Genetic Engineering by Marina Cohen

By Marina Cohen

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Bananas might be used as medicines. 34 In the Lab A potato vaccine has been tested on mice. Researchers have been able to make stem cells in the laboratory. They can use adult cells for the process. Scientists can create new blood vessels from adult bone marrow stem cells. Just imagine all the people who may be cured by having their damaged or defective cells switched with brand-new ones. Muddy Medication Every teaspoon of dirt contains about 10,000 different types of bacteria. Only one percent of these can be easily grown in a lab.

To solve the problem, scientists are trying to get chickens to produce antibodies in their eggs. A chicken can lay about 330 eggs a year. Clever Cotton and Wonderful Wheat Researchers are creating cotton that is engineered to be blue! This would mean that your jeans would not have to be dyed. You may also be able to put your iron away forever. New cotton fibers that do not twist or wrinkle are being produced. There is also an effort underway to make wheat that could produce biodegradable plastic wrap, cups, and plates.

The gene in charge of the instinct for fear was switched off, and the mice became real daredevils. Do we want mice like these in our houses? Of course not! Yet working with mice helps show scientists what might be possible with other animals. Goats have had spider genes inserted into them. The silk protein is called BioSteel. It is ten times stronger than steel but very flexible. It can be used for stitching in delicate medical operations. It can also be spun into a lightweight material that can be used in bulletproof vests.

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