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Thread: Any of you going to make some genetically modified plants for us?

  1. #9

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    highlanders that grow like lowlanders...lmk when that happens.

  2. #10
    richjam1986's Avatar
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    Seems a bit above the resources and ability of hobbyists. MUCH more complicated and costly than tissue culture.
    Da' mishu
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  3. #11
    zesty. BioZest's Avatar
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    While they might be a bit over the reach of the members of this forum, these technologies are quickly becoming more and more cheap as fdfederation pointed above with the link to the NY BioEngineering center thing only costs $100 a year. While the possibilities imagined in this thread may seem far-off, they might be a lot closer than you think.

  4. #12
    Confused Magikarp fdfederation's Avatar
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    I wonder if you would be able to find some of these equipments from university "yard sales" or have engineering students build you the equipments for their design projects.

  5. #13
    pokie22's Avatar
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    I believe any thing is possible. It might just take thousands of failures before a success.

    One can purchase most molecular biology second hand equipment from ebay or scientific liquidation sites. If you are from the bay area, there are always biotech/pharma companies selling their assets. I have some of my equipment via this route. However, merely obtaining a piece of equipment is vastly different from having the necessary knowledge on how to use it. Ectopic gene expression is not trivial, but not paradigm shifting either. Therefore, not impossible for a hobbyist but very difficult if you have no background in basic chemistry or biology. Most of my interns are graduates from UC Berkeley and Stanford, and they require at least 2 months to familarise themselves with the laboratory setting, and perhaps produce their first clone. These are students who have some basic training but no real experience - undergraduate lab courses do not count in my opinion since it does not seem to make a difference. They usually make the easiest type of clones: PCR based cloning via restriction enzymes into bacterial plasmids. This technology has been around for a good while, even most of my high school students succeed in this. However, the planning and design is done for them. Most students like to be force fed what to do/think. Who would of thought, and from the top universities.....

    Now onto why you might have some problems with CPs. You might want to understand how ectopic expression is performed. A coding region requires species specific promoter and translational sequences for starting and stopping. For bacterial expression we use native or bacteriophage promoters. For mammalian expression we use viral promoters (ex. CMV). For plants there are some viruses that can be used (they only work in some of the plant model systems) but more generally, they use something called a gene gun. This is one of the few toys that I have yet to acquire and is on my wish list. It is not cheap and made only by few companies. The gold bullets are not cheap either - but when has anything been affordable in the sciences. You might want to be educated in performing rudimentary bioinformatics as you will have to design some oligonucleotides for performing PCR and make sure the expression casette is sound. This is complicated by the fact that other kingdoms, especially plants, have different post translational modifications that currently available lab plasmid vectors do not take into account. This means that just because you PCRed the sequence of choice, cloned into expression plasmid, and blasted/infected the plant, does not mean that you will observe expression of the transgene. And this may be due to a combination of factors that you have no notion of, because the organism of choice is not yet setup as a model system. Or this could be an error of not performing one's due diligence and picking a difficult protein to express (highly charged, necessitates molecular chaperones, different glycosylation..etc).

    You could perform blind science, science before sequence data was available. Many of the great discoveries in science were made without sequence data. However, it is very labor intensive and really unnecessary when technology is everywhere.

    If you have $5-10K there are a handful of companies who will sequence an organism's entire genome -barring spp with inherent problems like high GC or AT. I personally would tell you to sequence yourself before your plant........

    If you were thinking about setting up a lab to perform some of this, you should have something in 4 zeros to play with. Also, you will need to get access to research material usually relegated to universities or commercial science companies (MTA to sign away your first born..etc.).

    If you can: assimilate seemingly disparate datum, remember thousand of factoids with newly assigned signification, learn craftsman tasks in one or two tries, have great mental acuity, and - though not necessary if you have access to a lab - have 10K to spare in your sludge fund - it may be worth your while. Permitted, you are interested in this project.

    Another option is to find some genius who will entertain your eccentricities.

  6. #14
    zesty. BioZest's Avatar
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    Ummm...wow that is quite a process...are you a microbiologist?

  7. #15
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    I do everything - anything - interesting. Hmm... do I study small living organisms? I study both big and small, living and non-living. And for my partner in crime, we do some synthetic biology.

  8. #16
    mcmcnair's Avatar
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    I am in the process of doing some research with mutating Sarracenia. I can't really share results right now because, well... there aren't any. All the plants are too small to really notice differences but here is a link to the thread I started a while back about my research. http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...enia+radiation
    NCSU's Carnivore Nut
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