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Genetically Modified animals and plants produce drugs

By Each Hit, Jan 25, 2007 | Updated: Jan 25, 2007 | | |
  1. Each Hit
    January 24, 2007
    Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs
    By Karla Gale

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - British scientists have succeeded in producing multiple generations of genetically altered, or transgenic, hens that produce functional pharmaceutical proteins in the whites of their eggs.

    To transfer drug-making genes into chickens, Dr. Helen M. Sang, from the Roslin Institute in Midlothian, UK, and her associates used a lentivirus carrier from which all viral coding sequences were deleted. The genetic material was replaced with the gene regulating ovalbumin production combined with genes for making human interferon or an antibody targeting malignant melanoma.

    "This construct is used to incorporate new protein genes into the chicken chromosome," Dr. Sang told Reuters Health.

    This was accomplished by injecting the lentiviral vector containing the coding sequences for the desired pharmaceutical protein into the fertilized embryo of a new laid egg.

    When the resulting chick is old enough, it is then bred it and the offspring examined. "If the offspring are transgenic, we will see the new genes in every cell of their body, but only expressed in the oviduct," Sang continued.

    In their paper in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers explain how a single transgenic cockerel was crossed to normal hens. Of 463 chicks they examined, 19 (4 percent) were transgenic.

    When transgenic hens lay eggs, the foreign protein is expressed in the oviduct where the egg white is made. In the case of interferon produced in egg white, the researchers were able to confirm that the compound was functional by showing that it was active against a test virus.

    Sang hopes that using transgenic chickens to produce therapeutic proteins will "bring down the costs of drugs that currently are prohibitively expensive."

    The Roslin Institute, renowned for its creation of Dolly the cloned sheep 10 years ago, is working in collaboration with gene therapy company Oxford BioMedica and biotech company Viragen to develop their transgenic chicken system as a large-scale biomanufacturing alternative for a variety of proteins.

    "But it is still early days yet," said Sang. "We've made significant steps in developing a process that we hope will be an alternative production platform for protein drugs."

    SOURCE: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, online January 15, 2007.

Comments

  1. Forthesevenlakes
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    SWIM has often wondered about this as a viable method of large-scale manufacture of drugs. For example, if the gene coding for THC (or morphine, or DMT, or whatever) in one's plant of choice was known and sequenced, it could be excised and inserted into other, non-illegal plants, or bacterial DNA, or animals as is the case here, and manufactured on a large scale. It'd be the perfect way to move product, after all, who would suspect that a truck full of chickens would be one's ticket to DMT elf-land? However, psychologically, drug users would have to get over the fact that they are about to eat a psychedelic omelette, or ingest a pill primarily manufactured by bacteria (although this used to if not still was the method of choice for making certain amino acid supplements on a large scale...)
  2. Nagognog2
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    Next Up:

    "Man arrested for breeding roosters that lay Eggstacy!"
  3. Forthesevenlakes
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    Not to mention that one day soon, one's scrambled eggs and their hash will be one and the same...and we'll have to forbid discussing the street price of the average breakfast.
  4. BeetleJuice
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    Lol, Eggstacy.

    I personaly dont like the idea of people messing with that kind of stuff,who knows when some crazy dude will put some harmfull stuff in products. like those carrot things iv heard abit about in china that can make people important
    (i think)
  5. Forthesevenlakes
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    I firmly believe that everyone is important! Although its nice to be important, its more important to be nice.

    Seriously though, transgenic technology is already widely used in foods. Most widely available vegetables and fruits are modified in some way, using transgenes to create pest resistance, longer shelf lives, etc.

    The technology is not without its dangers, however the involved industries would like to present it. In 1989 many people contracted a fatal autoimmune disease from ingesting tryptophan supplements created by transgenic bacteria.

    SWIM is somewhat uneasy at the prospect the ever-widening use of this technology, but he also thinks it is one very possible future of drug manufacture and distribution.
  6. Nagognog2
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    Go get a copy of the Woody Allen movie: Sleeper. 1973.
  7. Riconoen {UGC}
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    I'd love to eat an opiate omlete or acid over easy. Tastes good and feeds your head at the same time.
  8. BeetleJuice
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    ah sorry, was a typo, i meant that ittle make people impotence, like it destroys the sperm for reproduction system, i also agree that every person on the planet is important (cept bush) lol.

    I can see how some aspects of genetic modification can be usefull but like everything else there is always someone who wants to use tech for bad reason, an example is how the wonderfull drug LSD,opened the minds of many back in the 60s, meanwhile the cia and others saw it as a usefull chemical weapon.
  9. Each Hit
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    food poisoning could be done very covertly, now. i get the feeling our species isn't mature enough to handle all these technological advancements. all we do is make weapons and entertainment.
  10. Riconoen {UGC}
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    Yeah, maybe in the 23'rd century or something.
  11. AntiAimer
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    New age Corn Beef Hash anyone? MmmmMmMM. Nice find.
  12. katukulysm
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    genetically modified chickens. well, why not.


    no no no no......i prefer old age corn beef hash. with greek seasoning added.
  13. AntiAimer
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    Yeah but add that with THC(replace with drug of choice)....even better.:D
  14. enquirewithin
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    That is curious! I have heard of people being Big Potatoes but carrots? Does Hu Jintao eat them?
  15. Forthesevenlakes
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    Theres a pretty good book I read that addresses our inability to do much but entertain ourselves with technology, and how this can be a detriment to civilization since we develop new technologies while seemingly not developing our ethics to handle them responsibly. Its from the 80's, but surprisingly doesn't seem dated even reading it now. Most of the book still rings true to me...it's called "Entertaining Ourselves to Death" by Neal Postman. A bit off topic I suppose but your post just reminded me of that tome.
  16. Each Hit
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    apparently, other animals are being used as well:

    http://www.wired.com/news/technology/medtech/0,72708-0.html?tw=wn_index_23

  17. Alfa
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    But what if a THC chicken breeds with an viagra chicken and the DNA sequence would affect the DNA of the human that ingests the egg / chicken in such a way that mutants arise?

    Science fiction? Maybe, but probably not.
  18. Psych0naut
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    If I'm not mistaken the same thing can be done with plants as well, genetically modify a tomato plant with some of the genes of the coca erythroxylum so it produces cocaine, that would be fun!
  19. pabel_giboon
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    what about modified human fetus that one grown up could get hight by bitting their own nails?
    SWIM´d go for psylocibin loaded nails.
  20. Woodman
    Re: Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Drugs in Eggs

    If that were the case, I suppose you'ld have a stoner with a perpetual hard-on.

    BTW, if you could get that chicken to shit coke, I'll buy a whole fucking farm of them.

    .
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