Odd plasmid question (from the bioshock games)

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Moocow4u2
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Odd plasmid question (from the bioshock games)

Post by Moocow4u2 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:41 am

First I'm letting you all know I know almost nothing about biology so if you have any sort of answer please try to keep it extremely simple.

I'm a big fan of a video game called bioshock and in it you fight your way through the game collecting ADAM which, in the game, let's you rewrite your DNA. Once you collect enough ADAM you can buy plasmids which the character injects into himself giving him powers like telekenesis or passive abilities like increased speed or fire resistance. As you use the plasmids a thing called EVE in the game starts to drain and you have to keep injecting more into yourself to keep using plasmids. I've looked up videos on YouTube for neat ways of using plasmids and found videos about biology students doing presentations about plasmids and that's when I learned that the game didn't make plasmids up. I started looking up real plasmids to learn a bit about them and found stuff about cloning genes, changing DNA and stuff like that, kind of like in the game but with different effects and not as extreme.

So my question is, is anything plasmid related shown in the game even close to possible to accomplish and by that I mean actually making plasmids that could be used for ablilities? Not like shooting fire or anything, i'm pretty sure that's impossible but things like extra resistance to things like heat, cold, electricity, etc or any other sorts of enhancements?

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JackBean
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Post by JackBean » Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:32 am

For sure they can be used fr such things and they are. Althrough sometimes are used other vectors for transformation
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

Cis or trans? That's what matters.

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biohazard
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Post by biohazard » Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:08 am

Basically with carefully selected plasmids you could give your target organism any genetic trait; that is, something that could be achieved within the limits of biology. So unfortunately we would indeed be likely to be far from most of the effects seen in Bioshock. However, for us humans, the transfer of new abilities should be done by engineering the chromosomes themselves, since you really cannot make your cells to take up the plasmid you tried to give yourself. Plasmids can mostly be used only in unicellular organisms, where it is possible to insert the plasmid into some cells and then select for the cells that have taken up the plasmid. Furthermore, pretty much only chromosomal insertion would ensure that the acquired traint would be long-lasting. If transient abilities were desried, cytoplasmic insertion might suffice.

So, in that regard, Bioshock would be more credible if they injected, say, engineered retroviruses instead of plasmids and the viruses would then insert their "payload" into target cells, granting different abilities. After all, a plasmid is just a kind of extra chromosome, a circular piece of DNA. Eukaryotic cells tend to reject these and thus alternative means of inserting genetic material is needed - (retro)viruses come in handy in this due to their intrinsic tendency to deliver (and insert) genetic material into foreign cells.

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Post by akki313 » Sun May 16, 2010 6:28 pm

Yes.. You can even see some of the real life examples.. Like seedless watermelon. It is one of the great examples of biotechnologically altered plants. By using plasmids or vectors there made some changes in gene structure that make the fruit seedless.

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JackBean
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Post by JackBean » Sun May 16, 2010 8:01 pm

I don't think, that seedless fruits are due to biotech
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

Cis or trans? That's what matters.

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