra F.; Lloyd, Seth; Belcher, Angela M.

    2016-02-01

    One of the challenges for achieving efficient exciton transport in solar energy conversion systems is precise structural control of the light-harvesting building blocks. Here, we create a tunable material consisting of a connected chromophore network on an ordered biological virus template. Using genetic engineering, we establish a link between the inter-chromophoric distances and emerging transport properties. The combination of spectroscopy measurements and dynamic modelling enables us to elucidate quantum coherent and classical incoherent energy transport at room temperature. Through genetic modifications, we obtain a significant enhancement of exciton diffusion length of about 68% in an intermediate quantum-classical regime.

  3. A genetic animal model of differential sensitivity to methamphetamine reinforcement

    PubMed Central

    Shabani, Shkelzen; Dobbs, Lauren K; Ford, Matthew M; Mark, Gregory P; Finn, Deborah A; Phillips, Tamara J

    2012-01-01

    Sensitivity to reinforcement from methamphetamine (MA) likely influences risk for MA addiction, and genetic differences are one source of individual variation. Generation of two sets of selectively bred mouse lines for high and low MA drinking has shown that genetic factors influence MA intake, and pronounced differences in sensitivity to rewarding and aversive effects of MA play a significant role. Further validation of these lines as a unique genetic model relevant to MA addiction was obtained using operant methods to study MA reinforcement. High and low MA drinking line mice were used to test the hypotheses that: 1) oral and intracerebroventricular (ICV) MA serve as behavioral reinforcers, and 2) MA exhibits greater reinforcing efficacy in high than low MA drinking mice. Operant responses resulted in access to an MA or non-MA drinking tube or intracranial delivery of MA. Behavioral activation consequent to orally consumed MA was determined. MA available for consumption maintained higher levels of reinforced instrumental responding in high than low MA drinking line mice, and MA intake in the oral operant procedure was greater in high than low MA drinking line mice. Behavioral activation was associated with amount of MA consumed during operant sessions. High line mice delivered more MA via ICV infusion than did low line mice across a range of doses. Thus, genetic risk factors play a critical role in the reinforcing efficacy of MA and the oral self-administration procedure is suitable for delineating genetic contributions to MA reinforcement. PMID:22280875

  4. Genetic engineering possibilities for CELSS: A bibliography and summary of techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, E. J.

    1982-01-01

    A bibliography of the most useful techniques employed in genetic engineering of higher plants, bacteria associated with plants, and plant cell cultures is provided. A resume of state-of-the-art genetic engineering of plants and bacteria is presented. The potential application of plant bacterial genetic engineering to CELSS (Controlled Ecological Life Support System) program and future research needs are discussed.

  5. Targeted drug delivery using genetically engineered diatom biosilica.

    PubMed

    Delalat, Bahman; Sheppard, Vonda C; Rasi Ghaemi, Soraya; Rao, Shasha; Prestidge, Clive A; McPhee, Gordon; Rogers, Mary-Louise; Donoghue, Jacqueline F; Pillay, Vinochani; Johns, Terrance G; Kröger, Nils; Voelcker, Nicolas H

    2015-01-01

    The ability to selectively kill cancerous cell populations while leaving healthy cells unaffected is a key goal in anticancer therapeutics. The use of nanoporous silica-based materials as drug-delivery vehicles has recently proven successful, yet production of these materials requires costly and toxic chemicals. Here we use diatom microalgae-derived nanoporous biosilica to deliver chemotherapeutic drugs to cancer cells. The diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana is genetically engineered to display an IgG-binding domain of protein G on the biosilica surface, enabling attachment of cell-targeting antibodies. Neuroblastoma and B-lymphoma cells are selectively targeted and killed by biosilica displaying specific antibodies sorbed with drug-loaded nanoparticles. Treatment with the same biosilica leads to tumour growth regression in a subcutaneous mouse xenograft model of neuroblastoma. These data indicate that genetically engineered biosilica frustules may be used as versatile 'backpacks' for the targeted delivery of poorly water-soluble anticancer drugs to tumour sites.

  6. Procedures for microencapsulation of enzymes, cells and genetically engineered microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Chang, T M; Prakash, S

    2001-03-01

    Methods to microencapsulate enzyme, cells, and genetically engineered cells have been described in this article. More specific examples of enzyme encapsulation include the microencapsulation of xanthine oxidase for Lesch-Nyhan disease; phenylalanine ammonia lyase for pheny, ketonuria and microencapsulation of multienzyme systems with cofactor recycling for multistep enzyme conversions. Methods for cell encapsulation include the details for encapsulating hepatocytes for liver failure and for gene therapy. This also includes the details of a novel two-step method for encapsulation of high concentrations of smaller cells. Another new approach is the detailed method of the encapsulation of genetically engineered Escherichia coli DH5 cells for lowering urea, ammonia, and other metabolites in kidney or, liver failure and other diseases.

  7. Genetically engineered T cells for the treatment of cancer

    PubMed Central

    Essand, M; Loskog, A S I

    2013-01-01

    T-cell immunotherapy is a promising approach to treat disseminated cancer. However, it has been limited by the ability to isolate and expand T cells restricted to tumour-associated antigens. Using ex vivo gene transfer, T cells from patients can be genetically engineered to express a novel T cell receptor or chimeric antigen receptor to specifically recognize a tumour-associated antigen and thereby selectively kill tumour cells. Indeed, genetically engineered T cells have recently been successfully used for cancer treatment in a small number of patients. Here we review the recent progress in the field, and summarize the challenges that lie ahead and the strategies being used to overcome them. PMID:23198862

  8. [Advances in genetic engineering of plant virus resistance].

    PubMed

    Haxim, Yakupjan; Ismayil, Asigul; Wang, Yunjing; Liu, Yule

    2015-06-01

    Plant virus is one of the most economical devastating microorganisms for global agriculture. Although several strategies are useful for controlling viral infection, such as resistant breeds cultivation, chemical bactericides treatment, blocking the infection source, tissue detoxification and field sanitation, viral disease is still a problem in agricultural production. Genetic engineering approach offers various options for introducing virus resistance into crop plants. This paper reviews the current strategies of developing virus resistant transgenic plants.

  9. Adding 'epi-' to behaviour genetics: implications for animal domestication.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Per

    2015-01-01

    In this review, it is argued that greatly improved understanding of domestication may be gained from extending the field of behaviour genetics to also include epigenetics. Domestication offers an interesting framework of rapid evolutionary changes caused by well-defined selection pressures. Behaviour is an important phenotype in this context, as it represents the primary means of response to environmental challenges. An overview is provided of the evidence for genetic involvement in behavioural control and the presently used methods for finding so-called behaviour genes. This shows that evolutionary changes in behaviour are to a large extent correlated to changes in patterns of gene expression, which brings epigenetics into the focus. This area is concerned with the mechanisms controlling the timing and extent of gene expression, and a lot of focus has been placed on methylation of cytosine in promoter regions, usually associated with genetic downregulation. The review considers the available evidence that environmental input, for example stress, can modify methylation and other epigenetic marks and subsequently affect behaviour. Furthermore, several studies are reviewed, demonstrating that acquired epigenetic modifications can be inherited and cause trans-generational behaviour changes. In conclusion, epigenetics may signify a new paradigm in this respect, as it shows that genomic modifications can be caused by environmental signals, and random mutations in DNA sequence are therefore not the only sources of heritable genetic variation.

  10. Genetic and somatic effects in animals maintained on tritiated water

    SciTech Connect

    Carsten, A.L.; Brooks, A.; Commerford, S.L.; Cronkite, E.P.

    1981-01-01

    The possible genetic (dominant lethal mutations (DLM) and cytogenetic changes in the regenerating liver) and somatic (hematopoietic stem cell changes, growth and nonspecific life time shortening) effects in mice maintained on tritiated water (HTO) over two generations was investigated. Results to date are summarized. (ACR)

  11. Genetically engineered viral vaccines--prospects for the future.

    PubMed

    Pettersson, R F

    1982-12-01

    Genetic engineering (recombinant DNA technology)--the revolution in molecular biology--has enabled us to isolate any genes from any source in a pure form, and to move them from one cell to another. It has become possible to program bacterial or yeast cells with foreign genes and force the new host to produce commercially valuable proteins (e.g. hormones, enzymes, diagnostic reagents). It is now also possible to produce viral and bacterial antigens in various types of cells. We hope that this will soon enable us to manufacture vaccines cheaply. The production of a foot-and-mouth-disease virus vaccine--the first promising example of a genetically engineered effective vaccine--has recently been reported. Expression of hepatitis B surface antigen, influenza virus haemagglutinin and polio-virus proteins from the cloned genes have also been reported, and many more viral genes have been cloned although not yet expressed in bacteria. Despite the extremely rapid development, there are a number of problems, both technical and immunological, which have to be extensively studied and eventually solved, before we can hope to obtain effective and safe genetically engineered viral vaccines for clinical use.

  12. Genetic diversity of Toxoplasma gondii in animals and humans

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most common parasites of domestic, wild, and companion animals, and it also infects approximately 25% of the world’s human population. T. gondii has a complex life cycle. Sexual development occurs only in the cat gut, while asexual replication and transmission occur i...

  13. Genetic engineering of the chloroplast: novel tools and new applications.

    PubMed

    Bock, Ralph

    2014-04-01

    The plastid genome represents an attractive target of genetic engineering in crop plants. Plastid transgenes often give high expression levels, can be stacked in operons and are largely excluded from pollen transmission. Recent research has greatly expanded our toolbox for plastid genome engineering and many new proof-of-principle applications have highlighted the enormous potential of the transplastomic technology in both crop improvement and the development of plants as bioreactors for the sustainable and cost-effective production of biopharmaceuticals, enzymes and raw materials for the chemical industry. This review describes recent technological advances with plastid transformation in seed plants. It focuses on novel tools for plastid genome engineering and transgene expression and summarizes progress with harnessing the potential of plastid transformation in biotechnology.

  14. Genetic engineering of the chloroplast: novel tools and new applications.

    PubMed

    Bock, Ralph

    2014-04-01

    The plastid genome represents an attractive target of genetic engineering in crop plants. Plastid transgenes often give high expression levels, can be stacked in operons and are largely excluded from pollen transmission. Recent research has greatly expanded our toolbox for plastid genome engineering and many new proof-of-principle applications have highlighted the enormous potential of the transplastomic technology in both crop improvement and the development of plants as bioreactors for the sustainable and cost-effective production of biopharmaceuticals, enzymes and raw materials for the chemical industry. This review describes recent technological advances with plastid transformation in seed plants. It focuses on novel tools for plastid genome engineering and transgene expression and summarizes progress with harnessing the potential of plastid transformation in biotechnology. PMID:24679252

  15. [How can we guarantee the genetic richness of our domestic animals?].

    PubMed

    Honkatukia, Mervi

    2016-01-01

    Finland has committed to follow the international biodiversity agreement, which among other things also applies to the preservation of genetic resources of domestic animals. In Finland, the preservation of genetic resources within agriculture andforestry is implemented through programs on national gene resources. The particular aim of the Finnish National Animal Genetic Resources Program is to preserve our original breeds and gene resources thereof and encourage a sustainable use of the domestic breeds. In addition to the protective value, an economic, social and cultural historical significance can be assigned to the original breeds. PMID:27522836

  16. Go3R - semantic Internet search engine for alternative methods to animal testing.

    PubMed

    Sauer, Ursula G; Wächter, Thomas; Grune, Barbara; Doms, Andreas; Alvers, Michael R; Spielmann, Horst; Schroeder, Michael

    2009-01-01

    Consideration and incorporation of all available scientific information is an important part of the planning of any scientific project. As regards research with sentient animals, EU Directive 86/609/EEC for the protection of laboratory animals requires scientists to consider whether any planned animal experiment can be substituted by other scientifically satisfactory methods not entailing the use of animals or entailing less animals or less animal suffering, before performing the experiment. Thus, collection of relevant information is indispensable in order to meet this legal obligation. However, no standard procedures or services exist to provide convenient access to the information required to reliably determine whether it is possible to replace, reduce or refine a planned animal experiment in accordance with the 3Rs principle. The search engine Go3R, which is available free of charge under http://Go3R.org, runs up to become such a standard service. Go3R is the world-wide first search engine on alternative methods building on new semantic technologies that use an expert-knowledge based ontology to identify relevant documents. Due to Go3R's concept and design, the search engine can be used without lengthy instructions. It enables all those involved in the planning, authorisation and performance of animal experiments to determine the availability of non-animal methodologies in a fast, comprehensive and transparent manner. Thereby, Go3R strives to significantly contribute to the avoidance and replacement of animal experiments.

  17. The potential of tissue engineering for developing alternatives to animal experiments: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    de Vries, Rob B M; Leenaars, Marlies; Tra, Joppe; Huijbregtse, Robbertjan; Bongers, Erik; Jansen, John A; Gordijn, Bert; Ritskes-Hoitinga, Merel

    2015-07-01

    An underexposed ethical issue raised by tissue engineering is the use of laboratory animals in tissue engineering research. Even though this research results in suffering and loss of life in animals, tissue engineering also has great potential for the development of alternatives to animal experiments. With the objective of promoting a joint effort of tissue engineers and alternative experts to fully realise this potential, this study provides the first comprehensive overview of the possibilities of using tissue-engineered constructs as a replacement of laboratory animals. Through searches in two large biomedical databases (PubMed, Embase) and several specialised 3R databases, 244 relevant primary scientific articles, published between 1991 and 2011, were identified. By far most articles reviewed related to the use of tissue-engineered skin/epidermis for toxicological applications such as testing for skin irritation. This review article demonstrates, however, that the potential for the development of alternatives also extends to other tissues such as other epithelia and the liver, as well as to other fields of application such as drug screening and basic physiology. This review discusses which impediments need to be overcome to maximise the contributions that the field of tissue engineering can make, through the development of alternative methods, to the reduction of the use and suffering of laboratory animals.

  18. Specific immunotherapy by genetically engineered APCs: the "guided missile" strategy.

    PubMed

    Wu, B; Wu, J M; Miagkov, A; Adams, R N; Levitsky, H I; Drachman, D B

    2001-04-01

    We tested the hypothesis that APCs genetically engineered to present an Ag and to express Fas ligand (FasL) simultaneously can target and eliminate Ag-specific T cells. Transgenic T cells specific for influenza hemagglutinin (HA) were used as targets. We prepared recombinant vaccinia virus vectors (VVV) to transfer the gene constructs individually or simultaneously into APCs. We prevented unwanted viral replication by attenuating the VVVs with psoralen-UV light treatment. For presentation of the HA Ag, APCs were transduced with cDNA for HA flanked by sequences of the lysosome-associated membrane protein that direct efficient processing and presentation of the Ag by APCs. As a "warhead" for the APCs, we transduced them with the gene for FasL, which induces apoptosis of Fas-expressing activated T cells. To protect the transduced APCs from self-destruction by FasL, we transferred cDNA for a truncated form of Fas-associated death domain, which inhibits Fas-mediated cell death. Our results show that the engineered APCs effectively expressed the genes of interest. APCs transduced with VVV carrying all three gene constructs specifically killed HA-transgenic T cells in culture. Coculture with T cells specific for an unrelated Ag (OVA) had no significant effect. Our in vitro findings show that APCs can be genetically engineered to target and kill Ag-specific T cells and represent a promising novel strategy for the specific treatment of autoimmune diseases. PMID:11254740

  19. Genetic Engineering of Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Regenerative Medicine.

    PubMed

    Nowakowski, Adam; Walczak, Piotr; Janowski, Miroslaw; Lukomska, Barbara

    2015-10-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which can be obtained from various organs and easily propagated in vitro, are one of the most extensively used types of stem cells and have been shown to be efficacious in a broad set of diseases. The unique and highly desirable properties of MSCs include high migratory capacities toward injured areas, immunomodulatory features, and the natural ability to differentiate into connective tissue phenotypes. These phenotypes include bone and cartilage, and these properties predispose MSCs to be therapeutically useful. In addition, MSCs elicit their therapeutic effects by paracrine actions, in which the metabolism of target tissues is modulated. Genetic engineering methods can greatly amplify these properties and broaden the therapeutic capabilities of MSCs, including transdifferentiation toward diverse cell lineages. However, cell engineering can also affect safety and increase the cost of therapy based on MSCs; thus, the advantages and disadvantages of these procedures should be discussed. In this review, the latest applications of genetic engineering methods for MSCs with regenerative medicine purposes are presented.

  20. Safety risks for animals fed genetic modified (GM) plants.

    PubMed

    Bertoni, G; Marsan, P Ajmone

    2005-08-01

    GM plants are widely grown all over the world, but many constraints still tend to discourage their use in Europe. Potential risks suggested to be associated with the use of GM are unexpected gene effects, allergenic potential, antibiotic resistance, gene flow. GM feed safety is presently evaluated by adopting the concept of GM substantial equivalence, by comparison with non-GM isogenic crops. Comparison is based on a wide spectrum of chemical components and on livestock performance. From the available experimental data, currently utilized GM plants appear safe and show no effects on animals or animal products. Hence, although they potentially exist, safety risks caused by the use of GM plants appear to be so low as be negligible in comparison with their potential benefits, if appropriately designed. GM plants represent a valuable option for future breeding, to increase yield while reducing the use of pesticides, improve plant adaptation to unfavourable environments, and produce better quality crops, also from a nutritional point of view. Nonetheless, GM crops are novel foods and the assessment of their safety using a scientific sound approach seems essential to protect the environment, as well as the health of humans and livestock.

  1. The Animal Genetic Resource Information Network (AnimalGRIN) Database: A Database Design & Implementation Case

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Irwin, Gretchen; Wessel, Lark; Blackman, Harvey

    2012-01-01

    This case describes a database redesign project for the United States Department of Agriculture's National Animal Germplasm Program (NAGP). The case provides a valuable context for teaching and practicing database analysis, design, and implementation skills, and can be used as the basis for a semester-long team project. The case demonstrates the…

  2. Cryoconservation of animal genetic resources. Animal Production and Health Guidelines No. 12

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Livestock agriculture is in a period of tumultuous change and upheaval. General economic development, and population growth and mobility, have increased demand for livestock products, but have also placed pressures on the sustainability of rural environments and animal production systems. Livestock ...

  3. Cryopreservation of Mammalian Oocyte for Conservation of Animal Genetics

    PubMed Central

    Prentice, Jennifer R.; Anzar, Muhammad

    2011-01-01

    The preservation of the female portion of livestock genetics has become an international priority; however, in situ conservation strategies are extremely expensive. Therefore, efforts are increasingly focusing on the development of a reliable cryopreservation method for oocytes, in order to establish ova banks. Slow freezing, a common method for cryopreservation of oocytes, causes osmotic shock (solution effect) and intracellular ice crystallization leading to cell damage. Vitrification is an alternative method for cryopreservation in which cells are exposed to a higher concentration of cryoprotectants and frozen with an ultra rapid freezing velocity, resulting in an ice crystal free, solid glass-like structure. Presently, vitrification is a popular method for cryopreservation of embryos. However, vitrification of oocytes is still challenging due to their complex structure and sensitivity to chilling. PMID:20886016

  4. Distribution of Genetic Marker Concentrations for Fecal Indicator Bacteria in Sewage and Animal Feces

    PubMed Central

    Kelty, Catherine A.; Varma, Manju; Sivaganesan, Mano; Haugland, Richard A.

    2012-01-01

    Very little is known about the density and distribution of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) genetic markers measured by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) in fecal pollution sources. Before qPCR-based FIB technologies can be applied to waste management and public health risk applications, it is vital to characterize the concentrations of these genetic markers in pollution sources (i.e., untreated wastewater and animal feces). We report the distribution of rRNA genetic markers for several general FIB groups, including Clostridium spp., Escherichia coli, enterococci, and Bacteroidales, as determined by qPCR on reference collections consisting of 54 primary influent sewage samples collected from treatment facilities across the United States and fecal samples representing 20 different animal species. Based on raw sewage sample collection data, individual FIB genetic markers exhibited a remarkable similarity in concentration estimates from locations across the United States ranging from Hawaii to Florida. However, there was no significant correlation between genetic markers for most FIB combinations (P > 0.05). In addition, large differences (up to 5 log10 copies) in the abundance of FIB genetic markers were observed between animal species, emphasizing the importance of indicator microorganism selection and animal source contribution for future FIB applications. PMID:22504809

  5. Arsenite cocarcinogenesis: an animal model derived from genetic toxicology studies.

    PubMed

    Rossman, Toby G; Uddin, Ahmed N; Burns, Fredric J; Bosland, Maarten C

    2002-10-01

    Although epidemiologic evidence shows an association between inorganic arsenic in drinking water and increased risk of skin, lung, and bladder cancers, no animal model for arsenic carcinogenesis has been successful. This lack has hindered mechanistic studies of arsenic carcinogenesis. Previously, we and others found that low concentrations (< or =5 microm) of arsenite (the likely environmental carcinogen), which are not mutagenic, can enhance the mutagenicity of other agents, including ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and alkylating agents. This enhancing effect appears to result from inhibition of DNA repair by arsenite, but not via inhibition of DNA repair enzymes. Rather, low concentrations of arsenite disrupt p53 function and upregulate cyclin D1. Failure to find an animal model for arsenic carcinogenesis might be because arsenite is not a carcinogen per se but acts as an enhancing agent (cocarcinogen) with a genotoxic partner. We tested this hypothesis with solar UVR in hairless but immunocompetent Skh1 mice. Mice were given 10 mg/L sodium arsenite in drinking water (or not) and irradiated with 1.7 KJ/m(2) solar UVR 3 times weekly. As expected, no tumors appeared in any organs in control mice or in mice given arsenite alone. After 26 weeks irradiated mice given arsenite had a 2.4-fold increase in skin tumor yield compared with mice given UVR alone. The tumors were mostly squamous cell carcinomas, and those occurring in mice given UVR plus arsenite were much larger and more invasive. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that arsenic acts as a cocarcinogen with a second (genotoxic) agent by inhibiting DNA repair and/or enhancing positive growth signaling. Skin cancers in populations drinking water containing arsenic may be caused by the enhancement by arsenic compounds of carcinogenesis induced by UVR (or other environmental agents). It is possible that lung and bladder cancers associated with arsenic in drinking water may also require a carcinogenic

  6. Regulatory steps associated with use of value-added recombinant proteins and peptides screened in high-throughput for expression in genetically engineered starch and cellulosic fuel ethanol yeast strains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recombinant proteins expressed in animals have been a public concern as a perceived risk to the consumer. Animals are currently being treated with genetically engineered biologicals, such as growth hormone, or fed genetically modified plants. Similarly, various commercially-valuable proteins or pe...

  7. Genetically engineered microorganisms to rescue plants from frost injury.

    PubMed

    Dar, G H; Anand, R C; Sharma, P K

    1993-01-01

    Ice nucleation active bacteria belonging to genera Pseudomonas, Xanthomonas and Erwinia contribute to frost damage to plants by initiating the formation of ice in plants that would otherwise supercool and avoid the damaging ice formation. The biological control of frost injury can be achieved by the application of non-ice nucleation active bacteria to the plant surfaces before they become colonized by Ice+ species. ice genes have been cloned from Pseudomonas and isogenic Ice- derivatives constructed via genetic manipulations. These genetically engineered microorganisms (GEMs) have been released into the environment to control the frost damage. The incidence of frost injury to the plants has, thereby, been reduced by 50-85% during natural frosts. These GEMs do not survive in soil and show no aerial dispersal in the environment. PMID:8213308

  8. Strategies to genetically engineer T cells for cancer immunotherapy.

    PubMed

    Spear, Timothy T; Nagato, Kaoru; Nishimura, Michael I

    2016-06-01

    Immunotherapy is one of the most promising and innovative approaches to treat cancer, viral infections, and other immune-modulated diseases. Adoptive immunotherapy using gene-modified T cells is an exciting and rapidly evolving field. Exploiting knowledge of basic T cell biology and immune cell receptor function has fostered innovative approaches to modify immune cell function. Highly translatable clinical technologies have been developed to redirect T cell specificity by introducing designed receptors. The ability to engineer T cells to manifest desired phenotypes and functions is now a thrilling reality. In this review, we focus on outlining different varieties of genetically engineered T cells, their respective advantages and disadvantages as tools for immunotherapy, and their promise and drawbacks in the clinic. PMID:27138532

  9. Cancer Regression in Patients After Transfer of Genetically Engineered Lymphocytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, Richard A.; Dudley, Mark E.; Wunderlich, John R.; Hughes, Marybeth S.; Yang, James C.; Sherry, Richard M.; Royal, Richard E.; Topalian, Suzanne L.; Kammula, Udai S.; Restifo, Nicholas P.; Zheng, Zhili; Nahvi, Azam; de Vries, Christiaan R.; Rogers-Freezer, Linda J.; Mavroukakis, Sharon A.; Rosenberg, Steven A.

    2006-10-01

    Through the adoptive transfer of lymphocytes after host immunodepletion, it is possible to mediate objective cancer regression in human patients with metastatic melanoma. However, the generation of tumor-specific T cells in this mode of immunotherapy is often limiting. Here we report the ability to specifically confer tumor recognition by autologous lymphocytes from peripheral blood by using a retrovirus that encodes a T cell receptor. Adoptive transfer of these transduced cells in 15 patients resulted in durable engraftment at levels exceeding 10% of peripheral blood lymphocytes for at least 2 months after the infusion. We observed high sustained levels of circulating, engineered cells at 1 year after infusion in two patients who both demonstrated objective regression of metastatic melanoma lesions. This study suggests the therapeutic potential of genetically engineered cells for the biologic therapy of cancer.

  10. Genetic engineering of fibrous proteins: spider dragline silk and collagen.

    PubMed

    Wong Po Foo, Cheryl; Kaplan, David L

    2002-10-18

    Various strategies have been employed to genetically engineer fibrous proteins. Two examples, the subject of this review, include spider dragline silk from Nephila clavipes and collagen. These proteins are highlighted because of their unique mechanical and biological properties related to controlled release, biomaterials and tissue engineering. Cloning and expression of native genes and synthetic artificial variants of the consensus sequence repeats from the native genes has been accomplished. Expression of recombinant silk and collagen proteins has been reported in a variety of host systems, including bacteria, yeast, insect cells, plants and mammalian cells. Future utility for these proteins for biomedical materials is expected to increase as needs expand for designer materials with tailored mechanical properties and biological interactions to elicit specific responses in vitro and in vivo.

  11. Breakthrough in chloroplast genetic engineering of agronomically important crops

    PubMed Central

    Daniell, Henry; Kumar, Shashi; Dufourmantel, Nathalie

    2012-01-01

    Chloroplast genetic engineering offers several unique advantages, including high-level transgene expression, multi-gene engineering in a single transformation event and transgene containment by maternal inheritance, as well as a lack of gene silencing, position and pleiotropic effects and undesirable foreign DNA. More than 40 transgenes have been stably integrated and expressed using the tobacco chloroplast genome to confer desired agronomic traits or express high levels of vaccine antigens and biopharmaceuticals. Despite such significant progress, this technology has not been extended to major crops. However, highly efficient soybean, carrot and cotton plastid transformation has recently been accomplished through somatic embryogenesis using species-specific chloroplast vectors. This review focuses on recent exciting developments in this field and offers directions for further research and development. PMID:15866001

  12. Genetically engineered acidophilic heterotrophic bacteria by bacteriophage transduction

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, T.E.; Bruhn, D.F.; Bulmer, D.F.

    1989-05-10

    A bacteriophage capable of infecting acidophilic heterotrophic bacteria and processes for genetically engineering acidophilic bacteria for biomining or sulfur removal from coal are disclosed. The bacteriophage is capable of growth in cells existing at pH at or below 3.0. Lytic forms of the phage introduced into areas experiencing acid drainage kill the bacteria causing such drainage. Lysogenic forms of the phage having genes for selective removal of metallic or nonmetallic elements can be introduced into acidophilic bacteria to effect removal of the desired element from ore or coal. 1 fig., 1 tab.

  13. Genetic-evolution-based optimization methods for engineering design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rao, S. S.; Pan, T. S.; Dhingra, A. K.; Venkayya, V. B.; Kumar, V.

    1990-01-01

    This paper presents the applicability of a biological model, based on genetic evolution, for engineering design optimization. Algorithms embodying the ideas of reproduction, crossover, and mutation are developed and applied to solve different types of structural optimization problems. Both continuous and discrete variable optimization problems are solved. A two-bay truss for maximum fundamental frequency is considered to demonstrate the continuous variable case. The selection of locations of actuators in an actively controlled structure, for minimum energy dissipation, is considered to illustrate the discrete variable case.

  14. Genetically engineered plants in the product development pipeline in India.

    PubMed

    Warrier, Ranjini; Pande, Hem

    2016-01-01

    In order to proactively identify emerging issues that may impact the risk assessment and risk management functions of the Indian biosafety regulatory system, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change sought to understand the nature and diversity of genetically engineered crops that may move to product commercialization within the next 10 y. This paper describes the findings from a questionnaire designed to solicit information about public and private sector research and development (R&D) activities in plant biotechnology. It is the first comprehensive overview of the R&D pipeline for GE crops in India. PMID:26954729

  15. Property rights and genetic engineering: developing nations at risk.

    PubMed

    Shrader-Frechette, Kristin

    2005-01-01

    Eighty percent of (commercial) genetically engineered seeds (GES) are designed only to resist herbicides. Letting farmers use more chemicals, they cut labor costs. But developing nations say GES cause food shortages, unemployment, resistant weeds, and extinction of native cultivars when "volunteers" drift nearby. While GES patents are reasonable, this paper argues many patent policies are not. The paper surveys GE technology, outlines John Locke's classic account of property rights, and argues that current patent policies must be revised to take account of Lockean ethical constraints. After answering a key objection, it provides concrete suggestions for implementing its ethical conclusions.

  16. Disentangling genetic variation for resistance and tolerance to infectious diseases in animals.

    PubMed

    Råberg, Lars; Sim, Derek; Read, Andrew F

    2007-11-01

    Hosts can in principle employ two different strategies to defend themselves against parasites: resistance and tolerance. Animals typically exhibit considerable genetic variation for resistance (the ability to limit parasite burden). However, little is known about whether animals can evolve tolerance (the ability to limit the damage caused by a given parasite burden). Using rodent malaria in laboratory mice as a model system and the statistical framework developed by plant-pathogen biologists, we demonstrated genetic variation for tolerance, as measured by the extent to which anemia and weight loss increased with increasing parasite burden. Moreover, resistance and tolerance were negatively genetically correlated. These results mean that animals, like plants, can evolve two conceptually different types of defense, a finding that has important implications for the understanding of the epidemiology and evolution of infectious diseases.

  17. A Genetic Animal Model of Alcoholism for Screening Medications to Treat Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Richard L.; Hauser, Sheketha; Rodd, Zachary A.; Liang, Tiebing; Sari, Youssef; McClintick, Jeanette; Rahman, Shafiqur; Engleman, Eric A.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this review is to present up-to-date pharmacological, genetic and behavioral findings from the alcohol-preferring P rat and summarize similar past work. Behaviorally, the focus will be on how the P rat meets criteria put forth for a valid animal model of alcoholism with a highlight on its use as an animal model of polysubstance abuse, including alcohol, nicotine and psychostimulants. Pharmacologically and genetically, the focus will be on the neurotransmitter and neuropeptide systems that have received the most attention: cholinergic, dopaminergic, GABAergic, glutamatergic, serotonergic, noradrenergic, corticotrophin releasing hormone, opioid, and neuropeptide Y. Herein we sought to place the P rat’s behavioral and neurochemical phenotypes, and to some extent its genotype, in the context of the clinical literature. After reviewing the findings thus far, this paper discusses future directions for expanding the use of this genetic animal model of alcoholism to identify molecular targets for treating drug addiction in general. PMID:27055615

  18. A Genetic Animal Model of Alcoholism for Screening Medications to Treat Addiction.

    PubMed

    Bell, R L; Hauser, S; Rodd, Z A; Liang, T; Sari, Y; McClintick, J; Rahman, S; Engleman, E A

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this review is to present up-to-date pharmacological, genetic, and behavioral findings from the alcohol-preferring P rat and summarize similar past work. Behaviorally, the focus will be on how the P rat meets criteria put forth for a valid animal model of alcoholism with a highlight on its use as an animal model of polysubstance abuse, including alcohol, nicotine, and psychostimulants. Pharmacologically and genetically, the focus will be on the neurotransmitter and neuropeptide systems that have received the most attention: cholinergic, dopaminergic, GABAergic, glutamatergic, serotonergic, noradrenergic, corticotrophin releasing hormone, opioid, and neuropeptide Y. Herein, we sought to place the P rat's behavioral and neurochemical phenotypes, and to some extent its genotype, in the context of the clinical literature. After reviewing the findings thus far, this chapter discusses future directions for expanding the use of this genetic animal model of alcoholism to identify molecular targets for treating drug addiction in general. PMID:27055615

  19. Neuropathology and Animal Models of Autism: Genetic and Environmental Factors

    PubMed Central

    Gadad, Bharathi S.; Young, Keith A.; German, Dwight C.

    2013-01-01

    Autism is a heterogeneous behaviorally defined neurodevelopmental disorder. It is defined by the presence of marked social deficits, specific language abnormalities, and stereotyped repetitive patterns of behavior. Because of the variability in the behavioral phenotype of the disorder among patients, the term autism spectrum disorder has been established. In the first part of this review, we provide an overview of neuropathological findings from studies of autism postmortem brains and identify the cerebellum as one of the key brain regions that can play a role in the autism phenotype. We review research findings that indicate possible links between the environment and autism including the role of mercury and immune-related factors. Because both genes and environment can alter the structure of the developing brain in different ways, it is not surprising that there is heterogeneity in the behavioral and neuropathological phenotypes of autism spectrum disorders. Finally, we describe animal models of autism that occur following insertion of different autism-related genes and exposure to environmental factors, highlighting those models which exhibit both autism-like behavior and neuropathology. PMID:24151553

  20. Genetics of hypertension: From experimental animals to humans

    PubMed Central

    Delles, Christian; McBride, Martin W.; Graham, Delyth; Padmanabhan, Sandosh; Dominiczak, Anna F.

    2010-01-01

    Essential hypertension affects 20 to 30% of the population worldwide and contributes significantly to cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. Heridability of blood pressure is around 15 to 40% but there are also substantial environmental factors affecting blood pressure variability. It is assumed that blood pressure is under the control of a large number of genes each of which has only relatively mild effects. It has therefore been difficult to discover the genes that contribute to blood pressure variation using traditional approaches including candidate gene studies and linkage studies. Animal models of hypertension, particularly in the rat, have led to the discovery of quantitative trait loci harbouring one or several hypertension related genes, but translation of these findings into human essential hypertension remains challenging. Recent development of genotyping technology made large scale genome-wide association studies possible. This approach and the study of monogenic forms of hypertension has led to the discovery of novel and robust candidate genes for human essential hypertension, many of which require functional analysis in experimental models. PMID:20035862

  1. The use of whole food animal studies in the safety assessment of genetically modified crops: limitations and recommendations.

    PubMed

    Bartholomaeus, Andrew; Parrott, Wayne; Bondy, Genevieve; Walker, Kate

    2013-11-01

    There is disagreement internationally across major regulatory jurisdictions on the relevance and utility of whole food (WF) toxicity studies on GM crops, with no harmonization of data or regulatory requirements. The scientific value, and therefore animal ethics, of WF studies on GM crops is a matter addressable from the wealth of data available on commercialized GM crops and WF studies on irradiated foods. We reviewed available GM crop WF studies and considered the extent to which they add to the information from agronomic and compositional analyses. No WF toxicity study was identified that convincingly demonstrated toxicological concern or that called into question the adequacy, sufficiency, and reliability of safety assessments based on crop molecular characterization, transgene source, agronomic characteristics, and/or compositional analysis of the GM crop and its near-isogenic line. Predictions of safety based on crop genetics and compositional analyses have provided complete concordance with the results of well-conducted animal testing. However, this concordance is primarily due to the improbability of de novo generation of toxic substances in crop plants using genetic engineering practices and due to the weakness of WF toxicity studies in general. Thus, based on the comparative robustness and reliability of compositional and agronomic considerations and on the absence of any scientific basis for a significant potential for de novo generation of toxicologically significant compositional alterations as a sole result of transgene insertion, the conclusion of this review is that WF animal toxicity studies are unnecessary and scientifically unjustifiable.

  2. The use of whole food animal studies in the safety assessment of genetically modified crops: Limitations and recommendations

    PubMed Central

    Bartholomaeus, Andrew; Parrott, Wayne; Bondy, Genevieve

    2013-01-01

    There is disagreement internationally across major regulatory jurisdictions on the relevance and utility of whole food (WF) toxicity studies on GM crops, with no harmonization of data or regulatory requirements. The scientific value, and therefore animal ethics, of WF studies on GM crops is a matter addressable from the wealth of data available on commercialized GM crops and WF studies on irradiated foods. We reviewed available GM crop WF studies and considered the extent to which they add to the information from agronomic and compositional analyses. No WF toxicity study was identified that convincingly demonstrated toxicological concern or that called into question the adequacy, sufficiency, and reliability of safety assessments based on crop molecular characterization, transgene source, agronomic characteristics, and/or compositional analysis of the GM crop and its near-isogenic line. Predictions of safety based on crop genetics and compositional analyses have provided complete concordance with the results of well-conducted animal testing. However, this concordance is primarily due to the improbability of de novo generation of toxic substances in crop plants using genetic engineering practices and due to the weakness of WF toxicity studies in general. Thus, based on the comparative robustness and reliability of compositional and agronomic considerations and on the absence of any scientific basis for a significant potential for de novo generation of toxicologically significant compositional alterations as a sole result of transgene insertion, the conclusion of this review is that WF animal toxicity studies are unnecessary and scientifically unjustifiable. PMID:24164514

  3. Genetic engineering and chemical conjugation of potato virus X.

    PubMed

    Lee, Karin L; Uhde-Holzem, Kerstin; Fischer, Rainer; Commandeur, Ulrich; Steinmetz, Nicole F

    2014-01-01

    Here we report the genetic engineering and chemical modification of potato virus X (PVX) for the presentation of various peptides, proteins, and fluorescent dyes, or other chemical modifiers. Three different ways of genetic engineering are described and by these means, peptides are successfully expressed not only when the foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV) 2A sequence or a flexible glycine-serine linker is included, but also when the peptide is fused directly to the PVX coat protein. When larger proteins or unfavorable peptide sequences are presented, a partial fusion via the FMDV 2A sequence is preferable. When these PVX chimeras retain the ability to assemble into viral particles and are thus able to infect plants systemically, they can be utilized to inoculate susceptible plants for isolation of sufficient amounts of virus particles for subsequent chemical modification. Chemical modification is required for the display of nonbiological ligands such as fluorophores, polymers, and small drug compounds. We present three methods of chemical bioconjugation. For direct conjugation of small chemical modifiers to solvent exposed lysines, N-hydroxysuccinimide chemistry can be applied. Bio-orthogonal reactions such as copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition or hydrazone ligation are alternatives to achieve more efficient conjugation (e.g., when working with high molecular weight or insoluble ligands). Furthermore, hydrazone ligation offers an attractive route for the introduction of pH-cleavable cargos (e.g., therapeutic molecules).

  4. Prospects of genetic engineering for robust insect resistance.

    PubMed

    Birkett, Michael A; Pickett, John A

    2014-06-01

    Secondary plant metabolites are potentially of great value for providing robust resistance in plants against insect pests. Such metabolites often comprise small lipophilic molecules (SLMs), and can be similar also in terms of activity to currently used insecticides, for example, the pyrethroids, neonicotinoids and butenolides, which provide more effective pest management than the resistance traits exploited by breeding. Crop plants mostly lack the SLMs that provide their wild ancestors with resistance to pests. However, resistance traits based on the biosynthesis of SLMs present promising new opportunities for crop resistance to pests. Advances in genetic engineering of secondary metabolite pathways that produce insecticidal compounds and, more recently, SLMs involved in plant colonisation and development, for example, insect pheromones, offer specific new approaches but which are more demanding than the genetic engineering approaches adopted so far. In addition, nature also offers various opportunities for exploiting induction or priming for resistance metabolite generation. Thus, use of non-constitutively expressed resistance traits delivered via the seed is a more sustainable approach than previously achieved, and could underpin development of perennial arable crops protected by sentinel plant technologies.

  5. Genetic structure and diversity of animal populations exposed to metal pollution.

    PubMed

    Mussali-Galante, Patricia; Tovar-Sánchez, Efraín; Valverde, Mahara; Rojas, Emilio

    2014-01-01

    Studying the genetic diversity of wild populations that are affected by pollution provides a basis for estimating the risks of environmental contamination to both wildlife, and indirectly to humans. Such research strives to produce both a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms by which genetic diversity is affected,and the long-term effects of the pollutants involved.In this review, we summarize key aspects of the field of genetic ecotoxicology that encompasses using genetic patterns to examine metal pollutants as environmental stressors of natural animal populations. We address genetic changes that result from xenobiotic exposure versus genetic alterations that result from natural ecological processes. We also describe the relationship between metal exposure and changes in the genetic diversity of chronically exposed populations, and how the affected populations respond to environmental stress. Further, we assess the genetic diversity of animal populations that were exposed to metals, focusing on the literature that has been published since the year 2000.Our review disclosed that the most common metals found in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems were Cd, Zn, Cu and Pb; however, differences in the occurrence between aquatic (Cd=Zn>Cu>Pb>Hg) and terrestrial (Cu>Cd>Pb>Zn>Ni)environments were observed. Several molecular markers were used to assess genetic diversity in impacted populations, the order of the most common ones of which were SSR's > allozyme > RAPD's > mtDNA sequencing> other molecular markers.Genetic diversity was reduced for nearly all animal populations that were exposed to a single metal, or a mixture of metals in aquatic ecosystems (except in Hyalella azteca, Littorina littorea, Salmo trutta, and Gobio gobio); however, the pattern was less clear when terrestrial ecosystems were analyzed.We propose that future research in the topic area of this paper emphasizes seven key areas of activity that pertain to the methodological design of genetic

  6. [New vaccines in the age of genetic engineering].

    PubMed

    Nolte, F

    1993-10-01

    The era of genetic engineering is merely 20 years of age, yet has already borne completely new perspectives for vaccine development. Important insights are gained by elucidating the genetic information of a disease-causing microorganism and its pathogenic and attenuated variants. Site-directed mutagenesis can then be employed to specifically alter the genetic information in a variety of ways. Upon transfer of the corresponding gene to pro- or eucaryotic cells, large quantities of microbial components can be produced. A new generation of such subunit vaccines is already undergoing clinical testing. Recently, hybrid vaccines have been constructed, which utilize highly successful traditional live vaccines such as polio- and vaccinia-virus or the Tbc-bacterium as carriers for components of other microorganisms. We should bear in mind that the same new technologies can be abused for the construction of potentially dangerous biological weapons. The scientific community bears the responsibility to prevent such abuse and to lobby for an easy access to the new vaccines by the world's poorest inhabitants. PMID:8253480

  7. The use of genetic engineering techniques to improve the lipid composition in meat, milk and fish products: a review.

    PubMed

    Świątkiewicz, S; Świątkiewicz, M; Arczewska-Włosek, A; Józefiak, D

    2015-04-01

    The health-promoting properties of dietary long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFAs) for humans are well-known. Products of animal-origin enriched with n-3 LCPUFAs can be a good example of functional food, that is food that besides traditionally understood nutritional value may have a beneficial influence on the metabolism and health of consumers, thus reducing the risk of various lifestyle diseases such as atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. The traditional method of enriching meat, milk or eggs with n-3 LCPUFA is the manipulation of the composition of animal diets. Huge progress in the development of genetic engineering techniques, for example transgenesis, has enabled the generation of many kinds of genetically modified animals. In recent years, one of the aims of animal transgenesis has been the modification of the lipid composition of meat and milk in order to improve the dietetic value of animal-origin products. This article reviews and discusses the data in the literature concerning studies where techniques of genetic engineering were used to create animal-origin products modified to contain health-promoting lipids. These studies are still at the laboratory stage, but their results have demonstrated that the transgenesis of pigs, cows, goats and fishes can be used in the future as efficient methods of production of healthy animal-origin food of high dietetic value. However, due to high costs and a low level of public acceptance, the introduction of this technology to commercial animal production and markets seems to be a distant prospect. PMID:25500170

  8. The use of genetic engineering techniques to improve the lipid composition in meat, milk and fish products: a review.

    PubMed

    Świątkiewicz, S; Świątkiewicz, M; Arczewska-Włosek, A; Józefiak, D

    2015-04-01

    The health-promoting properties of dietary long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFAs) for humans are well-known. Products of animal-origin enriched with n-3 LCPUFAs can be a good example of functional food, that is food that besides traditionally understood nutritional value may have a beneficial influence on the metabolism and health of consumers, thus reducing the risk of various lifestyle diseases such as atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. The traditional method of enriching meat, milk or eggs with n-3 LCPUFA is the manipulation of the composition of animal diets. Huge progress in the development of genetic engineering techniques, for example transgenesis, has enabled the generation of many kinds of genetically modified animals. In recent years, one of the aims of animal transgenesis has been the modification of the lipid composition of meat and milk in order to improve the dietetic value of animal-origin products. This article reviews and discusses the data in the literature concerning studies where techniques of genetic engineering were used to create animal-origin products modified to contain health-promoting lipids. These studies are still at the laboratory stage, but their results have demonstrated that the transgenesis of pigs, cows, goats and fishes can be used in the future as efficient methods of production of healthy animal-origin food of high dietetic value. However, due to high costs and a low level of public acceptance, the introduction of this technology to commercial animal production and markets seems to be a distant prospect.

  9. Engineering complex riboswitch regulation by dual genetic selection.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Vandana; Nomura, Yoko; Yokobayashi, Yohei

    2008-12-01

    The recent discovery of riboswitches in diverse species of bacteria and few eukaryotes added metabolite-responsive gene regulation to the growing list of RNA functions in biology. The natural riboswitches have inspired several designs of synthetic analogues capable of gene regulation in response to a small molecule trigger. In this work, we describe our efforts to engineer complex riboswitches capable of sensing and responding to two small molecules according to Boolean logics AND and NAND. Two aptamers that recognize theophylline and thiamine pyrophosphate were embedded in tandem in the 5' UTR of bacterial mRNA, and riboswitches that function as logic gates were isolated by dual genetic selection. The diverse phenotype of the engineered logic gates supports the versatility of RNA-based gene regulation which may have preceded the modern protein-based gene regulators. Additionally, our design strategy advances our ability to harness the versatile capacities of RNA to program complex behavior in bacteria without the use of engineered proteins. PMID:18998646

  10. ISFG: recommendations regarding the use of non-human (animal) DNA in forensic genetic investigations.

    PubMed

    Linacre, A; Gusmão, L; Hecht, W; Hellmann, A P; Mayr, W R; Parson, W; Prinz, M; Schneider, P M; Morling, N

    2011-11-01

    The use of non-human DNA typing in forensic science investigations, and specifically that from animal DNA, is ever increasing. The term animal DNA in this document refers to animal species encountered in a forensic science examination but does not include human DNA. Non-human DNA may either be: the trade and possession of a species, or products derived from a species, which is contrary to legislation; as evidence where the crime is against a person or property; instances of animal cruelty; or where the animal is the offender. The first instance is addressed by determining the species present, and the other scenarios can often be addressed by assigning a DNA sample to a particular individual organism. Currently there is little standardization of methodologies used in the forensic analysis of animal DNA or in reporting styles. The recommendations in this document relate specifically to animal DNA that is integral to a forensic science investigation and are not relevant to the breeding of animals for commercial purposes. This DNA commission was formed out of discussions at the International Society for Forensic Genetics 23rd Congress in Buenos Aires to outline recommendations on the use of non-human DNA in a forensic science investigation. Due to the scope of non-human DNA typing that is possible, the remit of this commission is confined to animal DNA typing only.

  11. Surveys suck: Consumer preferences when purchasing genetically engineered foods.

    PubMed

    Powell, Douglas A

    2013-01-01

    Many studies have attempted to gauge consumers' acceptance of genetically engineered or modified (GM) foods. Surveys, asking people about attitudes and intentions, are easy-to-collect proxies of consumer behavior. However, participants tend to respond as citizens of society, not discrete individuals, thereby inaccurately portraying their potential behavior. The Theory of Planned Behavior improved the accuracy of self-reported information, but its limited capacity to account for intention variance has been attributed to the hypothetical scenarios to which survey participants must respond. Valuation methods, asking how much consumers may be willing to pay or accept for GM foods, have revealed that consumers are usually willing to accept them at some price, or in some cases willing to pay a premium. Ultimately, it's consumers' actual--not intended--behavior that is of most interest to policy makers and business decision-makers. Real choice experiments offer the best avenue for revealing consumers' food choices in normal life. PMID:24281042

  12. Barriers and paths to market for genetically engineered crops.

    PubMed

    Rommens, Caius M

    2010-02-01

    Each year, billions of dollars are invested in efforts to improve crops through genetic engineering (GE). These activities have resulted in a surge of publications and patents on technologies and genes: a momentum in basic research that, unfortunately, is not sustained throughout the subsequent phases of product development. After more than two decades of intensive research, the market for transgenic crops is still dominated by applications of just a handful of methods and genes. This discrepancy between research and development reflects difficulties in understanding and overcoming seven main barriers-to-entry: (1) trait efficacy in the field, (2) critical product concepts, (3) freedom-to-operate, (4) industry support, (5) identity preservation and stewardship, (6) regulatory approval and (7) retail and consumer acceptance. In this review, I describe the various roadblocks to market for transgenic crops and also discuss methods and approaches on how to overcome these, especially in the United States. PMID:19968823

  13. Surveys suck: Consumer preferences when purchasing genetically engineered foods.

    PubMed

    Powell, Douglas A

    2013-01-01

    Many studies have attempted to gauge consumers' acceptance of genetically engineered or modified (GM) foods. Surveys, asking people about attitudes and intentions, are easy-to-collect proxies of consumer behavior. However, participants tend to respond as citizens of society, not discrete individuals, thereby inaccurately portraying their potential behavior. The Theory of Planned Behavior improved the accuracy of self-reported information, but its limited capacity to account for intention variance has been attributed to the hypothetical scenarios to which survey participants must respond. Valuation methods, asking how much consumers may be willing to pay or accept for GM foods, have revealed that consumers are usually willing to accept them at some price, or in some cases willing to pay a premium. Ultimately, it's consumers' actual--not intended--behavior that is of most interest to policy makers and business decision-makers. Real choice experiments offer the best avenue for revealing consumers' food choices in normal life.

  14. Optochemical control of genetically engineered neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tochitsky, Ivan; Banghart, Matthew R.; Mourot, Alexandre; Yao, Jennifer Z.; Gaub, Benjamin; Kramer, Richard H.; Trauner, Dirk

    2012-02-01

    Advances in synthetic chemistry, structural biology, molecular modelling and molecular cloning have enabled the systematic functional manipulation of transmembrane proteins. By combining genetically manipulated proteins with light-sensitive ligands, innately ‘blind’ neurobiological receptors can be converted into photoreceptors, which allows them to be photoregulated with high spatiotemporal precision. Here, we present the optochemical control of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) with photoswitchable tethered agonists and antagonists. Using structure-based design, we produced heteromeric α3β4 and α4β2 nAChRs that can be activated or inhibited with deep-violet light, but respond normally to acetylcholine in the dark. The generation of these engineered receptors should facilitate investigation of the physiological and pathological functions of neuronal nAChRs and open a general pathway to photosensitizing pentameric ligand-gated ion channels.

  15. Ordering of Quantum Dots Using Genetically Engineered Viruses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Seung-Wuk; Mao, Chuanbin; Flynn, Christine E.; Belcher, Angela M.

    2002-05-01

    A liquid crystal system was used for the fabrication of a highly ordered composite material from genetically engineered M13 bacteriophage and zinc sulfide (ZnS) nanocrystals. The bacteriophage, which formed the basis of the self-ordering system, were selected to have a specific recognition moiety for ZnS crystal surfaces. The bacteriophage were coupled with ZnS solution precursors and spontaneously evolved a self-supporting hybrid film material that was ordered at the nanoscale and at the micrometer scale into ~72-micrometer domains, which were continuous over a centimeter length scale. In addition, suspensions were prepared in which the lyotropic liquid crystalline phase behavior of the hybrid material was controlled by solvent concentration and by the use of a magnetic field.

  16. Barriers and paths to market for genetically engineered crops.

    PubMed

    Rommens, Caius M

    2010-02-01

    Each year, billions of dollars are invested in efforts to improve crops through genetic engineering (GE). These activities have resulted in a surge of publications and patents on technologies and genes: a momentum in basic research that, unfortunately, is not sustained throughout the subsequent phases of product development. After more than two decades of intensive research, the market for transgenic crops is still dominated by applications of just a handful of methods and genes. This discrepancy between research and development reflects difficulties in understanding and overcoming seven main barriers-to-entry: (1) trait efficacy in the field, (2) critical product concepts, (3) freedom-to-operate, (4) industry support, (5) identity preservation and stewardship, (6) regulatory approval and (7) retail and consumer acceptance. In this review, I describe the various roadblocks to market for transgenic crops and also discuss methods and approaches on how to overcome these, especially in the United States.

  17. Model suicide vector for containment of genetically engineered microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Bej, A K; Perlin, M H; Atlas, R M

    1988-10-01

    A model suicide vector (pBAP19h), designed for the potential containment of genetically engineered microorganisms, was made by constructing a plasmid with the hok gene, which codes for a lethal polypeptide, under the control of the lac promoter. The vector plasmid also codes for carbenicillin resistance. In the absence of carbenicillin, induction of the hok gene in vitro caused elimination of all detectable cells containing the suicide vector; pBAP19h-free cells of the culture survived and grew exponentially. In the presence of carbenicillin, however, the number of cells containing pBAP19h initially declined after induction of hok but then multiplied exponentially. The surviving cells still had a fully functional hok gene and had apparently developed resistance to the action of the Hok polypeptide. Thus, high selective pressure against the loss of the suicide vector led to a failure of the system. Soil microcosm experiments confirmed the ability of a suicide vector to restrict the growth of a genetically engineered microorganism in the absence of selective pressure against the loss of the plasmid, with 90 to 99% elimination of hok-bearing cells within 24 h of hok induction. However, some pBAP19h-bearing cells survived in the soil microcosms after hok induction. The surviving cells contained an active hok gene but were not capable of normal growth even after elimination of the hok gene; it appears that a mutation that made them Hok resistant also reduced their capacity for membrane functions needed for energy generation and exponential cell growth. Thus, the model suicide vector was shown to be functional in soil as well as in vitro.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:3060017

  18. Genetic engineering of stem cells for enhanced therapy.

    PubMed

    Nowakowski, Adam; Andrzejewska, Anna; Janowski, Miroslaw; Walczak, Piotr; Lukomska, Barbara

    2013-01-01

    Stem cell therapy is a promising strategy for overcoming the limitations of current treatment methods. The modification of stem cell properties may be necessary to fully exploit their potential. Genetic engineering, with an abundance of methodology to induce gene expression in a precise and well-controllable manner, is particularly attractive for this purpose. There are virus-based and non-viral methods of genetic manipulation. Genome-integrating viral vectors are usually characterized by highly efficient and long-term transgene expression, at a cost of safety. Non-integrating viruses are also highly efficient in transduction, and, while safer, offer only a limited duration of transgene expression. There is a great diversity of transfectable forms of nucleic acids; however, for efficient shuttling across cell membranes, additional manipulation is required. Both physical and chemical methods have been employed for this purpose. Stem cell engineering for clinical applications is still in its infancy and requires further research. There are two main strategies for inducing transgene expression in therapeutic cells: transient and permanent expression. In many cases, including stem cell trafficking and using cell therapy for the treatment of rapid-onset disease with a short healing process, transient transgene expression may be a sufficient and optimal approach. For that purpose, mRNA-based methods seem ideally suited, as they are characterized by a rapid, highly efficient transfection, with outstanding safety. Permanent transgene expression is primarily based on the application of viral vectors, and, due to safety concerns, these methods are more challenging. There is active, ongoing research toward the development of non-viral methods that would induce permanent expression, such as transposons and mammalian artificial chromosomes.

  19. Grant Patents on Animals? An Ethical and Legal Battle Looms.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wheeler, David L.

    1987-01-01

    Rulings on applications for animal patents being considered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office could profoundly influence university patent and research income. Many animal-rights advocates have expressed philosophical objections to genetic engineering of animals. (MLW)

  20. Genetic engineering and therapy for inherited and acquired cardiomyopathies.

    PubMed

    Day, Sharlene; Davis, Jennifer; Westfall, Margaret; Metzger, Joseph

    2006-10-01

    The cardiac myofilaments consist of a highly ordered assembly of proteins that collectively generate force in a calcium-dependent manner. Defects in myofilament function and its regulation have been implicated in various forms of acquired and inherited human heart disease. For example, during cardiac ischemia, cardiac myocyte contractile performance is dramatically downregulated due in part to a reduced sensitivity of the myofilaments to calcium under acidic pH conditions. Over the last several years, the thin filament regulatory protein, troponin I, has been identified as an important mediator of this response. Mutations in troponin I and other sarcomere genes are also linked to several distinct inherited cardiomyopathic phenotypes, including hypertrophic, dilated, and restrictive cardiomyopathies. With the cardiac sarcomere emerging as a central player for such a diverse array of human heart diseases, genetic-based strategies that target the myofilament will likely have broad therapeutic potential. The development of safe vector systems for efficient gene delivery will be a critical hurdle to overcome before these types of therapies can be successfully applied. Nonetheless, studies focusing on the principles of acute genetic engineering of the sarcomere hold value as they lay the essential foundation on which to build potential gene-based therapies for heart disease.

  1. Compromising genetic diversity in the wild: unmonitored large-scale release of plants and animals.

    PubMed

    Laikre, Linda; Schwartz, Michael K; Waples, Robin S; Ryman, Nils

    2010-09-01

    Large-scale exploitation of wild animals and plants through fishing, hunting and logging often depends on augmentation through releases of translocated or captively raised individuals. Such releases are performed worldwide in vast numbers. Augmentation can be demographically and economically beneficial but can also cause four types of adverse genetic change to wild populations: (1) loss of genetic variation, (2) loss of adaptations, (3) change of population composition, and (4) change of population structure. While adverse genetic impacts are recognized and documented in fisheries, little effort is devoted to actually monitoring them. In forestry and wildlife management, genetic risks associated with releases are largely neglected. We outline key features of programs to effectively monitor consequences of such releases on natural populations. PMID:20688414

  2. Progress in genetic engineering of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.)--a review.

    PubMed

    Krishna, Gaurav; Singh, Birendra K; Kim, Eun-Ki; Morya, Vivek K; Ramteke, Pramod W

    2015-02-01

    Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is a major species of the family, Leguminosae, and economically important not only for vegetable oil but as a source of proteins, minerals and vitamins. It is widely grown in the semi-arid tropics and plays a role in the world agricultural economy. Peanut production and productivity is constrained by several biotic (insect pests and diseases) and abiotic (drought, salinity, water logging and temperature aberrations) stresses, as a result of which crop experiences serious economic losses. Genetic engineering techniques such as Agrobacterium tumefaciens and DNA-bombardment-mediated transformation are used as powerful tools to complement conventional breeding and expedite peanut improvement by the introduction of agronomically useful traits in high-yield background. Resistance to several fungal, virus and insect pest have been achieved through variety of approaches ranging from gene coding for cell wall component, pathogenesis-related proteins, oxalate oxidase, bacterial chloroperoxidase, coat proteins, RNA interference, crystal proteins etc. To develop transgenic plants withstanding major abiotic stresses, genes coding transcription factors for drought and salinity, cytokinin biosynthesis, nucleic acid processing, ion antiporter and human antiapoptotic have been used. Moreover, peanut has also been used in vaccine production for the control of several animal diseases. In addition to above, this study also presents a comprehensive account on the influence of some important factors on peanut genetic engineering. Future research thrusts not only suggest the use of different approaches for higher expression of transgene(s) but also provide a way forward for the improvement of crops.

  3. The ecology and evolution of animal medication: genetically fixed response versus phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Choisy, Marc; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2014-08-01

    Animal medication against parasites can occur either as a genetically fixed (constitutive) or phenotypically plastic (induced) behavior. Taking the tritrophic interaction between the monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus, its protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, and its food plant Asclepias spp. as a test case, we develop a game-theory model to identify the epidemiological (parasite prevalence and virulence) and environmental (plant toxicity and abundance) conditions that predict the evolution of genetically fixed versus phenotypically plastic forms of medication. Our model shows that the relative benefits (the antiparasitic properties of medicinal food) and costs (side effects of medicine, the costs of searching for medicine, and the costs of plasticity itself) crucially determine whether medication is genetically fixed or phenotypically plastic. Our model suggests that animals evolve phenotypic plasticity when parasite risk (a combination of virulence and prevalence and thus a measure of the strength of parasite-mediated selection) is relatively low to moderately high and genetically fixed medication when parasite risk becomes very high. The latter occurs because at high parasite risk, the costs of plasticity are outweighed by the benefits of medication. Our model provides a simple and general framework to study the conditions that drive the evolution of alternative forms of animal medication.

  4. Advances in genetic modification of farm animals using zinc-finger nucleases (ZFN).

    PubMed

    Petersen, Bjoern; Niemann, Heiner

    2015-02-01

    Genome editing tools (GET), including zinc-finger nucleases (ZFN), transcription activator-like endonucleases (TALENS), and meganucleases possess long recognition sites and are thus capable of cutting DNA in a very specific manner. These genome editing tools mediate targeted genetic alterations by enhancing DNA mutation frequency via induction of double-strand breaks at a predetermined genomic site. Compared to conventional homologous recombination based gene targeting, GETs can increase gene targeting and gene disruption via mutagenic DNA repair more than 10,000-fold. Recently, a novel class of genome editing tools was described that uses RNAs to target a specific genomic site. The CRISPR/Cas9 system is capable of targeting even multiple genomic sites in one shot and thus could be superior to ZFNs or TALEN. Current results indicate that these tools can be successfully employed in a broad range of organisms which renders them useful for improving the understanding of complex physiological systems, producing transgenic animals, including creating large animal models for human diseases, creating specific cell lines, and plants, and even for treating human genetic diseases. This review provides an update on the use of ZFNs to modify the genome of farm animals, summarizes current knowledge on the underlying mechanism, and discusses new opportunities for generating genetically modified farm animals.

  5. Climate change and the characterization, breeding and conservation of animal genetic resources.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Irene

    2010-05-01

    Livestock production both contributes to and is affected by climate change. In addition to the physiological effects of higher temperatures on individual animals, the consequences of climate change are likely to include increased risk that geographically restricted rare breed populations will be badly affected by disturbances. Indirect effects may be felt via ecosystem changes that alter the distribution of animal diseases or affect the supply of feed. Breeding goals may have to be adjusted to account for higher temperatures, lower quality diets and greater disease challenge. Species and breeds that are well adapted to such conditions may become more widely used. Climate change mitigation strategies, in combination with ever increasing demand for food, may also have an impact on breed and species utilization, driving a shift towards monogastrics and breeds that are efficient converters of feed into meat, milk and eggs. This may lead to the neglect of the adaptation potential of local breeds in developing countries. Given the potential for significant future changes in production conditions and in the objectives of livestock production, it is essential that the value provided by animal genetic diversity is secured. This requires better characterization of breeds, production environments and associated knowledge; the compilation of more complete breed inventories; improved mechanisms to monitor and respond to threats to genetic diversity; more effective in situ and ex situ conservation measures; genetic improvement programmes targeting adaptive traits in high-output and performance traits in locally adapted breeds; increased support for developing countries in their management of animal genetic resources; and wider access to genetic resources and associated knowledge.

  6. 76 FR 39812 - Scotts Miracle-Gro Co.; Regulatory Status of Kentucky Bluegrass Genetically Engineered for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-07

    ... plant, a bacterium, a fungus, a virus or viroid, an infectious agent or other pathogen, or any article... Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There... produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to believe are...

  7. Genetic Engineering: A Matter that Requires Further Refinement in Spanish Secondary School Textbooks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martinez-Gracia, M. V.; Gil-Quylez, M. J.; Osada, J.

    2003-01-01

    Genetic engineering is now an integral part of many high school textbooks but little work has been done to assess whether it is being properly addressed. A checklist with 19 items was used to analyze how genetic engineering is presented in biology textbooks commonly used in Spanish high schools, including the content, its relationship with…

  8. 76 FR 80869 - Monsanto Co.; Determination of Nonregulated Status of Corn Genetically Engineered for Drought...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-27

    ... Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There Is Reason to... movement, or release into the environment) of organisms and products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to believe are plant pests. Such...

  9. 76 FR 63279 - Monsanto Co.; Determination of Nonregulated Status for Soybean Genetically Engineered for Insect...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-12

    ... Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There Is Reason to... movement, or release into the environment) of organisms and products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to believe are plant pests. Such...

  10. 76 FR 5780 - Determination of Regulated Status of Alfalfa Genetically Engineered for Tolerance to the...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-02

    ... Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There Is Reason to... movement, or release into the environment) of organisms and products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to believe are plant pests. Such...

  11. 76 FR 8707 - Syngenta Seeds, Inc.; Determination of Nonregulated Status for Corn Genetically Engineered To...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-15

    ..., ``Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or... produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to believe are plant... 340. In a notice \\1\\ published in the Federal Register on November 19, 2008 (73 FR 69602-69604,...

  12. Assessing the Permeability of Landscape Features to Animal Movement: Using Genetic Structure to Infer Functional Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Sara J.; Kierepka, Elizabeth M.; Swihart, Robert K.; Latch, Emily K.; Rhodes, Olin E.

    2015-01-01

    Human-altered environments often challenge native species with a complex spatial distribution of resources. Hostile landscape features can inhibit animal movement (i.e., genetic exchange), while other landscape attributes facilitate gene flow. The genetic attributes of organisms inhabiting such complex environments can reveal the legacy of their movements through the landscape. Thus, by evaluating landscape attributes within the context of genetic connectivity of organisms within the landscape, we can elucidate how a species has coped with the enhanced complexity of human altered environments. In this research, we utilized genetic data from eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus) in conjunction with spatially explicit habitat attribute data to evaluate the realized permeability of various landscape elements in a fragmented agricultural ecosystem. To accomplish this we 1) used logistic regression to evaluate whether land cover attributes were most often associated with the matrix between or habitat within genetically identified populations across the landscape, and 2) utilized spatially explicit habitat attribute data to predict genetically-derived Bayesian probabilities of population membership of individual chipmunks in an agricultural ecosystem. Consistency between the results of the two approaches with regard to facilitators and inhibitors of gene flow in the landscape indicate that this is a promising new way to utilize both landscape and genetic data to gain a deeper understanding of human-altered ecosystems. PMID:25719366

  13. Teaching Habitat and Animal Classification to Fourth Graders Using an Engineering-Design Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marulcu, Ismail

    2014-01-01

    Background: The motivation for this work is built upon the premise that there is a need for research-based materials for design-based science instruction. In this paper, a small portion of our work investigating the impact of a LEGO[TM] engineering unit on fourth grade students' preconceptions and understanding of animals is presented.…

  14. Genetic parameters for carcass traits and their live animal indicators in Simmental cattle.

    PubMed

    Crews, D H; Pollak, E J; Weaber, R L; Quaas, R L; Lipsey, R J

    2003-06-01

    The objective of this study was to estimate parameters required for genetic evaluation of Simmental carcass merit using carcass and live animal data. Carcass weight, fat thickness, longissimus muscle area, and marbling score were available from 5,750 steers and 1,504 heifers sired by Simmental bulls. Additionally, yearling ultrasound measurements of fat thickness, longissimus muscle area, and estimated percentage of intramuscular fat were available on Simmental bulls (n = 3,409) and heifers (n = 1,503). An extended pedigree was used to construct the relationship matrix (n = 23,968) linking bulls and heifers with ultrasound data to steers and heifers with carcass data. All data were obtained from the American Simmental Association. No animal had both ultrasound and carcass data. Using an animal model and treating corresponding ultrasound and carcass traits separately, genetic parameters were estimated using restricted maximum likelihood. Heritability estimates for carcass traits were 0.48 +/- 0.06, 0.35 +/- 0.05, 0.46 +/- 0.05, and 0.54 +/- 0.05 for carcass weight, fat thickness, longissimus muscle area, and marbling score, respectively. Heritability estimates for bull (heifer) ultrasound traits were 0.53 +/- 0.07 (0.69 +/- 0.09), 0.37 +/- 0.06 (0.51 +/- 0.09), and 0.47 +/- 0.06 (0.52 +/- 0.09) for fat thickness, longissimus muscle area, and intramuscular fat percentage, respectively. Heritability of weight at scan was 0.47 +/- 0.05. Using a bivariate weight model including scan weight of bulls and heifers with carcass weight of slaughter animals, a genetic correlation of 0.77 +/- 0.10 was obtained. Models for fat thickness, longissimus muscle area, and marbling score were each trivariate, including ultrasound measurements on yearling bulls and heifers, and corresponding carcass traits of slaughter animals. Genetic correlations of carcass fat thickness with bull and heifer ultrasound fat were 0.79 +/- 0.13 and 0.83 +/- 0.12, respectively. Genetic correlations of

  15. Genetic engineering of probiotic Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 for clinical application.

    PubMed

    Ou, Bingming; Yang, Ying; Tham, Wai Liang; Chen, Lin; Guo, Jitao; Zhu, Guoqiang

    2016-10-01

    Escherichia coli strain Nissle 1917 (EcN) has been used as a probiotic. Genetic engineering has enhanced the utility of EcN in several vaccine and pharmaceutical preparations. We discuss in this mini review the genetics and physical properties of EcN. We also discuss the numerous genetic engineering strategies employed for EcN-based vaccine development, including recombinant plasmid transfer, genetic engineering of cryptic plasmids or the EcN chromosome, EcN bacterial ghosts and its outer membrane vesicles. We also provide a current update on the progress and the challenges regarding the use of EcN in vaccine development.

  16. Genetic engineering of probiotic Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 for clinical application.

    PubMed

    Ou, Bingming; Yang, Ying; Tham, Wai Liang; Chen, Lin; Guo, Jitao; Zhu, Guoqiang

    2016-10-01

    Escherichia coli strain Nissle 1917 (EcN) has been used as a probiotic. Genetic engineering has enhanced the utility of EcN in several vaccine and pharmaceutical preparations. We discuss in this mini review the genetics and physical properties of EcN. We also discuss the numerous genetic engineering strategies employed for EcN-based vaccine development, including recombinant plasmid transfer, genetic engineering of cryptic plasmids or the EcN chromosome, EcN bacterial ghosts and its outer membrane vesicles. We also provide a current update on the progress and the challenges regarding the use of EcN in vaccine development. PMID:27640192

  17. Assessing the transfer of genetically modified DNA from feed to animal tissues.

    PubMed

    Mazza, Raffaele; Soave, Mirko; Morlacchini, Mauro; Piva, Gianfranco; Marocco, Adriano

    2005-10-01

    In Europe, public and scientific concerns about the environmental and food safety of GM (Genetically Modified) crops overshadow the potential benefits offered by crop biotechnology to improve food quality. One of the concerns regarding the use of GM food in human and animal nutrition is the effect that newly introduced sequences may have on the organism. In this paper, we assess the potential transfer of diet-derived DNA to animal tissues after consumption of GM plants. Blood, spleen, liver, kidney and muscle tissues from piglets fed for 35 days with diets containing either GM (MON810) or a conventional maize were investigated for the presence of plant DNA. Only fragments of specific maize genes (Zein, Sh-2) could be detected with different frequencies in all the examined tissues except muscle. A small fragment of the Cry1A(b) transgene was detected in blood, liver, spleen and kidney of the animals raised with the transgenic feed. The intact Cry1A(b) gene or its minimal functional unit were never detected. Statistical analysis of the results showed no difference in recovery of positives for the presence of plant DNA between animals raised with the transgenic feed and animals raised with the conventional feed, indicating that DNA transfer may occur independently from the source and the type of the gene. From the data obtained, we consider it unlikely that the occurrence of genetic transfer associated with GM plants is higher than that from conventional plants.

  18. Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals 2013: Experimentation continues to rise--the reliance on genetically-altered animals must be addressed.

    PubMed

    Hudson-Shore, Michelle

    2014-09-01

    The 2013 Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals reveal that the level of animal experimentation in Great Britain continues to rise, with 4.12 million procedures being conducted. The figures indicate that this is almost exclusively a result of the breeding and use of genetically-altered (GA) animals (i.e. genetically-modified animals, plus those with harmful genetic defects). The breeding of GA animals increased to over half (51%) of all the procedures, and GA animals were involved in 61% of all the procedures. Indeed, if these animals were removed from the statistics, the number of procedures would actually have declined by 4%. It is argued that the Coalition Government has failed to address this issue, and, as a consequence, will not be able to deliver its pledge to reduce animal use in science. Recent publications supporting the need to reassess the dominance of genetic alteration are also discussed, as well as the need to move away from the use of dogs as the default second species in safety testing. The general trends in the species used, and the numbers and types of procedures, are also reviewed. Finally, forthcoming changes to the statistics are discussed.

  19. Chemical and genetic engineering of selective ligand-ion channel interactions

    PubMed Central

    Magnus, Christopher J.; Lee, Peter H.; Atasoy, Deniz; Su, Helen H.; Looger, Loren L.; Sternson, Scott M.

    2011-01-01

    Ionic flux in defined cell populations mediates essential physiological and behavioral functions. Cell type-specific activators of diverse ionic conductances are needed for probing these relationships. We combined chemistry and protein engineering to enable systematic creation of a toolbox of ligand-gated ion channels (LGICs) with orthogonal pharmacologic selectivity and divergent functional properties. The LGICs and their small molecule effectors can activate a range of ionic conductances in genetically-specified cell types. LGICs constructed for neuronal perturbation can be used to selectively manipulate neuron activity in mammalian brains in vivo. The diversity of ion channel tools accessible from this approach will be useful for examining the relationship between neuronal activity and animal behavior, as well as for cell biological and physiological applications requiring chemical control of ion conductance. PMID:21885782

  20. Genetic diversity of Clostridium perfringens type A isolates from animals, food poisoning outbreaks and sludge

    PubMed Central

    Johansson, Anders; Aspan, Anna; Bagge, Elisabeth; Båverud, Viveca; Engström, Björn E; Johansson, Karl-Erik

    2006-01-01

    Background Clostridium perfringens, a serious pathogen, causes enteric diseases in domestic animals and food poisoning in humans. The epidemiological relationship between C. perfringens isolates from the same source has previously been investigated chiefly by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). In this study the genetic diversity of C. perfringens isolated from various animals, from food poisoning outbreaks and from sludge was investigated. Results We used PFGE to examine the genetic diversity of 95 C. perfringens type A isolates from eight different sources. The isolates were also examined for the presence of the beta2 toxin gene (cpb2) and the enterotoxin gene (cpe). The cpb2 gene from the 28 cpb2-positive isolates was also partially sequenced (519 bp, corresponding to positions 188 to 706 in the consensus cpb2 sequence). The results of PFGE revealed a wide genetic diversity among the C. perfringens type A isolates. The genetic relatedness of the isolates ranged from 58 to 100% and 56 distinct PFGE types were identified. Almost all clusters with similar patterns comprised isolates with a known epidemiological correlation. Most of the isolates from pig, horse and sheep carried the cpb2 gene. All isolates originating from food poisoning outbreaks carried the cpe gene and three of these also carried cpb2. Two evolutionary different populations were identified by sequence analysis of the partially sequenced cpb2 genes from our study and cpb2 sequences previously deposited in GenBank. Conclusion As revealed by PFGE, there was a wide genetic diversity among C. perfringens isolates from different sources. Epidemiologically related isolates showed a high genetic similarity, as expected, while isolates with no obvious epidemiological relationship expressed a lesser degree of genetic similarity. The wide diversity revealed by PFGE was not reflected in the 16S rRNA sequences, which had a considerable degree of sequence similarity. Sequence comparison of the partially

  1. A review on SNP and other types of molecular markers and their use in animal genetics

    PubMed Central

    Vignal, Alain; Milan, Denis; SanCristobal, Magali; Eggen, André

    2002-01-01

    During the last ten years, the use of molecular markers, revealing polymorphism at the DNA level, has been playing an increasing part in animal genetics studies. Amongst others, the microsatellite DNA marker has been the most widely used, due to its easy use by simple PCR, followed by a denaturing gel electrophoresis for allele size determination, and to the high degree of information provided by its large number of alleles per locus. Despite this, a new marker type, named SNP, for Single Nucleotide Polymorphism, is now on the scene and has gained high popularity, even though it is only a bi-allelic type of marker. In this review, we will discuss the reasons for this apparent step backwards, and the pertinence of the use of SNPs in animal genetics, in comparison with other marker types. PMID:12081799

  2. Infrasound and sound: differentiation of their psychophysiological effects through use of genetically deaf animals.

    PubMed

    Busnel, R G; Lehmann, A G

    1978-03-01

    The effects of steady-state acoustic stimulation on resistance of fatigue, as shown by reduction of swimming time, was studied on three sublines of mice, one of which is genetically deaf. High frequency (500-10000 Hz) reduce swimming time from 25% to 50% in mice with normal hearing at a 60-80-dB threshold, but have no effect on deaf mice. Low frequencies and infrasounds (6-50 Hz) reduce swimming time in all mice similarly, even deaf animals, but the threshold is higher (160-115 dB). The use of genetically deaf animals therefore permits elimination of the auditory component; differentiation of the effects of air-borne from those of mechanical vibrations are thus possible.

  3. Non-genetic engineering of cells for drug delivery and cell-based therapy.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qun; Cheng, Hao; Peng, Haisheng; Zhou, Hao; Li, Peter Y; Langer, Robert

    2015-08-30

    Cell-based therapy is a promising modality to address many unmet medical needs. In addition to genetic engineering, material-based, biochemical, and physical science-based approaches have emerged as novel approaches to modify cells. Non-genetic engineering of cells has been applied in delivering therapeutics to tissues, homing of cells to the bone marrow or inflammatory tissues, cancer imaging, immunotherapy, and remotely controlling cellular functions. This new strategy has unique advantages in disease therapy and is complementary to existing gene-based cell engineering approaches. A better understanding of cellular systems and different engineering methods will allow us to better exploit engineered cells in biomedicine. Here, we review non-genetic cell engineering techniques and applications of engineered cells, discuss the pros and cons of different methods, and provide our perspectives on future research directions.

  4. A FIELD STUDY WITH GENETICALLY ENGINEERED ALFALFA INOCULATED WITH RECOMBINANT SINORHIZOBIUM MELILOTI: EFFECTS ON THE SOIL ECOSYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    The agricultural use of genetically engineered plants and microorganisms has become increasingly common. Because genetically engineered plants and microorganisms can produce compounds foreign to their environment, there is concern that they may become established outside of thei...

  5. Genetic engineering strategies to prevent the effects of antibody and complement on xenogeneic chondrocytes.

    PubMed

    Sommaggio, R; Bello-Gil, D; Pérez-Cruz, M; Brokaw, J L; Máñez, R; Costa, C

    2015-01-01

    Advances in animal transgenesis may allow using xenogeneic chondrocytes in tissue-engineering applications for clinical cartilage repair. Porcine cartilage is rejected by humoral and cellular mechanisms that could be overcome by identifying key molecules triggering rejection and developing effective genetic-engineering strategies. Accordingly, high expression of α1,2-fucosyltransferase (HT) in xenogeneic cartilage protects from galactose α1,3-galactose (Gal)-mediated antibody responses. Now, we studied whether expression of a complement inhibitor provides further protection. First, porcine articular chondrocytes (PAC) were isolated from non-transgenic, single and double transgenic pigs expressing HT and moderate levels of human CD59 (hCD59) and their response to human serum was assessed. High recombinant expression of human complement regulatory molecules hCD59 and hDAF was also attained by retroviral transduction of PAC for further analyses. Complement activation on PAC after exposure to 20 % human serum for 24 hours mainly triggered the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-8. Transgenic expression of HT and hCD59 did not suffice to fully counteract this effect. Nevertheless, the combination of blocking anti-Gal antibodies (or C5a) and high hCD59 levels conferred very high protection. On the contrary, high hDAF expression attained the most dramatic reduction in IL-6/IL-8 secretion by a single strategy, but the additional inhibition of anti-Gal antibodies or C5a did not provide further improvement. Notably, we demonstrate that both hCD59 and hDAF inhibit anaphylatoxin release in this setting. In conclusion, our study identifies genetic-engineering approaches to prevent humoral rejection of xenogeneic chondrocytes for use in cartilage repair.

  6. Genetic susceptibility to retinopathy of prematurity: the evidence from clinical and experimental animal studies.

    PubMed

    Holmström, Gerd; van Wijngaarden, Peter; Coster, Douglas J; Williams, Keryn A

    2007-12-01

    Despite advances in management and treatment, retinopathy of prematurity remains a major cause of childhood blindness. Evidence for a genetic basis for susceptibility to retinopathy of prematurity is examined, including the influences of sex, ethnicity, and ocular pigmentation. The role of polymorphisms is explored in the genes for vascular endothelial growth factor and insulin-like growth factor-1, and of mutations in the Norrie disease gene. Insights into the genetic basis of retinopathy of prematurity provided by the animal model of oxygen induced retinopathy are examined. Evidence for a genetic component for susceptibility to retinopathy of prematurity is strong, although the molecular identity of the gene or genes involved remains uncertain. PMID:18024814

  7. Distributed Classifier Based on Genetically Engineered Bacterial Cell Cultures

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    We describe a conceptual design of a distributed classifier formed by a population of genetically engineered microbial cells. The central idea is to create a complex classifier from a population of weak or simple classifiers. We create a master population of cells with randomized synthetic biosensor circuits that have a broad range of sensitivities toward chemical signals of interest that form the input vectors subject to classification. The randomized sensitivities are achieved by constructing a library of synthetic gene circuits with randomized control sequences (e.g., ribosome-binding sites) in the front element. The training procedure consists in reshaping of the master population in such a way that it collectively responds to the “positive” patterns of input signals by producing above-threshold output (e.g., fluorescent signal), and below-threshold output in case of the “negative” patterns. The population reshaping is achieved by presenting sequential examples and pruning the population using either graded selection/counterselection or by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). We demonstrate the feasibility of experimental implementation of such system computationally using a realistic model of the synthetic sensing gene circuits. PMID:25349924

  8. A genetic engineering strategy to eliminate peanut allergy.

    PubMed

    Dodo, Hortense; Konan, Koffi; Viquez, Olga

    2005-01-01

    Peanut allergy is an IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reaction with an increasing prevalence worldwide. Despite its seriousness, to date, there is no cure. Genetic engineering strategies can provide a solution. The post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) model can be used effectively to knock out the production of allergenic proteins in peanut by specific degradation of the endogenous target messenger RNA (mRNA). Ara h 2, the most potent peanut allergenic protein, was selected as a model to demonstrate the feasibility of this concept. Transgenic peanut plants were produced via microprojectile-mediated transformation of peanut embryos using a plasmid construct, which contains a fragment of the coding region of Ara h 2 linked to an enhanced CaMV 35S constitutive promoter. Molecular analyses, including polymerase chain reaction and Southern blots, confirmed the presence of the stable integration of the Ara h 2 transgene into the peanut genome. Northern hybridization showed the expression of the Ara h 2 transgene in all vegetative tissues of the mature transgenic peanut plants, indicating the stable expression of the truncated Ara h 2 transgene throughout the development of the plants. It is, therefore, reasonable to expect that the truncated Ara h 2 transgene transcripts will be synthesized in the seeds and will trigger the specific degradation of endogenous Ara h 2 mRNA. The next step will be to grow the transgenic peanut plants to full maturity for seed production and to determine the level of allergen Ara h 2.

  9. Genetically engineered protein in hydrogels tailors stimuli-responsive characteristics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehrick, Jason D.; Deo, Sapna K.; Browning, Tyler W.; Bachas, Leonidas G.; Madou, Marc J.; Daunert, Sylvia

    2005-04-01

    Certain proteins undergo a substantial conformational change in response to a given stimulus. This conformational change can manifest in different manners and result in an actuation, that is, catalytic or signalling event, movement, interaction with other proteins, and so on. In all cases, the sensing-actuation process of proteins is initiated by a recognition event that translates into a mechanical action. Thus, proteins are ideal components for designing new nanomaterials that are intelligent and can perform desired mechanical actions in response to target stimuli. A number of approaches have been undertaken to mimic nature's sensing-actuating process. We now report a new hybrid material that integrates genetically engineered proteins within hydrogels capable of producing a stimulus-responsive action mechanism. The mechanical effect is a result of an induced conformational change and binding affinities of the protein in response to a stimulus. The stimuli-responsive hydrogel exhibits three specific swelling stages in response to various ligands offering additional fine-tuned control over a conventional two-stage swelling hydrogel. The newly prepared material was used in the sensing, and subsequent gating and transport of biomolecules across a polymer network, demonstrating its potential application in microfluidics and miniaturized drug-delivery systems.

  10. Genetically Engineered Transvestites Reveal Novel Mating Genes in Budding Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Huberman, Lori B.; Murray, Andrew W.

    2013-01-01

    Haploid budding yeast has two mating types, defined by the alleles of the MAT locus, MATa and MATα. Two haploid cells of opposite mating types mate by signaling to each other using reciprocal pheromones and receptors, polarizing and growing toward each other, and eventually fusing to form a single diploid cell. The pheromones and receptors are necessary and sufficient to define a mating type, but other mating-type-specific proteins make mating more efficient. We examined the role of these proteins by genetically engineering “transvestite” cells that swap the pheromone, pheromone receptor, and pheromone processing factors of one mating type for another. These cells mate with each other, but their mating is inefficient. By characterizing their mating defects and examining their transcriptomes, we found Afb1 (a-factor barrier), a novel MATα-specific protein that interferes with a-factor, the pheromone secreted by MATa cells. Strong pheromone secretion is essential for efficient mating, and the weak mating of transvestites can be improved by boosting their pheromone production. Synthetic biology can characterize the factors that control efficiency in biological processes. In yeast, selection for increased mating efficiency is likely to have continually boosted pheromone levels and the ability to discriminate between partners who make more and less pheromone. This discrimination comes at a cost: weak mating in situations where all potential partners make less pheromone. PMID:24121774

  11. Production and characterization of genetically engineered antibody molecules.

    PubMed

    Morrison, S L; Canfield, S; Porter, S; Tan, L K; Tao, M H; Wims, L A

    1988-09-01

    Expression of antibody heavy- and light-chain genes by transfection permits the production of monoclonal antibodies with improved biological and antigen-binding properties. The immunoglobulin genes are placed in vectors containing a gene for encoding a protein that provides a biochemically selectable function in eukaryotic cells; these vectors are transfected into myeloma and hybridoma cells. Selection of drug-resistant cells permits the efficient isolation of the rare cells that express the transfected DNA. By placing heavy and light chains on plasmids with different selectable markers, one can deliver heavy- and light-chain genes simultaneously to the same cell. The transfected immunoglobulin genes are efficiently expressed and the proteins produced are a faithful mirror of the genes that were introduced. Using the standard techniques of genetic engineering and gene transfection, we can now produce antibodies of widely varying structures, including chimeric antibodies with segments derived from different species. These antibodies provide useful reagents to study structure-function relationships within the antibody molecule. Ultimately it will be possible to produce a new generation of antibody molecules with improved antigen-binding properties and effector functions.

  12. Genetically engineered microorganisms for the detection of explosives’ residues

    PubMed Central

    Shemer, Benjamin; Palevsky, Noa; Yagur-Kroll, Sharon; Belkin, Shimshon

    2015-01-01

    The manufacture and use of explosives throughout the past century has resulted in the extensive pollution of soils and groundwater, and the widespread interment of landmines imposes a major humanitarian risk and prevents civil development of large areas. As most current landmine detection technologies require actual presence at the surveyed areas, thus posing a significant risk to personnel, diverse research efforts are aimed at the development of remote detection solutions. One possible means proposed to fulfill this objective is the use of microbial bioreporters: genetically engineered microorganisms “tailored” to generate an optical signal in the presence of explosives’ vapors. The use of such sensor bacteria will allow to pinpoint the locations of explosive devices in a minefield. While no study has yet resulted in a commercially operational system, significant progress has been made in the design and construction of explosives-sensing bacterial strains. In this article we review the attempts to construct microbial bioreporters for the detection of explosives, and analyze the steps that need to be undertaken for this strategy to be applicable for landmine detection. PMID:26579085

  13. Genetic engineering in Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata): history, status and prospects.

    PubMed

    Citadin, Cristiane T; Ibrahim, Abdulrazak B; Aragão, Francisco J L

    2011-01-01

    In the last three decades, a number of attempts have been made to develop reproducible protocols for generating transgenic cowpea that permit the expression of genes of agronomic importance. Pioneer works focused on the development of such systems vis-à-vis an in vitro culture system that would guarantee de novo regeneration of transgenic cowpea arising from cells amenable to one form of gene delivery system or another, but any such system has eluded researchers over the years. Despite this apparent failure, significant progress has been made in generating transgenic cowpea, bringing researchers much nearer to their goal than thirty years ago. Now, various researchers have successfully established transgenic procedures for cowpea with evidence of inherent transgenes of interest, effected by progenies in a Mendelian fashion. New opportunities have thus emerged to optimize existing protocols and devise new strategies to ensure the development of transgenic cowpea with desirable agronomic traits. This review chronicles the important milestones in the last thirty years that have marked the evolution of genetic engineering of cowpea. It also highlights the progress made and describes new strategies that have arisen, culminating in the current status of transgenic technologies for cowpea.

  14. Genetic engineering of yellow betalain pigments beyond the species barrier

    PubMed Central

    Nakatsuka, Takashi; Yamada, Eri; Takahashi, Hideyuki; Imamura, Tomohiro; Suzuki, Mariko; Ozeki, Yoshihiro; Tsujimura, Ikuko; Saito, Misa; Sakamoto, Yuichi; Sasaki, Nobuhiro; Nishihara, Masahiro

    2013-01-01

    Betalains are one of the major plant pigment groups found in some higher plants and higher fungi. They are not produced naturally in any plant species outside of the order Caryophyllales, nor are they produced by anthocyanin-accumulating Caryophyllales. Here, we attempted to reconstruct the betalain biosynthetic pathway as a self-contained system in an anthocyanin-producing plant species. The combined expressions of a tyrosinase gene from shiitake mushroom and a DOPA 4,5-dioxygenase gene from the four-o'clock plant resulted in successful betalain production in cultured cells of tobacco BY2 and Arabidopsis T87. Transgenic tobacco BY2 cells were bright yellow because of the accumulation of betaxanthins. LC-TOF-MS analyses showed that proline-betaxanthin (Pro-Bx) accumulated as the major betaxanthin in these transgenic BY2 cells. Transgenic Arabidopsis T87 cells also produced betaxanthins, but produced lower levels than transgenic BY2 cells. These results illustrate the success of a novel genetic engineering strategy for betalain biosynthesis. PMID:23760173

  15. Endogenous allergens in the regulatory assessment of genetically engineered crops.

    PubMed

    Graf, Lynda; Hayder, Hikmat; Mueller, Utz

    2014-11-01

    A scientific approach to the assessment of foods derived from genetically engineered (GE) crops is critical to maintaining objectivity and public confidence in regulatory decisions. Principles developed at the international level support regulators and enable robust and transparent safety assessments. A comparison of key constituents in the GE crop with a suitable comparator is an important element of an assessment. In Europe, endogenous allergens would be included in the comparative analysis, however this approach has been hindered by technical limitations on the ability to accurately measure identified allergenic proteins. Over recent years, improved proteomic methods have enabled researchers to focus on major allergenic proteins in conventional food crops, as information on natural variability is largely lacking. Emerging data for soybean indicate that variability in levels of major allergens already in the food supply is broad. This raises questions about the biological interpretation of differences between a GE plant and its conventional counterpart, in particular, whether any conclusions about altered allergenicity could be inferred. This paper discusses the scientific justification for requiring proteomic analysis of endogenous allergens as part of the evaluation. Ongoing scientific review and corresponding international discussion are integral to ensuring that data requirements address legitimate risk assessment questions.

  16. Teaching habitat and animal classification to fourth graders using an engineering-design model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marulcu, Ismail

    2014-05-01

    Background: The motivation for this work is built upon the premise that there is a need for research-based materials for design-based science instruction. In this paper, a small portion of our work investigating the impact of a LEGOTM engineering unit on fourth grade students' preconceptions and understanding of animals is presented. Purpose: The driving questions for our work are: (1) What is the impact of an engineering-design-based curricular module on students' understanding of habitat and animal classification? (2) What are students' misconceptions regarding animal classification and habitat? Sample: The study was conducted in an inner-city K-8 school in the northeastern region of the United States. There were two fourth grade classrooms in the school. The first classroom included seven girls and nine boys, whereas the other classroom included eight girls and eight boys. All fourth grade students participated in the study. Design and methods: In answering the research questions mixed-method approaches are used. Data collection methods included pre- and post-tests, pre- and post-interviews, student journals, and classroom observations. Identical pre- and post-tests were administered to measure students' understanding of animals. They included four multiple-choice and six open-ended questions. Identical pre- and post-interviews were administered to explore students' in-depth understanding of animals. Results: Our results show that students significantly increased their performance after instruction on both the multiple-choice questions (t = -3.586, p = .001) and the open-ended questions (t = -5.04, p = .000). They performed better on the post interviews as well. Also, it is found that design-based instruction helped students comprehend core concepts of a life science subject, animals. Conclusions: Based on these results, the main argument of the study is that engineering design is a useful framework for teaching not only physical science-related subjects, but

  17. What's in a name: the Vermont Genetically Engineered Food Labeling Act

    PubMed Central

    McPherson, Malia J.

    2014-01-01

    On May 8, 2014, Vermont passed the Vermont Genetically Engineered Food Labeling Act (Act) requiring labels on certain genetically engineered foods. Once the bill takes effect July 1, 2016, all Vermont-retailed foods with more than 0.9% of their total weight in genetically modified ingredients must be labeled with language stating, “may be partially produced with genetic engineering.” As genetically engineered food are considered scientifically equivalent to their traditional counterparts and are not subject to federal labeling by the FDA, the Act presents several legal questions. Several of the legal questions have been raised in a recent lawsuit filed by the Grocery Manufactures Association that claims the Act violates the First Amendment, Supremacy Clause, and Commerce Clause. This paper will discuss why the Second Circuit could strike down the Act as unconstitutional as to each claim. PMID:27774175

  18. Food safety evaluation of crops produced through genetic engineering--how to reduce unintended effects?

    PubMed

    Jelenić, Srećko

    2005-06-01

    Scientists started applying genetic engineering techniques to improve crops two decades ago; about 70 varieties obtained via genetic engineering have been approved to date. Although genetic engineering offers the most precise and controllable genetic modification of crops in entire history of plant improvement, the site of insertion of a desirable gene cannot be predicted during the application of this technology. As a consequence, unintended effects might occur due to activation or silencing of genes, giving rise to allergic reactions or toxicity. Therefore, extensive chemical, biochemical and nutritional analyses are performed on each new genetically engineered variety. Since the unintended effects may be predictable on the basis of what is known about the insertion place of the transgenic DNA, an important aim of plant biotechnology is to define techniques for the insertion of transgene into the predetermined chromosomal position (gene targeting). Although gene targeting cannot be applied routinely in crop plants, given the recent advances, that goal may be reached in the near future.

  19. Stochastic signaling in biochemical cascades and genetic systems in genetically engineered living cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daniel, Ramiz; Almog, Ronen; Shacham-Diamand, Yosi

    2010-04-01

    Living cells, either prokaryote or eukaryote, can be integrated within whole-cell biochips (WCBCs) for various applications. We investigate WCBCs where information is extracted from the cells via a cascade of biochemical reactions that involve gene expression. The overall biological signal is weak due to small sample volume, low intrinsic cell response, and extrinsic signal loss mechanisms. The low signal-to-noise ratio problem is aggravated during initial detection stages and limits the minimum detectable signal or, alternatively, the minimum detection time. Taking into account the stochastic nature of biochemical process, we find that the signal is accompanied by relatively large noise disturbances. In this work, we use genetically engineered microbe sensors as a model to study the biochips output signal stochastic behavior. In our model, the microbes are designed to express detectable reporter proteins under external induction. We present analytical approximated expressions and numerical simulations evaluating the fluctuations of the synthesized reporter proteins population based on a set of equations modeling a cascade of biochemical and genetic reactions. We assume that the reporter proteins decay more slowly than messenger RNA molecules. We calculate the relation between the noise of the input signal (extrinsic noise) and biochemical reaction statistics (intrinsic noise). We discuss in further details two cases: (1) a cascade with large decay rates of all biochemical reactions compared to the protein decay rate. We show that in this case, the noise amplitude has a positive linear correlation with the number of stages in the cascade. (2) A cascade which includes a stable enzymatic-binding reaction with slow decay rate. We show that in this case, the noise strongly depends on the protein decay rate. Finally, a general observation is presented stating that the noise in whole-cell biochip sensors is determined mainly by the first reactions in the genetic system

  20. A comparative analysis of insertional effects in genetically engineered plants: considerations for pre-market assessments.

    PubMed

    Schnell, Jaimie; Steele, Marina; Bean, Jordan; Neuspiel, Margaret; Girard, Cécile; Dormann, Nataliya; Pearson, Cindy; Savoie, Annie; Bourbonnière, Luc; Macdonald, Philip

    2015-02-01

    During genetic engineering, DNA is inserted into a plant's genome, and such insertions are often accompanied by the insertion of additional DNA, deletions and/or rearrangements. These genetic changes are collectively known as insertional effects, and they have the potential to give rise to unintended traits in plants. In addition, there are many other genetic changes that occur in plants both spontaneously and as a result of conventional breeding practices. Genetic changes similar to insertional effects occur in plants, namely as a result of the movement of transposable elements, the repair of double-strand breaks by non-homologous end-joining, and the intracellular transfer of organelle DNA. Based on this similarity, insertional effects should present a similar level of risk as these other genetic changes in plants, and it is within the context of these genetic changes that insertional effects must be considered. Increased familiarity with genetic engineering techniques and advances in molecular analysis techniques have provided us with a greater understanding of the nature and impact of genetic changes in plants, and this can be used to refine pre-market assessments of genetically engineered plants and food and feeds derived from genetically engineered plants.

  1. [Study on recent status of development of genetically modified animals developed not for food purposes].

    PubMed

    Nakajima, Osamu; Akiyama, Hiroshi; Teshima, Reiko

    2012-01-01

    Genetically modified (GM) animals can be classified into two groups, those developed for food purposes and those developed not for food purposes. We investigated the recent status of development of GM animals developed not for food purposes. Among the GM animals developed not for food purposes, GM fish, chickens, and pigs were selected because many articles have been published on these organisms. Relevant articles published between 2008 and 2011 were surveyed using PubMed and transgenic fish, chicken, or pig as keywords. Then, studies on organisms that could potentially contaminate the food chain with products from these GM animals were selected and analyzed. Fifteen articles on GM fish were found. These articles were classified into four categories: bioreactor (n = 4), resistance to microorganisms (n = 6), resistance to environmental stresses (n = 1), and detection of chemicals (n = 4). Zebrafish were used in 8 of the articles. Six, three, and three articles were reported from Taiwan, Canada and China. Seven articles on GM chickens were found. These articles were classified into two categories: bioreactor (n = 5), and resistance to pathogens (n = 2). Two articles were reported from Japan and Korea, each. As for GM pigs, 43 articles were found. These articles were classified into three categories: xenotransplantation (n = 36), bioreactor (n = 6), and environmental cleanup (n = 1). Nineteen, seven, six, and five articles were reported from USA, Germany, Korea and Taiwan, respectively. Understanding the recent development of GM animals produced not for food purpose is important for assuring the safety of food.

  2. Genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from domestic animals in central China.

    PubMed

    Qian, W F; Yan, W C; Wang, T Q; Shao, X D; Zhai, K; Han, L F; Lv, C C

    2015-09-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that has a remarkable ability to infect almost all warm-blooded animals, including humans. This study was aimed to determine the genetic characteristics of T. gondii isolates from domestic animals in Henan Province, central China. A total of 363 DNA samples, including 208 from hilar lymph nodes of pigs, 36 from blood samples of cats, 12 from tissues of aborted bovine fetuses and 107 from blood samples of dams with history of abortion in Henan Province, were examined for the presence of T. gondii by nested PCR based on B1 gene. The positive DNA samples were further genotyped by PCR-RFLP at 11 markers, including SAG1, (3'+ 5') SAG2, alt.SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico. DNA samples from 9 pigs, 5 cats, and 4 dairy cows were T. gondii B1 gene positive. Nine samples were successfully genotyped at all genetic loci, of which 5 samples from pigs, and 2 from cats were identified as ToxoDB genotype #9, and 2 samples from cows belonged to ToxoDB genotype #225. To our knowledge, the present study is the second report of genetic typing of T. gondii isolates from cattle in China, and the first report of T. gondii ToxoDB#225 from cattle.

  3. Utilization of farm animal genetic resources in a changing agro-ecological environment in the Nordic countries.

    PubMed

    Kantanen, Juha; Løvendahl, Peter; Strandberg, Erling; Eythorsdottir, Emma; Li, Meng-Hua; Kettunen-Præbel, Anne; Berg, Peer; Meuwissen, Theo

    2015-01-01

    Livestock production is the most important component of northern European agriculture and contributes to and will be affected by climate change. Nevertheless, the role of farm animal genetic resources in the adaptation to new agro-ecological conditions and mitigation of animal production's effects on climate change has been inadequately discussed despite there being several important associations between animal genetic resources and climate change issues. The sustainability of animal production systems and future food security require access to a wide diversity of animal genetic resources. There are several genetic questions that should be considered in strategies promoting adaptation to climate change and mitigation of environmental effects of livestock production. For example, it may become important to choose among breeds and even among farm animal species according to their suitability to a future with altered production systems. Some animals with useful phenotypes and genotypes may be more useful than others in the changing environment. Robust animal breeds with the potential to adapt to new agro-ecological conditions and tolerate new diseases will be needed. The key issue in mitigation of harmful greenhouse gas effects induced by livestock production is the reduction of methane (CH4) emissions from ruminants. There are differences in CH4 emissions among breeds and among individual animals within breeds that suggest a potential for improvement in the trait through genetic selection. Characterization of breeds and individuals with modern genomic tools should be applied to identify breeds that have genetically adapted to marginal conditions and to get critical information for breeding and conservation programs for farm animal genetic resources. We conclude that phenotyping and genomic technologies and adoption of new breeding approaches, such as genomic selection introgression, will promote breeding for useful characters in livestock species. PMID:25767477

  4. Utilization of farm animal genetic resources in a changing agro-ecological environment in the Nordic countries.

    PubMed

    Kantanen, Juha; Løvendahl, Peter; Strandberg, Erling; Eythorsdottir, Emma; Li, Meng-Hua; Kettunen-Præbel, Anne; Berg, Peer; Meuwissen, Theo

    2015-01-01

    Livestock production is the most important component of northern European agriculture and contributes to and will be affected by climate change. Nevertheless, the role of farm animal genetic resources in the adaptation to new agro-ecological conditions and mitigation of animal production's effects on climate change has been inadequately discussed despite there being several important associations between animal genetic resources and climate change issues. The sustainability of animal production systems and future food security require access to a wide diversity of animal genetic resources. There are several genetic questions that should be considered in strategies promoting adaptation to climate change and mitigation of environmental effects of livestock production. For example, it may become important to choose among breeds and even among farm animal species according to their suitability to a future with altered production systems. Some animals with useful phenotypes and genotypes may be more useful than others in the changing environment. Robust animal breeds with the potential to adapt to new agro-ecological conditions and tolerate new diseases will be needed. The key issue in mitigation of harmful greenhouse gas effects induced by livestock production is the reduction of methane (CH4) emissions from ruminants. There are differences in CH4 emissions among breeds and among individual animals within breeds that suggest a potential for improvement in the trait through genetic selection. Characterization of breeds and individuals with modern genomic tools should be applied to identify breeds that have genetically adapted to marginal conditions and to get critical information for breeding and conservation programs for farm animal genetic resources. We conclude that phenotyping and genomic technologies and adoption of new breeding approaches, such as genomic selection introgression, will promote breeding for useful characters in livestock species.

  5. Utilization of farm animal genetic resources in a changing agro-ecological environment in the Nordic countries

    PubMed Central

    Kantanen, Juha; Løvendahl, Peter; Strandberg, Erling; Eythorsdottir, Emma; Li, Meng-Hua; Kettunen-Præbel, Anne; Berg, Peer; Meuwissen, Theo

    2015-01-01

    Livestock production is the most important component of northern European agriculture and contributes to and will be affected by climate change. Nevertheless, the role of farm animal genetic resources in the adaptation to new agro-ecological conditions and mitigation of animal production’s effects on climate change has been inadequately discussed despite there being several important associations between animal genetic resources and climate change issues. The sustainability of animal production systems and future food security require access to a wide diversity of animal genetic resources. There are several genetic questions that should be considered in strategies promoting adaptation to climate change and mitigation of environmental effects of livestock production. For example, it may become important to choose among breeds and even among farm animal species according to their suitability to a future with altered production systems. Some animals with useful phenotypes and genotypes may be more useful than others in the changing environment. Robust animal breeds with the potential to adapt to new agro-ecological conditions and tolerate new diseases will be needed. The key issue in mitigation of harmful greenhouse gas effects induced by livestock production is the reduction of methane (CH4) emissions from ruminants. There are differences in CH4 emissions among breeds and among individual animals within breeds that suggest a potential for improvement in the trait through genetic selection. Characterization of breeds and individuals with modern genomic tools should be applied to identify breeds that have genetically adapted to marginal conditions and to get critical information for breeding and conservation programs for farm animal genetic resources. We conclude that phenotyping and genomic technologies and adoption of new breeding approaches, such as genomic selection introgression, will promote breeding for useful characters in livestock species. PMID:25767477

  6. Genetic basis for hyper production of hyaluronic acid in natural and engineered microorganisms.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Juliana Davies; Carvalho, Lucas Silva; Gomes, Antônio Milton Vieira; Queiroz, Lúcio Rezende; Magalhães, Beatriz Simas; Parachin, Nádia Skorupa

    2016-01-01

    Hyaluronic acid, or HA, is a rigid and linear biopolymer belonging to the class of the glycosaminoglycans, and composed of repeating units of the monosaccharides glucuronic acid and N-acetylglucosamine. HA has multiple important functions in the human body, due to its properties such as bio-compatibility, lubricity and hydrophilicity, it is widely applied in the biomedical, food, health and cosmetic fields. The growing interest in this molecule has motivated the discovery of new ways of obtaining it. Traditionally, HA has been extracted from rooster comb-like animal tissues. However, due to legislation laws HA is now being produced by bacterial fermentation using Streptococcus zooepidemicus, a natural producer of HA, despite it being a pathogenic microorganism. With the expansion of new genetic engineering technologies, the use of organisms that are non-natural producers of HA has also made it possible to obtain such a polymer. Most of the published reviews have focused on HA formulation and its effects on different body tissues, whereas very few of them describe the microbial basis of HA production. Therefore, for the first time this review has compiled the molecular and genetic bases for natural HA production in microorganisms together with the main strategies employed for heterologous production of HA. PMID:27370777

  7. [Advances in the research of genetic engineering of heavy metal resistance and accumulation in plants].

    PubMed

    Lang, Ming-Lin; Zhang, Yu-Xiu; Chai, Tuan-Yao

    2004-03-01

    Using plants to remove or inactivate heavy metal pollutants from soils and surface waters provide a cheap and sustainable approach of Phytoremediation. However, field trials suggested that the efficiency of contaminant removal using natural hyperaccumulators is insufficient, due to that many of these species are slow growing and produce little shoot biomass. These factors severely constrain their potential for large-scale decontamination of polluted soils. Moreover, both the micronutrient and toxic metal content accumulated in crops determine the quality and safety of our food-chain. By a transgenic approach, the introduction of novel genes responsible for hyperaccumulating phenotype into high biomass plants and/or stable crops uptaking minerals as food is a promising strategy for the development of effective techniques of phytoremediation and improvement of nutritional value of stable food through a viable commercialization. Recently, the progress at molecular level for heavy metal uptaking, detoxification and hyperaccumulation in plants, and also the clarification of some functional genes in bacteria, yeasts, plants and animals, have advanced the research on genetic engineering plants of heavy metal resistance and accumulation, and on the functional genes (e . g. gsh1, MerA and ArsC) and their genetic transformated plants. These studies demonstrated commercialization potentials of phytoremediation. In this paper, the molecular approach, effects and problems in gene transformation were discussed in details, and also the strategy and emphases were probed into the future research.

  8. Animator

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tech Directions, 2008

    2008-01-01

    Art and animation work is the most significant part of electronic game development, but is also found in television commercials, computer programs, the Internet, comic books, and in just about every visual media imaginable. It is the part of the project that makes an abstract design idea concrete and visible. Animators create the motion of life in…

  9. Development of Genome Engineering Tools from Plant-Specific PPR Proteins Using Animal Cultured Cells.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Takehito; Yagi, Yusuke; Nakamura, Takahiro

    2016-01-01

    The pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) motif is a sequence-specific RNA/DNA-binding module. Elucidation of the RNA/DNA recognition mechanism has enabled engineering of PPR motifs as new RNA/DNA manipulation tools in living cells, including for genome editing. However, the biochemical characteristics of PPR proteins remain unknown, mostly due to the instability and/or unfolding propensities of PPR proteins in heterologous expression systems such as bacteria and yeast. To overcome this issue, we constructed reporter systems using animal cultured cells. The cell-based system has highly attractive features for PPR engineering: robust eukaryotic gene expression; availability of various vectors, reagents, and antibodies; highly efficient DNA delivery ratio (>80 %); and rapid, high-throughput data production. In this chapter, we introduce an example of such reporter systems: a PPR-based sequence-specific translational activation system. The cell-based reporter system can be applied to characterize plant genes of interested and to PPR engineering.

  10. A 3D character animation engine for multimodal interaction on mobile devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandali, Enrico; Lavagetto, Fabio; Pisano, Paolo

    2005-03-01

    Talking virtual characters are graphical simulations of real or imaginary persons that enable natural and pleasant multimodal interaction with the user, by means of voice, eye gaze, facial expression and gestures. This paper presents an implementation of a 3D virtual character animation and rendering engine, compliant with the MPEG-4 standard, running on Symbian-based SmartPhones. Real-time animation of virtual characters on mobile devices represents a challenging task, since many limitations must be taken into account with respect to processing power, graphics capabilities, disk space and execution memory size. The proposed optimization techniques allow to overcome these issues, guaranteeing a smooth and synchronous animation of facial expressions and lip movements on mobile phones such as Sony-Ericsson's P800 and Nokia's 6600. The animation engine is specifically targeted to the development of new "Over The Air" services, based on embodied conversational agents, with applications in entertainment (interactive story tellers), navigation aid (virtual guides to web sites and mobile services), news casting (virtual newscasters) and education (interactive virtual teachers).

  11. The establishment of genetically engineered canola populations in the U.S.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Concerns regarding the commercial release of genetically engineered (GE) crops include naturalization, introgression to sexually compatible relatives and the transfer of beneficial traits to native and weedy species through hybridization. To date there have been few documented re...

  12. Gene flow in genetically engineered perennial grasses: Lessons for modification of dedicated bioenergy crops

    EPA Science Inventory

    The potential ecological consequences of the commercialization of genetically engineered (GD) crops have been the subject of intense debate, particularly when the GE crops are perennial and capable of outcrossing to wild relatives. The essential ecological impact issues for engi...

  13. Convergence of Human Genetics and Animal Studies: Gene Therapy for X-Linked Retinoschisis.

    PubMed

    Bush, Ronald A; Wei, Lisa L; Sieving, Paul A

    2015-08-01

    Retinoschisis is an X-linked recessive genetic disease that leads to vision loss in males. X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) typically affects young males; however, progressive vision loss continues throughout life. Although discovered in 1898 by Haas in two brothers, the underlying biology leading to blindness has become apparent only in the last 15 years with the advancement of human genetic analyses, generation of XLRS animal models, and the development of ocular monitoring methods such as the electroretinogram and optical coherence tomography. It is now recognized that retinoschisis results from cyst formations within the retinal layers that interrupt normal visual neurosignaling and compromise structural integrity. Mutations in the human retinoschisin gene have been correlated with disease severity of the human XLRS phenotype. Introduction of a normal human retinoschisin cDNA into retinoschisin knockout mice restores retinal structure and improves neural function, providing proof-of-concept that gene replacement therapy is a plausible treatment for XLRS.

  14. Applications of Population Genetics to Animal Breeding, from Wright, Fisher and Lush to Genomic Prediction

    PubMed Central

    Hill, William G.

    2014-01-01

    Although animal breeding was practiced long before the science of genetics and the relevant disciplines of population and quantitative genetics were known, breeding programs have mainly relied on simply selecting and mating the best individuals on their own or relatives’ performance. This is based on sound quantitative genetic principles, developed and expounded by Lush, who attributed much of his understanding to Wright, and formalized in Fisher’s infinitesimal model. Analysis at the level of individual loci and gene frequency distributions has had relatively little impact. Now with access to genomic data, a revolution in which molecular information is being used to enhance response with “genomic selection” is occurring. The predictions of breeding value still utilize multiple loci throughout the genome and, indeed, are largely compatible with additive and specifically infinitesimal model assumptions. I discuss some of the history and genetic issues as applied to the science of livestock improvement, which has had and continues to have major spin-offs into ideas and applications in other areas. PMID:24395822

  15. Applications of population genetics to animal breeding, from wright, fisher and lush to genomic prediction.

    PubMed

    Hill, William G

    2014-01-01

    Although animal breeding was practiced long before the science of genetics and the relevant disciplines of population and quantitative genetics were known, breeding programs have mainly relied on simply selecting and mating the best individuals on their own or relatives' performance. This is based on sound quantitative genetic principles, developed and expounded by Lush, who attributed much of his understanding to Wright, and formalized in Fisher's infinitesimal model. Analysis at the level of individual loci and gene frequency distributions has had relatively little impact. Now with access to genomic data, a revolution in which molecular information is being used to enhance response with "genomic selection" is occurring. The predictions of breeding value still utilize multiple loci throughout the genome and, indeed, are largely compatible with additive and specifically infinitesimal model assumptions. I discuss some of the history and genetic issues as applied to the science of livestock improvement, which has had and continues to have major spin-offs into ideas and applications in other areas.

  16. Intra-locus sexual conflict and sexually antagonistic genetic variation in hermaphroditic animals

    PubMed Central

    Abbott, Jessica K.

    2011-01-01

    Intra-locus sexual conflict results when sex-specific selection pressures for a given trait act against the intra-sexual genetic correlation for that trait. It has been found in a wide variety of taxa in both laboratory and natural populations, but the importance of intra-locus sexual conflict and sexually antagonistic genetic variation in hermaphroditic organisms has rarely been considered. This is not so surprising given the conceptual and theoretical association of intra-locus sexual conflict with sexual dimorphism, but there is no a priori reason why intra-locus sexual conflict cannot occur in hermaphroditic organisms as well. Here, I discuss the potential for intra-locus sexual conflict in hermaphroditic animals and review the available evidence for such conflict, and for the existence of sexually antagonistic genetic variation in hermaphrodites. I argue that mutations with asymmetric effects are particularly likely to be important in mediating sexual antagonism in hermaphroditic organisms. Moreover, sexually antagonistic genetic variation is likely to play an important role in inter-individual variation in sex allocation and in transitions to and from gonochorism (separate sexes) in simultaneous hermaphrodites. I also describe how sequential hermaphrodites may experience a unique form of intra-locus sexual conflict via antagonistic pleiotropy. Finally, I conclude with some suggestions for further research. PMID:20719776

  17. Distribution and genetic variability among Campylobacter spp. isolates from different animal species and humans in Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Keller, J; Wieland, B; Wittwer, M; Stephan, R; Perreten, V

    2007-01-01

    In Switzerland, a national database with 1028 Campylobacter isolates from poultry, pigs, cats, dogs, cattle, humans, zoo animals and water has been created. The database contains the genetic fingerprint and background information of each Campylobacter isolate. Dominant species could be identified in the different sources with a majority of Campylobacter jejuni in poultry (73%), humans (79%), cattle (95%), zoo animals (40%) and water (100%), of Campylobacter coli in pigs (72%), and of Campylobacter upsaliensis/helveticus in cats and dogs (55%). The comparison of three genotyping methods, amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), pulsed field gel electrophoresis and restriction fragment length polymorphism, revealed that AFLP allows discrimination between the different Campylobacter species and is the most appropriate method to distinguish specific strains within the same species. Genotyping analysis demonstrated that the Campylobacter population is heterogeneous among the different sources and that no dominant clone is spread in the country. Genotyping and the resulting database are useful tools to trace back future Campylobacter infections.

  18. Genetic Variability of MicroRNA Genes in 15 Animal Species.

    PubMed

    Zorc, Minja; Obsteter, Jana; Dovc, Peter; Kunej, Tanja

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNA) are a class of non-coding RNAs important in posttranscriptional regulation of target genes. Previous studies have proven that genetic variability of miRNA genes (miR-SNP) has an impact on phenotypic variation and disease susceptibility in human, mice and some livestock species. MicroRNA gene polymorphisms could therefore represent biomarkers for phenotypic traits also in other animal species. We upgraded our previously developed tool miRNA SNiPer to the version 4.0 which enables the search of miRNA genetic variability in 15 animal genomes: http://www.integratomics-time.com/miRNA-SNiPer. Genome-wide in silico screening (GWISS) of 15 genomes revealed that based on the current database releases, miRNA genes are most polymorphic in cattle, followed by human, fruitfly, mouse, chicken, pig, horse, and sheep. The difference in the number of miRNA gene polymorphisms between species is most probably not due to a biological reason and lack of genetic variability in some species, but to different stage of sequencing projects and differences in development of genomic resource databases in different species. Genome screening revealed several interesting genomic hotspots. For instance, several multiple nucleotide polymorphisms (MNPs) are present within mature seed region in cattle. Among miR-SNPs 46 are present on commercial whole-genome SNP chips: 16 in cattle, 26 in chicken, two in sheep and two in pig. The update of the miRNA SNiPer tool and the generated catalogs will serve researchers as a starting point in designing projects dealing with the effects of genetic variability of miRNA genes.

  19. Isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans from infected animals reveal genetic exchange in unisexual, alpha mating type populations.

    PubMed

    Bui, Tien; Lin, Xiaorong; Malik, Richard; Heitman, Joseph; Carter, Dee

    2008-10-01

    Sexual reproduction and genetic exchange are important for the evolution of fungal pathogens and for producing potentially infective spores. Studies to determine whether sex occurs in the pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii have produced enigmatic results, however: basidiospores are the most likely infective propagules, and clinical isolates are fertile and genetically diverse, consistent with a sexual species, but almost all populations examined consist of a single mating type and have little evidence for genetic recombination. The choice of population is critical when looking for recombination, particularly when significant asexual propagation is likely and when latency may complicate assessing the origin of an isolate. We therefore selected isolates from infected animals living in the region of Sydney, Australia, with the assumption that the relatively short life spans and limited travels of the animal hosts would provide a very defined population. All isolates were mating type alpha and were of molecular genotype VNI or VNII. A lack of linkage disequilibrium among loci suggested that genetic exchange occurred within both genotype groups. Four diploid VNII isolates that produced filaments and basidium-like structures when cultured in proximity to an a mating type strain were found. Recent studies suggest that compatible alpha-alpha unions can occur in C. neoformans var. neoformans populations and in populations of the sibling species Cryptococcus gattii. As a mating type strains of C. neoformans var. grubii have never been found in Australia, or in the VNII molecular type globally, the potential for alpha-alpha unions is evidence that alpha-alpha unisexual mating maintains sexual recombination and diversity in this pathogen and may produce infectious propagules.

  20. From animal models to human disease: a genetic approach for personalized medicine in ALS.

    PubMed

    Picher-Martel, Vincent; Valdmanis, Paul N; Gould, Peter V; Julien, Jean-Pierre; Dupré, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is the most frequent motor neuron disease in adults. Classical ALS is characterized by the death of upper and lower motor neurons leading to progressive paralysis. Approximately 10 % of ALS patients have familial form of the disease. Numerous different gene mutations have been found in familial cases of ALS, such as mutations in superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), fused in sarcoma (FUS), C9ORF72, ubiquilin-2 (UBQLN2), optineurin (OPTN) and others. Multiple animal models were generated to mimic the disease and to test future treatments. However, no animal model fully replicates the spectrum of phenotypes in the human disease and it is difficult to assess how a therapeutic effect in disease models can predict efficacy in humans. Importantly, the genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity of ALS leads to a variety of responses to similar treatment regimens. From this has emerged the concept of personalized medicine (PM), which is a medical scheme that combines study of genetic, environmental and clinical diagnostic testing, including biomarkers, to individualized patient care. In this perspective, we used subgroups of specific ALS-linked gene mutations to go through existing animal models and to provide a comprehensive profile of the differences and similarities between animal models of disease and human disease. Finally, we reviewed application of biomarkers and gene therapies relevant in personalized medicine approach. For instance, this includes viral delivering of antisense oligonucleotide and small interfering RNA in SOD1, TDP-43 and C9orf72 mice models. Promising gene therapies raised possibilities for treating differently the major mutations in familial ALS cases. PMID:27400686

  1. Do genetically modified crops affect animal reproduction? A review of the ongoing debate.

    PubMed

    Zhang, W; Shi, F

    2011-05-01

    In the past few years, genetically modified (GM) crops aimed at producing food/feed that became part of the regular agriculture in many areas of the world. However, we are uncertain whether GM food and feed can exert potential adverse effects on humans or animals. Of importance, the reproductive toxicology of GM crops has been studied using a number of methods, and by feeding GM crops to a number species of animals to ensure the safety assessment of GM food and feed. It appears that there are no adverse effects of GM crops on many species of animals in acute and short-term feeding studies, but serious debates of effects of long-term and multigenerational feeding studies remain. The aims of this review are to focus on the latest (last 3 to 4 years) findings and debates on reproduction of male and female animals after feeding daily diets containing the GM crops, and to present the possible mechanism(s) to explain their influences.

  2. Mutational breeding and genetic engineering in the development of high grain protein content.

    PubMed

    Wenefrida, Ida; Utomo, Herry S; Linscombe, Steve D

    2013-12-01

    Cereals are the most important crops in the world for both human consumption and animal feed. Improving their nutritional values, such as high protein content, will have significant implications, from establishing healthy lifestyles to helping remediate malnutrition problems worldwide. Besides providing a source of carbohydrate, grain is also a natural source of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, specific oils, and other disease-fighting phytocompounds. Even though cereal grains contain relatively little protein compared to legume seeds, they provide protein for the nutrition of humans and livestock that is about 3 times that of legumes. Most cereal seeds lack a few essential amino acids; therefore, they have imbalanced amino acid profiles. Lysine (Lys), threonine (Thr), methionine (Met), and tryptophan (Trp) are among the most critical and are a limiting factor in many grain crops for human nutrition. Tremendous research has been put into the efforts to improve these essential amino acids. Development of high protein content can be outlined in four different approaches through manipulating seed protein bodies, modulating certain biosynthetic pathways to overproduce essential and limiting amino acids, increasing nitrogen relocation to the grain through the introduction of transgenes, and exploiting new genetic variance. Various technologies have been employed to improve protein content including conventional and mutational breeding, genetic engineering, marker-assisted selection, and genomic analysis. Each approach involves a combination of these technologies. Advancements in nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics continue to improve public knowledge at a rapid pace on the importance of specific aspects of food nutrition for optimum fitness and health. An understanding of the molecular basis for human health and genetic predisposition to certain diseases through human genomes enables individuals to personalize their nutritional requirements. It is critically important

  3. Mutational breeding and genetic engineering in the development of high grain protein content.

    PubMed

    Wenefrida, Ida; Utomo, Herry S; Linscombe, Steve D

    2013-12-01

    Cereals are the most important crops in the world for both human consumption and animal feed. Improving their nutritional values, such as high protein content, will have significant implications, from establishing healthy lifestyles to helping remediate malnutrition problems worldwide. Besides providing a source of carbohydrate, grain is also a natural source of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, specific oils, and other disease-fighting phytocompounds. Even though cereal grains contain relatively little protein compared to legume seeds, they provide protein for the nutrition of humans and livestock that is about 3 times that of legumes. Most cereal seeds lack a few essential amino acids; therefore, they have imbalanced amino acid profiles. Lysine (Lys), threonine (Thr), methionine (Met), and tryptophan (Trp) are among the most critical and are a limiting factor in many grain crops for human nutrition. Tremendous research has been put into the efforts to improve these essential amino acids. Development of high protein content can be outlined in four different approaches through manipulating seed protein bodies, modulating certain biosynthetic pathways to overproduce essential and limiting amino acids, increasing nitrogen relocation to the grain through the introduction of transgenes, and exploiting new genetic variance. Various technologies have been employed to improve protein content including conventional and mutational breeding, genetic engineering, marker-assisted selection, and genomic analysis. Each approach involves a combination of these technologies. Advancements in nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics continue to improve public knowledge at a rapid pace on the importance of specific aspects of food nutrition for optimum fitness and health. An understanding of the molecular basis for human health and genetic predisposition to certain diseases through human genomes enables individuals to personalize their nutritional requirements. It is critically important

  4. Genetic engineering of Ganoderma lucidum for the efficient production of ganoderic acids.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jun-Wei; Zhong, Jian-Jiang

    2015-01-01

    Ganoderma lucidum is a well-known traditional medicinal mushroom that produces ganoderic acids with numerous interesting bioactivities. Genetic engineering is an efficient approach to improve ganoderic acid biosynthesis. However, reliable genetic transformation methods and appropriate genetic manipulation strategies remain underdeveloped and thus should be enhanced. We previously established a homologous genetic transformation method for G. lucidum; we also applied the established method to perform the deregulated overexpression of a homologous 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl coenzyme A reductase gene in G. lucidum. Engineered strains accumulated more ganoderic acids than wild-type strains. In this report, the genetic transformation systems of G. lucidum are described; current trends are also presented to improve ganoderic acid production through the genetic manipulation of G. lucidum. PMID:26588475

  5. Genetic engineering of Ganoderma lucidum for the efficient production of ganoderic acids.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jun-Wei; Zhong, Jian-Jiang

    2015-01-01

    Ganoderma lucidum is a well-known traditional medicinal mushroom that produces ganoderic acids with numerous interesting bioactivities. Genetic engineering is an efficient approach to improve ganoderic acid biosynthesis. However, reliable genetic transformation methods and appropriate genetic manipulation strategies remain underdeveloped and thus should be enhanced. We previously established a homologous genetic transformation method for G. lucidum; we also applied the established method to perform the deregulated overexpression of a homologous 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl coenzyme A reductase gene in G. lucidum. Engineered strains accumulated more ganoderic acids than wild-type strains. In this report, the genetic transformation systems of G. lucidum are described; current trends are also presented to improve ganoderic acid production through the genetic manipulation of G. lucidum.

  6. Teaching Applied Genetics and Molecular Biology to Agriculture Engineers. Application of the European Credit Transfer System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weiss, J.; Egea-Cortines, M.

    2008-01-01

    We have been teaching applied molecular genetics to engineers and adapted the teaching methodology to the European Credit Transfer System. We teach core principles of genetics that are universal and form the conceptual basis of most molecular technologies. The course then teaches widely used techniques and finally shows how different techniques…

  7. Spontaneous bacterial and fungal infections in genetically engineered mice: Is Escherichia coli an emerging pathogen in laboratory mouse?

    PubMed

    Benga, Laurentiu; Benten, W Peter M; Engelhardt, Eva; Gougoula, Christina; Sager, Martin

    2015-01-01

    The impact of particular microbes on genetically engineered mice depends on the genotype and the environment. Infections resulting in clinical disease have an obvious impact on animal welfare and experimentation. In this study, we investigated the bacterial and fungal aetiology of spontaneous clinical disease of infectious origin among the genetically engineered mice from our institution in relation to their genotype. A total of 63 mice belonging to 33 different mice strains, from severe immunodeficient to wild-type, were found to display infections as the primary cause leading to their euthanasia. The necropsies revealed abscesses localized subcutaneously as well as in the kidney, preputial glands, seminal vesicles, in the uterus, umbilicus or in the lung. In addition, pneumonia, endometritis and septicaemia cases were recorded. Escherichia coli was involved in 21 of 44 (47.72%) of the lesions of bacterial origin, whereas [Pasteurella] pneumotropica was isolated from 19 of 44 (43.18%) cases. The infections with the two agents mentioned above included three cases of mixed infection with both pathogens. Staphylococcus aureus was considered responsible for five of 44 (11.36%) cases whereas Enterobacter cloacae was found to cause lesions in two of 44 (4.54%) mice. Overall, 16 of the 44 (36.36%) cases of bacterial aetiology affected genetically engineered mice without any explicit immunodeficiency or wild-type strains. The remaining 19 cases of interstitial pneumonia were caused by Pneumocystis murina. In conclusion, the susceptibility of genetically modified mice to opportunistic infections has to be regarded with precaution, regardless of the type of genetic modification performed. Beside the classical opportunists, such as [Pasteurella] pneumotropica and Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli should as well be closely monitored to evaluate whether it represents an emerging pathogen in the laboratory mouse.

  8. Generating Alternative Engineering Designs by Integrating Desktop VR with Genetic Algorithms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chandramouli, Magesh; Bertoline, Gary; Connolly, Patrick

    2009-01-01

    This study proposes an innovative solution to the problem of multiobjective engineering design optimization by integrating desktop VR with genetic computing. Although, this study considers the case of construction design as an example to illustrate the framework, this method can very much be extended to other engineering design problems as well.…

  9. Biotechnology, Genetic Engineering and Society. Monograph Series: III.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kieffer, George H.

    New techniques have expanded the field of biotechnology and awarded scientists an unprecedented degree of control over the genetic constitutions of living things. The knowledge of DNA science is the basis for this burgeoning industry which may be a major force in human existence. Just as it is possible to move genetic material from one organism to…

  10. The Significance of Content Knowledge for Informal Reasoning regarding Socioscientific Issues: Applying Genetics Knowledge to Genetic Engineering Issues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sadler, Troy D.; Zeidler, Dana L.

    2005-01-01

    This study focused on informal reasoning regarding socioscientific issues. It sought to explore how content knowledge influenced the negotiation and resolution of contentious and complex scenarios based on genetic engineering. Two hundred and sixty-nine students drawn from undergraduate natural science and nonnatural science courses completed a…

  11. Animal board invited review: genetic possibilities to reduce enteric methane emissions from ruminants.

    PubMed

    Pickering, N K; Oddy, V H; Basarab, J; Cammack, K; Hayes, B; Hegarty, R S; Lassen, J; McEwan, J C; Miller, S; Pinares-Patiño, C S; de Haas, Y

    2015-09-01

    Measuring and mitigating methane (CH4) emissions from livestock is of increasing importance for the environment and for policy making. Potentially, the most sustainable way of reducing enteric CH4 emission from ruminants is through the estimation of genomic breeding values to facilitate genetic selection. There is potential for adopting genetic selection and in the future genomic selection, for reduced CH4 emissions from ruminants. From this review it has been observed that both CH4 emissions and production (g/day) are a heritable and repeatable trait. CH4 emissions are strongly related to feed intake both in the short term (minutes to several hours) and over the medium term (days). When measured over the medium term, CH4 yield (MY, g CH4/kg dry matter intake) is a heritable and repeatable trait albeit with less genetic variation than for CH4 emissions. CH4 emissions of individual animals are moderately repeatable across diets, and across feeding levels, when measured in respiration chambers. Repeatability is lower when short term measurements are used, possibly due to variation in time and amount of feed ingested prior to the measurement. However, while repeated measurements add value; it is preferable the measures be separated by at least 3 to 14 days. This temporal separation of measurements needs to be investigated further. Given the above issue can be resolved, short term (over minutes to hours) measurements of CH4 emissions show promise, especially on systems where animals are fed ad libitum and frequency of meals is high. However, we believe that for short-term measurements to be useful for genetic evaluation, a number (between 3 and 20) of measurements will be required over an extended period of time (weeks to months). There are opportunities for using short-term measurements in standardised feeding situations such as breath 'sniffers' attached to milking parlours or total mixed ration feeding bins, to measure CH4. Genomic selection has the potential to

  12. Animal board invited review: genetic possibilities to reduce enteric methane emissions from ruminants.

    PubMed

    Pickering, N K; Oddy, V H; Basarab, J; Cammack, K; Hayes, B; Hegarty, R S; Lassen, J; McEwan, J C; Miller, S; Pinares-Patiño, C S; de Haas, Y

    2015-09-01

    Measuring and mitigating methane (CH4) emissions from livestock is of increasing importance for the environment and for policy making. Potentially, the most sustainable way of reducing enteric CH4 emission from ruminants is through the estimation of genomic breeding values to facilitate genetic selection. There is potential for adopting genetic selection and in the future genomic selection, for reduced CH4 emissions from ruminants. From this review it has been observed that both CH4 emissions and production (g/day) are a heritable and repeatable trait. CH4 emissions are strongly related to feed intake both in the short term (minutes to several hours) and over the medium term (days). When measured over the medium term, CH4 yield (MY, g CH4/kg dry matter intake) is a heritable and repeatable trait albeit with less genetic variation than for CH4 emissions. CH4 emissions of individual animals are moderately repeatable across diets, and across feeding levels, when measured in respiration chambers. Repeatability is lower when short term measurements are used, possibly due to variation in time and amount of feed ingested prior to the measurement. However, while repeated measurements add value; it is preferable the measures be separated by at least 3 to 14 days. This temporal separation of measurements needs to be investigated further. Given the above issue can be resolved, short term (over minutes to hours) measurements of CH4 emissions show promise, especially on systems where animals are fed ad libitum and frequency of meals is high. However, we believe that for short-term measurements to be useful for genetic evaluation, a number (between 3 and 20) of measurements will be required over an extended period of time (weeks to months). There are opportunities for using short-term measurements in standardised feeding situations such as breath 'sniffers' attached to milking parlours or total mixed ration feeding bins, to measure CH4. Genomic selection has the potential to

  13. Genetic Networks of Complex Disorders: from a Novel Search Engine for PubMed Article Database.

    PubMed

    Jung, Jae-Yoon; Wall, Dennis Paul

    2013-01-01

    Finding genetic risk factors of complex disorders may involve reviewing hundreds of genes or thousands of research articles iteratively, but few tools have been available to facilitate this procedure. In this work, we built a novel publication search engine that can identify target-disorder specific, genetics-oriented research articles and extract the genes with significant results. Preliminary test results showed that the output of this engine has better coverage in terms of genes or publications, than other existing applications. We consider it as an essential tool for understanding genetic networks of complex disorders.

  14. Natural and genetically engineered viral agents for oncolysis and gene therapy of human cancers.

    PubMed

    Sinkovics, Joseph G; Horvath, Joseph C

    2008-12-01

    Based on personal acquaintances and experience dating back to the early 1950s, the senior author reviews the history of viral therapy of cancer. He points out the difficulties encountered in the treatment of human cancers, as opposed by the highly successful viral therapy of experimentally maintained tumors in laboratory animals, especially that of ascites carcinomas in mice. A detailed account of viral therapy of human tumors with naturally oncolytic viruses follows, emphasizing the first clinical trials with viral oncolysates. The discrepancy between the high success rates, culminating in cures, in the treatment of tumors of laboratory animals, and the moderate results, such as stabilizations of disease, partial responses, very rare complete remissions, and frequent relapses with virally treated human tumors is recognized. The preclinical laboratory testing against established human tumor cell lines that were maintained in tissue cultures for decades, and against human tumors extricated from their natural habitat and grown in xenografts, may not yield valid results predictive of the viral therapy applied against human tumors growing in their natural environment, the human host. Since the recent discovery of the oncosuppressive efficacy of bacteriophages, the colon could be regarded as the battlefield, where incipient tumor cells and bacteriophages vie for dominance. The inner environment of the colon will be the teaching ground providing new knowledge on the value of the anti-tumor efficacy of phage-induced innate anti-tumor immune reactions. Genetically engineered oncolytic viruses are reviewed next. The molecular biology of viral oncolysis is explained in details. Elaborate efforts are presented to elucidate how gene product proteins of oncolytic viruses switch off the oncogenic cascades of cancer cells. The facts strongly support the conclusion that viral therapy of human cancers will remain in the front lines of modern cancer therapeutics. It may be a

  15. Natural and genetically engineered viral agents for oncolysis and gene therapy of human cancers.

    PubMed

    Sinkovics, Joseph G; Horvath, Joseph C

    2008-12-01

    Based on personal acquaintances and experience dating back to the early 1950s, the senior author reviews the history of viral therapy of cancer. He points out the difficulties encountered in the treatment of human cancers, as opposed by the highly successful viral therapy of experimentally maintained tumors in laboratory animals, especially that of ascites carcinomas in mice. A detailed account of viral therapy of human tumors with naturally oncolytic viruses follows, emphasizing the first clinical trials with viral oncolysates. The discrepancy between the high success rates, culminating in cures, in the treatment of tumors of laboratory animals, and the moderate results, such as stabilizations of disease, partial responses, very rare complete remissions, and frequent relapses with virally treated human tumors is recognized. The preclinical laboratory testing against established human tumor cell lines that were maintained in tissue cultures for decades, and against human tumors extricated from their natural habitat and grown in xenografts, may not yield valid results predictive of the viral therapy applied against human tumors growing in their natural environment, the human host. Since the recent discovery of the oncosuppressive efficacy of bacteriophages, the colon could be regarded as the battlefield, where incipient tumor cells and bacteriophages vie for dominance. The inner environment of the colon will be the teaching ground providing new knowledge on the value of the anti-tumor efficacy of phage-induced innate anti-tumor immune reactions. Genetically engineered oncolytic viruses are reviewed next. The molecular biology of viral oncolysis is explained in details. Elaborate efforts are presented to elucidate how gene product proteins of oncolytic viruses switch off the oncogenic cascades of cancer cells. The facts strongly support the conclusion that viral therapy of human cancers will remain in the front lines of modern cancer therapeutics. It may be a

  16. Genetic parameter estimates of yearling live animal ultrasonic measurements in Brangus cattle.

    PubMed

    Stelzleni, A M; Perkins, T L; Brown, A H; Pohlman, F W; Johnson, Z B; Sandelin, B A

    2002-12-01

    The objective of this study was to estimate genetic parameters for real-time ultrasound measurements of longissimus muscle area (LMA), 12th rib backfat thickness (FT), percent intramuscular fat (IMF), and yearling weight (YW) for 1,299 yearling Brangus bulls and heifers. A single ultrasound technician performed all measurements. The number of observations was 1,298, 1,298, 1,215, and 1,170 for LMA, FT, IMF, and YW, respectively. Genetic parameters were estimated for each trait using single- and multiple-trait derivative-free restricted maximal likelihood. Fixed effects were contemporary group (defined as same sex, same age within six months, and same environment), and days of age as a covariate. Correlations were estimated from two-trait models. Heritabilities for LMA, FT, IMF, and YW were 0.31, 0.26, 0.16, and 0.53, respectively. Genetic correlations between LMA and FT, LMA and IMF, LMA and YW, FT and IMF, FT and YW, and IMF and YW were 0.09, 0.25, 0.44, 0.36, 0.42, and 0.31, respectively. Yearling live animal ultrasonic measurements can be used as a selection tool in breeding cattle for the improvement of carcass traits.

  17. Genetic parameter estimates of yearling live animal ultrasonic measurements in Brangus cattle.

    PubMed

    Stelzleni, A M; Perkins, T L; Brown, A H; Pohlman, F W; Johnson, Z B; Sandelin, B A

    2002-12-01

    The objective of this study was to estimate genetic parameters for real-time ultrasound measurements of longissimus muscle area (LMA), 12th rib backfat thickness (FT), percent intramuscular fat (IMF), and yearling weight (YW) for 1,299 yearling Brangus bulls and heifers. A single ultrasound technician performed all measurements. The number of observations was 1,298, 1,298, 1,215, and 1,170 for LMA, FT, IMF, and YW, respectively. Genetic parameters were estimated for each trait using single- and multiple-trait derivative-free restricted maximal likelihood. Fixed effects were contemporary group (defined as same sex, same age within six months, and same environment), and days of age as a covariate. Correlations were estimated from two-trait models. Heritabilities for LMA, FT, IMF, and YW were 0.31, 0.26, 0.16, and 0.53, respectively. Genetic correlations between LMA and FT, LMA and IMF, LMA and YW, FT and IMF, FT and YW, and IMF and YW were 0.09, 0.25, 0.44, 0.36, 0.42, and 0.31, respectively. Yearling live animal ultrasonic measurements can be used as a selection tool in breeding cattle for the improvement of carcass traits. PMID:12542155

  18. N-acetylcysteineamide (NACA) prevents inflammation and oxidative stress in animals exposed to diesel engine exhaust.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Atrayee; Trueblood, Max B; Zhang, Xinsheng; Manda, Kalyan Reddy; Lobo, Prem; Whitefield, Philip D; Hagen, Donald E; Ercal, Nuran

    2009-06-22

    Diesel exhaust particles (DEPs), a by-product of diesel engine exhaust (DEE), are one of the major components of air borne particulate matter (PM) in the urban environment. DEPs are composed of soot, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), redox active semi-quinones, and transition metals, which are known to produce pro-oxidative and pro-inflammatory effects, thereby leading to oxidative stress-induced damage in the lungs. The objective of this study was to determine if N-acetylcysteineamide (NACA), a novel thiol antioxidant, confers protection to animals exposed to DEPs from oxidative stress-induced damage to the lung. To study this, male C57BL/6 mice, pretreated with either NACA (250mg/kg body weight) or saline, were exposed to DEPs (15mg/m(3)) or filtered air (1.5-3h/day) for nine consecutive days. The animals were sacrificed 24h after the last exposure. NACA-treated animals exposed to DEP had significant decreases in the number of macrophages and the amount of mucus plug formation in the lungs, as compared to the DEP-only exposed animals. In addition, DEP-exposed animals, pretreated with NACA, also experienced significantly lower oxidative stress than the untreated group, as indicated by the glutathione (GSH), and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels and catalase (CAT) activity. Further, DEP-induced toxicity in the lungs was reversed in NACA-treated animals, as indicated by the lactate dehydrogenase levels. Taken together, these data suggest that the thiol-antioxidant, NACA, can protect the lungs from DEP-induced inflammation and oxidative stress related damage. PMID:19429263

  19. N-acetylcysteineamide (NACA) prevents inflammation and oxidative stress in animals exposed to diesel engine exhaust.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Atrayee; Trueblood, Max B; Zhang, Xinsheng; Manda, Kalyan Reddy; Lobo, Prem; Whitefield, Philip D; Hagen, Donald E; Ercal, Nuran

    2009-06-22

    Diesel exhaust particles (DEPs), a by-product of diesel engine exhaust (DEE), are one of the major components of air borne particulate matter (PM) in the urban environment. DEPs are composed of soot, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), redox active semi-quinones, and transition metals, which are known to produce pro-oxidative and pro-inflammatory effects, thereby leading to oxidative stress-induced damage in the lungs. The objective of this study was to determine if N-acetylcysteineamide (NACA), a novel thiol antioxidant, confers protection to animals exposed to DEPs from oxidative stress-induced damage to the lung. To study this, male C57BL/6 mice, pretreated with either NACA (250mg/kg body weight) or saline, were exposed to DEPs (15mg/m(3)) or filtered air (1.5-3h/day) for nine consecutive days. The animals were sacrificed 24h after the last exposure. NACA-treated animals exposed to DEP had significant decreases in the number of macrophages and the amount of mucus plug formation in the lungs, as compared to the DEP-only exposed animals. In addition, DEP-exposed animals, pretreated with NACA, also experienced significantly lower oxidative stress than the untreated group, as indicated by the glutathione (GSH), and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels and catalase (CAT) activity. Further, DEP-induced toxicity in the lungs was reversed in NACA-treated animals, as indicated by the lactate dehydrogenase levels. Taken together, these data suggest that the thiol-antioxidant, NACA, can protect the lungs from DEP-induced inflammation and oxidative stress related damage.

  20. Non-Standard Genetic Codes Define New Concepts for Protein Engineering.

    PubMed

    Bezerra, Ana R; Guimarães, Ana R; Santos, Manuel A S

    2015-01-01

    The essential feature of the genetic code is the strict one-to-one correspondence between codons and amino acids. The canonical code consists of three stop codons and 61 sense codons that encode 20% of the amino acid repertoire observed in nature. It was originally designated as immutable and universal due to its conservation in most organisms, but sequencing of genes from the human mitochondrial genomes revealed deviations in codon assignments. Since then, alternative codes have been reported in both nuclear and mitochondrial genomes and genetic code engineering has become an important research field. Here, we review the most recent concepts arising from the study of natural non-standard genetic codes with special emphasis on codon re-assignment strategies that are relevant to engineering genetic code in the laboratory. Recent tools for synthetic biology and current attempts to engineer new codes for incorporation of non-standard amino acids are also reviewed in this article. PMID:26569314

  1. Non-Standard Genetic Codes Define New Concepts for Protein Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Bezerra, Ana R.; Guimarães, Ana R.; Santos, Manuel A. S.

    2015-01-01

    The essential feature of the genetic code is the strict one-to-one correspondence between codons and amino acids. The canonical code consists of three stop codons and 61 sense codons that encode 20% of the amino acid repertoire observed in nature. It was originally designated as immutable and universal due to its conservation in most organisms, but sequencing of genes from the human mitochondrial genomes revealed deviations in codon assignments. Since then, alternative codes have been reported in both nuclear and mitochondrial genomes and genetic code engineering has become an important research field. Here, we review the most recent concepts arising from the study of natural non-standard genetic codes with special emphasis on codon re-assignment strategies that are relevant to engineering genetic code in the laboratory. Recent tools for synthetic biology and current attempts to engineer new codes for incorporation of non-standard amino acids are also reviewed in this article. PMID:26569314

  2. A Knockout Experiment: Disciplinary Divides and Experimental Skill in Animal Behaviour Genetics

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Nicole C.

    2015-01-01

    In the early 1990s, a set of new techniques for manipulating mouse DNA allowed researchers to ‘knock out’ specific genes and observe the effects of removing them on a live mouse. In animal behaviour genetics, questions about how to deploy these techniques to study the molecular basis of behaviour became quite controversial, with a number of key methodological issues dissecting the interdisciplinary research field along disciplinary lines. This paper examines debates that took place during the 1990s between a predominately North American group of molecular biologists and animal behaviourists around how to design, conduct, and interpret behavioural knockout experiments. Drawing from and extending Harry Collins’s work on how research communities negotiate what counts as a ‘well-done experiment,’ I argue that the positions practitioners took on questions of experimental skill reflected not only the experimental traditions they were trained in but also their differing ontological and epistemological commitments. Different assumptions about the nature of gene action, eg., were tied to different positions in the knockout mouse debates on how to implement experimental controls. I conclude by showing that examining representations of skill in the context of a community’s knowledge commitments sheds light on some of the contradictory ways in which contemporary animal behaviour geneticists talk about their own laboratory work as a highly skilled endeavour that also could be mechanised, as easy to perform and yet difficult to perform well. PMID:26090739

  3. A Knockout Experiment: Disciplinary Divides and Experimental Skill in Animal Behaviour Genetics.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Nicole C

    2015-07-01

    In the early 1990s, a set of new techniques for manipulating mouse DNA allowed researchers to 'knock out' specific genes and observe the effects of removing them on a live mouse. In animal behaviour genetics, questions about how to deploy these techniques to study the molecular basis of behaviour became quite controversial, with a number of key methodological issues dissecting the interdisciplinary research field along disciplinary lines. This paper examines debates that took place during the 1990s between a predominately North American group of molecular biologists and animal behaviourists around how to design, conduct, and interpret behavioural knockout experiments. Drawing from and extending Harry Collins's work on how research communities negotiate what counts as a 'well-done experiment,' I argue that the positions practitioners took on questions of experimental skill reflected not only the experimental traditions they were trained in but also their differing ontological and epistemological commitments. Different assumptions about the nature of gene action, eg., were tied to different positions in the knockout mouse debates on how to implement experimental controls. I conclude by showing that examining representations of skill in the context of a community's knowledge commitments sheds light on some of the contradictory ways in which contemporary animal behaviour geneticists talk about their own laboratory work as a highly skilled endeavour that also could be mechanised, as easy to perform and yet difficult to perform well.

  4. 20 Years of hypertension research using genetically modified animals: no clinically promising approaches in sight.

    PubMed

    Stingl, Lavinia; Völkel, Manfred; Lindl, Toni

    2009-01-01

    The incidence of essential or primary hypertension is increasing, especially in the northern hemisphere, but although the disease displays clear symptoms, its aetiology appears very complex, and thus no causal treatment is available yet. In the 1990's, genetically modified animals (GMO) were considered to be the key to solving this problem of high complexity. However, until now, although a few approaches have shown that old, well-known drugs have a positive effect (decrease of blood pressure) on such animal models of hypertension, no approach has appeared in the literature of this area of research which might indicate a direct connection between GMO and a therapeutic strategy to treat or prevent this type of hypertension in humans. Instead, criticism of the GMO approach has accumulated in the last years, arguing that it is misleading as this disease does not have a monogenic cause and so complementary regulatory mechanisms could prevent the true identification of the function of the modified genes. Furthermore, the technology is best developed in mice, whose physiology of blood pressure is different from that of humans. Because of species specificity, it is not easy to extrapolate the results from animal models of hypertension to human hypertension. Also, in the years 2000 to 2004 a reorientation of the technology and the aims of this kind of research took place. Therefore, although these approaches are without exception deemed "very promising" in the literature, it cannot be expected that research on GMO will make any contribution to a new therapeutic strategy in the near future.

  5. Physiology of SLC12 transporters: lessons from inherited human genetic mutations and genetically engineered mouse knockouts.

    PubMed

    Gagnon, Kenneth B; Delpire, Eric

    2013-04-15

    Among the over 300 members of the solute carrier (SLC) group of integral plasma membrane transport proteins are the nine electroneutral cation-chloride cotransporters belonging to the SLC12 gene family. Seven of these transporters have been functionally described as coupling the electrically silent movement of chloride with sodium and/or potassium. Although in silico analysis has identified two additional SLC12 family members, no physiological role has been ascribed to the proteins encoded by either the SLC12A8 or the SLC12A9 genes. Evolutionary conservation of this gene family from protists to humans confirms their importance. A wealth of physiological, immunohistochemical, and biochemical studies have revealed a great deal of information regarding the importance of this gene family to human health and disease. The sequencing of the human genome has provided investigators with the capability to link several human diseases with mutations in the genes encoding these plasma membrane proteins. The availability of bacterial artificial chromosomes, recombination engineering techniques, and the mouse genome sequence has simplified the creation of targeting constructs to manipulate the expression/function of these cation-chloride cotransporters in the mouse in an attempt to recapitulate some of these human pathologies. This review will summarize the three human disorders that have been linked to the mutation/dysfunction of the Na-Cl, Na-K-2Cl, and K-Cl cotransporters (i.e., Bartter's, Gitleman's, and Andermann's syndromes), examine some additional pathologies arising from genetically modified mouse models of these cotransporters including deafness, blood pressure, hyperexcitability, and epithelial transport deficit phenotypes.

  6. Wheels, Cranks, and Cams: An Animated Spreadsheet-Based Mathematical Model of a Four-Stroke Engine.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Callender, J. T.; Jackson, R.

    1998-01-01

    Analyzes the mathematics of rotational and translational motion and how one can influence the other in the context of cams and cranks. Describes how the individual components can be brought together to simulate a four-stroke engine and how the engine animates again using the same simple macro. (Author/ASK)

  7. Hybrid Neural-Network: Genetic Algorithm Technique for Aircraft Engine Performance Diagnostics Developed and Demonstrated

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kobayashi, Takahisa; Simon, Donald L.

    2002-01-01

    As part of the NASA Aviation Safety Program, a unique model-based diagnostics method that employs neural networks and genetic algorithms for aircraft engine performance diagnostics has been developed and demonstrated at the NASA Glenn Research Center against a nonlinear gas turbine engine model. Neural networks are applied to estimate the internal health condition of the engine, and genetic algorithms are used for sensor fault detection, isolation, and quantification. This hybrid architecture combines the excellent nonlinear estimation capabilities of neural networks with the capability to rank the likelihood of various faults given a specific sensor suite signature. The method requires a significantly smaller data training set than a neural network approach alone does, and it performs the combined engine health monitoring objectives of performance diagnostics and sensor fault detection and isolation in the presence of nominal and degraded engine health conditions.

  8. DECOMPOSTION OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED TOBACCO UNDER FIELD CONDITIONS: PERSISTENCE OF THE PROTEINASE INHIBITOR I PRODUCT AND EFFECTS OF SOIL MICROBIAL RESPIRATION AND PROTOZOA, NEMATODE AND MICROARTHR

    EPA Science Inventory

    1. To evaluate the potential effects of genetically engineered (transgenic) plants on soil ecosystems, litterbags containing leaves of non-engineered (parental) and transgenic tobacco plants were buried in field plots. The transgenic tobacco plants were genetically engineered to ...

  9. Genomic landscapes of endogenous retroviruses unveil intricate genetics of conventional and genetically-engineered laboratory mouse strains.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kang-Hoon; Lim, Debora; Chiu, Sophia; Greenhalgh, David; Cho, Kiho

    2016-04-01

    Laboratory strains of mice, both conventional and genetically engineered, have been introduced as critical components of a broad range of studies investigating normal and disease biology. Currently, the genetic identity of laboratory mice is primarily confirmed by surveying polymorphisms in selected sets of "conventional" genes and/or microsatellites in the absence of a single completely sequenced mouse genome. First, we examined variations in the genomic landscapes of transposable repetitive elements, named the TREome, in conventional and genetically engineered mouse strains using murine leukemia virus-type endogenous retroviruses (MLV-ERVs) as a probe. A survey of the genomes from 56 conventional strains revealed strain-specific TREome landscapes, and certain families (e.g., C57BL) of strains were discernible with defined patterns. Interestingly, the TREome landscapes of C3H/HeJ (toll-like receptor-4 [TLR4] mutant) inbred mice were different from its control C3H/HeOuJ (TLR4 wild-type) strain. In addition, a CD14 knock-out strain had a distinct TREome landscape compared to its control/backcross C57BL/6J strain. Second, an examination of superantigen (SAg, a "TREome gene") coding sequences of mouse mammary tumor virus-type ERVs in the genomes of the 46 conventional strains revealed a high diversity, suggesting a potential role of SAgs in strain-specific immune phenotypes. The findings from this study indicate that unexplored and intricate genomic variations exist in laboratory mouse strains, both conventional and genetically engineered. The TREome-based high-resolution genetics surveillance system for laboratory mice would contribute to efficient study design with quality control and accurate data interpretation. This genetics system can be easily adapted to other species ranging from plants to humans.

  10. Genomic landscapes of endogenous retroviruses unveil intricate genetics of conventional and genetically-engineered laboratory mouse strains.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kang-Hoon; Lim, Debora; Chiu, Sophia; Greenhalgh, David; Cho, Kiho

    2016-04-01

    Laboratory strains of mice, both conventional and genetically engineered, have been introduced as critical components of a broad range of studies investigating normal and disease biology. Currently, the genetic identity of laboratory mice is primarily confirmed by surveying polymorphisms in selected sets of "conventional" genes and/or microsatellites in the absence of a single completely sequenced mouse genome. First, we examined variations in the genomic landscapes of transposable repetitive elements, named the TREome, in conventional and genetically engineered mouse strains using murine leukemia virus-type endogenous retroviruses (MLV-ERVs) as a probe. A survey of the genomes from 56 conventional strains revealed strain-specific TREome landscapes, and certain families (e.g., C57BL) of strains were discernible with defined patterns. Interestingly, the TREome landscapes of C3H/HeJ (toll-like receptor-4 [TLR4] mutant) inbred mice were different from its control C3H/HeOuJ (TLR4 wild-type) strain. In addition, a CD14 knock-out strain had a distinct TREome landscape compared to its control/backcross C57BL/6J strain. Second, an examination of superantigen (SAg, a "TREome gene") coding sequences of mouse mammary tumor virus-type ERVs in the genomes of the 46 conventional strains revealed a high diversity, suggesting a potential role of SAgs in strain-specific immune phenotypes. The findings from this study indicate that unexplored and intricate genomic variations exist in laboratory mouse strains, both conventional and genetically engineered. The TREome-based high-resolution genetics surveillance system for laboratory mice would contribute to efficient study design with quality control and accurate data interpretation. This genetics system can be easily adapted to other species ranging from plants to humans. PMID:26779669

  11. Animal models to detect allergenicity to foods and genetically modified products: workshop summary.

    PubMed

    Tryphonas, Helen; Arvanitakis, George; Vavasour, Elizabeth; Bondy, Genevieve

    2003-02-01

    Respiratory allergy and allergy to foods continue to be important health issues. There is evidence to indicate that the incidence of food allergy around the world is on the rise. Current estimates indicate that approximately 5% of young children and 1-2% of adults suffer from true food allergy (Kagan 2003). Although a large number of in vivo and in vitro tests exist for the clinical diagnosis of allergy in humans, we lack validated animal models of allergenicity. This deficiency creates serious problems for regulatory agencies and industries that must define the potential allergenicity of foods before marketing. The emergence of several biotechnologically derived foods and industrial proteins, as well as their potential to sensitize genetically predisposed populations to develop allergy, has prompted health officials and regulatory agencies around the world to seek approaches and methodologies to screen novel proteins for allergenicity.

  12. On the role of brain serotonin in expression of genetic predisposition to catalepsy in animal models

    SciTech Connect

    Popova, N.K.; Kulikov, A.V.

    1995-06-19

    The activity of the rate-limiting enzyme of serotonin biosynthesis, tryptophan hydroxylase, in the striatum but not in the hippocampus and midbrain of rats bred for predisposition to catalepsy was higher than in nonselected rats. Mice of the highly susceptible to catalepsy CBA strain also differed from other noncataleptic mouse strains by the highest tryptophan hydroxylase activity in the striatum. Inhibition of tryptophan hydroxylase with p-chlorophenylalanine and p-chloromethamphetamine drastically decreased immobility time in hereditary predisposed to catalepsy animals. A decrease in the {sup 3}H-ketanserin specific binding in the striatum of cataleptic rats and CBA mice was found. It was suggested that this decrease in 5-HT2A serotonin receptor density represented a down regulation of the receptors due to an activation of serotonergic transmission in striatum. It is suggested that hereditary catalepsy may be resulted from genetic changes in the regulation of serotonin metabolism in striatum. 32 refs., 6 figs.

  13. Genetic correction using engineered nucleases for gene therapy applications.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongmei Lisa; Nakano, Takao; Hotta, Akitsu

    2014-01-01

    Genetic mutations in humans are associated with congenital disorders and phenotypic traits. Gene therapy holds the promise to cure such genetic disorders, although it has suffered from several technical limitations for decades. Recent progress in gene editing technology using tailor-made nucleases, such as meganucleases (MNs), zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), TAL effector nucleases (TALENs) and, more recently, CRISPR/Cas9, has significantly broadened our ability to precisely modify target sites in the human genome. In this review, we summarize recent progress in gene correction approaches of the human genome, with a particular emphasis on the clinical applications of gene therapy.

  14. Gaps, inexperience, inconsistencies, and overlaps: crisis in the regulation of genetically modified plants and animals.

    PubMed

    Mandal, Gregory N

    2004-04-01

    The regulation of genetically modified products pursuant to statutes enacted decades prior to the advent of biotechnology has created a regulatory system that is passive rather than proactive about risks, has difficulty adapting to biotechnology advances, and is highly fractured and inefficient--transgenic plants and animals are governed by at least twelve different statutes and five different agencies or services. The deficiencies resulting from this piecemeal approach to regulation unnecessarily expose society and the environment to adverse risks of biotechnology and introduce numerous inefficiencies into the regulatory system. These risks and inefficiencies include gaps in regulation, duplicative and inconsistent regulation, unnecessary increases in the cost of and delay in the development and commercialization of new biotechnology products. These deficiencies also increase the risk of further unnecessary biotechnology scares, which may cause public overreaction against biotechnology products, preventing the maximization of social welfare. With science and society poised to soar from first-generation biotechnology (focused on crops modified for agricultural benefit), to next-generation developments (including transgenic fish, insects, and livestock, and pharmaceutical-producing and industrial compound-producing plants and animals), it is necessary to establish a comprehensive, efficient, and scientifically rigorous regulatory system. This Article details how to achieve such a result through fixing the deficiencies in, and risks created by, the current regulatory structure. Ignoring many details, the solutions can be summarized in two categories. First, statutory and regulatory gaps that are identified must be closed with new legislation and regulation. Second, regulation of genetically modified products must be shifted from a haphazard model based on statutes not intended to cover biotechnology to a system based upon agency expertise in handling particular types

  15. Genetic engineering: a matter that requires further refinement in Spanish secondary school textbooks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-Gracia, M. V.; Gil-Quýlez, M. J.

    2003-09-01

    Genetic engineering is now an integral part of many high school textbooks but little work has been done to assess whether it is being properly addressed. A checklist with 19 items was used to analyze how genetic engineering is presented in biology textbooks commonly used in Spanish high schools, including the content, its relationship with fundamental genetic principles, and how it aims to improve the genetic literacy of students. The results show that genetic engineering was normally introduced without a clear reference to the universal genetic code, protein expression or the genetic material shared by all species. In most cases it was poorly defined, without a clear explanation of all the relevant processes involved. Some procedures (such as vectors) were explained in detail without considering previous student knowledge or skills. Some books emphasized applications such as the human genome project without describing DNA sequencing. All books included possible repercussions, but in most cases only fashionable topics such as human cloning. There was an excess of information that was not always well founded and hence was unsuitable to provide a meaningful understanding of DNA technology required for citizens in the twenty-first century.

  16. Reward circuitry dysfunction in psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders and genetic syndromes: animal models and clinical findings

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    This review summarizes evidence of dysregulated reward circuitry function in a range of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders and genetic syndromes. First, the contribution of identifying a core mechanistic process across disparate disorders to disease classification is discussed, followed by a review of the neurobiology of reward circuitry. We next consider preclinical animal models and clinical evidence of reward-pathway dysfunction in a range of disorders, including psychiatric disorders (i.e., substance-use disorders, affective disorders, eating disorders, and obsessive compulsive disorders), neurodevelopmental disorders (i.e., schizophrenia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, Tourette’s syndrome, conduct disorder/oppositional defiant disorder), and genetic syndromes (i.e., Fragile X syndrome, Prader–Willi syndrome, Williams syndrome, Angelman syndrome, and Rett syndrome). We also provide brief overviews of effective psychopharmacologic agents that have an effect on the dopamine system in these disorders. This review concludes with methodological considerations for future research designed to more clearly probe reward-circuitry dysfunction, with the ultimate goal of improved intervention strategies. PMID:22958744

  17. Genetics of Adiposity in Large Animal Models for Human Obesity-Studies on Pigs and Dogs.

    PubMed

    Stachowiak, M; Szczerbal, I; Switonski, M

    2016-01-01

    The role of domestic mammals in the development of human biomedical sciences has been widely documented. Among these model species the pig and dog are of special importance. Both are useful for studies on the etiology of human obesity. Genome sequences of both species are known and advanced genetic tools [eg, microarray SNP for genome wide association studies (GWAS), next generation sequencing (NGS), etc.] are commonly used in such studies. In the domestic pig the accumulation of adipose tissue is an important trait, which influences meat quality and fattening efficiency. Numerous quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for pig fatness traits were identified, while gene polymorphisms associated with these traits were also described. The situation is different in dog population. Generally, excessive accumulation of adipose tissue is considered, similar to humans, as a complex disease. However, research on the genetic background of canine obesity is still in its infancy. Between-breed differences in terms of adipose tissue accumulation are well known in both animal species. In this review we show recent advances of studies on adipose tissue accumulation in pigs and dogs, and their potential importance for studies on human obesity. PMID:27288831

  18. Genetic causes of transitions from sexual reproduction to asexuality in plants and animals.

    PubMed

    Neiman, M; Sharbel, T F; Schwander, T

    2014-07-01

    The persistence of sexual reproduction in the face of competition from asexual invaders is more likely if asexual lineages are produced infrequently or have low fitness. The generation rate and success of new asexual lineages will be influenced by the proximate mechanisms underlying transitions to asexuality. As such, characterization of these mechanisms can help explain the distribution of reproductive modes among natural populations. Here, we synthesize the literature addressing proximate causes of transitions from sexual to asexual reproduction in plants and animals. In cyclical and facultatively asexual taxa, individual mutations can cause obligate asexuality. The evolution of asexuality in obligately sexual groups is more complex, requiring the simultaneous acquisition of two traits generally controlled by different genetic factors: unreduced gamete formation and spontaneous development of unfertilized gametes. At least three 'pre-adaptations' could favour transitions to obligate asexuality in obligate sexuals. First, linkage among loci affecting separate key components of asexuality facilitates its spread, with evidence for these linkage blocks in plants. Second, asexuality should evolve more readily in haplodiploids; support for this hypothesis comes from two examples where a single locus causes transitions to asexuality. Third, standing genetic variation for the production of unreduced gametes could facilitate transitions to asexuality, but whether the ability to produce unreduced gametes contributes to the evolution of obligate asexuality remains unclear. We close by reviewing the associations between asexuality, hybridization and polyploidy, and argue that current data suggest that hybridization is more likely to play a causal role in transitions to asexuality than polyploidy.

  19. Genetic causes of transitions from sexual reproduction to asexuality in plants and animals.

    PubMed

    Neiman, M; Sharbel, T F; Schwander, T

    2014-07-01

    The persistence of sexual reproduction in the face of competition from asexual invaders is more likely if asexual lineages are produced infrequently or have low fitness. The generation rate and success of new asexual lineages will be influenced by the proximate mechanisms underlying transitions to asexuality. As such, characterization of these mechanisms can help explain the distribution of reproductive modes among natural populations. Here, we synthesize the literature addressing proximate causes of transitions from sexual to asexual reproduction in plants and animals. In cyclical and facultatively asexual taxa, individual mutations can cause obligate asexuality. The evolution of asexuality in obligately sexual groups is more complex, requiring the simultaneous acquisition of two traits generally controlled by different genetic factors: unreduced gamete formation and spontaneous development of unfertilized gametes. At least three 'pre-adaptations' could favour transitions to obligate asexuality in obligate sexuals. First, linkage among loci affecting separate key components of asexuality facilitates its spread, with evidence for these linkage blocks in plants. Second, asexuality should evolve more readily in haplodiploids; support for this hypothesis comes from two examples where a single locus causes transitions to asexuality. Third, standing genetic variation for the production of unreduced gametes could facilitate transitions to asexuality, but whether the ability to produce unreduced gametes contributes to the evolution of obligate asexuality remains unclear. We close by reviewing the associations between asexuality, hybridization and polyploidy, and argue that current data suggest that hybridization is more likely to play a causal role in transitions to asexuality than polyploidy. PMID:24666600

  20. An Ethical Study on the Uses of Enhancement Genetic Engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawakita, Koji

    A variety of biomedical technologies are being developed that can be used for purposes other than treating diseases. Such “enhancement technologies” can be used to improve our own and future generation's life-chances. While these technologies can help people in many ways, their use raises important ethical issues. Some arguments for anti-enhancement as well as pro-enhancement seem to rest, however, on shaky foundation. Both company engineers and the general public had better learn more from technological, economical and philosophical histories. For such subjects may provide engineers with less opportunities of technological misuses and more powers of self-esteem in addition to self-control.

  1. Applying stereotactic injection technique to study genetic effects on animal behaviors.

    PubMed

    McSweeney, Colleen; Mao, Yingwei

    2015-05-10

    Stereotactic injection is a useful technique to deliver high titer lentiviruses to targeted brain areas in mice. Lentiviruses can either overexpress or knockdown gene expression in a relatively focused region without significant damage to the brain tissue. After recovery, the injected mouse can be tested on various behavioral tasks such as the Open Field Test (OFT) and the Forced Swim Test (FST). The OFT is designed to assess locomotion and the anxious phenotype in mice by measuring the amount of time that a mouse spends in the center of a novel open field. A more anxious mouse will spend significantly less time in the center of the novel field compared to controls. The FST assesses the anti-depressive phenotype by quantifying the amount of time that mice spend immobile when placed into a bucket of water. A mouse with an anti-depressive phenotype will spend significantly less time immobile compared to control animals. The goal of this protocol is to use the stereotactic injection of a lentivirus in conjunction with behavioral tests to assess how genetic factors modulate animal behaviors.

  2. A Hybrid Neural Network-Genetic Algorithm Technique for Aircraft Engine Performance Diagnostics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kobayashi, Takahisa; Simon, Donald L.

    2001-01-01

    In this paper, a model-based diagnostic method, which utilizes Neural Networks and Genetic Algorithms, is investigated. Neural networks are applied to estimate the engine internal health, and Genetic Algorithms are applied for sensor bias detection and estimation. This hybrid approach takes advantage of the nonlinear estimation capability provided by neural networks while improving the robustness to measurement uncertainty through the application of Genetic Algorithms. The hybrid diagnostic technique also has the ability to rank multiple potential solutions for a given set of anomalous sensor measurements in order to reduce false alarms and missed detections. The performance of the hybrid diagnostic technique is evaluated through some case studies derived from a turbofan engine simulation. The results show this approach is promising for reliable diagnostics of aircraft engines.

  3. Genetically encoded molecular biosensors to image histone methylation in living animals.

    PubMed

    Sekar, Thillai V; Foygel, Kira; Gelovani, Juri G; Paulmurugan, Ramasamy

    2015-01-20

    Post-translational addition of methyl groups to the amino terminal tails of histone proteins regulates cellular gene expression at various stages of development and the pathogenesis of cellular diseases, including cancer. Several enzymes that modulate these post-translational modifications of histones are promising targets for development of small molecule drugs. However, there is no promising real-time histone methylation detection tool currently available to screen and validate potential small molecule histone methylation modulators in small animal models. With this in mind, we developed genetically encoded molecular biosensors based on the split-enzyme complementation approach for in vitro and in vivo imaging of lysine 9 (H3-K9 sensor) and lysine 27 (H3-K27 sensor) methylation marks of histone 3. These methylation sensors were validated in vitro in HEK293T, HepG2, and HeLa cells. The efficiency of the histone methylation sensor was assessed by employing methyltransferase inhibitors (Bix01294 and UNC0638), demethylase inhibitor (JIB-04), and siRNA silencing at the endogenous histone K9-methyltransferase enzyme level. Furthermore, noninvasive bioluminescence imaging of histone methylation sensors confirmed the potential of these sensors in monitoring histone methylation status in response to histone methyltransferase inhibitors in living animals. Experimental results confirmed that the developed H3-K9 and H3-K27 sensors are specific and sensitive to image the drug-induced histone methylation changes in living animals. These novel histone methylation sensors can facilitate the in vitro screening and in vivo characterization of new histone methyltransferase inhibitors and accelerate the pace of introduction of epigenetic therapies into the clinic. PMID:25506787

  4. Genetic analysis of calving traits by the multi-trait individual animal model.

    PubMed

    Weller, J I; Ezra, E

    2016-01-01

    Five alternative models were applied for analysis of dystocia and stillbirth in first and second parities. Models 1 and 2 were included only to estimate the parameters required for model 4, and models 3 and 5 are included only as comparisons to the model 4 estimates. Variance components were estimated by multi-trait REML, including cows with valid calving records for both parities. For the effects of sire of calf on first and second parities, variance components were estimated including only calvings with the same sire of calf for both parities. All heritabilities for the cow effect were quite low, but higher for dystocia than for stillbirth and higher in first parity. The sire-of-calf heritabilities were higher than the cow effect heritabilities, except for stillbirth in parity 2. Unlike the effect of cow correlations, all sire of calf correlations were >0.6, and the correlations for the same trait in parities 1 and 2 were >0.9. Thus, a multi-trait analysis should yield a significant gain in accuracy with respect to the sire of calf effects for bulls not mated to virgin heifers. A multi-trait individual animal model algorithm was developed for joint analysis of dystocia and stillbirth in first and second parities. Relationships matrices were included both for the effects of cow and sire of calf. In addition, random herd-year-season and fixed sex of calf effects were included in the model. Records were preadjusted for calving month and age. A total of 899,223 Israeli Holstein cows with first calvings since 1985 were included in the complete analysis. Approximate reliabilities were computed for both sire of cow and sire of calf effects. Correlations between these reliabilities and reliabilities obtained by direct inversion of the coefficient matrix for a sire of cow-sire of calf model were all close to 0.99. Phenotypic trends for cows born from 1983 through 2007 were economically unfavorable for dystocia and favorable for stillbirth in both parities. Genetic trends

  5. Characterization and genetic variability of feed-borne and clinical animal/human Aspergillus fumigatus strains using molecular markers.

    PubMed

    Pena, Gabriela A; Coelho, Irene; Reynoso, María M; Soleiro, Carla; Cavaglieri, Lilia R

    2015-09-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus, the major etiological agent of human and animal aspergillosis, is a toxigenic fungus largely regarded as a single species by macroscopic and microscopic features. However, molecular studies have demonstrated that several morphologically identified A. fumigatus strains might be genetically distinct. This work was aimed to apply PCR-restriction length fragment polymorphisms (PCR-RFLP) and random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) molecular markers to characterize a set of feed-borne and clinical A. fumigatus sensu lato strains isolated from Argentina and Brazil and to determine and compare their genetic variability. All A. fumigatus strains had the same band profile and those typical of A. fumigatus sensu stricto positive controls by PCR-RFLP. Moreover, all Argentinian and Brazilian strains typified by RAPD showed similar band patterns to each other and to A. fumigatus sensu stricto reference strains regardless of their isolation source (animal feeds or human/animal clinical cases) and geographic origin. Genetic similarity coefficients ranged from 0.61 to 1.00, but almost all isolates showed 78% of genetic similarly suggesting that genetic variability was found at intraspecific level. Finally, benA sequencing confirmed its identification as A. fumigatus sensu stricto species. These results suggest that A. fumigatus sensu stricto is a predominant species into Aspergillus section Fumigati found in animal environments as well as in human/animal clinical cases, while other species may be rarely isolated. The strains involved in human and animal aspergillosis could come from the environment where this fungus is frequently found. Rural workers and animals would be constantly exposed.

  6. Non-Genetic Engineering Approaches for Isolating and Generating Novel Yeasts for Industrial Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chambers, P. J.; Bellon, J. R.; Schmidt, S. A.; Varela, C.; Pretorius, I. S.

    Generating novel yeast strains for industrial applications should be quite straightforward; after all, research into the genetics, biochemistry and physiology of Baker's Yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has paved the way for many advances in the modern biological sciences. We probably know more about this humble eukaryote than any other, and it is the most tractable of organisms for manipulation using modern genetic engineering approaches. In many countries, however, there are restrictions on the use of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), particularly in foods and beverages, and the level of consumer acceptance of GMOs is, at best, variable. Thus, many researchers working with industrial yeasts use genetic engineering techniques primarily as research tools, and strain development continues to rely on non-GM technologies. This chapter explores the non-GM tools and strategies available to such researchers.

  7. An arsenic-specific biosensor with genetically engineered Shewanella oneidensis in a bioelectrochemical system.

    PubMed

    Webster, Dylan P; TerAvest, Michaela A; Doud, Devin F R; Chakravorty, Arun; Holmes, Eric C; Radens, Caleb M; Sureka, Swati; Gralnick, Jeffrey A; Angenent, Largus T

    2014-12-15

    Genetically engineered microbial biosensors have yet to realize commercial success in environmental applications due, in part, to difficulties associated with transducing and transmitting traditional bioluminescent information. Bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) output a direct electric signal that can be incorporated into devices for remote environmental monitoring. Here, we describe a BES-based biosensor with genetically encoded specificity for a toxic metal. By placing an essential component of the metal reduction (Mtr) pathway of Shewanella oneidensis under the control of an arsenic-sensitive promoter, we have genetically engineered a strain that produces increased current in response to arsenic when inoculated into a BES. Our BES-based biosensor has a detection limit of ~40 μM arsenite with a linear range up to 100 μM arsenite. Because our transcriptional circuit relies on the activation of a single promoter, similar sensing systems may be developed to detect other analytes by the swap of a single genetic part.

  8. Engineering and Functional Analysis of Mitotic Kinases Through Chemical Genetics.

    PubMed

    Jones, Mathew J K; Jallepalli, Prasad V

    2016-01-01

    During mitosis, multiple protein kinases transform the cytoskeleton and chromosomes into new and highly dynamic structures that mediate the faithful transmission of genetic information and cell division. However, the large number and strong conservation of mammalian kinases in general pose significant obstacles to interrogating them with small molecules, due to the difficulty in identifying and validating those which are truly selective. To overcome this problem, a steric complementation strategy has been developed, in which a bulky "gatekeeper" residue within the active site of the kinase of interest is replaced with a smaller amino acid, such as glycine or alanine. The enlarged catalytic pocket can then be targeted in an allele-specific manner with bulky purine analogs. This strategy provides a general framework for dissecting kinase function with high selectivity, rapid kinetics, and reversibility. In this chapter we discuss the principles and techniques needed to implement this chemical genetic approach in mammalian cells.

  9. Gene therapy in dentistry: tool of genetic engineering. Revisited.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Khushboo; Singh, Saurabh; Garg, Kavita Nitish

    2015-03-01

    Advances in biotechnology have brought gene therapy to the forefront of medical research. The concept of transferring genes to tissues for clinical applications has been discussed nearly half a century, but the ability to manipulate genetic material via recombinant DNA technology has brought this goal to reality. The feasibility of gene transfer was first demonstrated using tumour viruses. This led to development of viral and nonviral methods for the genetic modification of somatic cells. Applications of gene therapy to dental and oral problems illustrate the potential impact of this technology on dentistry. Preclinical trial results regarding the same have been very promising. In this review we will discuss methods, vectors involved, clinical implication in dentistry and scientific issues associated with gene therapy.

  10. Genetic engineering of human embryonic stem cells with lentiviral vectors.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Chen; Tang, Dong-Qi; Xie, Chang-Qing; Zhang, Li; Xu, Ke-Feng; Thompson, Winston E; Chou, Wayne; Gibbons, Gary H; Chang, Lung-Ji; Yang, Li-Jun; Chen, Yuqing E

    2005-08-01

    Human embryonic stem (hES) cells present a valuable source of cells with a vast therapeutic potential. However, the low efficiency of directed differentiation of hES cells remains a major obstacle in their uses for regenerative medicine. While differentiation may be controlled by the genetic manipulation, effective and efficient gene transfer into hES cells has been an elusive goal. Here, we show stable and efficient genetic manipulations of hES cells using lentiviral vectors. This method resulted in the establishment of stable gene expression without loss of pluripotency in hES cells. In addition, lentiviral vectors were effective in conveying the expression of an U6 promoter-driven small interfering RNA (siRNA), which was effective in silencing its specific target. Taken together, our results suggest that lentiviral gene delivery holds great promise for hES cell research and application.

  11. Science, law, and politics in FDA's genetically engineered foods policy: scientific concerns and uncertainties.

    PubMed

    Pelletier, David L

    2005-06-01

    The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) 1992 policy statement granted genetically engineered foods presumptive GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status. Since then, divergent views have been expressed concerning the scientific support for this policy. This paper examines four sources to better understand the basis for these claims: 1) internal FDA correspondence; 2) reports from the National Academy of Sciences; 3) research funded by US Department of Agriculture from 1981 to 2002; and 4) FDA's proposed rules issued in 2001. These sources reveal that little research has been conducted on unintended compositional changes from genetic engineering. Profiling techniques now make this feasible, but the new debate centers on the functional meaning of compositional changes.

  12. Children and genetically engineered food: potentials and problems.

    PubMed

    Perr, Hilary A

    2002-10-01

    Changes in food production and dietary practices are occurring faster than our understanding of their potential impact on children's health. Traditionally, pediatric gastroenterologists have studied food with respect to its nutritive value and digestibility, its influence on metabolism, its growth-promoting characteristics, and its relationship to risk and severity of disease. Biotechnology is now expanding the science of food to include disease prevention and treatment, as well as the feeding of children on a global scale. Bioengineered ("genetically modified", or "transgenic") plants were initially developed to enhance the food supply by increasing crop yields. Such previously developed transgenic plants are now prevalent worldwide and appear in many processed food products. The implementation of the technology of genetic modulation of food plants has led to considerable fear, controversy, and confusion as the understanding of the technology is poor in the general population. This review presents an overview of genetically modified food crops and their potential unique benefits and risks to children's health. Political, economical, and ecological issues related to transgenic crops are not discussed.

  13. Recent advances in genetic code engineering in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Hoesl, Michael Georg; Budisa, Nediljko

    2012-10-01

    The expansion of the genetic code is gradually becoming a core discipline in Synthetic Biology. It offers the best possible platform for the transfer of numerous chemical reactions and processes from the chemical synthetic laboratory into the biochemistry of living cells. The incorporation of biologically occurring or chemically synthesized non-canonical amino acids into recombinant proteins and even proteomes via reprogrammed protein translation is in the heart of these efforts. Orthogonal pairs consisting of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase and its cognate tRNA proved to be a general tool for the assignment of certain codons of the genetic code with a maximum degree of chemical liberty. Here, we highlight recent developments that should provide a solid basis for the development of generalist tools enabling a controlled variation of chemical composition in proteins and even proteomes. This will take place in the frame of a greatly expanded genetic code with emancipated codons liberated from the current function or with totally new coding units.

  14. Plant artificial chromosome technology and its potential application in genetic engineering.

    PubMed

    Yu, Weichang; Yau, Yuan-Yeu; Birchler, James A

    2016-05-01

    Genetic engineering with just a few genes has changed agriculture in the last 20 years. The most frequently used transgenes are the herbicide resistance genes for efficient weed control and the Bt toxin genes for insect resistance. The adoption of the first-generation genetically engineered crops has been very successful in improving farming practices, reducing the application of pesticides that are harmful to both human health and the environment, and producing more profit for farmers. However, there is more potential for genetic engineering to be realized by technical advances. The recent development of plant artificial chromosome technology provides a super vector platform, which allows the management of a large number of genes for the next generation of genetic engineering. With the development of other tools such as gene assembly, genome editing, gene targeting and chromosome delivery systems, it should become possible to engineer crops with multiple genes to produce more agricultural products with less input of natural resources to meet future demands.

  15. Plant artificial chromosome technology and its potential application in genetic engineering.

    PubMed

    Yu, Weichang; Yau, Yuan-Yeu; Birchler, James A

    2016-05-01

    Genetic engineering with just a few genes has changed agriculture in the last 20 years. The most frequently used transgenes are the herbicide resistance genes for efficient weed control and the Bt toxin genes for insect resistance. The adoption of the first-generation genetically engineered crops has been very successful in improving farming practices, reducing the application of pesticides that are harmful to both human health and the environment, and producing more profit for farmers. However, there is more potential for genetic engineering to be realized by technical advances. The recent development of plant artificial chromosome technology provides a super vector platform, which allows the management of a large number of genes for the next generation of genetic engineering. With the development of other tools such as gene assembly, genome editing, gene targeting and chromosome delivery systems, it should become possible to engineer crops with multiple genes to produce more agricultural products with less input of natural resources to meet future demands. PMID:26369910

  16. Engineering of an active animal fatty acid synthase dimer with only one competent subunit.

    PubMed

    Joshi, Anil K; Rangan, Vangipuram S; Witkowski, Andrzej; Smith, Stuart

    2003-02-01

    Animal fatty acid synthases are large polypeptides containing seven functional domains that are active only in the dimeric form. Inactivity of the monomeric form has long been attributed to the obligatory participation of domains from both subunits in catalysis of substrate loading and condensation reactions. However, we have engineered a fatty acid synthase containing one wild-type subunit and one subunit compromised by mutations in all seven functional domains that is active in fatty acid synthesis. This finding indicates that a single subunit, in the context of a dimer, is able to catalyze the entire biosynthetic pathway and suggests that, in the natural complex, each of the two subunits forms a scaffold that optimizes the conformation of the companion subunit.

  17. Use of perfusion bioreactors and large animal models for long bone tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Gardel, Leandro S; Serra, Luís A; Reis, Rui L; Gomes, Manuela E

    2014-04-01

    Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine (TERM) strategies for generation of new bone tissue includes the combined use of autologous or heterologous mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and three-dimensional (3D) scaffold materials serving as structural support for the cells, that develop into tissue-like substitutes under appropriate in vitro culture conditions. This approach is very important due to the limitations and risks associated with autologous, as well as allogenic bone grafiting procedures currently used. However, the cultivation of osteoprogenitor cells in 3D scaffolds presents several challenges, such as the efficient transport of nutrient and oxygen and removal of waste products from the cells in the interior of the scaffold. In this context, perfusion bioreactor systems are key components for bone TERM, as many recent studies have shown that such systems can provide dynamic environments with enhanced diffusion of nutrients and therefore, perfusion can be used to generate grafts of clinically relevant sizes and shapes. Nevertheless, to determine whether a developed tissue-like substitute conforms to the requirements of biocompatibility, mechanical stability and safety, it must undergo rigorous testing both in vitro and in vivo. Results from in vitro studies can be difficult to extrapolate to the in vivo situation, and for this reason, the use of animal models is often an essential step in the testing of orthopedic implants before clinical use in humans. This review provides an overview of the concepts, advantages, and challenges associated with different types of perfusion bioreactor systems, particularly focusing on systems that may enable the generation of critical size tissue engineered constructs. Furthermore, this review discusses some of the most frequently used animal models, such as sheep and goats, to study the in vivo functionality of bone implant materials, in critical size defects.

  18. The hermeneutic challenge of genetic engineering: Habermas and the transhumanists.

    PubMed

    Edgar, Andrew

    2009-06-01

    The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact that developments in transhumanist technologies may have upon human cultures (and thus upon the lifeworld), and to do so by exploring a potential debate between Habermas and the transhumanists. Transhumanists, such as Nick Bostrom, typically see the potential in genetic and other technologies for positively expanding and transcending human nature. In contrast, Habermas is a representative of those who are fearful of this technology, suggesting that it will compound the deleterious effects of the colonisation of the lifeworld, further constraining human autonomy and undermining the meaningfulness of the lifeworld by expanding the technological control and manipulation of humanity. It will be argued that these opposed positions are grounded in fundamentally different understandings of the consequences of scientific and technological advance. On one level, the transhumanists remain confident that the lifeworld has within it the resources necessary to find meaning and purpose in a society deeply infused by genetic technology. Habermas disagrees. On another level, the difference is articulated by Horkheimer and Adorno in Dialectic of Enlightenment, primarily by challenging what may be understood as a Baconian faith in science as a project for the domination of nature (where nature is an infinitely malleable material, to be dominated and shaped, without adverse consequences, purely for the purposes of human survival). While the transhumanists broadly embrace this faith, Habermas returns to something akin to Horkheimer and Adorno's pessimistic scepticism.

  19. Estimates of genetic parameters for visual scores and daily weight gain in Brangus animals.

    PubMed

    Queiroz, S A; Oliveira, J A; Costa, G Z; Fries, L A

    2011-05-01

    (Co)variance components were estimated for visual scores of conformation (CY), early finishing (PY) and muscling (MY) at 550 days of age (yearling), average daily gain from weaning to yearling (GWY), conformation (CW), early finishing (PW) and muscling (MW) scores at weaning, and average daily gain from birth to weaning (GBW) in animals forming the Brazilian Brangus breed born between 1986 and 2002 from the livestock files of GenSys Consultants Associados S/C Ltda. The data set contained 53 683; 45 136; 52 937; 56 471; 24 531; 21 166; 24 006 and 25 419 records for CW, PW, MW, GBW, CY, PY, MY and GWY, respectively. Data were analyzed by the restricted maximum likelihood method using single- and two-trait animal models. Direct heritability estimates obtained by single-trait analysis were 0.12, 0.14, 0.13 and 0.14 for CY, PY and MY scores and GWY, respectively. A positive association was observed between the same visual scores at weaning and yearling, with correlations ranging from 0.64 to 0.94. Estimated correlations between GBW and weaning and yearling scores ranged from 0.60 to 0.77. The genetic correlation between GBW and GWY was low (0.10), whereas correlations of 0.55, 0.37 and 0.47 were observed between GWY and CY, PY and MY, respectively. Moreover, GWY showed a weak correlation with CW (0.10), PW (-0.08) and MW (-0.03) scores. These results indicate that selection of the traits that was studied would result in a small response. In addition, selection based on average daily gain may have an indirect effect on visual scores as the correlations between GWY and visual scores were generally strong. PMID:22440022

  20. Integrating policies for the management of animal genetic resources with demand for livestock products and environmental sustainability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recognition of the need to conserve animal genetic resources comes at a time when the global livestock sector faces significant challenges in meeting the growing demand for livestock products and the mitigation of negative environmental impacts caused by livestock. Outside of the U.S. it would seem ...

  1. How genetically engineered systems are helping to define, and in some cases redefine, the neurobiological basis of sleep and wake

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, Patrick M; Yamanaka, Akihiro; Lazarus, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The advent of genetically engineered systems, including transgenic animals and recombinant viral vectors, has facilitated a more detailed understanding of the molecular and cellular substrates regulating brain function. In this review we highlight some of the most recent molecular biology and genetic technologies in the experimental “systems neurosciences,” many of which are rapidly becoming a methodological standard, and focus in particular on those tools and techniques that permit the reversible and cell-type specific manipulation of neurons in behaving animals. These newer techniques encompass a wide range of approaches including conditional deletion of genes based on Cre/loxP technology, gene silencing using RNA interference, cell-type specific mapping or ablation and reversible manipulation (silencing and activation) of neurons in vivo. Combining these approaches with viral vector delivery systems, in particular adeno-associated viruses (AAV), has extended, in some instances greatly, the utility of these tools. For example, the spatially- and/or temporally-restricted transduction of specific neuronal cell populations is now routinely achieved using the combination of Cre-driver mice and stereotaxic-based delivery of AAV expressing Cre-dependent cassettes. We predict that the experimental application of these tools, including creative combinatorial approaches and the development of even newer reagents, will prove necessary for a complete understanding of the neuronal circuits subserving most neurobiological functions, including the regulation of sleep and wake. PMID:27227054

  2. How genetically engineered systems are helping to define, and in some cases redefine, the neurobiological basis of sleep and wake.

    PubMed

    Fuller, Patrick M; Yamanaka, Akihiro; Lazarus, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The advent of genetically engineered systems, including transgenic animals and recombinant viral vectors, has facilitated a more detailed understanding of the molecular and cellular substrates regulating brain function. In this review we highlight some of the most recent molecular biology and genetic technologies in the experimental "systems neurosciences," many of which are rapidly becoming a methodological standard, and focus in particular on those tools and techniques that permit the reversible and cell-type specific manipulation of neurons in behaving animals. These newer techniques encompass a wide range of approaches including conditional deletion of genes based on Cre/loxP technology, gene silencing using RNA interference, cell-type specific mapping or ablation and reversible manipulation (silencing and activation) of neurons in vivo. Combining these approaches with viral vector delivery systems, in particular adeno-associated viruses (AAV), has extended, in some instances greatly, the utility of these tools. For example, the spatially- and/or temporally-restricted transduction of specific neuronal cell populations is now routinely achieved using the combination of Cre-driver mice and stereotaxic-based delivery of AAV expressing Cre-dependent cassettes. We predict that the experimental application of these tools, including creative combinatorial approaches and the development of even newer reagents, will prove necessary for a complete understanding of the neuronal circuits subserving most neurobiological functions, including the regulation of sleep and wake. PMID:27227054

  3. Optimization of Aero Engine Acceleration Control in Combat State Based on Genetic Algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jie; Fan, Ding; Sreeram, Victor

    2012-03-01

    In order to drastically exploit the potential of the aero engine and improve acceleration performance in the combat state, an on-line optimized controller based on genetic algorithms is designed for an aero engine. For testing the validity of the presented control method, detailed joint simulation tests of the designed controller and the aero engine model are performed in the whole flight envelope. Simulation test results show that the presented control algorithm has characteristics of rapid convergence speed, high efficiency and can fully exploit the acceleration performance potential of the aero engine. Compared with the former controller, the designed on-line optimized controller (DOOC) can improve the security of the acceleration process and greatly enhance the aero engine thrust in the whole range of the flight envelope, the thrust increases an average of 8.1% in the randomly selected working states. The plane which adopts DOOC can acquire better fighting advantage in the combat state.

  4. Reactions to a New Technology: Students' Ideas about Genetically Engineered Foodstuffs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Ruaraidh; Stanisstreet, Martin; Boyes, Edward; O'Sullivan, Helen

    1998-01-01

    Explores the prevalence of ideas among 16 to 19 year-old students about the application of the rapidly expanding technology of genetic engineering to food production. Findings suggest that more females were cautious about these foodstuffs than were males. Contains 20 references. (DDR)

  5. Effective saccharification of kraft pulp by using a cellulase cocktail prepared from genetically engineered Aspergillus oryzae.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Ryosuke; Yoshie, Toshihide; Sakai, Shoji; Wakai, Satoshi; Asai-Nakashima, Nanami; Okazaki, Fumiyoshi; Ogino, Chiaki; Hisada, Hiromoto; Tsutsumi, Hiroko; Hata, Yoji; Kondo, Akihiko

    2015-01-01

    Kraft pulp is a promising feedstock for bioproduction. The efficiency of kraft pulp saccharification was improved by using a cellulase cocktail prepared from genetically engineered Aspergillus oryzae. Application of the cellulase cocktail was demonstrated by simultaneous saccharification and fermentation, using kraft pulp and non-cellulolytic yeast. Such application would make possible to do an efficient production of other chemicals from kraft pulp.

  6. The Use of Simple Models in the Teaching of Genetic Engineering.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nicholl, Desmond S. T.

    1986-01-01

    Suggestions for instructional improvement are provided in two topic areas. Explains the use of models in helping students to visualize selected concepts in genetic engineering and recommends the use of tropical tuber crops for encouraging students to conduct practical investigations. (ML)

  7. Enhancing the Internationalisation of Distance Education in the Biological Sciences: The DUNE Project and Genetic Engineering.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leach, C. K.; And Others

    1997-01-01

    Describes the Distance Educational Network of Europe (DUNE) project that aims at enhancing the development of distance education in an international context. Highlights issues relating to the delivery of distance-learning courses in a transnational forum. Describes the genetic engineering course that aims at explaining the core techniques of…

  8. 'HoneySweet' plum - a valuable genetically engineered fruit-tree cultivar and germplasm resource

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    ‘HoneySweet’ is a plum variety developed through genetic engineering to be highly resistant to plum pox potyvirus (PPV), the causal agent of sharka disease, that threatens stone-fruit industries world-wide and most specifically, in Europe. Field testing for over 15 years in Europe has demonstrated ...

  9. IMPROVING PLANT GENETIC ENGINEERING BY MANIPULATING THE HOST. (R829479C001)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Agrobacterium-mediated transformation is a major technique for the genetic engineering of plants. However, there are many economically important crop and tree species that remain highly recalcitrant to Agrobacterium infection. Although attempts have been made to ...

  10. Development of enzymes and enzyme systems by genetic engineering to convert biomass to sugars

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    TITLE Development of Enzymes and Enzyme Systems by Genetic Engineering to Convert Biomass to Sugars ABSTRACT Plant cellulosic material is one of the most viable renewable resources for the world’s fuel and chemical feedstock needs. Currently ethanol derived from corn starch is the most common li...

  11. Genetically Engineered Poxviruses for Recombinant Gene Expression, Vaccination, and Safety

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moss, Bernard

    1996-10-01

    Vaccinia virus, no longer required for immunization against smallpox, now serves as a unique vector for expressing genes within the cytoplasm of mammalian cells. As a research tool, recombinant vaccinia viruses are used to synthesize and analyze the structure--function relationships of proteins, determine the targets of humoral and cell-mediated immunity, and investigate the types of immune response needed for protection against specific infectious diseases and cancer. The vaccine potential of recombinant vaccinia virus has been realized in the form of an effective oral wild-life rabies vaccine, although no product for humans has been licensed. A genetically altered vaccinia virus that is unable to replicate in mammalian cells and produces diminished cytopathic effects retains the capacity for high-level gene expression and immunogenicity while promising exceptional safety for laboratory workers and potential vaccine recipients.

  12. Functional dynamics of living systems and genetic engineering.

    PubMed

    Buiatti, Marcello

    2004-01-01

    The discussion on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's) has been centred mainly on the nature and effects on economy, human health, environment, of the few transgenic plant lines present in the market in the last eight years. On the contrary, the present paper starts with a discussion of some of the relevant changes in our basic knowledge of the structure and dynamics of living systems in the last twenty years. Contemporary Biology is then compared with what may be called the "modern paradigm" of life sciences on which present day GMO's are conceptually based. Technical, environmental, social and economic problems deriving from the unexpected, persistent prevalence of the old fashioned modern vision of life in the "spirit of time" will be thoroughly discussed with a particular attention to the virtualisation process of GMO's and the effects of the prevalence over economic, social, environmental reality of their symbolic values.

  13. 76 FR 63278 - Bayer CropScience LP; Determination of Nonregulated Status for Cotton Genetically Engineered for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-12

    ... notice\\1\\ published in the Federal Register on June 28, 2011 (76 FR 37769-37770, Docket No. APHIS-2010... Nonregulated Status for Cotton Genetically Engineered for Insect Resistance and Herbicide Tolerance AGENCY... our determination that a genetically engineered cotton developed by Bayer CropScience LP,...

  14. Genetically modified animals from life-science, socio-economic and ethical perspectives: examining issues in an EU policy context.

    PubMed

    Frewer, L J; Kleter, G A; Brennan, M; Coles, D; Fischer, A R H; Houdebine, L M; Mora, C; Millar, K; Salter, B

    2013-06-25

    The interdisciplinary EC consortium (the PEGASUS project) aimed to examine the issues raised by the development, implementation and commercialisation of genetically modified (GM) animals, and derivative foods and pharmaceutical products. The results integrated existing social (including existing public perception) environmental and economic knowledge regarding GM animals to formulate policy recommendations relevant to new developments and applications. The use of GM in farmed animals (aquatic, terrestrial and pharmaceutical) was mapped and reviewed. A foresight exercise was conducted to identity future developments. Three case studies (aquatic, terrestrial and pharmaceutical) were applied to identify the issues raised, including the potential risks and benefits of GM animals from the perspectives of the production chain (economics and agri-food sector) and the life sciences (human and animal health, environmental impact, animal welfare and sustainable production). Ethical and policy concerns were examined through application of combined ethical matrix method and policy workshops. The case studies were also used to demonstrate the utility of public engagement in the policy process. The results suggest that public perceptions, ethical issues, the competitiveness of EU animal production and risk-benefit assessments that consider human and animal health, environmental impact and sustainable production need to be considered in EU policy development. Few issues were raised with application in the pharmaceutical sector, assuming ethical and economic issues were addressed in policy, but the introduction of agricultural GM animal applications should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

  15. Genetic engineering of untransformable coagulase-negative staphylococcal pathogens.

    PubMed

    Winstel, Volker; Kühner, Petra; Rohde, Holger; Peschel, Andreas

    2016-05-01

    Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) are recognized as significant opportunistic pathogens. However, current knowledge of virulence mechanisms is very limited because a significant proportion of CoNS are refractory to available techniques for DNA transformation. We describe an efficient protocol for plasmid transfer using bacteriophage Φ187, which can transduce plasmid DNA to a wide range of CoNS from a unique, engineered Staphylococcus aureus strain. The use of a restriction-deficient, modification-proficient S. aureus PS187 mutant, which has a CoNS-type bacteriophage surface receptor, allows plasmid transfer to CoNS even when they are refractory to electroporation. Once the Φ187 titer reaches 10(9) plaque-forming units per milliliter, plasmid transfer can be accomplished within 1-2 d. Thus, our protocol is a major technical advance offering attractive opportunities for research on CoNS-mediated infections. PMID:27101516

  16. Genetic engineering of mesenchymal stem cells and its application in human disease therapy.

    PubMed

    Hodgkinson, Conrad P; Gomez, José A; Mirotsou, Maria; Dzau, Victor J

    2010-11-01

    The use of stem cells for tissue regeneration and repair is advancing both at the bench and bedside. Stem cells isolated from bone marrow are currently being tested for their therapeutic potential in a variety of clinical conditions including cardiovascular injury, kidney failure, cancer, and neurological and bone disorders. Despite the advantages, stem cell therapy is still limited by low survival, engraftment, and homing to damage area as well as inefficiencies in differentiating into fully functional tissues. Genetic engineering of mesenchymal stem cells is being explored as a means to circumvent some of these problems. This review presents the current understanding of the use of genetically engineered mesenchymal stem cells in human disease therapy with emphasis on genetic modifications aimed to improve survival, homing, angiogenesis, and heart function after myocardial infarction. Advancements in other disease areas are also discussed.

  17. [The use of genetic engineering in veterinary medicine with examples from epidemiology, diagnosis and drug production].

    PubMed

    Mayr, A; Hübert, P

    1990-04-01

    The results of genetic engineering have reached practical veterinary medicine already. Nevertheless there is a great lack of knowledge among those veterinarians who usually do not work with these methods. Therefore we want to give an introduction into the advantages and dangers of this technology concerning veterinary medicine. Some important analytical methods are explained. Related viruses such as WEE and EEE or canine parvovirus, feline parvovirus and mink enteritis virus, or the related coronaviruses FIPV and TGEV serve as examples for the possibilities in molecular diagnosis and epidemic monitoring. The history of the gl- mutants of PRV, now prescribed as vaccine strains in the FRG, is an example of the development of genetic engineered vaccines. A new generation of vaccines based on recombinant vaccinia viruses is imminent. Thus we have to be aware of the high risks and responsibility of everybody who is involved in these new systems, especially the scientist who produces genetically altered organisms. PMID:2112273

  18. Preclinical Safety Evaluation of ASCs Engineered by FLPo/Frt-Based Hybrid Baculovirus: In Vitro and Large Animal Studies.

    PubMed

    Li, Kuei-Chang; Chang, Yu-Han; Lin, Chin-Yu; Hwang, Shiaw-Min; Wang, Tzu-Hao; Hu, Yu-Chen

    2015-05-01

    We recently developed hybrid baculovirus (BV) vectors that exploited FLPo/Frt-mediated DNA minicircle formation. Engineering of adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) with the FLPo/Frt-based BV vectors enabled prolonged transgene expression and, after cell implantation into rabbits, ameliorated cartilage regeneration and bone repair. To translate the hybrid BV one step further toward clinical applications, here we assessed the biosafety profiles of the hybrid BV-engineered human ASCs (hASCs) in vitro and evaluated the immune responses elicited by the engineered porcine ASCs (pASCs) in large animals. We confirmed that the hybrid BV did not compromise the hASCs viability, immunosuppressive capacity, and surface characteristics. Neither did the hybrid BV cause chromosomal abnormality/transgene integration in vitro nor did it induce tumorigenicity in vivo. In the large animal study, pASCs were engineered with the hybrid BV expressing bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and implanted into femoral bone defects in mini pigs. The hybrid BV-engineered pASCs enabled prolonged BMP2/VEGF expression and triggered the healing of massive segmental bone defects, while only eliciting transient antibody, cytokine, and local cellular immune responses stemming from the implantation procedure itself. These data altogether demonstrated the safety of the hybrid BV vectors for ASCs engineering and bone healing in large animals, hence implicating the potential in clinical applications.

  19. Development of a transplantable glioma tumour model from genetically engineered mice: MRI/MRS/MRSI characterisation.

    PubMed

    Ciezka, Magdalena; Acosta, Milena; Herranz, Cristina; Canals, Josep M; Pumarola, Martí; Candiota, Ana Paula; Arús, Carles

    2016-08-01

    The initial aim of this study was to generate a transplantable glial tumour model of low-intermediate grade by disaggregation of a spontaneous tumour mass from genetically engineered models (GEM). This should result in an increased tumour incidence in comparison to GEM animals. An anaplastic oligoastrocytoma (OA) tumour of World Health Organization (WHO) grade III was obtained from a female GEM mouse with the S100β-v-erbB/inK4a-Arf (+/-) genotype maintained in the C57BL/6 background. The tumour tissue was disaggregated; tumour cells from it were grown in aggregates and stereotactically injected into C57BL/6 mice. Tumour development was followed using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), while changes in the metabolomics pattern of the masses were evaluated by Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy/Spectroscopic Imaging (MRS/MRSI). Final tumour grade was evaluated by histopathological analysis. The total number of tumours generated from GEM cells from disaggregated tumour (CDT) was 67 with up to 100 % penetrance, as compared to 16 % in the local GEM model, with an average survival time of 66 ± 55 days, up to 4.3-fold significantly higher than the standard GL261 glioblastoma (GBM) tumour model. Tumours produced by transplantation of cells freshly obtained from disaggregated GEM tumour were diagnosed as WHO grade III anaplastic oligodendroglioma (ODG) and OA, while tumours produced from a previously frozen sample were diagnosed as WHO grade IV GBM. We successfully grew CDT and generated tumours from a grade III GEM glial tumour. Freezing and cell culture protocols produced progression to grade IV GBM, which makes the developed transplantable model qualify as potential secondary GBM model in mice. PMID:27324642

  20. Development of a transplantable glioma tumour model from genetically engineered mice: MRI/MRS/MRSI characterisation.

    PubMed

    Ciezka, Magdalena; Acosta, Milena; Herranz, Cristina; Canals, Josep M; Pumarola, Martí; Candiota, Ana Paula; Arús, Carles

    2016-08-01

    The initial aim of this study was to generate a transplantable glial tumour model of low-intermediate grade by disaggregation of a spontaneous tumour mass from genetically engineered models (GEM). This should result in an increased tumour incidence in comparison to GEM animals. An anaplastic oligoastrocytoma (OA) tumour of World Health Organization (WHO) grade III was obtained from a female GEM mouse with the S100β-v-erbB/inK4a-Arf (+/-) genotype maintained in the C57BL/6 background. The tumour tissue was disaggregated; tumour cells from it were grown in aggregates and stereotactically injected into C57BL/6 mice. Tumour development was followed using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), while changes in the metabolomics pattern of the masses were evaluated by Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy/Spectroscopic Imaging (MRS/MRSI). Final tumour grade was evaluated by histopathological analysis. The total number of tumours generated from GEM cells from disaggregated tumour (CDT) was 67 with up to 100 % penetrance, as compared to 16 % in the local GEM model, with an average survival time of 66 ± 55 days, up to 4.3-fold significantly higher than the standard GL261 glioblastoma (GBM) tumour model. Tumours produced by transplantation of cells freshly obtained from disaggregated GEM tumour were diagnosed as WHO grade III anaplastic oligodendroglioma (ODG) and OA, while tumours produced from a previously frozen sample were diagnosed as WHO grade IV GBM. We successfully grew CDT and generated tumours from a grade III GEM glial tumour. Freezing and cell culture protocols produced progression to grade IV GBM, which makes the developed transplantable model qualify as potential secondary GBM model in mice.

  1. Immunotherapy of metastatic melanoma using genetically engineered GD2-specific T cells

    PubMed Central

    Yvon, Eric; Vecchio, Michele Del; Savoldo, Barbara; Hoyos, Valentina; Dutour, Aurélie; Anichini, Andrea; Dotti, Gianpietro; Brenner, Malcolm K.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose Genetic engineering of human T lymphocytes to express tumor-directed chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) can produce anti-tumor effector cells that bypass tumor immune escape mechanisms that are due to abnormalities in protein-antigen processing and presentation. Moreover, these transgenic receptors can be directed to tumor associated antigens that are not protein derived, such as the ganglioside GD2, which is expressed on a high proportion of melanoma cells. Experimental design We generated chimeric T cells specific for the ganglioside GD2 by joining an extracellular antigen-binding domain derived from the GD2-specific antibody sc14.G2a to cytoplasmic signaling domains derived from the TCR ζ-chain, with the endodomains of the co-stimulatory molecules CD28 and OX40. We expressed this CAR in human T cells and assessed the targeting of GD2+ melanoma tumors in vitro and in a murine xenograft. Results Upon co-incubation with GD2-expressing melanoma cells, CAR-GD2 T lymphocytes incorporating the CD28 and OX40 endodomains secreted significant levels of cytokines in a pattern comparable to the cytokine response obtained by engagement of the native CD3 receptor. These CAR-T cells had anti-melanoma activity in vitro and in our xenograft model, increasing the survival tumor-bearing animals. Conclusion Redirecting human T lymphocytes to a tumor-associated ganglioside GD2 generates effector cells with anti-melanoma activity that should be testable in subjects with disease. PMID:19737958

  2. Delivery of nucleic acid therapeutics by genetically engineered hematopoietic stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Doering, Christopher B.; Archer, David; Spencer, H. Trent

    2010-01-01

    Several populations of adult human stem cells have been identified, but only a few of these are in routine clinical use. The hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) is arguably the most well characterized and the most routinely transplanted adult stem cell. Although details regarding several aspects of this cell’s phenotype are not well understood, transplant of HSCs has advanced to become the standard of care for the treatment of a range of monogenic diseases and several types of cancer. It has also proven to be an excellent target for genetic manipulation, and clinical trials have already demonstrated the usefulness of targeting this cell as a means of delivering nucleic acid therapeutics for the treatment of several previously incurable diseases. It is anticipated that additional clinical trials will soon follow, such as genetically engineering HSCs with vectors to treat monogenic diseases such as hemophilia A. In addition to the direct targeting of HSCs, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have the potential to replace virtually any engineered stem cell therapeutic, including HSCs. We now know that for the broad use of genetically-modified HSCs for the treatment of non-lethal diseases, e.g. hemophilia A, we must be able to regulate the introduction of nucleic acid sequences into these target cells. We can begin to refine transduction protocols to provide safer approaches to genetically manipulate HSCs and strategies are being developed to improve the overall safety of gene transfer. This review focuses on recent advances in the systemic delivery of nucleic acid therapeutics using genetically-modified stem cells, specifically focusing on i) the use of retroviral vectors to genetically modify HSCs, ii) the expression of fVIII from hematopoietic stem cells for the treatment of hemophilia A, and iii) the use of genetically engineered hematopoietic cells generated from iPS cells as treatment for disorders of hematopoiesis. PMID:20869414

  3. Towards programming languages for genetic engineering of living cells.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Michael; Phillips, Andrew

    2009-08-01

    Synthetic biology aims at producing novel biological systems to carry out some desired and well-defined functions. An ultimate dream is to design these systems at a high level of abstraction using engineering-based tools and programming languages, press a button, and have the design translated to DNA sequences that can be synthesized and put to work in living cells. We introduce such a programming language, which allows logical interactions between potentially undetermined proteins and genes to be expressed in a modular manner. Programs can be translated by a compiler into sequences of standard biological parts, a process that relies on logic programming and prototype databases that contain known biological parts and protein interactions. Programs can also be translated to reactions, allowing simulations to be carried out. While current limitations on available data prevent full use of the language in practical applications, the language can be used to develop formal models of synthetic systems, which are otherwise often presented by informal notations. The language can also serve as a concrete proposal on which future language designs can be discussed, and can help to guide the emerging standard of biological parts which so far has focused on biological, rather than logical, properties of parts.

  4. Genetic engineering in agriculture and corporate engineering in public debate: risk, public relations, and public debate over genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Patel, Rajeev; Torres, Robert J; Rosset, Peter

    2005-01-01

    Corporations have long influenced environmental and occupational health in agriculture, doing a great deal of damage, making substantial profits, and shaping public debate to make it appear that environmental misfortunes are accidents of an otherwise well-functioning system, rather than systemic. The debate over the genetically modified (GM) crops is an example. The largest producer of commercial GM seeds, Monsanto, exemplifies the industry's strategies: the invocation of poor people as beneficiaries, characterization of opposition as technophobic or anti-progress, and portrayal of their products as environmentally beneficial in the absence of or despite the evidence. This strategy is endemic to contemporary market capitalism, with its incentives to companies to externalize health and environmental costs to increase profits.

  5. Genetic engineering in agriculture and corporate engineering in public debate: risk, public relations, and public debate over genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    Patel, Rajeev; Torres, Robert J; Rosset, Peter

    2005-01-01

    Corporations have long influenced environmental and occupational health in agriculture, doing a great deal of damage, making substantial profits, and shaping public debate to make it appear that environmental misfortunes are accidents of an otherwise well-functioning system, rather than systemic. The debate over the genetically modified (GM) crops is an example. The largest producer of commercial GM seeds, Monsanto, exemplifies the industry's strategies: the invocation of poor people as beneficiaries, characterization of opposition as technophobic or anti-progress, and portrayal of their products as environmentally beneficial in the absence of or despite the evidence. This strategy is endemic to contemporary market capitalism, with its incentives to companies to externalize health and environmental costs to increase profits. PMID:16350477

  6. The significance of content knowledge for informal reasoning regarding socioscientific issues: Applying genetics knowledge to genetic engineering issues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadler, Troy D.; Zeidler, Dana L.

    2005-01-01

    This study focused on informal reasoning regarding socioscientific issues. It sought to explore how content knowledge influenced the negotiation and resolution of contentious and complex scenarios based on genetic engineering. Two hundred and sixty-nine students drawn from undergraduate natural science and nonnatural science courses completed a quantitative test of genetics concepts. Two subsets (n = 15 for each group) of the original sample representing divergent levels of content knowledge participated in individual interviews, during which they articulated positions, rationales, counterpositions, and rebuttals in response to three gene therapy scenarios and three cloning scenarios. A mixed-methods approach was used to examine the effects of content knowledge on the use of informal reasoning patterns and the quality of informal reasoning. Participants from both groups employed the same general patterns of informal reasoning. Data did indicate that differences in content knowledge were related to variations in informal reasoning quality. Participants, with more advanced understandings of genetics, demonstrated fewer instances of reasoning flaws, as defined by a priori criteria, and were more likely to incorporate content knowledge in their reasoning patterns than participants with more naïve understandings of genetics. Implications for instruction and future research are discussed.

  7. Production of polyhydroxyalkanoates from intact triacylglycerols by genetically engineered Pseudomonas.

    PubMed

    Solaiman, D K; Ashby, R D; Foglia, T A

    2001-09-01

    Pseudomonas putida and P oleovorans have been extensively studied for their production of medium-chain-length (mcl)-polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA). These bacteria are incapable of metabolizing triacylglycerols (TAGs). We have constructed recombinant P. putida and P. oleovorans that can utilize TAGs as substrates for growth and mcl-PHA synthesis. A recombinant plasmid, pCN51lip-1, carrying Pseudomonas lipase genes was used to electrotransform these organisms. The transformants expressed TAG-hydrolyzing activity as shown by a rhodamine B fluorescence plate assay. The genetically modified organisms grew in TAG-containing medium to a cell dry weight of 2-4 g/l. The recombinant P. putida produced mcl-PHA at a crude yield of 0.9-1.6 g/l with lard or coconut oil (Co) as substrate. While P. oleovorans transformant did not produce mcl-PHA, a mixed-culture fermentation approach with the wild-type and recombinant strains afforded polymer production from Co at a crude yield of 0.5 g/l. Compositional analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry showed that beta-hydroxyoctanoate (31-45 mol %) and beta-hydroxydecanoate (28-35 mol %) were the dominant repeat units of the TAG-based PHA. The number-average and weight-average molecular masses of the PHAs as determined by gel permeation chromatography were 82-170 x 10(3) g/mol and 464-693 x 10(3) g/mol, respectively. The recombinant approach can greatly increase the number of organisms that can be used to produce PHA from fat and oil substrates. PMID:11601611

  8. Genetically engineered multivalent single chain antibody constructs for cancer therapy

    SciTech Connect

    Surinder Batra, Ph D

    2006-02-27

    its tumor: normal tissue ratio for improved therapeutic index, we engineered a variety antibody constructs. These constructs were evaluated using novel approaches like special radionuclides, pretargeting and optimization. Due to the smaller size, the engineered antibody molecules should penetrate better throughout a tumor mass, with less dose heterogeneity, than is the case with intact IgG. Multivalent scFvs with an appropriate radionuclide, therefore, hold promising prospects for cancer therapy and clinical imaging in MAb-based radiopharmaceuticals. In addition, the human anti-mouse antibodies (HAMA) responses in patients against antibody-based therapy are usually directed against the immunoglobulin constant regions; however, anti-idiotypic responses can also be detected. The HAMA responses reduce the efficacy of treatment by removing the circulating antibody molecules, fragments, and possibly scFvs by altering the pharmacokinetic properties of the antibody. HAMA responses against divalent IgG, divalent Ig fragments, and possibly multimeric scFvs could cause immune complex formation with hypersensitivity or allergic reactions that could be harmful to patients. The use of small molecules, such as scFvs (monomeric as well as multimeric), with their shorter biological half-lives and the lack of the constant regions and humanized variable (binding regions) performed in our studies should reduce the development of HAMA. The generation of humanized and fully human scFvs should further reduce the development of HAMA. Specific accomplishments on the project are the production of large amounts of recombinant antibodies as they are required in large amounts for cancer diagnosis and therapy. A variety of single-chain Fv (scFv) constructs were engineered for the desired pharmacokinetic properties. Tetrameric and dimeric scFvs showed a two-fold advantage: (1) there was a considerable gain in avidity as compared to smaller fragments, and (2) the biological half-life was more

  9. Objectives, criteria and methods for using molecular genetic data in priority setting for conservation of animal genetic resources.

    PubMed

    Boettcher, P J; Tixier-Boichard, M; Toro, M A; Simianer, H; Eding, H; Gandini, G; Joost, S; Garcia, D; Colli, L; Ajmone-Marsan, P

    2010-05-01

    The genetic diversity of the world's livestock populations is decreasing, both within and across breeds. A wide variety of factors has contributed to the loss, replacement or genetic dilution of many local breeds. Genetic variability within the more common commercial breeds has been greatly decreased by selectively intense breeding programmes. Conservation of livestock genetic variability is thus important, especially when considering possible future changes in production environments. The world has more than 7500 livestock breeds and conservation of all of them is not feasible. Therefore, prioritization is needed. The objective of this article is to review the state of the art in approaches for prioritization of breeds for conservation, particularly those approaches that consider molecular genetic information, and to identify any shortcomings that may restrict their application. The Weitzman method was among the first and most well-known approaches for utilization of molecular genetic information in conservation prioritization. This approach balances diversity and extinction probability to yield an objective measure of conservation potential. However, this approach was designed for decision making across species and measures diversity as distinctiveness. For livestock, prioritization will most commonly be performed among breeds within species, so alternatives that measure diversity as co-ancestry (i.e. also within-breed variability) have been proposed. Although these methods are technically sound, their application has generally been limited to research studies; most existing conservation programmes have effectively primarily based decisions on extinction risk. The development of user-friendly software incorporating these approaches may increase their rate of utilization.

  10. Engineering Macaca fascicularis cytochrome P450 2C20 to reduce animal testing for new drugs.

    PubMed

    Rua, Francesco; Sadeghi, Sheila J; Castrignanò, Silvia; Di Nardo, Giovanna; Gilardi, Gianfranco

    2012-12-01

    In order to develop in vitro methods as an alternative to P450 animal testing in the drug discovery process, two main requisites are necessary: 1) gathering of data on animal homologues of the human P450 enzymes, currently very limited, and 2) bypassing the requirement for both the P450 reductase and the expensive cofactor NADPH. In this work, P450 2C20 from Macaca fascicularis, homologue of the human P450 2C8 has been taken as a model system to develop such an alternative in vitro method by two different approaches. In the first approach called "molecular Lego", a soluble self-sufficient chimera was generated by fusing the P450 2C20 domain with the reductase domain of cytochrome P450 BM3 from Bacillus megaterium (P450 2C20/BMR). In the second approach, the need for the redox partner and also NADPH were both obviated by the direct immobilization of the P450 2C20 on glassy carbon and gold electrodes. Both systems were then compared to those obtained from the reconstituted P450 2C20 monooxygenase in presence of the human P450 reductase and NADPH using paclitaxel and amodiaquine, two typical drug substrates of the human P450 2C8. The K(M) values calculated for the 2C20 and 2C20/BMR in solution and for 2C20 immobilized on electrodes modified with gold nanoparticles were 1.9 ± 0.2, 5.9 ± 2.3, 3.0 ± 0.5 μM for paclitaxel and 1.2 ± 0.2, 1.6±0.2 and 1.4 ± 0.2 μM for amodiaquine, respectively. The data obtained not only show that the engineering of M. fascicularis did not affect its catalytic properties but also are consistent with K(M) values measured for the microsomal human P450 2C8 and therefore show the feasibility of developing alternative in vitro animal tests.

  11. Enhancing livestock through genetic engineering--recent advances and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Laible, G

    2009-03-01

    Transgenic technology allows for the stable introduction of exogenous genetic information into livestock genomes. With its ability to enhance existing or introduce entirely novel characteristics at unprecedented magnitude and speed this emerging technology is expected to have a profound impact on the genetic improvement of livestock in the future. The continual advances in animal genomics towards the identification of genes that influence livestock production traits and impact on human health will increase its ability and versatility for the purposeful modification of livestock animals to enhance their welfare, produce superior quality food and biomedical products and reduce the environmental impact of farming. In contrast to biomedicine, which has so far been the main driver for this technology platform, the potential opportunities for animal agriculture are more challenging because of the greater demands on cost, efficiency, consumer acceptance and relative value of the product. While various transgenic concepts for the genetic improvement of livestock animals for agriculture are being evaluated the integration of this technology into practical farming systems remains some distance in the future. PMID:18243310

  12. Enhancing livestock through genetic engineering--recent advances and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Laible, G

    2009-03-01

    Transgenic technology allows for the stable introduction of exogenous genetic information into livestock genomes. With its ability to enhance existing or introduce entirely novel characteristics at unprecedented magnitude and speed this emerging technology is expected to have a profound impact on the genetic improvement of livestock in the future. The continual advances in animal genomics towards the identification of genes that influence livestock production traits and impact on human health will increase its ability and versatility for the purposeful modification of livestock animals to enhance their welfare, produce superior quality food and biomedical products and reduce the environmental impact of farming. In contrast to biomedicine, which has so far been the main driver for this technology platform, the potential opportunities for animal agriculture are more challenging because of the greater demands on cost, efficiency, consumer acceptance and relative value of the product. While various transgenic concepts for the genetic improvement of livestock animals for agriculture are being evaluated the integration of this technology into practical farming systems remains some distance in the future.

  13. Animal models of physiologic markers of male reproduction: genetically defined infertile mice

    SciTech Connect

    Chubb, C.

    1987-10-01

    The present report focuses on novel animal models of male infertility: genetically defined mice bearing single-gene mutations that induce infertility. The primary goal of the investigations was to identify the reproductive defects in these mutant mice. The phenotypic effects of the gene mutations were deciphered by comparing the mutant mice to their normal siblings. Initially testicular steroidogenesis and spermatogenesis were investigated. The physiologic markers for testicular steroidogenesis were steroid secretion by testes perifused in vitro, seminal vesicle weight, and Leydig cell histology. Spermatogenesis was evaluated by the enumeration of homogenization-resistant sperm/spermatids in testes and by morphometric analyses of germ cells in the seminiferous epithelium. If testicular function appeared normal, the authors investigated the sexual behavior of the mice. The parameters of male sexual behavior that were quantified included mount patency, mount frequency, intromission latency, thrusts per intromission, ejaculation latency, and ejaculation duration. Females of pairs breeding under normal circumstances were monitored for the presence of vaginal plugs and pregnancies. The patency of the ejaculatory process was determined by quantifying sperm in the female reproductive tract after sexual behavior tests. Sperm function was studied by quantitatively determining sperm motility during videomicroscopic observation. Also, the ability of epididymal sperm to function within the uterine environment was analyzed by determining sperm capacity to initiate pregnancy after artificial insemination. Together, the experimental results permitted the grouping of the gene mutations into three general categories. They propose that the same biological markers used in the reported studies can be implemented in the assessment of the impact that environmental toxins may have on male reproduction.

  14. Design and engineering aspects of a high resolution positron tomograph for small animal imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Lecomte, R.; Cadorette, J.; Richard, P.; Rodrique, S.; Rouleau, D. . Dept. of Nuclear Medicine and Radiobiology)

    1994-08-01

    The authors describe the Sherbrooke positron emission tomograph, a very high resolution device dedicated to dynamic imaging of small laboratory animals. Its distinctive features are: small discrete scintillation detectors based on avalanche photodiodes (APD) to achieve uniform, isotropic, very high spatial resolution; parallel processing for low deadtime and high count rate capability; multispectral data acquisition hardware to improve sensitivity and scatter correction; modularity to allow design flexibility and upgradability. The system implements the clam-shell'' sampling scheme and a rotating rod transmission source. All acquisition parameters can be adjusted under computer control. Temperature stability at the detector site is ensured by the use of thermoelectric modules. The initial system consists of one layer of 256 modules (two rings of detectors) defining 3 image slices in a 118 mm diameter by 10.5 mm thick field. The axial field can be extended to 50 mm using 4 layers of modules (8 rings of detectors). The design constraints and engineering aspects of an APD-based PET scanner are reviewed and preliminary results are reported.

  15. Genetic parameters for social effects on survival in cannibalistic layers: Combining survival analysis and a linear animal model

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Mortality due to cannibalism in laying hens is a difficult trait to improve genetically, because censoring is high (animals still alive at the end of the testing period) and it may depend on both the individual itself and the behaviour of its group members, so-called associative effects (social interactions). To analyse survival data, survival analysis can be used. However, it is not possible to include associative effects in the current software for survival analysis. A solution could be to combine survival analysis and a linear animal model including associative effects. This paper presents a two-step approach (2STEP), combining survival analysis and a linear animal model including associative effects (LAM). Methods Data of three purebred White Leghorn layer lines from Institut de Sélection Animale B.V., a Hendrix Genetics company, were used in this study. For the statistical analysis, survival data on 16,780 hens kept in four-bird cages with intact beaks were used. Genetic parameters for direct and associative effects on survival time were estimated using 2STEP. Cross validation was used to compare 2STEP with LAM. LAM was applied directly to estimate genetic parameters for social effects on observed survival days. Results Using 2STEP, total heritable variance, including both direct and associative genetic effects, expressed as the proportion of phenotypic variance, ranged from 32% to 64%. These results were substantially larger than when using LAM. However, cross validation showed that 2STEP gave approximately the same survival curves and rank correlations as LAM. Furthermore, cross validation showed that selection based on both direct and associative genetic effects, using either 2STEP or LAM, gave the best prediction of survival time. Conclusion It can be concluded that 2STEP can be used to estimate genetic parameters for direct and associative effects on survival time in laying hens. Using 2STEP increased the heritable variance in survival time

  16. Modular projects and 'mean questions': best practices for advising an International Genetically Engineered Machines team.

    PubMed

    Tsui, Jennifer; Meyer, Anne S

    2016-07-01

    In the yearly Internationally Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition, teams of Bachelor's and Master's students design and build an engineered biological system using DNA technologies. Advising an iGEM team poses unique challenges due to the inherent difficulties of mounting and completing a new biological project from scratch over the course of a single academic year; the challenges in obtaining financial and structural resources for a project that will likely not be fully realized; and conflicts between educational and competition-based goals. This article shares tips and best practices for iGEM team advisors, from two team advisors with very different experiences with the iGEM competition.

  17. Genetic Engineering of Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Induce Their Migration and Survival

    PubMed Central

    Nowakowski, Adam; Walczak, Piotr; Lukomska, Barbara; Janowski, Miroslaw

    2016-01-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are very attractive for regenerative medicine due to their relatively easy derivation and broad range of differentiation capabilities, either naturally or induced through cell engineering. However, efficient methods of delivery to diseased tissues and the long-term survival of grafted cells still need improvement. Here, we review genetic engineering approaches designed to enhance the migratory capacities of MSCs, as well as extend their survival after transplantation by the modulation of prosurvival approaches, including prevention of senescence and apoptosis. We highlight some of the latest examples that explore these pivotal points, which have great relevance in cell-based therapies. PMID:27242906

  18. The information value of non-genetic inheritance in plants and animals.

    PubMed

    English, Sinead; Pen, Ido; Shea, Nicholas; Uller, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Parents influence the development of their offspring in many ways beyond the transmission of DNA. This includes transfer of epigenetic states, nutrients, antibodies and hormones, and behavioural interactions after birth. While the evolutionary consequences of such non-genetic inheritance are increasingly well understood, less is known about how inheritance mechanisms evolve. Here, we present a simple but versatile model to explore the adaptive evolution of non-genetic inheritance. Our model is based on a switch mechanism that produces alternative phenotypes in response to different inputs, including genes and non-genetic factors transmitted from parents and the environment experienced during development. This framework shows how genetic and non-genetic inheritance mechanisms and environmental conditions can act as cues by carrying correlational information about future selective conditions. Differential use of these cues is manifested as different degrees of genetic, parental or environmental morph determination. We use this framework to evaluate the conditions favouring non-genetic inheritance, as opposed to genetic determination of phenotype or within-generation plasticity, by applying it to two putative examples of adaptive non-genetic inheritance: maternal effects on seed germination in plants and transgenerational phase shift in desert locusts. Our simulation models show how the adaptive value of non-genetic inheritance depends on its mechanism, the pace of environmental change, and life history characteristics. PMID:25603120

  19. The Information Value of Non-Genetic Inheritance in Plants and Animals

    PubMed Central

    English, Sinead; Pen, Ido; Shea, Nicholas; Uller, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Parents influence the development of their offspring in many ways beyond the transmission of DNA. This includes transfer of epigenetic states, nutrients, antibodies and hormones, and behavioural interactions after birth. While the evolutionary consequences of such non-genetic inheritance are increasingly well understood, less is known about how inheritance mechanisms evolve. Here, we present a simple but versatile model to explore the adaptive evolution of non-genetic inheritance. Our model is based on a switch mechanism that produces alternative phenotypes in response to different inputs, including genes and non-genetic factors transmitted from parents and the environment experienced during development. This framework shows how genetic and non-genetic inheritance mechanisms and environmental conditions can act as cues by carrying correlational information about future selective conditions. Differential use of these cues is manifested as different degrees of genetic, parental or environmental morph determination. We use this framework to evaluate the conditions favouring non-genetic inheritance, as opposed to genetic determination of phenotype or within-generation plasticity, by applying it to two putative examples of adaptive non-genetic inheritance: maternal effects on seed germination in plants and transgenerational phase shift in desert locusts. Our simulation models show how the adaptive value of non-genetic inheritance depends on its mechanism, the pace of environmental change, and life history characteristics. PMID:25603120

  20. Genetically Engineered Plant Viral Nanoparticles Direct Neural Cells Differentiation and Orientation.

    PubMed

    Feng, Sheng; Lu, Lin; Zan, Xingjie; Wu, Yehong; Lin, Yuan; Wang, Qian

    2015-09-01

    An important aim of tissue engineering is to design biomimetic materials with specific cell binding motifs and precisely controlled structural organization, thereby providing biochemical and physical cues for desired cellular behaviors. Previously, our group generated genetically modified tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) displaying integrin binding motifs, RGD1, RGD7, PSHRN3, P15, and DGEA. The resulting rod-like virus particles displaying integrin binding motifs were biocompatible with Neuro 2A (N2a), a mouse neural crest-derived cell line, and could promote the neurite outgrowth of N2a. The genetically modified viruses could be assembled with aligned orientation in the capillary by applying a shear force. The resulting aligned substrates were able to dictate directional neurite outgrowth of N2a cells. Therefore, this method could be potentially applied for neural tissue engineering, as a neural conduit for repairing peripheral nerve injuries. PMID:26247572

  1. Growth of genetically engineered Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Pseudomonas putida in soil and rhizosphere.

    PubMed Central

    Yeung, K H; Schell, M A; Hartel, P G

    1989-01-01

    The effect of the addition of a recombinant plasmid containing the pglA gene encoding an alpha-1,4-endopolygalacturonase from Pseudomonas solanacearum on the growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Pseudomonas putida in soil and rhizosphere was determined. Despite a high level of polygalacturonase production by genetically engineered P. putida and P. aeruginosa, the results suggest that polygalacturonase production had little effect on the growth of these strains in soil or rhizosphere. PMID:2515805

  2. Building Shape Surfactants: Creating rod-coil complexes using genetically engineered viruses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Phil; Fraden, Seth

    2006-03-01

    Complex self-assembled structures (micelles, lamellar phases) are often found in dispersions of amphiphilic molecules like surfactants. We genetically engineered M13 bacteriophage, a long filamentous particle that forms liquid crystalline phases, and coupled a 15 base pair oligonucleotide to one end of the virus. A plasmid DNA fragment was then ligated to the oligonucleotide to form a rod-coil particle. Based on the above complex conjugate, we are attempting to create supramolecular liquid crystalline structures.

  3. [Genetic engineering technologies of stimulating angiogenesis as an innovation trend in angiology and vascular surgery].

    PubMed

    Gavrilenko, A V; Voronov, D A

    2015-01-01

    Presented herein is a review of the principles, fundamental concepts, and possibilities of genetic engineering technologies of stimulating angiogenesis for treatment of patients with lower limb chronic ischaemia. This is followed by a detailed discussion of the structure and results of Russian and foreign studies on this direction, also considering the causes of differences of their results. Outlined is a circle of clinical situations in relation to which these technologies may be regarded as most promising.

  4. An effective hybrid cuckoo search and genetic algorithm for constrained engineering design optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanagaraj, G.; Ponnambalam, S. G.; Jawahar, N.; Mukund Nilakantan, J.

    2014-10-01

    This article presents an effective hybrid cuckoo search and genetic algorithm (HCSGA) for solving engineering design optimization problems involving problem-specific constraints and mixed variables such as integer, discrete and continuous variables. The proposed algorithm, HCSGA, is first applied to 13 standard benchmark constrained optimization functions and subsequently used to solve three well-known design problems reported in the literature. The numerical results obtained by HCSGA show competitive performance with respect to recent algorithms for constrained design optimization problems.

  5. Overview of KRAS-Driven Genetically Engineered Mouse Models of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

    PubMed

    Sheridan, Clare; Downward, Julian

    2015-01-01

    KRAS, the most frequently mutated oncogene in non-small cell lung cancer, has been utilized extensively to model human lung adenocarcinomas. The results from such studies have enhanced considerably an understanding of the relationship between KRAS and the development of lung cancer. Detailed in this overview are the features of various KRAS-driven genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) of non-small cell lung cancer, their utilization, and the potential of these models for the study of lung cancer biology.

  6. Concise review: genetically engineered stem cell therapy targeting angiogenesis and tumor stroma in gastrointestinal malignancy.

    PubMed

    Keung, Emily Z; Nelson, Peter J; Conrad, Claudius

    2013-02-01

    Cell-based gene therapy holds considerable promise for the treatment of human malignancy. Genetically engineered cells if delivered to sites of disease could alleviate symptoms or even cure cancer through expression of therapeutic or suicide transgene products. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), nonhematopoietic multipotent cells found primarily in bone marrow, have garnered particular interest as potential tumor-targeting vehicles due to their innate tumortropic homing properties. However, recent strategies go further than simply using MSCs as vehicles and use the stem cell-specific genetic make-up to restrict transgene expression to tumorigenic environments using tumor-tissue specific promoters. This addresses one of the concerns with this novel therapy that nonselective stem cell-based therapy could induce cancer rather than treat it. Even minimal off-target effects can be deleterious, motivating recent strategies to not only enhance MSC homing but also engineer them to make their antitumor effect selective to sites of malignancy. This review will summarize the advances made in the past decade toward developing novel cell-based cancer therapies using genetically engineered MSCs with a focus on strategies to achieve and enhance tumor specificity and their application to targeting gastrointestinal malignancies such as hepatocellular carcinoma and pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

  7. Use of bioluminescence for detection of genetically engineered microorganisms released into the environment. [Xanthomonas campestris

    SciTech Connect

    Shaw, J.J.; Dane, F.; Geiger, D.; Kloepper, J.W. )

    1992-01-01

    The persistence and movement of strain JS414 of Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris, which was genetically engineered to bioluminesce, were monitored during a limited field introduction. Bioluminescence and traditional dilution plate counts were determined. Strain JS414 was applied to cabbage plants and surrounding soil by mist inoculation, by wound inoculation, by scattering infested debris among plants, and by incorporating bacteria into the soil. Bioluminescent X. campestris pv. campestris was detected in plant samples and in the rhizosphere up to 6 weeks after inoculation. Movement to uninoculated plants was detected on one occasion, but movement from the immediate release area was not detected. Strain JS414 was detected in soil samples beneath mist- and wound-inoculated plants only at intentionally infested locations and in aerial samples only on the day of inoculation. The authors bioluminescence methods proved to be as sensitive as plating methods for detecting the genetically engineered microorganisms in environmental samples. Their results demonstrate that transgenic incorporation of the luxCDABE operon provides a non-labor-intensive, sensitive detection method for monitoring genetically engineered microorganisms in nature.

  8. Current status of genetic engineering in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L): an assessment.

    PubMed

    Chakravarthy, Vajhala S K; Reddy, Tummala Papi; Reddy, Vudem Dashavantha; Rao, Khareedu Venkateswara

    2014-06-01

    Cotton is considered as the foremost commercially important fiber crop and is deemed as the backbone of the textile industry. The productivity of cotton crop, worldwide, is severely hampered by the occurrence of pests, weeds, pathogens apart from various environmental factors. Several beneficial agronomic traits, viz., early maturity, improved fiber quality, heat tolerance, etc. have been successfully incorporated into cotton varieties employing conventional hybridization and mutation breeding. Crop losses, due to biotic factors, are substantial and may be reduced through certain crop protection strategies. In recent years, pioneering success has been achieved through the adoption of modern biotechnological approaches. Genetically engineered cotton varieties, expressing Bacillus thuringiensis cry genes, proved to be highly successful in controlling the bollworm complex. Various other candidate genes responsible for resistance to insect pests and pathogens, tolerance to major abiotic stress factors such as temperature, drought and salinity, have been introduced into cotton via genetic engineering methods to enhance the agronomic performance of cotton cultivars. Furthermore, genes for improving the seed oil quality and fiber characteristics have been identified and introduced into cotton cultivars. This review provides a brief overview of the various advancements made in cotton through genetic engineering approaches.

  9. [Study on the efficacy of genetically engineered vaccines against hepatitis B for interruption of perinatal transmission].

    PubMed

    Kang, P; Shen, X M; Yu, H M

    1995-07-01

    The infectivity rate of newborn babies who had been borne from HBsAG(+), HBeAg(+) and anti-HBc(+) mothers was very high (85%). 142 babies born in the hospital were divided into three groups, in this study. In the group 1, 57 babies were inoculated with 20 micrograms recombinant DNA vaccinia vaccines against hepatitis B. The injections were given at newborn, 1 month, and 6 months, respectively. In group 2, 41 babies were inoculated with 20 micrograms genetic engineering vaccines against hepatitis B at same time were intervals as group 1. In group 3, 44 newborn babies were inoculated with 10 micrograms as same vaccines as group 2 HBIG plus 1ml (200 U/ml), at same time intervals as group 1. The immune pretection rates of newborn babies in three groups were 88.2%, 85.9% and 100%, respectively. The anti-HBs pasitive conversion rates were 82%, 86% and 98%, respectively. The group 3 was compared with group 1 and 2. Statistical analysis showed the significant differences (P < 0.05). The result showed the immune program of group 3 was superior to that of group 1 and 2, and none of the 44 babies in group 3 were infected. The efficacy of immunization by genetic engineering vaccines were superior to that of blood-derived vaccine. The genetic engineering vaccines against hepatitis B would be more useful for interruption of perinatal transmission of HBV. PMID:8631089

  10. A portable expression resource for engineering cross-species genetic circuits and pathways

    PubMed Central

    Kushwaha, Manish; Salis, Howard M.

    2015-01-01

    Genetic circuits and metabolic pathways can be reengineered to allow organisms to process signals and manufacture useful chemicals. However, their functions currently rely on organism-specific regulatory parts, fragmenting synthetic biology and metabolic engineering into host-specific domains. To unify efforts, here we have engineered a cross-species expression resource that enables circuits and pathways to reuse the same genetic parts, while functioning similarly across diverse organisms. Our engineered system combines mixed feedback control loops and cross-species translation signals to autonomously self-regulate expression of an orthogonal polymerase without host-specific promoters, achieving nontoxic and tuneable gene expression in diverse Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Combining 50 characterized system variants with mechanistic modelling, we show how the cross-species expression resource's dynamics, capacity and toxicity are controlled by the control loops' architecture and feedback strengths. We also demonstrate one application of the resource by reusing the same genetic parts to express a biosynthesis pathway in both model and non-model hosts. PMID:26184393

  11. Small-scale field test of the genetically engineered lacZY marker

    SciTech Connect

    Hattemer-Frey, H.A.; Brandt, E.J.; Travis, C.C. )

    1990-06-01

    Commercial genetic engineering is advancing into areas that require the small-scale introduction of genetically engineered microorganisms (GEMs) to better quantify variables that affect microorganism distribution and survival and to document potential long-term consequences. A recombinant DNA marker system, the lacZY marker, developed by the Monsanto Agricultural Co., enables the distribution and fate of marked fluorescent pseudomonad organisms to be monitored under actual field conditions. Critical evaluation of GEMs under field conditions is imperative if plant-beneficial effects are to be correlated with organism release. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of this marker system and its ability to facilitate the assessment of risks associated with deliberate environmental introductions of genetically engineered microorganisms. Results of prerelease contained growth chamber and field experiments demonstrated that: (1) the scientific risk assessment methodology adopted by Monsanto and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was appropriate and comprehensive; (2) the deliberate introduction of a GEM did not pose unacceptable or unforeseen risks to human health or the environment; (3) the lacZY marker is an effective environmental tracking tool; and (4) regulatory oversight should reflect the expected risk and not be excessively burdensome for all GEMs.

  12. Tipping Points in Seaweed Genetic Engineering: Scaling Up Opportunities in the Next Decade

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Hanzhi; Qin, Song

    2014-01-01

    Seaweed genetic engineering is a transgenic expression system with unique features compared with those of heterotrophic prokaryotes and higher plants. This study discusses several newly sequenced seaweed nuclear genomes and the necessity that research on vector design should consider endogenous promoters, codon optimization, and gene copy number. Seaweed viruses and artificial transposons can be applied as transformation methods after acquiring a comprehensive understanding of the mechanism of viral infections in seaweeds and transposon patterns in seaweed genomes. After cultivating transgenic algal cells and tissues in a photobioreactor, a biosafety assessment of genetically modified (GM) seaweeds must be conducted before open-sea application. We propose a set of programs for the evaluation of gene flow from GM seaweeds to local/geographical environments. The effective implementation of such programs requires fundamentally systematic and interdisciplinary studies on algal physiology and genetics, marine hydrology, reproductive biology, and ecology. PMID:24857961

  13. Tipping points in seaweed genetic engineering: scaling up opportunities in the next decade.

    PubMed

    Lin, Hanzhi; Qin, Song

    2014-05-22

    Seaweed genetic engineering is a transgenic expression system with unique features compared with those of heterotrophic prokaryotes and higher plants. This study discusses several newly sequenced seaweed nuclear genomes and the necessity that research on vector design should consider endogenous promoters, codon optimization, and gene copy number. Seaweed viruses and artificial transposons can be applied as transformation methods after acquiring a comprehensive understanding of the mechanism of viral infections in seaweeds and transposon patterns in seaweed genomes. After cultivating transgenic algal cells and tissues in a photobioreactor, a biosafety assessment of genetically modified (GM) seaweeds must be conducted before open-sea application. We propose a set of programs for the evaluation of gene flow from GM seaweeds to local/geographical environments. The effective implementation of such programs requires fundamentally systematic and interdisciplinary studies on algal physiology and genetics, marine hydrology, reproductive biology, and ecology.

  14. SelenoDB 2.0: annotation of selenoprotein genes in animals and their genetic diversity in humans

    PubMed Central

    Romagné, Frédéric; Santesmasses, Didac; White, Louise; Sarangi, Gaurab K.; Mariotti, Marco; Hübler, Ron; Weihmann, Antje; Parra, Genís; Gladyshev, Vadim N.; Guigó, Roderic; Castellano, Sergi

    2014-01-01

    SelenoDB (http://www.selenodb.org) aims to provide high-quality annotations of selenoprotein genes, proteins and SECIS elements. Selenoproteins are proteins that contain the amino acid selenocysteine (Sec) and the first release of the database included annotations for eight species. Since the release of SelenoDB 1.0 many new animal genomes have been sequenced. The annotations of selenoproteins in new genomes usually contain many errors in major databases. For this reason, we have now fully annotated selenoprotein genes in 58 animal genomes. We provide manually curated annotations for human selenoproteins, whereas we use an automatic annotation pipeline to annotate selenoprotein genes in other animal genomes. In addition, we annotate the homologous genes containing cysteine (Cys) instead of Sec. Finally, we have surveyed genetic variation in the annotated genes in humans. We use exon capture and resequencing approaches to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms in more than 50 human populations around the world. We thus present a detailed view of the genetic divergence of Sec- and Cys-containing genes in animals and their diversity in humans. The addition of these datasets into the second release of the database provides a valuable resource for addressing medical and evolutionary questions in selenium biology. PMID:24194593

  15. SelenoDB 2.0: annotation of selenoprotein genes in animals and their genetic diversity in humans.

    PubMed

    Romagné, Frédéric; Santesmasses, Didac; White, Louise; Sarangi, Gaurab K; Mariotti, Marco; Hübler, Ron; Weihmann, Antje; Parra, Genís; Gladyshev, Vadim N; Guigó, Roderic; Castellano, Sergi

    2014-01-01

    SelenoDB (http://www.selenodb.org) aims to provide high-quality annotations of selenoprotein genes, proteins and SECIS elements. Selenoproteins are proteins that contain the amino acid selenocysteine (Sec) and the first release of the database included annotations for eight species. Since the release of SelenoDB 1.0 many new animal genomes have been sequenced. The annotations of selenoproteins in new genomes usually contain many errors in major databases. For this reason, we have now fully annotated selenoprotein genes in 58 animal genomes. We provide manually curated annotations for human selenoproteins, whereas we use an automatic annotation pipeline to annotate selenoprotein genes in other animal genomes. In addition, we annotate the homologous genes containing cysteine (Cys) instead of Sec. Finally, we have surveyed genetic variation in the annotated genes in humans. We use exon capture and resequencing approaches to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms in more than 50 human populations around the world. We thus present a detailed view of the genetic divergence of Sec- and Cys-containing genes in animals and their diversity in humans. The addition of these datasets into the second release of the database provides a valuable resource for addressing medical and evolutionary questions in selenium biology.

  16. A CRISPR-Cas9 System for Genetic Engineering of Filamentous Fungi

    PubMed Central

    Nødvig, Christina S.; Nielsen, Jakob B.; Kogle, Martin E.; Mortensen, Uffe H.

    2015-01-01

    The number of fully sequenced fungal genomes is rapidly increasing. Since genetic tools are poorly developed for most filamentous fungi, it is currently difficult to employ genetic engineering for understanding the biology of these fungi and to fully exploit them industrially. For that reason there is a demand for developing versatile methods that can be used to genetically manipulate non-model filamentous fungi. To facilitate this, we have developed a CRISPR-Cas9 based system adapted for use in filamentous fungi. The system is simple and versatile, as RNA guided mutagenesis can be achieved by transforming a target fungus with a single plasmid. The system currently contains four CRISPR-Cas9 vectors, which are equipped with commonly used fungal markers allowing for selection in a broad range of fungi. Moreover, we have developed a script that allows identification of protospacers that target gene homologs in multiple species to facilitate introduction of common mutations in different filamentous fungi. With these tools we have performed RNA-guided mutagenesis in six species of which one has not previously been genetically engineered. Moreover, for a wild-type Aspergillus aculeatus strain, we have used our CRISPR Cas9 system to generate a strain that contains an AACU_pyrG marker and demonstrated that the resulting strain can be used for iterative gene targeting. PMID:26177455

  17. Internal combustion engine control for series hybrid electric vehicles by parallel and distributed genetic programming/multiobjective genetic algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gladwin, D.; Stewart, P.; Stewart, J.

    2011-02-01

    This article addresses the problem of maintaining a stable rectified DC output from the three-phase AC generator in a series-hybrid vehicle powertrain. The series-hybrid prime power source generally comprises an internal combustion (IC) engine driving a three-phase permanent magnet generator whose output is rectified to DC. A recent development has been to control the engine/generator combination by an electronically actuated throttle. This system can be represented as a nonlinear system with significant time delay. Previously, voltage control of the generator output has been achieved by model predictive methods such as the Smith Predictor. These methods rely on the incorporation of an accurate system model and time delay into the control algorithm, with a consequent increase in computational complexity in the real-time controller, and as a necessity relies to some extent on the accuracy of the models. Two complementary performance objectives exist for the control system. Firstly, to maintain the IC engine at its optimal operating point, and secondly, to supply a stable DC supply to the traction drive inverters. Achievement of these goals minimises the transient energy storage requirements at the DC link, with a consequent reduction in both weight and cost. These objectives imply constant velocity operation of the IC engine under external load disturbances and changes in both operating conditions and vehicle speed set-points. In order to achieve these objectives, and reduce the complexity of implementation, in this article a controller is designed by the use of Genetic Programming methods in the Simulink modelling environment, with the aim of obtaining a relatively simple controller for the time-delay system which does not rely on the implementation of real time system models or time delay approximations in the controller. A methodology is presented to utilise the miriad of existing control blocks in the Simulink libraries to automatically evolve optimal control

  18. Real-time polymerase chain reaction method for detecting contamination of beef by material from genetically engineered cattle.

    PubMed

    Nakajima, Osamu; Akiyama, Hiroshi; Teshima, Reiko

    2009-08-01

    Prion protein knockout (PRNP(-/-)) cattle have been developed and may be used to produce bovine material such as serum, collagen, and gelatin. However, genetically engineered animals (GE animals) must not be imported or made commercially available in Japan, because they are not authorized for food use in Japan. We used real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR) to develop method of detection for neomycin- and the puromycin-resistance genes in beef samples. Plasmids containing the neomycin-resistance gene and the puromycin-resistance gene were used as standard reference molecules. The results clearly showed that the method we developed is capable of quantitatively detecting the neomycin- and the puromycin-resistance genes in the plasmids in the presence of genomic DNA extracted from a beef sample. We also applied the method to testing of beef samples imported from the United States (U.S.). This method will make it possible to monitor beef for contamination by material from GE cattle to assure food safety.

  19. Reproductive cloning, genetic engineering and the autonomy of the child: the moral agent and the open future

    PubMed Central

    Mameli, M

    2007-01-01

    Some authors have argued that the human use of reproductive cloning and genetic engineering should be prohibited because these biotechnologies would undermine the autonomy of the resulting child. In this paper, two versions of this view are discussed. According to the first version, the autonomy of cloned and genetically engineered people would be undermined because knowledge of the method by which these people have been conceived would make them unable to assume full responsibility for their actions. According to the second version, these biotechnologies would undermine autonomy by violating these people's right to an open future. There is no evidence to show that people conceived through cloning and genetic engineering would inevitably or even in general be unable to assume responsibility for their actions; there is also no evidence for the claim that cloning and genetic engineering would inevitably or even in general rob the child of the possibility to choose from a sufficiently large array of life plans. PMID:17264194

  20. A CAL Program to Teach the Basic Principles of Genetic Engineering--A Change from the Traditional Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dewhurst, D. G.; And Others

    1989-01-01

    An interactive computer-assisted learning program written for the BBC microcomputer to teach the basic principles of genetic engineering is described. Discussed are the hardware requirements software, use of the program, and assessment. (Author/CW)

  1. Reproductive cloning, genetic engineering and the autonomy of the child: the moral agent and the open future.

    PubMed

    Mameli, M

    2007-02-01

    Some authors have argued that the human use of reproductive cloning and genetic engineering should be prohibited because these biotechnologies would undermine the autonomy of the resulting child. In this paper, two versions of this view are discussed. According to the first version, the autonomy of cloned and genetically engineered people would be undermined because knowledge of the method by which these people have been conceived would make them unable to assume full responsibility for their actions. According to the second version, these biotechnologies would undermine autonomy by violating these people's right to an open future. There is no evidence to show that people conceived through cloning and genetic engineering would inevitably or even in general be unable to assume responsibility for their actions; there is also no evidence for the claim that cloning and genetic engineering would inevitably or even in general rob the child of the possibility to choose from a sufficiently large array of life plans.

  2. Vicariance and dispersal across an intermittent barrier: population genetic structure of marine animals across the Torres Strait land bridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mirams, A. G. K.; Treml, E. A.; Shields, J. L.; Liggins, L.; Riginos, C.

    2011-12-01

    Biogeographic barriers, some transitory in duration, are likely to have been important contributing factors to modern marine biodiversity in the Indo-Pacific region. One such barrier was the Torres Strait land bridge between continental Australia and New Guinea that persisted through much of the late Pleistocene and separated Indian and Pacific Ocean taxa. Here, we examine the patterns of mitochondrial DNA diversity for marine animals with present-day distributions spanning the Torres Strait. Specifically, we investigate whether there are concordant signatures across species, consistent with either vicariance or recent colonization from either ocean basin. We survey four species of reef fishes ( Apogon doederleini, Pomacentrus coelestis, Dascyllus trimaculatus, and Acanthurus triostegus) for mtDNA cytochrome oxidase 1 and control region variation and contrast these results to previous mtDNA studies in diverse marine animals with similar distributions. We find substantial genetic partitioning (estimated from F-statistics and coalescent approaches) between Indian and Pacific Ocean populations for many species, consistent with regional persistence through the late Pleistocene in both ocean basins. The species-specific estimates of genetic divergence, however, vary greatly and for reef fishes we estimate substantially different divergence times among species. It is likely that Indian and Pacific Ocean populations have been isolated for multiple glacial cycles for some species, whereas for other species genetic connections have been more recent. Regional estimates of genetic diversity and directionality of gene flow also vary among species. Thus, there is no apparent consistency among historical patterns across the Torres Strait for these co-distributed marine animals.

  3. Open Field Release of Genetically Engineered Sterile Male Aedes aegypti in Malaysia

    PubMed Central

    Raduan, Norzahira; Kwee Wee, Lim; Hong Ming, Wong; Guat Ney, Teoh; Rahidah A.A., Siti; Salman, Sawaluddin; Subramaniam, Selvi; Nordin, Oreenaiza; Hanum A.T., Norhaida; Angamuthu, Chandru; Marlina Mansor, Suria; Lees, Rosemary S.; Naish, Neil; Scaife, Sarah; Gray, Pam; Labbé, Geneviève; Beech, Camilla; Nimmo, Derric; Alphey, Luke; Vasan, Seshadri S.; Han Lim, Lee; Wasi A., Nazni; Murad, Shahnaz

    2012-01-01

    Background Dengue is the most important mosquito-borne viral disease. In the absence of specific drugs or vaccines, control focuses on suppressing the principal mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti, yet current methods have not proven adequate to control the disease. New methods are therefore urgently needed, for example genetics-based sterile-male-release methods. However, this requires that lab-reared, modified mosquitoes be able to survive and disperse adequately in the field. Methodology/Principal Findings Adult male mosquitoes were released into an uninhabited forested area of Pahang, Malaysia. Their survival and dispersal was assessed by use of a network of traps. Two strains were used, an engineeredgenetically sterile’ (OX513A) and a wild-type laboratory strain, to give both absolute and relative data about the performance of the modified mosquitoes. The two strains had similar maximum dispersal distances (220 m), but mean distance travelled of the OX513A strain was lower (52 vs. 100 m). Life expectancy was similar (2.0 vs. 2.2 days). Recapture rates were high for both strains, possibly because of the uninhabited nature of the site. Conclusions/Significance After extensive contained studies and regulatory scrutiny, a field release of engineered mosquitoes was safely and successfully conducted in Malaysia. The engineered strain showed similar field longevity to an unmodified counterpart, though in this setting dispersal was reduced relative to the unmodified strain. These data are encouraging for the future testing and implementation of genetic control strategies and will help guide future field use of this and other engineered strains. PMID:22970102

  4. Using HexSim to link demography and genetics in animal and plant simulations

    EPA Science Inventory

    Simulation models are essential for understanding the effects of land management practices and environmental drivers, including landscape change, shape population genetic structure and persistence probabilities. The emerging field of eco-evolutionary modeling is beginning to dev...

  5. Seeding cell approach for tissue-engineered urethral reconstruction in animal study: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Xue, Jing-Dong; Gao, Jing; Fu, Qiang; Feng, Chao; Xie, Hong

    2016-07-01

    We systematically reviewed published preclinical studies to evaluate the effectiveness of cell-seeded tissue engineering approach for urethral reconstruction in an animal model. The outcomes were summarized by success factors in the animal experiments, which evaluate the possibility and feasibility of a clinical application in the future. Preclinical studies of tissue engineering approaches for urethral reconstruction were identified through a systematic search in PubMed, Embase, and Biosis Previews (web of science SP) databases for studies published from 1 January 1980 to 23 November 2014. Primary studies were included if urethral reconstruction was performed using a tissue-engineered biomaterial in any animal species (with the experiment group being a cell-seeded scaffold and the control group being a cell-free scaffold) with histology and urethrography as the outcome measure. A total of 15 preclinical studies were included in our meta-analysis. The histology and urethrography outcome between the experimental and control groups were considered to be the most clinically relevant. Through this systematic approach, our outcomes suggested that applying the cell-seeded biomaterial in creating a neo-urethra was stable and effective. And multi-type cells including epithelial cells as well as smooth muscle cells or fibroblasts seemed to be a better strategy. Stem cells, especially after epithelial differentiation, could be a promising choice for future researches.

  6. An engineered small RNA-mediated genetic switch based on a ribozyme expression platform

    PubMed Central

    Klauser, Benedikt; Hartig, Jörg S.

    2013-01-01

    An important requirement for achieving many goals of synthetic biology is the availability of a large repertoire of reprogrammable genetic switches and appropriate transmitter molecules. In addition to engineering genetic switches, the interconnection of individual switches becomes increasingly important for the construction of more complex genetic networks. In particular, RNA-based switches of gene expression have become a powerful tool to post-transcriptionally program genetic circuits. RNAs used for regulatory purposes have the advantage to transmit, sense, process and execute information. We have recently used the hammerhead ribozyme to control translation initiation in a small molecule-dependent fashion. In addition, riboregulators have been constructed in which a small RNA acts as transmitter molecule to control translation of a target mRNA. In this study, we combine both concepts and redesign the hammerhead ribozyme to sense small trans-acting RNAs (taRNAs) as input molecules resulting in repression of translation initiation in Escherichia coli. Importantly, our ribozyme-based expression platform is compatible with previously reported artificial taRNAs, which were reported to act as inducers of gene expression. In addition, we provide several insights into key requirements of riboregulatory systems, including the influences of varying transcriptional induction of the taRNA and mRNA transcripts, 5′-processing of taRNAs, as well as altering the secondary structure of the taRNA. In conclusion, we introduce an RNA-responsive ribozyme-based expression system to the field of artificial riboregulators that can serve as reprogrammable platform for engineering higher-order genetic circuits. PMID:23585277

  7. Effect of synthetic auxin herbicides on seed development and viability in genetically-engineered glyphosate-resistant alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Feral populations of cultivated crops have the potential to function as bridges and reservoirs that contribute to the unwanted movement of novel genetically engineered (GE) traits. Recognizing that feral alfalfa has the potential to lower genetic purity in alfalfa seed production fields when it is g...

  8. Potential large animal models for gene therapy of human genetic diseases of immune and blood cell systems.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Thomas R; Adler, Rima L; Hickstein, Dennis D

    2009-01-01

    Genetic mutations involving the cellular components of the hematopoietic system--red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets--manifest clinically as anemia, infection, and bleeding. Although gene targeting has recapitulated many of these diseases in mice, these murine homologues are limited as translational models by their small size and brief life span as well as the fact that mutations induced by gene targeting do not always faithfully reflect the clinical manifestations of such mutations in humans. Many of these limitations can be overcome by identifying large animals with genetic diseases of the hematopoietic system corresponding to their human disease counterparts. In this article, we describe human diseases of the cellular components of the hematopoietic system that have counterparts in large animal species, in most cases carrying mutations in the same gene (CD18 in leukocyte adhesion deficiency) or genes in interacting proteins (DNA cross-link repair 1C protein and protein kinase, DNA-activated catalytic polypeptide in radiation-sensitive severe combined immunodeficiency). Furthermore, we describe the potential of these animal models to serve as disease-specific preclinical models for testing the efficacy and safety of clinical interventions such as hematopoietic stem cell transplantation or gene therapy before their use in humans with the corresponding disease. PMID:19293460

  9. Potential large animal models for gene therapy of human genetic diseases of immune and blood cell systems.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Thomas R; Adler, Rima L; Hickstein, Dennis D

    2009-01-01

    Genetic mutations involving the cellular components of the hematopoietic system--red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets--manifest clinically as anemia, infection, and bleeding. Although gene targeting has recapitulated many of these diseases in mice, these murine homologues are limited as translational models by their small size and brief life span as well as the fact that mutations induced by gene targeting do not always faithfully reflect the clinical manifestations of such mutations in humans. Many of these limitations can be overcome by identifying large animals with genetic diseases of the hematopoietic system corresponding to their human disease counterparts. In this article, we describe human diseases of the cellular components of the hematopoietic system that have counterparts in large animal species, in most cases carrying mutations in the same gene (CD18 in leukocyte adhesion deficiency) or genes in interacting proteins (DNA cross-link repair 1C protein and protein kinase, DNA-activated catalytic polypeptide in radiation-sensitive severe combined immunodeficiency). Furthermore, we describe the potential of these animal models to serve as disease-specific preclinical models for testing the efficacy and safety of clinical interventions such as hematopoietic stem cell transplantation or gene therapy before their use in humans with the corresponding disease.

  10. Potential Large Animal Models for Gene Therapy of Human Genetic Diseases of Immune and Blood Cell Systems

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Thomas R.; Adler, Rima L.; Hickstein, Dennis D.

    2009-01-01

    Genetic mutations involving the cellular components of the hematopoietic system—red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets—manifest clinically as anemia, infection, and bleeding. Although gene targeting has recapitulated many of these diseases in mice, these murine homologues are limited as translational models by their small size and brief life span as well as the fact that mutations induced by gene targeting do not always faithfully reflect the clinical manifestations of such mutations in humans. Many of these limitations can be overcome by identifying large animals with genetic diseases of the hematopoietic system corresponding to their human disease counterparts. In this article, we describe human diseases of the cellular components of the hematopoietic system that have counterparts in large animal species, in most cases carrying mutations in the same gene (CD18 in leukocyte adhesion deficiency) or genes in interacting proteins (DNA cross-link repair 1C protein and protein kinase, DNA-activated, catalytic polypeptide in radiation-sensitive severe combined immunodeficiency). Furthermore, we describe the potential of these animal models to serve as disease-specific, preclinical models for testing the efficacy and safety of clinical interventions such as hematopoietic stem cell transplantation or gene therapy approaches before their use in humans with the corresponding disease. PMID:19293460

  11. Insights into wild-type and mutant p53 functions provided by genetically engineered mice.

    PubMed

    Donehower, Lawrence A

    2014-06-01

    Recent whole-exome sequencing studies of numerous human cancers have now conclusively shown that the TP53 tumor-suppressor gene is the most frequently mutated gene in human cancers. Despite extensive studies of the TP53 gene and its encoded protein (p53), our understanding of how TP53 mutations contribute to cancer initiation and progression remain incomplete. Genetically engineered mice with germline or inducible Trp53 somatic mutations have provided important insights into the mechanisms by which different types of p53 mutation influence cancer development. Trp53 germline mutations that alter specific p53 structural domains or posttranslation modification sites have benefitted our understanding of wild-type p53 functions in a whole organism context. Moreover, genetic approaches to reestablish functional wild-type p53 to p53-deficient tissues and tumors have increased our understanding of the therapeutic potential of restoring functional p53 signaling to cancers. This review outlines many of the key insights provided by the various categories of Trp53 mutant mice that have been generated by multiple genetic engineering approaches.

  12. Engineering modular and tunable genetic amplifiers for scaling transcriptional signals in cascaded gene networks.

    PubMed

    Wang, Baojun; Barahona, Mauricio; Buck, Martin

    2014-08-01

    Synthetic biology aims to control and reprogram signal processing pathways within living cells so as to realize repurposed, beneficial applications. Here we report the design and construction of a set of modular and gain-tunable genetic amplifiers in Escherichia coli capable of amplifying a transcriptional signal with wide tunable-gain control in cascaded gene networks. The devices are engineered using orthogonal genetic components (hrpRS, hrpV and PhrpL) from the hrp (hypersensitive response and pathogenicity) gene regulatory network in Pseudomonas syringae. The amplifiers can linearly scale up to 21-fold the transcriptional input with a large output dynamic range, yet not introducing significant time delay or significant noise during signal amplification. The set of genetic amplifiers achieves different gains and input dynamic ranges by varying the expression levels of the underlying ligand-free activator proteins in the device. As their electronic counterparts, these engineered transcriptional amplifiers can act as fundamental building blocks in the design of biological systems by predictably and dynamically modulating transcriptional signal flows to implement advanced intra- and extra-cellular control functions.

  13. Field application of a genetically engineered microorganism for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon bioremediation process monitoring and control

    SciTech Connect

    Sayler, G.S.; Cox, C.D.; Ripp, S.; Nivens, D.E.; Werner, C.; Ahn, Y.; Matrubutham, U.; Burlage, R.

    1998-11-01

    On October 30, 1996, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) commenced the first test release of genetically engineered microorganisms (GEMs) for use in bioremediation. The specific objectives of the investigation were multifaceted and include (1) testing the hypothesis that a GEM can be successfully introduced and maintained in a bioremediation process, (2) testing the concept of using, at the field scale, reporter organisms for direct bioremediation process monitoring and control, and (3) acquiring data that can be used in risk assessment decision making and protocol development for future field release applications of GEMs. The genetically engineered strain under investigation is Pseudomonas fluorescens strain HK44 (King et al., 1990). The original P. fluorescens parent strain was isolated from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contaminated manufactured gas plant soil. Thus, this bacterium is able to biodegrade naphthalene (as well as other substituted naphthalenes and other PAHs) and is able to function as a living bioluminescent reporter for the presence of naphthalene contamination, its bioavailability, and the functional process of biodegradation. A unique component of this field investigation was the availability of an array of large subsurface soil lysimeters. This article describes the experience associated with the release of a genetically modified microorganism, the lysimeter facility and its associated instrumentation, as well as representative data collected during the first eighteen months of operation.

  14. Biomimetic self-templating optical structures fabricated by genetically engineered M13 bacteriophage.

    PubMed

    Kim, Won-Geun; Song, Hyerin; Kim, Chuntae; Moon, Jong-Sik; Kim, Kyujung; Lee, Seung-Wuk; Oh, Jin-Woo

    2016-11-15

    Here, we describe a highly sensitive and selective surface plasmon resonance sensor system by utilizing self-assembly of genetically engineered M13 bacteriophage. About 2700 copies of genetically expressed peptide copies give superior selectivity and sensitivity to M13 phage-based SPR sensor. Furthermore, the sensitivity of the M13 phage-based SPR sensor was enhanced due to the aligning of receptor matrix in specific direction. Incorporation of specific binding peptide (His Pro Gln: HPQ) gives M13 bacteriophage high selectivity for the streptavidin. Our M13 phage-based SPR sensor takes advantage of simplicity of self-assembly compared with relatively complex photolithography techniques or chemical conjugations. Additionally, designed structure which is composed of functionalized M13 bacteriophage can simultaneously improve the sensitivity and selectivity of SPR sensor evidently. By taking advantages of the genetic engineering and self-assembly, we propose the simple method for fabricating novel M13 phage-based SPR sensor system which has a high sensitivity and high selectivity.

  15. Genetic engineering of crops: a ray of hope for enhanced food security.

    PubMed

    Gill, Sarvajeet Singh; Gill, Ritu; Tuteja, Renu; Tuteja, Narendra

    2014-01-01

    Crop improvement has been a basic and essential chase since organized cultivation of crops began thousands of years ago. Abiotic stresses as a whole are regarded as the crucial factors restricting the plant species to reach their full genetic potential to deliver desired productivity. The changing global climatic conditions are making them worse and pointing toward food insecurity. Agriculture biotechnology or genetic engineering has allowed us to look into and understand the complex nature of abiotic stresses and measures to improve the crop productivity under adverse conditions. Various candidate genes have been identified and transformed in model plants as well as agriculturally important crop plants to develop abiotic stress-tolerant plants for crop improvement. The views presented here are an attempt toward realizing the potential of genetic engineering for improving crops to better tolerate abiotic stresses in the era of climate change, which is now essential for global food security. There is great urgency in speeding up crop improvement programs that can use modern biotechnological tools in addition to current breeding practices for providing enhanced food security.

  16. Biomimetic self-templating optical structures fabricated by genetically engineered M13 bacteriophage.

    PubMed

    Kim, Won-Geun; Song, Hyerin; Kim, Chuntae; Moon, Jong-Sik; Kim, Kyujung; Lee, Seung-Wuk; Oh, Jin-Woo

    2016-11-15

    Here, we describe a highly sensitive and selective surface plasmon resonance sensor system by utilizing self-assembly of genetically engineered M13 bacteriophage. About 2700 copies of genetically expressed peptide copies give superior selectivity and sensitivity to M13 phage-based SPR sensor. Furthermore, the sensitivity of the M13 phage-based SPR sensor was enhanced due to the aligning of receptor matrix in specific direction. Incorporation of specific binding peptide (His Pro Gln: HPQ) gives M13 bacteriophage high selectivity for the streptavidin. Our M13 phage-based SPR sensor takes advantage of simplicity of self-assembly compared with relatively complex photolithography techniques or chemical conjugations. Additionally, designed structure which is composed of functionalized M13 bacteriophage can simultaneously improve the sensitivity and selectivity of SPR sensor evidently. By taking advantages of the genetic engineering and self-assembly, we propose the simple method for fabricating novel M13 phage-based SPR sensor system which has a high sensitivity and high selectivity. PMID:27295572

  17. Ear-Shaped Stable Auricular Cartilage Engineered from Extensively Expanded Chondrocytes in an Immunocompetent Experimental Animal Model.

    PubMed

    Pomerantseva, Irina; Bichara, David A; Tseng, Alan; Cronce, Michael J; Cervantes, Thomas M; Kimura, Anya M; Neville, Craig M; Roscioli, Nick; Vacanti, Joseph P; Randolph, Mark A; Sundback, Cathryn A

    2016-02-01

    Advancement of engineered ear in clinical practice is limited by several challenges. The complex, largely unsupported, three-dimensional auricular neocartilage structure is difficult to maintain. Neocartilage formation is challenging in an immunocompetent host due to active inflammatory and immunological responses. The large number of autologous chondrogenic cells required for engineering an adult human-sized ear presents an additional challenge because primary chondrocytes rapidly dedifferentiate during in vitro culture. The objective of this study was to engineer a stable, human ear-shaped cartilage in an immunocompetent animal model using expanded chondrocytes. The impact of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) supplementation on achieving clinically relevant expansion of primary sheep chondrocytes by in vitro culture was determined. Chondrocytes expanded in standard medium were either combined with cryopreserved, primary passage 0 chondrocytes at the time of scaffold seeding or used alone as control. Disk and human ear-shaped scaffolds were made from porous collagen; ear scaffolds had an embedded, supporting titanium wire framework. Autologous chondrocyte-seeded scaffolds were implanted subcutaneously in sheep after 2 weeks of in vitro incubation. The quality of the resulting neocartilage and its stability and retention of the original ear size and shape were evaluated at 6, 12, and 20 weeks postimplantation. Neocartilage produced from chondrocytes that were expanded in the presence of bFGF was superior, and its quality improved with increased implantation time. In addition to characteristic morphological cartilage features, its glycosaminoglycan content was high and marked elastin fiber formation was present. The overall shape of engineered ears was preserved at 20 weeks postimplantation, and the dimensional changes did not exceed 10%. The wire frame within the engineered ear was able to withstand mechanical forces during wound healing and neocartilage

  18. Genetically engineering cyanobacteria to convert CO₂, water, and light into the long-chain hydrocarbon farnesene.

    PubMed

    Halfmann, Charles; Gu, Liping; Gibbons, William; Zhou, Ruanbao

    2014-12-01

    Genetically engineered cyanobacteria offer a shortcut to convert CO2 and H2O directly into biofuels and high value chemicals for societal benefits. Farnesene, a long-chained hydrocarbon (C15H24), has many applications in lubricants, cosmetics, fragrances, and biofuels. However, a method for the sustainable, photosynthetic production of farnesene has been lacking. Here, we report the photosynthetic production of farnesene by the filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 using only CO2, mineralized water, and light. A codon-optimized farnesene synthase gene was chemically synthesized and then expressed in the cyanobacterium, enabling it to synthesize farnesene through its endogenous non-mevalonate (MEP) pathway. Farnesene excreted from the engineered cyanobacterium volatilized into the flask head space and was recovered by adsorption in a resin column. The maximum photosynthetic productivity of farnesene was 69.1 ± 1.8 μg·L(-1)·O.D.(-1)·d(-1). Compared to the wild type, the farnesene-producing cyanobacterium also exhibited a 60 % higher PSII activity under high light, suggesting increased farnesene productivity in such conditions. We envision genetically engineered cyanobacteria as a bio-solar factory for photosynthetic production of a wide range of biofuels and commodity chemicals.

  19. Genetic engineering of bio-nanoparticles for drug delivery: a review.

    PubMed

    Nishimura, Yuya; Ishii, Jun; Ogino, Chiaki; Kondo, Akihiko

    2014-09-01

    Techniques using nanotechnology in the detection and treatment of cancers have made great progress in multidisciplinary fields. The advances in drug delivery systems (DDSs) have been supported mainly by the development of varied nanoparticles (NPs). Although the NPs based on organic and inorganic materials are integral parts in DDSs, bio-nanoparticles containing biopolymer and virus-like particles (VLPs) are attractive biomaterials for DDSs because of their unique features originating in bio-based materials, such as biocompatibility, biodegradability and low immunogenicity. It is notable that these NPs additionally have a great advantage to enable the easy and flexible alteration of their features by genetic engineering approaches. Controlling the sequence and oligomeric process of polypeptide genes permits a variety of choices in type or size of biopolymeric NPs (e.g., elastin-like polypeptide NPs). In contrast, the functional genes are often inserted into the coding sequences for self-assembled proteins to give the VLPs (e.g., hemagglutinating virus of Japan, adeno-associated virus, human immunodeficiency virus-1, simian virus 40 and hepatitis B virus) additional functions. Thus, genetic engineering readily allow alterations of the properties of NPs (e.g., particle shape, size and stability) and grant of new abilities (e.g., cell-specificity and drug loading and release). In this review, we introduce recent advances in bio-nanoparticles from the standpoint of engineering.

  20. A tunable and reversible platform for the intracellular formation of genetically engineered protein microdomains.

    PubMed

    Pastuszka, Martha K; Janib, Siti M; Weitzhandler, Isaac; Okamoto, Curtis T; Hamm-Alvarez, Sarah; Mackay, J Andrew

    2012-11-12

    From mitochondria to the nuclear envelope, the controlled assembly of micro- and nanostructures is essential for life; however, the level at which we can deliberately engineer the assembly of microstructures within intracellular environments remains primitive. To overcome this obstacle, we present a platform to reversibly assemble genetically engineered protein microdomains (GEPMs) on the time scale of minutes within living cells. Biologically inspired from the human protein tropoelastin, these protein polymers form a secondary aqueous phase above a tunable transition temperature. This assembly process is easily manipulated to occur at or near physiological temperature by adjusting molecular weight and hydrophobicity. We fused protein polymers to green fluorescent protein (GFP) to visualize their behavior within the cytoplasm. While soluble, these polymers have a similar intracellular diffusion constant as cytosolic proteins at 7.4 μm(2)/s; however, above their phase transition temperature, the proteins form distinct microdomains (0.1-2 μm) with a reduced diffusion coefficient of 1.1 μm(2)/s. Microdomain assembly and disassembly are both rapid processes with half-lives of 3.8 and 1.0 min, respectively. Via selection of the protein polymer, the assembly temperature is tunable between 20 and 40 °C. This approach may be useful to control intracellular formation of genetically engineered proteins and protein complexes into concentrated microdomains. PMID:23088632

  1. Genetic and metabolic engineering of microorganisms for the development of new flavor compounds from terpenic substrates.

    PubMed

    Bution, Murillo L; Molina, Gustavo; Abrahão, Meissa R E; Pastore, Gláucia M

    2015-01-01

    Throughout human history, natural products have been the basis for the discovery and development of therapeutics, cosmetic and food compounds used in industry. Many compounds found in natural organisms are rather difficult to chemically synthesize and to extract in large amounts, and in this respect, genetic and metabolic engineering are playing an increasingly important role in the production of these compounds, such as new terpenes and terpenoids, which may potentially be used to create aromas in industry. Terpenes belong to the largest class of natural compounds, are produced by all living organisms and play a fundamental role in human nutrition, cosmetics and medicine. Recent advances in systems biology and synthetic biology are allowing us to perform metabolic engineering at the whole-cell level, thus enabling the optimal design of microorganisms for the efficient production of drugs, cosmetic and food additives. This review describes the recent advances made in the genetic and metabolic engineering of the terpenes pathway with a particular focus on systems biotechnology.

  2. Genetically engineering cyanobacteria to convert CO₂, water, and light into the long-chain hydrocarbon farnesene.

    PubMed

    Halfmann, Charles; Gu, Liping; Gibbons, William; Zhou, Ruanbao

    2014-12-01

    Genetically engineered cyanobacteria offer a shortcut to convert CO2 and H2O directly into biofuels and high value chemicals for societal benefits. Farnesene, a long-chained hydrocarbon (C15H24), has many applications in lubricants, cosmetics, fragrances, and biofuels. However, a method for the sustainable, photosynthetic production of farnesene has been lacking. Here, we report the photosynthetic production of farnesene by the filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 using only CO2, mineralized water, and light. A codon-optimized farnesene synthase gene was chemically synthesized and then expressed in the cyanobacterium, enabling it to synthesize farnesene through its endogenous non-mevalonate (MEP) pathway. Farnesene excreted from the engineered cyanobacterium volatilized into the flask head space and was recovered by adsorption in a resin column. The maximum photosynthetic productivity of farnesene was 69.1 ± 1.8 μg·L(-1)·O.D.(-1)·d(-1). Compared to the wild type, the farnesene-producing cyanobacterium also exhibited a 60 % higher PSII activity under high light, suggesting increased farnesene productivity in such conditions. We envision genetically engineered cyanobacteria as a bio-solar factory for photosynthetic production of a wide range of biofuels and commodity chemicals. PMID:25301585

  3. Genetic engineering of plants for improved crop production. (Latest citations from the Biobusiness data base). Published Search

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-05-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning the use of genetic engineering to improve crop production. Genetic alterations of plants to provide insect protection, herbicide resistance, disease resistance, improved quality, and higher yield are discussed. Methods used to develop environmentally tolerant crops that are able to withstand extremes of temperature, reduced water consumption, and reduced fertilizer requirements are examined. Genetic engineering of microorganisms that are beneficial to plants is discussed in a separate bibliography. (Contains 250 citations and includes a subject term index and title list.)

  4. Science, law, and politics in the Food and Drug Administration's genetically engineered foods policy: FDA's 1992 policy statement.

    PubMed

    Pelletier, David L

    2005-05-01

    The US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) 1992 policy statement was developed in the context of critical gaps in scientific knowledge concerning the compositional effects of genetic transformation and severe limitations in methods for safety testing. FDA acknowledged that pleiotropy and insertional mutagenesis may cause unintended changes, but it was unknown whether this happens to a greater extent in genetic engineering compared with traditional breeding. Moreover, the agency was not able to identify methods by which producers could screen for unintended allergens and toxicants. Despite these uncertainties, FDA granted genetically engineered foods the presumption of GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and recommended that producers use voluntary consultations before marketing them.

  5. Fibrous proteins: At the crossroads of genetic engineering and biotechnological applications.

    PubMed

    Yigit, Sezin; Dinjaski, Nina; Kaplan, David L

    2016-05-01

    Fibrous proteins, such as silk, elastin and collagen are finding broad impact in biomaterial systems for a range of biomedical and industrial applications. Some of the key advantages of biosynthetic fibrous proteins compared to synthetic polymers include the tailorability of sequence, protein size, degradation pattern, and mechanical properties. Recombinant DNA production and precise control over genetic sequence of these proteins allows expansion and fine tuning of material properties to meet the needs for specific applications. We review current approaches in the design, cloning, and expression of fibrous proteins, with a focus on strategies utilized to meet the challenges of repetitive fibrous protein production. We discuss recent advances in understanding the fundamental basis of structure-function relationships and the designs that foster fibrous protein self-assembly towards predictable architectures and properties for a range of applications. We highlight the potential of functionalization through genetic engineering to design fibrous protein systems for biotechnological and biomedical applications.

  6. Exploiting Multisite Gateway and pENFRUIT plasmid collection for fruit genetic engineering.

    PubMed

    Estornell, Leandro H; Granell, Antonio; Orzaez, Diego

    2012-01-01

    MultiSite Gateway cloning techniques based on homologous recombination facilitate the combinatorial assembly of basic genetic pieces (i.e., promoters, CDS, and terminators) into gene expression or gene silencing cassettes. pENFRUIT is a collection of MultiSite Triple Gateway Entry vectors dedicated to genetic engineering in fruits. It comprises a number of fruit-operating promoters as well as C-terminal tags adapted to the Gateway standard. In this way, flanking regulatory/labeling sequences can be easily Gateway-assembled with a given gene of interest for its ectopic expression or silencing in fruits. The resulting gene constructs can be analyzed in stable transgenic plants or in transient expression assays, the latter allowing fast testing of the increasing number of combinations arising from MultiSite methodology. A detailed description of the use of MultiSite cloning methodology for the assembly of pENFRUIT elements is presented. PMID:22351021

  7. Engineering antigen-specific T cells from genetically modified human hematopoietic stem cells in immunodeficient mice.

    PubMed

    Kitchen, Scott G; Bennett, Michael; Galić, Zoran; Kim, Joanne; Xu, Qing; Young, Alan; Lieberman, Alexis; Joseph, Aviva; Goldstein, Harris; Ng, Hwee; Yang, Otto; Zack, Jerome A

    2009-01-01

    There is a desperate need for effective therapies to fight chronic viral infections. The immune response is normally fastidious at controlling the majority of viral infections and a therapeutic strategy aimed at reestablishing immune control represents a potentially powerful approach towards treating persistent viral infections. We examined the potential of genetically programming human hematopoietic stem cells to generate mature CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes that express a molecularly cloned, "transgenic" human anti-HIV T cell receptor (TCR). Anti-HIV TCR transduction of human hematopoietic stem cells directed the maturation of a large population of polyfunctional, HIV-specific CD8+ cells capable of recognizing and killing viral antigen-presenting cells. Thus, through this proof-of-concept we propose that genetic engineering of human hematopoietic stem cells will allow the tailoring of effector T cell responses to fight HIV infection or other diseases that are characterized by the loss of immune control.

  8. Phytosequestration: Carbon biosequestration by plants and the prospects of genetic engineering

    SciTech Connect

    Jansson, C.; Wullschleger, S.D.; Kalluri, U.C.; Tuskan, G.A.

    2010-07-15

    Photosynthetic assimilation of atmospheric carbon dioxide by land plants offers the underpinnings for terrestrial carbon (C) sequestration. A proportion of the C captured in plant biomass is partitioned to roots, where it enters the pools of soil organic C and soil inorganic C and can be sequestered for millennia. Bioenergy crops serve the dual role of providing biofuel that offsets fossil-fuel greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and sequestering C in the soil through extensive root systems. Carbon captured in plant biomass can also contribute to C sequestration through the deliberate addition of biochar to soil, wood burial, or the use of durable plant products. Increasing our understanding of plant, microbial, and soil biology, and harnessing the benefits of traditional genetics and genetic engineering, will help us fully realize the GHG mitigation potential of phytosequestration.

  9. Construction and characterization of VL-VH tail-parallel genetically engineered antibodies against staphylococcal enterotoxins.

    PubMed

    He, Xianzhi; Zhang, Lei; Liu, Pengchong; Liu, Li; Deng, Hui; Huang, Jinhai

    2015-03-01

    Staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs) produced by Staphylococcus aureus have increasingly given rise to human health and food safety. Genetically engineered small molecular antibody is a useful tool in immuno-detection and treatment for clinical illness caused by SEs. In this study, we constructed the V(L)-V(H) tail-parallel genetically engineered antibody against SEs by using the repertoire of rearranged germ-line immunoglobulin variable region genes. Total RNA were extracted from six hybridoma cell lines that stably express anti-SEs antibodies. The variable region genes of light chain (V(L)) and heavy chain (V(H)) were cloned by reverse transcription PCR, and their classical murine antibody structure and functional V(D)J gene rearrangement were analyzed. To construct the eukaryotic V(H)-V(L) tail-parallel co-expression vectors based on the "5'-V(H)-ivs-IRES-V(L)-3'" mode, the ivs-IRES fragment and V(L) genes were spliced by two-step overlap extension PCR, and then, the recombined gene fragment and V(H) genes were inserted into the pcDNA3.1(+) expression vector sequentially. And then the constructed eukaryotic expression clones termed as p2C2HILO and p5C12HILO were transfected into baby hamster kidney 21 cell line, respectively. Two clonal cell lines stably expressing V(L)-V(H) tail-parallel antibodies against SEs were obtained, and the antibodies that expressed intracytoplasma were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunofluorescence assay, and flow cytometry. SEs can stimulate the expression of some chemokines and chemokine receptors in porcine IPEC-J2 cells; mRNA transcription level of four chemokines and chemokine receptors can be blocked by the recombinant SE antibody prepared in this study. Our results showed that it is possible to get functional V(L)-V(H) tail-parallel genetically engineered antibodies in same vector using eukaryotic expression system.

  10. Ribozyme-based aminoglycoside switches of gene expression engineered by genetic selection in S. cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Klauser, Benedikt; Atanasov, Janina; Siewert, Lena K; Hartig, Jörg S

    2015-05-15

    Systems for conditional gene expression are powerful tools in basic research as well as in biotechnology. For future applications, it is of great importance to engineer orthogonal genetic switches that function reliably in diverse contexts. RNA-based switches have the advantage that effector molecules interact immediately with regulatory modules inserted into the target RNAs, getting rid of the need of transcription factors usually mediating genetic control. Artificial riboswitches are characterized by their simplicity and small size accompanied by a high degree of modularity. We have recently reported a series of hammerhead ribozyme-based artificial riboswitches that allow for post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression via switching mRNA, tRNA, or rRNA functions. A more widespread application was so far hampered by moderate switching performances and a limited set of effector molecules available. Here, we report the re-engineering of hammerhead ribozymes in order to respond efficiently to aminoglycoside antibiotics. We first established an in vivo selection protocol in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that enabled us to search large sequence spaces for optimized switches. We then envisioned and characterized a novel strategy of attaching the aptamer to the ribozyme catalytic core, increasing the design options for rendering the ribozyme ligand-dependent. These innovations enabled the development of neomycin-dependent RNA modules that switch gene expression up to 25-fold. The presented aminoglycoside-responsive riboswitches belong to the best-performing RNA-based genetic regulators reported so far. The developed in vivo selection protocol should allow for sampling of large sequence spaces for engineering of further optimized riboswitches. PMID:24871672

  11. Field Cage Studies and Progressive Evaluation of Genetically-Engineered Mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Facchinelli, Luca; Valerio, Laura; Ramsey, Janine M.; Gould, Fred; Walsh, Rachael K.; Bond, Guillermo; Robert, Michael A.; Lloyd, Alun L.; James, Anthony A.; Alphey, Luke; Scott, Thomas W.

    2013-01-01

    Background A genetically-engineered strain of the dengue mosquito vector Aedes aegypti, designated OX3604C, was evaluated in large outdoor cage trials for its potential to improve dengue prevention efforts by inducing population suppression. OX3604C is engineered with a repressible genetic construct that causes a female-specific flightless phenotype. Wild-type females that mate with homozygous OX3604C males will not produce reproductive female offspring. Weekly introductions of OX3604C males eliminated all three targeted Ae. aegypti populations after 10–20 weeks in a previous laboratory cage experiment. As part of the phased, progressive evaluation of this technology, we carried out an assessment in large outdoor field enclosures in dengue endemic southern Mexico. Methodology/Principal Findings OX3604C males were introduced weekly into field cages containing stable target populations, initially at 10∶1 ratios. Statistically significant target population decreases were detected in 4 of 5 treatment cages after 17 weeks, but none of the treatment populations were eliminated. Mating competitiveness experiments, carried out to explore the discrepancy between lab and field cage results revealed a maximum mating disadvantage of up 59.1% for OX3604C males, which accounted for a significant part of the 97% fitness cost predicted by a mathematical model to be necessary to produce the field cage results. Conclusions/Significance Our results indicate that OX3604C may not be effective in large-scale releases. A strain with the same transgene that is not encumbered by a large mating disadvantage, however, could have improved prospects for dengue prevention. Insights from large outdoor cage experiments may provide an important part of the progressive, stepwise evaluation of genetically-engineered mosquitoes. PMID:23350003

  12. Genetic variation changes the interactions between the parasitic plant-ecosystem engineer Rhinanthus and its hosts

    PubMed Central

    Rowntree, Jennifer K.; Cameron, Duncan D.; Preziosi, Richard F.

    2011-01-01

    Within-species genetic variation is a potent factor influencing between-species interactions and community-level structure. Species of the hemi-parasitic plant genus Rhinanthus act as ecosystem engineers, significantly altering above- and below-ground community structure in grasslands. Here, we show the importance of genotypic variation within a single host species (barley—Hordeum vulgare), and population-level variation among two species of parasite (Rhinanthus minor and Rhinanthus angustifolius) on the outcome of parasite infection for both partners. We measured host fitness (number of seeds) and calculated parasite virulence as the difference in seed set between infected and uninfected hosts (the inverse of host tolerance). Virulence was determined by genetic variation within the host species and among the parasite species, but R. angustifolius was consistently more virulent than R. minor. The most tolerant host had the lowest inherent fitness and did not gain a fitness advantage over other infected hosts. We measured parasite size as a proxy for transmission ability (ability to infect further hosts) and host resistance. Parasite size depended on the specific combination of host genotype, parasite species and parasite population, and no species was consistently larger. We demonstrate that the outcome of infection by Rhinanthus depends not only on the host species, but also on the underlying genetics of both host and parasite. Thus, genetic variations within host and parasite are probably essential components of the ecosystem-altering effects of Rhinanthus. PMID:21444312

  13. Genetic variation changes the interactions between the parasitic plant-ecosystem engineer Rhinanthus and its hosts.

    PubMed

    Rowntree, Jennifer K; Cameron, Duncan D; Preziosi, Richard F

    2011-05-12

    Within-species genetic variation is a potent factor influencing between-species interactions and community-level structure. Species of the hemi-parasitic plant genus Rhinanthus act as ecosystem engineers, significantly altering above- and below-ground community structure in grasslands. Here, we show the importance of genotypic variation within a single host species (barley-Hordeum vulgare), and population-level variation among two species of parasite (Rhinanthus minor and Rhinanthus angustifolius) on the outcome of parasite infection for both partners. We measured host fitness (number of seeds) and calculated parasite virulence as the difference in seed set between infected and uninfected hosts (the inverse of host tolerance). Virulence was determined by genetic variation within the host species and among the parasite species, but R. angustifolius was consistently more virulent than R. minor. The most tolerant host had the lowest inherent fitness and did not gain a fitness advantage over other infected hosts. We measured parasite size as a proxy for transmission ability (ability to infect further hosts) and host resistance. Parasite size depended on the specific combination of host genotype, parasite species and parasite population, and no species was consistently larger. We demonstrate that the outcome of infection by Rhinanthus depends not only on the host species, but also on the underlying genetics of both host and parasite. Thus, genetic variations within host and parasite are probably essential components of the ecosystem-altering effects of Rhinanthus.

  14. Analysis and design of a genetic circuit for dynamic metabolic engineering.

    PubMed

    Anesiadis, Nikolaos; Kobayashi, Hideki; Cluett, William R; Mahadevan, Radhakrishnan

    2013-08-16

    Recent advances in synthetic biology have equipped us with new tools for bioprocess optimization at the genetic level. Previously, we have presented an integrated in silico design for the dynamic control of gene expression based on a density-sensing unit and a genetic toggle switch. In the present paper, analysis of a serine-producing Escherichia coli mutant shows that an instantaneous ON-OFF switch leads to a maximum theoretical productivity improvement of 29.6% compared to the mutant. To further the design, global sensitivity analysis is applied here to a mathematical model of serine production in E. coli coupled with a genetic circuit. The model of the quorum sensing and the toggle switch involves 13 parameters of which 3 are identified as having a significant effect on serine concentration. Simulations conducted in this reduced parameter space further identified the optimal ranges for these 3 key parameters to achieve productivity values close to the maximum theoretical values. This analysis can now be used to guide the experimental implementation of a dynamic metabolic engineering strategy and reduce the time required to design the genetic circuit components.

  15. Genetic Manipulation in Pigs

    PubMed Central

    Sachs, David H.; Galli, Cesare

    2009-01-01

    Purpose of Review Recent developments in the field of genetic engineering have made it possible to add, delete or exchange genes from one species to another. This technology has special relevance to the field of xenotransplantation, in which the elimination of a species-specific disparity could make the difference between success or failure of an organ transplant. This review focuses on developments in both the techniques and applications of genetically modified animals. Recent Findings Advances have been made using existing techniques for genetic modifications of swine and in the development of new, emerging technologies, including enzymatic engineering and the use of siRNA. Applications of the modified animals have provided evidence that genetically modified swine have the potential to overcome both physiologic and immunologic barriers that have previously impeded this field. Use of GalT-KO animals as donors have shown marked improvements in xenograft survivals. Summary Techniques for genetic engineering of swine have been directed toward avoiding naturally existing cellular and antibody responses to species-specific antigens. Organs from genetically engineered animals have enjoyed markedly improved survivals in non-human primates, especially in protocols directed toward the induction of tolerance, presumably by avoiding immunization to new antigens. PMID:19469029

  16. Prevalence and genetic relatedness of antimicrobial-resistant Escherichia coli isolated from animals, foods and humans in Iceland.

    PubMed

    Thorsteinsdottir, T R; Haraldsson, G; Fridriksdottir, V; Kristinsson, K G; Gunnarsson, E

    2010-05-01

    The prevalence of resistant bacteria in food products in Iceland is unknown, and little is known of the prevalence in production animals. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and genetic relatedness of antimicrobial-resistant Escherichia coli from healthy pigs and broiler chicken, pork, broiler meat, slaughterhouse personnel and outpatients in Iceland. A total of 419 E. coli isolates were tested for antimicrobial susceptibility using a microbroth dilution method (VetMIC), and resistant strains were compared using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). All samples were screened for enrofloxacin-resistant strains with selective agar plates. The resistance rates among E. coli isolates were moderate to high from caecal and meat samples of pigs (54.1% and 28%), broilers (33.6% and 52%) and slaughterhouse personnel (39.1%), whereas isolates from outpatients showed moderate resistance rates (23.1%). Of notice was resistance to quinolones (minimum inhibitory concentrations: nalidixic acid > or = 32, ciprofloxacin > or = 0.12 and enrofloxacin > or = 0.5), particularly among broiler and broiler meat isolates (18.2% and 36%), as there is no known antimicrobial selection pressure in the broiler production in Iceland. The majority (78.6%) of the resistant E. coli isolates was genotypically different, based on PFGE fingerprint analyses and clustering was limited. However, the same resistance pattern and pulsotype were found among isolates from broiler meat and a slaughterhouse worker, indicating spread of antimicrobial-resistant E. coli from animals to humans. Diverse resistance patterns and pulsotypes suggest the presence of a large population of resistant E. coli in production animals in Iceland. This study gives baseline information on the prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant E. coli from production animals, and their food products in Iceland and the moderate to high resistance rates emphasize the need for continuing surveillance. Further studies on the

  17. Modular projects and 'mean questions': best practices for advising an International Genetically Engineered Machines team.

    PubMed

    Tsui, Jennifer; Meyer, Anne S

    2016-07-01

    In the yearly Internationally Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition, teams of Bachelor's and Master's students design and build an engineered biological system using DNA technologies. Advising an iGEM team poses unique challenges due to the inherent difficulties of mounting and completing a new biological project from scratch over the course of a single academic year; the challenges in obtaining financial and structural resources for a project that will likely not be fully realized; and conflicts between educational and competition-based goals. This article shares tips and best practices for iGEM team advisors, from two team advisors with very different experiences with the iGEM competition. PMID:27231240

  18. Expanding the Scope of Site-Specific Recombinases for Genetic and Metabolic Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Gaj, Thomas; Sirk, Shannon J.; Barbas, Carlos F.

    2014-01-01

    Site-specific recombinases are tremendously valuable tools for basic research and genetic engineering. By promoting high-fidelity DNA modifications, site-specific recombination systems have empowered researchers with unprecedented control over diverse biological functions, enabling countless insights into cellular structure and function. The rigid target specificities of many sites-specific recombinases, however, have limited their adoption in fields that require highly flexible recognition abilities. As a result, intense effort has been directed toward altering the properties of site-specific recombination systems by protein engineering. Here, we review key developments in the rational design and directed molecular evolution of site-specific recombinases, highlighting the numerous applications of these enzymes across diverse fields of study. PMID:23982993

  19. Overexpression of a homogeneous oligosaccharide with 13C labeling by genetically engineered yeast strain.

    PubMed

    Kamiya, Yukiko; Yamamoto, Sayoko; Chiba, Yasunori; Jigami, Yoshifumi; Kato, Koichi

    2011-08-01

    This report describes a novel method for overexpression of (13)C-labeled oligosaccharides using genetically engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells, in which a homogeneous high-mannose-type oligosaccharide accumulates because of deletions of genes encoding three enzymes involved in the processing pathway of asparagine-linked oligosaccharides in the Golgi complex. Using uniformly (13)C-labeled glucose as the sole carbon source in the culture medium of these engineered yeast cells, high yields of the isotopically labeled Man(8)GlcNAc(2) oligosaccharide could be successfully harvested from glycoprotein extracts of the cells. Furthermore, (13)C labeling at selected positions of the sugar residues in the oligosaccharide could be achieved using a site-specific (13)C-enriched glucose as the metabolic precursor, facilitating NMR spectral assignments. The (13)C-labeling method presented provides the technical basis for NMR analyses of structures, dynamics, and interactions of larger, branched oligosaccharides.

  20. Improving UV resistance and virulence of Beauveria bassiana by genetic engineering with an exogenous tyrosinase gene.

    PubMed

    Shang, Yanfang; Duan, Zhibing; Huang, Wei; Gao, Qiang; Wang, Chengshu

    2012-01-01

    Insect pathogenic fungi like Beauveria bassiana have been developed as environmentally friendly biocontrol agents against arthropod pests. However, restrictive environmental factors, including solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation frequently lead to inconsistent field performance. To improve resistance to UV damage, we used Agrobacterium-mediated transformation to engineer B. bassiana with an exogenous tyrosinase gene. The results showed that the mitotically stable transformants produced larger amounts of yellowish pigments than the wild-type strain, and these imparted significantly increased UV-resistance. The virulence of the transgenic isolate was also significantly increased against the silkworm Bombyx mori and the mealworm Tenebrio molitor. This study demonstrated that genetic engineering of B. bassiana with a tyrosinase gene is an effective way to improve fungal tolerance against UV damage. PMID:22024554

  1. Is genetic engineering ever going to take off in forage, turf and bioenergy crop breeding?

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zeng-Yu; Brummer, E. Charles

    2012-01-01

    Background Genetic engineering offers the opportunity to generate unique genetic variation that is either absent in the sexually compatible gene pool or has very low heritability. The generation of transgenic plants, coupled with breeding, has led to the production of widely used transgenic cultivars in several major cash crops, such as maize, soybean, cotton and canola. The process for regulatory approval of genetically engineered crops is slow and subject to extensive political interference. The situation in forage grasses and legumes is more complicated. Scope Most widely grown forage, turf and bioenergy species (e.g. tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, switchgrass, alfalfa, white clover) are highly self-incompatible and outcrossing. Compared with inbreeding species, they have a high potential to pass their genes to adjacent plants. A major biosafety concern in these species is pollen-mediated transgene flow. Because human consumption is indirect, risk assessment of transgenic forage, turf and bioenergy species has focused on their environmental or ecological impacts. Although significant progress has been made in genetic modification of these species, commercialization of transgenic cultivars is very limited because of the stringent and costly regulatory requirements. To date, the only transgenic forage crop deregulated in the US is ‘Roundup Ready’ (RR) alfalfa. The approval process for RR alfalfa was complicated, involving several rounds of regulation, deregulation and re-regulation. Nevertheless, commercialization of RR alfalfa is an important step forward in regulatory approval of a perennial outcrossing forage crop. As additional transgenic forage, turf and bioenergy crops are generated and tested, different strategies have been developed to meet regulatory requirements. Recent progress in risk assessment and deregulation of transgenic forage and turf species is summarized and discussed. PMID:22378838

  2. Transcriptomic classification of genetically engineered mouse models of breast cancer identifies human subtype counterparts

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Human breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease consisting of multiple molecular subtypes. Genetically engineered mouse models are a useful resource for studying mammary cancers in vivo under genetically controlled and immune competent conditions. Identifying murine models with conserved human tumor features will facilitate etiology determinations, highlight the effects of mutations on pathway activation, and should improve preclinical drug testing. Results Transcriptomic profiles of 27 murine models of mammary carcinoma and normal mammary tissue were determined using gene expression microarrays. Hierarchical clustering analysis identified 17 distinct murine subtypes. Cross-species analyses using three independent human breast cancer datasets identified eight murine classes that resemble specific human breast cancer subtypes. Multiple models were associated with human basal-like tumors including TgC3(1)-Tag, TgWAP-Myc and Trp53-/-. Interestingly, the TgWAPCre-Etv6 model mimicked the HER2-enriched subtype, a group of human tumors without a murine counterpart in previous comparative studies. Gene signature analysis identified hundreds of commonly expressed pathway signatures between linked mouse and human subtypes, highlighting potentially common genetic drivers of tumorigenesis. Conclusions This study of murine models of breast carcinoma encompasses the largest comprehensive genomic dataset to date to identify human-to-mouse disease subtype counterparts. Our approach illustrates the value of comparisons between species to identify murine models that faithfully mimic the human condition and indicates that multiple genetically engineered mouse models are needed to represent the diversity of human breast cancers. The reported trans-species associations should guide model selection during preclinical study design to ensure appropriate representatives of human disease subtypes are used. PMID:24220145

  3. Three new milbemycins from a genetically engineered strain S. avermitilis MHJ1011.

    PubMed

    Pan, Jun-jie; Wan, Xu; Zhang, Hui; Chen, Zhen; Huang, Jun; Yang, Bo; Chen, An-liang; Wang, Ji-dong

    2016-02-01

    Three new β-class milbemycins, 13α-hydroxy-4-ethy1 milbemycin β3 (1), 13α-hydroxy-25-ethy1 milbemycin β3 (2), 13α-hydroxy milbemycin β3 (3), were isolated from the broth of the genetically engineered strains Streptomyces avermitilis MHJ1011, whose aveA1 gene was replaced by milA1 gene seamlessly. Their structures were determined on the basis of extensive spectroscopic analysis and comparison with data from the literature. These three compounds, especially compound 1, exhibited potent acaricidal activity. PMID:26328934

  4. Current status and biotechnological advances in genetic engineering of ornamental plants.

    PubMed

    Azadi, Pejman; Bagheri, Hedayat; Nalousi, Ayoub Molaahmad; Nazari, Farzad; Chandler, Stephen F

    2016-11-01

    Cut flower markets are developing in many countries as the international demand for cut flowers is rapidly growing. Developing new varieties with modified characteristics is an important aim in floriculture. Production of transgenic ornamental plants can shorten the time required in the conventional breeding of a cultivar. Biotechnology tools in combination with conventional breeding methods have been used by cut flower breeders to change flower color, plant architecture, post-harvest traits, and disease resistance. In this review, we describe advances in genetic engineering that have led to the development of new cut flower varieties.

  5. Current status and biotechnological advances in genetic engineering of ornamental plants.

    PubMed

    Azadi, Pejman; Bagheri, Hedayat; Nalousi, Ayoub Molaahmad; Nazari, Farzad; Chandler, Stephen F

    2016-11-01

    Cut flower markets are developing in many countries as the international demand for cut flowers is rapidly growing. Developing new varieties with modified characteristics is an important aim in floriculture. Production of transgenic ornamental plants can shorten the time required in the conventional breeding of a cultivar. Biotechnology tools in combination with conventional breeding methods have been used by cut flower breeders to change flower color, plant architecture, post-harvest traits, and disease resistance. In this review, we describe advances in genetic engineering that have led to the development of new cut flower varieties. PMID:27396521

  6. Crystals of Serum Albumin for Use in Genetic Engineering and Rational Drug Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, Daniel C. (Inventor)

    1996-01-01

    Serum albumin crystal forms have been produced which exhibit superior x-ray diffraction quality. The crystals are produced from both recombinant and wild-type human serum albumin, canine, and baboon serum albumin and allow the performance of drug-binding studies as well as genetic engineering studies. The crystals are grown from solutions of polyethylene glycol or ammonium sulphate within prescribed limits during growth times from one to several weeks and include the following space groups: P2(sub 1), C2, P1.

  7. The genetics of murine Hox loci: TAMERE, STRING, and PANTHERE to engineer chromosome variants.

    PubMed

    Tschopp, Patrick; Duboule, Denis

    2014-01-01

    Following their duplications at the base of the vertebrate clade, Hox gene clusters underwent remarkable sub- and neo-functionalization events. Many of these evolutionary innovations can be associated with changes in the transcriptional regulation of their genes, where an intricate relationship between the structure of the gene cluster and the architecture of the surrounding genomic landscape is at play. Here, we report on a portfolio of in vivo genome engineering strategies in mice, which have been used to probe and decipher the genetic and molecular underpinnings of the complex regulatory mechanisms implemented at these loci.

  8. Characterization of mobile genetic elements in antibiotic resistant Salmonella enterica isolates from food animals

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Antibiotic resistance (AR) is a major concern for the agricultural industry in the U.S. and globally. The problem of AR is further complicated by AR genes often being located on mobile genetic elements (MGEs) resulting in their spread among bacteria. In order to investigate the relationship between ...

  9. Molecular characterization of Chlamydia pneumoniae in animals and humans from Argentina: Genetic characterization of Chlamydia pneumoniae.

    PubMed

    Frutos, María C; Monetti, Marina S; Mosmann, Jessica; Kiguen, Ana X; Venezuela, Fernando R; Ré, Viviana E; Cuffini, Cecilia G

    2016-10-01

    In this study, genetic diversity of Chlamydia pneumoniae was investigated and the relationships between sequences amplified of different sources, clinical conditions and geographical regions of central Argentina were established. Samples amplified were similar to human C. pneumoniae patterns and show the high clonality of the population.

  10. Molecular characterization of Chlamydia pneumoniae in animals and humans from Argentina: Genetic characterization of Chlamydia pneumoniae.

    PubMed

    Frutos, María C; Monetti, Marina S; Mosmann, Jessica; Kiguen, Ana X; Venezuela, Fernando R; Ré, Viviana E; Cuffini, Cecilia G

    2016-10-01

    In this study, genetic diversity of Chlamydia pneumoniae was investigated and the relationships between sequences amplified of different sources, clinical conditions and geographical regions of central Argentina were established. Samples amplified were similar to human C. pneumoniae patterns and show the high clonality of the population. PMID:27328126

  11. Formation mechanism of chalcogenide nanocrystals confined inside genetically engineered virus-like particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Ziyou; Bedwell, Gregory J.; Li, Rui; Prevelige, Peter E.; Gupta, Arunava

    2014-01-01

    Engineered virus-like particles (VLP) are attractive for fabricating nanostructured materials for applications in diverse areas such as catalysis, drug delivery, biomedicine, composites, etc. Basic understanding of the interaction between the inorganic guest and biomolecular host is thus important for the controlled synthesis of inorganic nanoparticles inside VLP and rational assembly of ordered VLP-based hierarchical nanostructures. We have investigated in detail the formation mechanism and growth kinetics of semiconducting nanocrystals confined inside genetically engineered bacteriophage P22 VLP using semiconducting CdS as a prototypical example. The selective nucleation and growth of CdS at the engineered sites is found to be uniform during the early stage, followed by a more stochastic growth process. Furthermore, kinetic studies reveal that the presence of an engineered biotemplate helps in significantly retarding the reaction rate. These findings provide guidance for the controlled synthesis of a wide range of other inorganic materials confined inside VLP, and are of practical importance for the rational design of VLP-based hierarchical nanostuctures.

  12. Complete Genome Sequence of Klebsiella pneumoniae Strain ATCC 43816 KPPR1, a Rifampin-Resistant Mutant Commonly Used in Animal, Genetic, and Molecular Biology Studies.

    PubMed

    Broberg, Christopher A; Wu, Weisheng; Cavalcoli, James D; Miller, Virginia L; Bachman, Michael A

    2014-09-25

    Klebsiella pneumoniae is an urgent public health threat due to the spread of carbapenem-resistant strains causing serious, and frequently fatal, infections. To facilitate genetic, molecular, and immunological studies of this pathogen, we report the complete chromosomal sequence of a genetically tractable, prototypical strain used in animal models.

  13. Anatomical Distribution and Genetic Relatedness of Antimicrobial Resistant E. coli from Healthy Companion Animals

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aims: Escherichia coli have been targeted for studying antimicrobial resistance in companion animals due to opportunistic infections and as a surrogate for resistance patterns in zoonotic organisms. The aim of our study examined antimicrobial resistance in E. coli isolated from various anatomical ...

  14. The Role of Breeding and Genetics in Animal Production Improvement in the Developing Countries

    PubMed Central

    Rendel, Jan

    1974-01-01

    Availability of animal protein for human consumption is very low in the developing countries mainly because of low productivity of existing livestock; ways and means to improve productivity through breeding are discussed and some basic issues requiring further research pointed out. PMID:17248670

  15. Whole-body multicolor spectrally resolved fluorescence imaging for development of target-specific optical contrast agents using genetically engineered probes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kobayashi, Hisataka; Hama, Yukihiro; Koyama, Yoshinori; Barrett, Tristan; Urano, Yasuteru; Choyke, Peter L.

    2007-02-01

    Target-specific contrast agents are being developed for the molecular imaging of cancer. Optically detectable target-specific agents are promising for clinical applications because of their high sensitivity and specificity. Pre clinical testing is needed, however, to validate the actual sensitivity and specificity of these agents in animal models, and involves both conventional histology and immunohistochemistry, which requires large numbers of animals and samples with costly handling. However, a superior validation tool takes advantage of genetic engineering technology whereby cell lines are transfected with genes that induce the target cell to produce fluorescent proteins with characteristic emission spectra thus, identifying them as cancer cells. Multicolor fluorescence imaging of these genetically engineered probes can provide rapid validation of newly developed exogenous probes that fluoresce at different wavelengths. For example, the plasmid containing the gene encoding red fluorescent protein (RFP) was transfected into cell lines previously developed to either express or not-express specific cell surface receptors. Various antibody-based or receptor ligand-based optical contrast agents with either green or near infrared fluorophores were developed to concurrently target and validate cancer cells and their positive and negative controls, such as β-D-galactose receptor, HER1 and HER2 in a single animal/organ. Spectrally resolved fluorescence multicolor imaging was used to detect separate fluorescent emission spectra from the exogenous agents and RFP. Therefore, using this in vivo imaging technique, we were able to demonstrate the sensitivity and specificity of the target-specific optical contrast agents, thus reducing the number of animals needed to conduct these experiments.

  16. The chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay for the study of human bone regeneration: a refinement animal model for tissue engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno-Jiménez, Inés; Hulsart-Billstrom, Gry; Lanham, Stuart A.; Janeczek, Agnieszka A.; Kontouli, Nasia; Kanczler, Janos M.; Evans, Nicholas D.; Oreffo, Richard Oc

    2016-08-01

    Biomaterial development for tissue engineering applications is rapidly increasing but necessitates efficacy and safety testing prior to clinical application. Current in vitro and in vivo models hold a number of limitations, including expense, lack of correlation between animal models and human outcomes and the need to perform invasive procedures on animals; hence requiring new predictive screening methods. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) can be used as a bioreactor to culture and study the regeneration of human living bone. We extracted bone cylinders from human femoral heads, simulated an injury using a drill-hole defect, and implanted the bone on CAM or in vitro control-culture. Micro-computed tomography (μCT) was used to quantify the magnitude and location of bone volume changes followed by histological analyses to assess bone repair. CAM blood vessels were observed to infiltrate the human bone cylinder and maintain human cell viability. Histological evaluation revealed extensive extracellular matrix deposition in proximity to endochondral condensations (Sox9+) on the CAM-implanted bone cylinders, correlating with a significant increase in bone volume by μCT analysis (p < 0.01). This human-avian system offers a simple refinement model for animal research and a step towards a humanized in vivo model for tissue engineering.

  17. The chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay for the study of human bone regeneration: a refinement animal model for tissue engineering

    PubMed Central

    Moreno-Jiménez, Inés; Hulsart-Billstrom, Gry; Lanham, Stuart A.; Janeczek, Agnieszka A.; Kontouli, Nasia; Kanczler, Janos M.; Evans, Nicholas D.; Oreffo, Richard OC

    2016-01-01

    Biomaterial development for tissue engineering applications is rapidly increasing but necessitates efficacy and safety testing prior to clinical application. Current in vitro and in vivo models hold a number of limitations, including expense, lack of correlation between animal models and human outcomes and the need to perform invasive procedures on animals; hence requiring new predictive screening methods. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) can be used as a bioreactor to culture and study the regeneration of human living bone. We extracted bone cylinders from human femoral heads, simulated an injury using a drill-hole defect, and implanted the bone on CAM or in vitro control-culture. Micro-computed tomography (μCT) was used to quantify the magnitude and location of bone volume changes followed by histological analyses to assess bone repair. CAM blood vessels were observed to infiltrate the human bone cylinder and maintain human cell viability. Histological evaluation revealed extensive extracellular matrix deposition in proximity to endochondral condensations (Sox9+) on the CAM-implanted bone cylinders, correlating with a significant increase in bone volume by μCT analysis (p < 0.01). This human-avian system offers a simple refinement model for animal research and a step towards a humanized in vivo model for tissue engineering. PMID:27577960

  18. The chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay for the study of human bone regeneration: a refinement animal model for tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Jiménez, Inés; Hulsart-Billstrom, Gry; Lanham, Stuart A; Janeczek, Agnieszka A; Kontouli, Nasia; Kanczler, Janos M; Evans, Nicholas D; Oreffo, Richard Oc

    2016-01-01

    Biomaterial development for tissue engineering applications is rapidly increasing but necessitates efficacy and safety testing prior to clinical application. Current in vitro and in vivo models hold a number of limitations, including expense, lack of correlation between animal models and human outcomes and the need to perform invasive procedures on animals; hence requiring new predictive screening methods. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) can be used as a bioreactor to culture and study the regeneration of human living bone. We extracted bone cylinders from human femoral heads, simulated an injury using a drill-hole defect, and implanted the bone on CAM or in vitro control-culture. Micro-computed tomography (μCT) was used to quantify the magnitude and location of bone volume changes followed by histological analyses to assess bone repair. CAM blood vessels were observed to infiltrate the human bone cylinder and maintain human cell viability. Histological evaluation revealed extensive extracellular matrix deposition in proximity to endochondral condensations (Sox9+) on the CAM-implanted bone cylinders, correlating with a significant increase in bone volume by μCT analysis (p < 0.01). This human-avian system offers a simple refinement model for animal research and a step towards a humanized in vivo model for tissue engineering. PMID:27577960

  19. Evaluation of terrestrial microcosms for detection, fate, and survival analysis of genetically engineered microorganisms and their recombinant genetic material

    SciTech Connect

    Fredrickson, J.K.; Seidler, R.J.

    1989-02-01

    The research included in this document represents the current scientific information available regarding the applicability of terrestrial microcosms and related methodologies for evaluating detection methods and the fate and survival of microorganisms in the environment. The three terrestrial microcosms described in this document were used to evaluate the survival and fate of recombinant bacteria in soils and in association with plant surfaces and insects and their transport through soil with percolating water and root systems, and to test new methods and procedures to improve detection and enumeration of bacteria in soil. Simple (potting soil composed of peat mix and perlite, lacking environmental control and monitoring) and complex microcosms (agricultural soil with partial control and monitoring of environmental conditions) were demonstrated to be useful tools for preliminary assessments of microbial viability in terrestrial ecosystems. These studies evaluated the survival patterns of Enterobacter cloacae (pBR322) in soil and on plant surfaces and the ingestion of this same microorganism by cutworms and survival in the foregut and frass. The Versacore microcosm design was used to monitor the fate and competitiveness of genetically engineered bacteria in soil. Both selective media and gene probes were used successfully to follow the fate of two recombinant Pseudomonas sp. introduced into Versacore microcosms. Intact soil-core microcosms were employed to evaluate the fate and transport of genetically altered Azospirillum sp. and Pseudomonas sp. in soil and the plant rhizosphere. The usefulness of these various microcosms as a tool for risk assessment is underscored by the ease in obtaining soil from a proposed field release site to evaluate subsequent GEM fate and survival.

  20. Molecular and pedigree analysis applied to conservation of animal genetic resources: the case of Brazilian Somali hair sheep.

    PubMed

    Paiva, Samuel R; Facó, Olivardo; Faria, Danielle A; Lacerda, Thaísa; Barretto, Gabriel B; Carneiro, Paulo L S; Lobo, Raimundo N B; McManus, Concepta

    2011-10-01

    The first registers of Somali sheep in Brazil are from the beginning of the 1900s. This breed, adapted to the dry climate and scarce food supply, is restricted in the northeast region of the country. Molecular marker technologies, especially those based on genotyping microsatellite and mtDNA loci, can be used in conjunction with breeding (pedigree analysis) and consequently the maintenance of genetic variation in herds. Animals from the Brazilian Somali Conservation Nuclei from Embrapa Sheep and Goats in Ceará State were used to validate genetic monitoring by traditional pedigree methods and molecular markers. Nineteen microsatellite markers and 404 base pairs from the control region of mtDNA were used. For total herd diversity, an average 5.32 alleles were found, with expected heterozygosity of 0.5896, observed heterozygosity of 0.6451, 0.4126 for molecular coancestrality, and coefficient of inbreeding (F (IS)) was -0.095. Comparing molecular coancestrality means over the years, there was a consistent increase in this parameter within the herd, increasing from 0.4157 to 0.4769 in 2 years (approx. 12% variation). Sixteen mtDNA haplotypes were identified. Inbreeding and other estimates from genealogical analyses confirm the results from molecular markers. From these results, it is possible to state that microsatellites are useful tools in genetic management of herds, especially when routine herd recording is not carried out, or there were gaps in recent generations. As well as pedigree control, genetic diversity can be optimized. Based on the results, and despite herd recording in the herd of Brazilian Somali of Embrapa Sheep and Goats, additional management measures need to be carried out in this herd to reduce inbreeding and optimize genetic variation.