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genetically modified, transgenic organisms; help.

Genetics as it applies to evolution, molecular biology, and medical aspects.

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genetically modified, transgenic organisms; help.

Postby lwpolkadot » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:17 pm

I'm attempting to travel down the broad road of genetic engineering. Yes, I know, this is not a simple field. I've modified bacteria, and small, uni-cellular organisms. Now, i want to move onto a larger, visible to the eye organism. I want to make a plant, any specie, glow in the dark. Such labs have already been conducted, such as the glow in the dark tobacco plant. Implanting the luciferase gene, is what my research has shown prudent towards being the most easy.
How do I attempt this, is my basic question. I have got lab equipment available.
Last edited by lwpolkadot on Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Science Fair- Genetics.

Postby lwpolkadot » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:32 pm

I'm a sophomore in highschool. I'm competing in a regional science fair, and i need a project. Me, and my partner formulated the question:

"Can genetically modified organisms be utilized as an alternative energy source?"

I understand that this is a rather vague topic. But, we are extremely enticed by the world of modified organisms. We wanted to essentially modify a plant, & make it glow. I know it has already been done. The reason that could be incoorporated into a means of an alternative energy source is because if the amount of light given off is great enough to light up a given space, wahlah! No more light bills, etc. This could potentially cut taxes, fuel a greener earth, and exploit america to a greener earth (i know this is a long shot).

Is this a good science fair? I need a winning project. I will except and embrace any ideas or advice.
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Postby JackBean » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:15 am

Hi,

no need to double post ;)

Well, there is no perpetuum mobile and you cannot get energy from nothing, so even your ligthning plant will need some energy to be able to glow. And if it was supposed to ligth so much, the energy demands would be really high. Of course, photosynthesis is quite good accumulator.
However, you need to find some protein or something, what makes so much ligth...
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

Cis or trans? That's what matters.
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Postby sorin » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:39 am

Hey,
in principle a really great idea. making light while consuming CO2. if you manage to achieve this i promise you will win this competition and maybe some other ones... but practically you will be faced with a bunch of problems. as jackbean already said: how will you manage to get so much light out of the luciferin/luciferase system. first step would be to improve this part before moving on to the plant thing. your plant cells should then be kind of more transparent to enable a proper light emission. and what about turning plant light on and off, maybe not so easy. But getting back to the initial problem. luciferase substrate biosynthesis is still far from being understood. this is a major problem as your plant cannot produce the substrate on its own. and don’t confuse: a plant glowing on its own has never been engineered. for GFP light emission you need to excite the protein first.
as i said the idea is really good and i don’t want to take away your enthusiasm about genetically modified organisms, but i guess this will not make it into a good project. look for something more reliable in the end...
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Postby lwpolkadot » Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:14 am

If i had access to equipment is this du-able. My teacher is telling me that its PHD level and that i have no chance. Thanks for the replies, i appreciate it. The plant would continue growing, as if the gene was never implanted, correct? The only difference would be if the gene presented itself, or not? Is luciferase, from the firefly, or the GFP from the jelly fish more easily worked with? I have repeatedly worked with escherichia coli, but i want to move on to bigger, and greater things.
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Postby JackBean » Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:05 am

this is definitely not PhD level, this is project for several people for many years. Trust me, in our laboratory is worked with plant transgenosis.

I don't think there is a big difference between andling lucifarase and GFP, but as sorin already said, for lucifarase you need substrate and for GFP you need exciting ligth, so the question is, what would be the efficiency...
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

Cis or trans? That's what matters.
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Postby lwpolkadot » Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:02 pm

So, even though it has already been accomplished it would take years? I'm not trying to do something someone hasn't done, but something that i haven't done. I have been told that the luciferase is more difficult to work with, but the green flourescant protien is not exactly what i'm looking for.

I don't even know where to begin with this project, who to contact, or what plant. Ugh!
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Postby JackBean » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:17 pm

why to do something exactly what has been already done?

You said you wanna use it for ligthning, that hasn't been done yet, so you need to solve lot of problems, as you may see already here...
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

Cis or trans? That's what matters.
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Postby lwpolkadot » Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:11 am

I can't do something that hasn't already been done. I can not map genes at this level. I want to answer questions that have not been answered yet, yes. Using it as a light sorce, is what i'm hoping with work out... Thanks for the replies.
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