Genetic engineering is a controversial topic. From vaccines to fetal cells to transhumanism, the debate rages. Yet, there are certain aspects to genetic engineering that are demonstrably good. How are we supposed to make heads or tails of this new technology, especially since it is impacting every aspect of our lives? I thought that a simple explanation (at least, as simple as I could make it!) of the things I did while earning my PhD could help increase our understanding. I, as a conservative Christian, made the ‘frankenfish’. I stole the genes for the bright green and red fluorescent proteins in corals, engineered them into bacteria, then into fish. There is nothing inherently difficult in what I did, but there were a LOT of steps. Perhaps, after this explanation, we can have a more civil discussion on the pros and cons.
Links and notes:
- Gibbs PDL, Carter RW, and Schmale MC (2008) Nucleic acid encoding fluorescent proteins from aquatic species. US Patent #7,413,874.
- Gibbs PDL, Carter RW, and Schmale MC (2007) Fluorescent Proteins from Aquatic Species. US Patent #7,291,711.
- Carter RW, Schmale MS, and Gibbs PDL (2004) Cloning of anthozoan fluorescent protein genes. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part C 138:259–270.
- Carter RW (2003) Cnidarian Fluorescent Proteins. PhD Dissertation. University of Miami.
- Manica A, Carter RW (2000) Morphological and fluorescence analysis of the Montastraea annularis species complex in Florida. Marine Biology 137:899–906.
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