10 peculiar genetically modified organism you probably did not know

Glittering seahorse and cabbages with venom in it? Seemed like some far-fetched dream until scientist came up with GMOs! so what is a GMO? A GMO, or genetically modified organism, is a plant, animal, microorganism or other organisms whose genetic makeup has been modified using recombinant DNA methods, gene modification or transgenic technology. This new science has created unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods. Despite the potential threat, the. .scientist has continued producing these organisms for human benefits. Here is a list of some genetically modified organisms which are part of our day to day life and some may be in the near future:

 1. Zebrafish


They were the first glowing fish which had genetic information from bioluminescent jellyfish added to its DNA. They are now sold in bright red, green, orange-yellow, blue, and purple fluorescent colors. Recently “Electric Green”, “Sunburst Orange”, “Moonrise Pink”, “Starfire Red”, “Cosmic Blue”, and “Galactic Purple” colored tetra and an “Electric Green” ti have been added to the lineup.  It is sold only in the United States, where it remains the only genetically modified animal to be publicly available. It was originally produced to provide a warning system for pollution but with the addition of further colors, its viability for the pet market became clear. It was introduced to the US market in December 2003 by Yorktown Technologies of Austin, Texas.

 2.  Salmon Fish


It’s taken forever, but AquAdvantage salmon will soon be served in restaurants and appearing at your local fish counter! AquAdvantage is a man-made breed of salmon that’s part Atlantic salmon and part Chinook salmon with a few genes from other fish thrown in that rev up the animal’s growth processes so they’re active most of the year, as opposed to only part of the year. With these changes, AquaAdvantage’s developer, AquaBounty Technologies, says the salmon grow at twice the rate of farm-raised fish. The company says the fish has the same flavor, texture, color and odor as a regular salmon; however, the debate continues over whether the fish is safe to eat.

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3. Seahorse


Glittering gold seahorse? It isn’t a fairytale fantasy it is the reality which was made in Vietnam National University College of Science. Although small in size these seahorses have well worth in gold. Scientists used Gene GFP, a light-emitting gene extracted from jellyfish, was combined with tiny grains of gold. Then these grains of gold were injected into seahorse egg cells. The gold mixed with the jellyfish genes was incorporated into the cells of the seahorses, which glittered when they came into being,” the school’s head of animal physiology said.

4. Mosquitoes


These mosquitoes are known as dead-end mosquitoes. Some mosquitoes were engineered as a way to fight malaria and dengue. These diseases cause a million deaths annually as well as infecting million of people. The malaria-fighting mosquitoes are able to resist the Plasmodium parasite, which means that it is almost impossible for them to become infected with the disease. The thing, however, is that Plasmodium parasites can evolve quickly, leading to some people wondering if we would be better off by killing mosquitoes.

Oxitec, one of UK based Biotech company has engineered flightless female and sterile male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that either cannot reproduce or whose offspring die before reaching maturity. After an Oxitec mosquito has successfully mated with a wild female, any offspring that result will not survive to adulthood, so the mosquito population declines. By applying the Oxitec Control Programme to an area, the mosquito population in that area can be dramatically reduced or eliminated.

5. Bollworms


Pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella) is one of the most destructive pests of cotton in many areas of the world, including in India, China, Brazil, and the western USA.  Oxitec has invented specials fluorescent markers which glow red when viewed under certain filters. Because it is integrated into the insects’ DNA, the red marker can always be detected during the insect’s lifetime and it is inherited if offspring are produced. The marker can also be detected by analyzing DNA in the laboratory, guaranteeing complete accuracy. The strain is otherwise identical to that used in the current SIT programme and is sterilized by irradiation in exactly the same way. The strain offers completely reliable monitoring of existing sterile insect programmes.

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6.  Glow-in-the-dark cats


First, there were glow-in-the-dark fish, then rats, rabbits, insects, even pigs. And, now, researchers have inserted the jellyfish genes that make fluorescent proteins into Felis catus, or the common household cat. Scientists in South Korea have altered a cat’s DNA to make it glow in the dark and then took that DNA and cloned other cats from it — creating a set of fluffy, fluorescent felines. Here’s how they did it: The researchers took skin cells from Turkish Angora female cats and used a virus to insert genetic instructions for making red fluorescent protein. Then they put the gene-altered nuclei into the eggs for cloning, and the cloned embryos were implanted back into the donor cats — making the cats the surrogate mothers for their own clones.

7. Enviropig


The Enviropig, or “Frankenswine,” a pig was engineered to produce omega-3 fatty acids through the expression of a roundworm gene. The project ended in 2012. These pigs produced the enzyme phytase, which breaks down the indigestible phosphorus, in their saliva. The enzyme was introduced into the pig chromosome by pronuclear microinjection. With this enzyme, the animal is able to digest cereal grain phosphorus. The use of these pigs would reduce the potential of water pollution since they excrete from 30 to 70.7% less phosphorus in manure depending upon the age and diet. The lower concentrations of phosphorus in surface runoff reduces algal growth because phosphorus is the limiting nutrient for algae. Because algae consume large amounts of oxygen, it can result in dead zones for fish.


These genetically modified goats at a farm at Utah State University, US,  produces large quantities of a spider silk that is among the strongest substances known to man.Strong, flexible spider silk is one of the most valuable materials in nature, and it could be used to make an array of products and can work exceptionally good in the commercial market.Researchers inserted a spiders’ dragline silk gene into the goats’ DNA in such a way that the goats would make the silk protein only in their milk.

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9. Featherless Chicken


These featherless chickens could be the future of mass poultry farming in warmer countries claims an Israeli geneticist who has created a bare-skinned “prototype”.These chicken are of low calories, faster-growing, environmentally friendly, and more likely to survive in warmer conditions. They are created by selectively crossing a breed with a naturally bare neck with a regular broiler chicken. There are, however, some drawbacks. The feathers on chickens help protect them from harsh weather, parasites, and even overzealous cocks during mating.

10. Flavr Savr Tomatoes


The Flavr Savr tomato was the first commercially grown genetically engineered food to be granted a license for human consumption. By adding an antisense gene, the California-based company Calgene hoped to slow the ripening process of the tomato to prevent softening and rotting while allowing the tomato to retain its natural flavor and color.

The FDA approved the Flavr Savr in 1994; however, the tomatoes were so delicate that they were difficult to transport, and they were off the market by 1997. On top of production and shipping problems, the tomatoes were also reported to have a very bland taste: “The Flavr Savr tomatoes didn’t taste that good because of the variety from which they were developed. There was a very little flavor to save,” said Christ Watkins, a horticulture professor at Cornell University.

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