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Genetically Modified Chickens

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Wifezilla, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    "UK scientists have created the world's first genetically modified chickens that do not spread bird flu.

    Writing in Science journal, the team says their work demonstrates it is possible to create a variety of GM farm animals resistant to viral diseases.

    The research team inserted an artificial gene into chickens; this introduces a tiny part of the bird flu virus into chicken cells.

    These birds become infected but render the virus harmless to other poultry.

    The team believes that the genetic modification they have introduced is harmless to the chickens and to people who might eat the birds. "
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12181382

    While this sounds like a good idea, there is so much potential for things to be horribly horribly wrong.
     
  2. BlackBart

    BlackBart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    [​IMG]
    GM chicken to go with the GM pig............ [​IMG]
     
  3. dmiravalle

    dmiravalle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry, we will stay a non GMO farm. [​IMG]
     
  4. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Oh I agree. Can't blame the scientist for trying, but what happens if the virus mutates? How are they going to test this? Who is going to volunteer to eat one of these?
     
  5. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:DUH! The mad scientists who created the frankenfood monsters!!!! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
     
  6. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    The flu is a very, very, very rapidly mutating virus and I would be worried that all this work would be for nothing when another mutated variability comes along and can infect poultry just fine...or worse, get around the introduced DNA modification. As far as problems eating GMO chickens, it's most likely nothing to worry about. However, I'd be very interested to see exactly what the introduced gene does to render the virus' inability to spread. Viruses are tricky because they use host enzymes to reproduce. Some viruses, like HIV and the flu, are very good at adapting to new situations very quickly!
     
  7. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    I'd be more worried about creating a rapidly replicating virus than eating the animal used to host the virus. Don't forget the animal you do eat are bombarded by viruses and bacteria every moment they breathe. Injecting an animal with a weakened virus to create immunity is a glorified form of vaccination. Viruses are tricky little buggers which mutate rapidly, and when they infect another host they have the capability of injecting foreign DNA into their host. So, with my SciFi imagination I can think of all kinds of disasters stemming from one tiny virus. And to be perfectly honest I don't want anybody injecting anything in my body. I prefer to get my viruses the old fashioned way: a handshake, inhaling the air we breathe, drinking from the water fountain, kissing my hubby.
     
  8. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    Quote:The inserted gene is activated when the virus started replication of the DNA to create more viruses. Instead of creating a normal replication for the virus, it creates a "hairpin" (looped) strand, which binds but doesn't allow the new virus to spread. The infected chicken will still suffer and probably die from the virus, but the new viruses are unable to spread because of the incorrect strand in there. The hairpin strand interferes with the ability to bind and infect other birds. It's not recognized, and the virus can't reproduce because it can't function.

    I've been reading a bit about it, but don't want to spend the $15 for the actual report [​IMG] I don't know where they got the gene strand from, or how it was created, which is what I want to know [​IMG]

    theoldchick - they aren't vaccinating the chickens, but rather are injecting the actual gene into the nucleus of the developing embryo (at the point when it's just a few divisions out of brand spanking new), allowing the gene to integrate right into the genes of the chicken. The gene is only activated upon infection with the virus, and only if the virus has the correct genetic sequence to activate that gene. Once activated, it is read, copied and becomes a part of the new virus. The new virus isn't able to use the bad strand, and can't spread because it can't create the required proteins to bind to new cells.

    And in all honesty, it is a pretty huge thing, especially for the potential in research for treatment for things like HIV. Of course, that's a far way off, but it's a start to stop the spread of viruses. I could see where they would try to combine this with phage research to see if they can create a treatment that would insert the gene via phage, which would allow the virus to be stopped by the ability of our own bodies.
     
  9. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    Quote:The inserted gene is activated when the virus started replication of the DNA to create more viruses. Instead of creating a normal replication for the virus, it creates a "hairpin" (looped) strand, which binds but doesn't allow the new virus to spread. The infected chicken will still suffer and probably die from the virus, but the new viruses are unable to spread because of the incorrect strand in there. The hairpin strand interferes with the ability to bind and infect other birds. It's not recognized, and the virus can't reproduce because it can't function.

    I've been reading a bit about it, but don't want to spend the $15 for the actual report [​IMG] I don't know where they got the gene strand from, or how it was created, which is what I want to know [​IMG]

    theoldchick - they aren't vaccinating the chickens, but rather are injecting the actual gene into the nucleus of the developing embryo (at the point when it's just a few divisions out of brand spanking new), allowing the gene to integrate right into the genes of the chicken. The gene is only activated upon infection with the virus, and only if the virus has the correct genetic sequence to activate that gene. Once activated, it is read, copied and becomes a part of the new virus. The new virus isn't able to use the bad strand, and can't spread because it can't create the required proteins to bind to new cells.

    And in all honesty, it is a pretty huge thing, especially for the potential in research for treatment for things like HIV. Of course, that's a far way off, but it's a start to stop the spread of viruses. I could see where they would try to combine this with phage research to see if they can create a treatment that would insert the gene via phage, which would allow the virus to be stopped by the ability of our own bodies.

    Thanks for that information!

    It seems like it will be very difficult to ever eradicate the presence of the bird flu because you can't introduce the gene into ALL birds, which is pretty much what it would take to stop the virus. Even then, I'm fairly certain a new flu would arise just as it has happen for years and years and years.

    It is exciting though. If they could prevent infection of the individual, this therapy could be used for a lot of different situations. The major problem I foresee though is that the genes have to be introduced either right before or right after contraception I would think. (My field is microbiolgy, so I'm not as familiar with introducing genes to animals! THe bacteria make it really easy for us! LOL)
     
  10. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    Hee hee [​IMG] Mine was Molecular Biotechnology and Microbiology. What do I do now? Work in the IT group for a large insurance/annuity company. I still try to keep up on things, but physically can no longer work in a lab (which I did for about 7 years).


    From what I read, the application would be more for commercial flocks, to stop the spread of the virus, knowing it couldn't be eradicated, but rather controlled. That's probably a LONG way off however. Lemme see if I can find some of the articles I could read without paying for....

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/jan/13/gm-chickens-bird-flu-influenza

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110113141601.htm

    This is a good one:
    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2042381,00.html
     

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