GMO: Glofish

By: Damini Padhiar

WHAT IS GMO?

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. "GMO is a laboratory process of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic" (L. Paul MacInnis, 2015 ). What GMO does is makes the food we eat bigger, so that in the market the prices can go up and people would get more than expected (L. Paul MacInnis, 2015 ).

WHAT IS A GLOFISH?

A Glofish is a fluorescent fish. Glofish were first introduced in the late 2003 (Glofish, 2015). They are sold at petsmart so people can buy them as house pets. Glofishs are known for their unique glow in the dark colours. The idea of a Glofish came in 1999, when the scientists wanted to make a fish to help detect enviornmental pollutants. They come in many different colours such as red, blue, orange, yellow, pink, green and many more. They were oraginally called "Zebrafish". Zebrafishes were usually black and white with strips.

FUN FACT:

In stores they are sold for 6-7 dollars and they can live up to 3-5 years. The more aggresive ones that tend to need at least 5 fishes with them to feel safe are the electric green glofish.

(Glofish, 2015).

GloFish® Fluorescent Fish Video! (Includes our new GloFish Tetras!)

HOW ARE GLOFISHES GENETICALLY MODIFIED?

The Glofish is modified with the fluorescent protein gene, the scientist insert the gene into the fishes embryo which causes the fishs to glow (Leone, Quinton). The scientists also use something called the recombinant DNA. Recombinant DNA is something uses differnt organisms and combins their DNA's together. As in the Glofish; when the fish is still in the egg, it is infused with a gene from a jellyfish, sea coral, or sea anemones. They also use something called the restriction enzyme. Restriction enzyme is basically enzyme that is a bacteria, that can cut off some DNA. In a Glofish the restriction enzyme is used to cut a specific gene they need to make the fish modified. The scientist also need a host organism, which is basically an organism that contains parasite, like in the Glofish the host organaism (they get the gene from) is the jellyfish or the sea coral. To transfer the genetic material, in the Glofish they use something called the "vector" (plasmid) which is a circular DNA molecule. (Leone,2013).

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE GENETICALLY MODIFIED GLOFISH?

The main purpose of the Glofish is to protect environmental pollutants, when the waterway is contaminated (Leone, 2013).

THE ADVATAGES OF A GLOFISH

Society:

  • Cancer therapy
  • Peaceful and no harm
  • Increase in fish market (was 2-3 dollars, after modified 6-7 dollars)
  • Step forward in technology
  • Helps to have light in the room


Environmental:

  • Tells the scientist when the water is polluted
  • Produce fluorescent offspring
  • The glow doesnt wear out


(L. Paul MacInnis, 2015).

DISADVANTAGES (RISKS) OF A GLOFISH

Society:

  • Disturbance of genetic information
  • Can't eat them
  • Europe, Canada, and Australia banned them because they are genetically modified
  • Unknown long term effects
  • Unknown health effects
  • Risk of misuse


Environmental:

  • Can't survive in the wild and cold water
  • Unknown effects on Zebrafish
  • Zebrafish have troble breeding because they are tropical fish
  • Risk exploitation


(L. Paul MacInnis, 2015).

FUN FACTS

  • The Glofish pass the colours to their offspring
  • Come in five main colours: starfire red, electric green, sunburst orange, cosmic blue, and galactic purple
  • Maintain the colour throughout whole life
  • Absorbs light


(L. Paul MacInnis, 2015).

LHN - Alcalde - Glo-fish

References: