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Hybridization survivors

  1. Sep 24, 2005 #1
    My friend said that any animals who have had genes from a different species inserted into them and become "hybrids" would not have survived/would have been really screwed up

    Is that true?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 24, 2005 #2


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    why does he say that?
  4. Sep 24, 2005 #3
    Well I think the simplest answer is that they're stupid (unless they're wrong)
    But the person who said that also acts like a know it all...

    Anyways I just want to know if any member of a hybrid species which developed as a result of genetic engineering actually survived normally

    They also said that if you want to genetically alter anything (successfully) you have to do it while the thing is the embryo stage

    Is that true?

    Last edited: Sep 24, 2005
  5. Sep 24, 2005 #4
    No, thats not true, because if it is, biologists already able to to put a pig 's sperm into a woman's womb, although i wondered if this would happen and how the newly born child would look like all the time when i was still in my secondary school..
  6. Sep 24, 2005 #5
    Just as one example:
    Somewhere in the 90's there was this famous bull "Herman" who had a human gene inserted, as a result his female descendants would produce a human protein (lactoferrine) in their milk. He was normal and so were his many descendants.

    (The level of lactoferrine in the milk of his female descendants was however too low to be commercially interesting.)

    Yes that is the easiest way to go. If you change the genetic make-up in single cell stage all the cells that are derived from that cell during the development of the embryo will get the gene. If you want to do it later you would have to insert the gene in each cell in which the gene is needed, this is very tricky but it may be achieved by using viral techniques (viruses can insert genes into cells).
  7. Sep 24, 2005 #6


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    It depends upon the gene inserted of course. Some inserted genes (and gene product) can be lethal to the host, others might disrupt and/or alter normal function without being lethal, and others can be inserted without any detectable effect on cell function.

    It would also depend on the species. If you're talking about not just inserting genes, but breeding hybrids, plants are fairly easy to hybridize and can even be bred with mismatching numbers of chromosomes in the two parental strains. On the other hand, animals are much harder to hybridize across species. Very few species of animals can be bred together and still have viable offspring, and the offspring are sterile.
  8. Sep 24, 2005 #7


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    One simple example (im too lazy to dig through 200 pages on evolution in bio book):

    A horse with a donkey produces a mule. A Mule is much tougher and sturdier than either a horse or a donkey, but its not fertile (1 in a million or so is fertile). Natural selection wise its not really survivable per se, but on short terms it works just perfect.

    So there could be thousands of species that we dont know of that are readily available today just by cross breeding 2 somewhat similar species. Of course the ethics of conducting such search is shaky, but with genetic interpolation I'm sure we could come up with a reasonable probability for such specie occurance and perhaps some mad scientist would like to try
  9. Sep 24, 2005 #8


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    I'm not certain if the OP is referring to interbreeding between species, which is what this example demonstrates (there are plenty of others who are simply too incompatible to have viable offspring, or for fertilization to even occur), or if the question is asking about transgenics.

    You also raise the other point that I'm uncertain about with regard to the OP. Are we talking survivability in terms of individual survival or in terms of species survival.

    Keep in mind that part of the definition of species is a population of organisms able to interbreed to produce fertile offspring. Mules are not given their own species designation because they are never fertile, so can never interbreed and produce any offspring, let along fertile offspring. Likewise, horses and donkeys are considered separate species, because even though they can interbreed, their offspring (mules) are not fertile.
  10. Sep 24, 2005 #9


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    Of course there are lots of transgenic lab animals these days. Typically the genes are "transplanted" in order to look at some particular phenomenon, and the result may screw the animals up or it may enhance them in some respect, depending on what the scientists are looking at. Some lab rats with particular yeast genes may be smarter or live longer for example.
  11. Oct 4, 2005 #10
    it might become fatal if you just randomly insert a gene from nowhere into some other host. This host being an eukarya or something. You could really screw up something. Most these experiments are carried out on bacteria in petri plates before ever reaching higher functional animals, with the exception that you really want to do research with higher ordered organisms.

    Also, do note that most of the genes you put into transgenic plants are not random ones. The functions of the proteins expressed by them have been researched in detail in order to make sure that it doesnt create and harm effects to either the plants or the people eating them.

    Example, herbicle resistant plants produce proteins that breaks down herbicides, and thats the only protein their newly added gene will ever produce.

    Now instead of putting herbicide resistant gene into the plant, you pick a hundred genes out of the human genome library, and do same gene insertion method a hundred times, then that plant is really screwed or will be really messed up. lol
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2005
  12. Oct 5, 2005 #11

    Well, if you're not a creationnist (where the species structure is just single rays radiating from an "imaginary" source that some of them call god), then you maybe one of thos evolutionnist, for whom the structure of species is a tree...in this case it is clear that the classification scheme, intrisically makes that every existing specie not just "under" the "root" is made of "alien" genes by (classification possibly only...equivalent to subjective) construction. Note here that evolutionnist do not contradict creationnist in their essence : there is only one source for them too...

    However, making hybridization makes that the tree could become a more general graph structure. And then of course one could put more than one source....

    That's how I see the conception of bio-structure of the world...

    What I don't really understand, is at which point a genetically modified animal becomes a new specie (for the evolutionnist of course)....Because making mice with harder/longer hair maybe is less impressive than making a mouse with feathers for example.....

    But this for me just remain a "mind game"....
  13. Oct 5, 2005 #12
    Ah I'm changing what I said. Just show us a picture of some experiment.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2005
  14. Oct 6, 2005 #13
    Hybrids ?

    The human-dog : well, when you know I find this on : urbanlegends...US based movies are often "dealing" with aliens....I have not find now : falcon-mouse....or such pictures....but I still wait the time to see them in "reality" (quantum reality, or.,..?)

    Last edited: Oct 6, 2005
  15. Oct 6, 2005 #14
    I think that's photoshopped

    Regardless, something like that wouldn't necessarily be able to produce offspring that was the same type of species/hybrid as it..

    I think I initially misunderstood what you were saying though....I guess what you're saying is that you're waiting to see things like that be created?
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2005
  16. Oct 6, 2005 #15
    There are plenty of experiments where you modify genes or in your case add genes to an animal, lab rat I suppose. So it would help to know what experiments were done.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2005
  17. Oct 6, 2005 #16
    Yes, this is exactly what I mean....On computer I suppose FX freak can do almost which hybrid pic you want.....

    Well now, if you consider a "grown up"...(even a small baby), you have if don't mix up every thing, 100 of billions of cells, most of them containing nuclear DNA (some not for remembrance)...Now you want to change let say a precise gene in all the cells with virii media ? And what about cells without nucleus (they have for sure other DNA (mitochondrial or so, I don't know)...

    I suppose for this end, it is easier to do "preimplant" during in vitro fecondation, test and eventual remonving or inserting of genes (when you have 1 less than 10 cells), because doing all of them even by computer aided hand is not feasible (what I knew)
  18. Oct 6, 2005 #17
    At this moment I would really like to know what hybrid animals are you taling about?

    Needbioinfo, who are the people that are doing this? Where were these experiments conducted?
  19. Oct 6, 2005 #18
    You know I live in a retarded part of a conservative country, namely what we call Switzerland. But I know that gene therapy of whole human bodies were conducted in the US years ago (I think it was y young men who always fell unconscious due to ammoniac concentration...now don't ask me if TV is not always show what we say), and there is also the well known Weizmann Institute in Israel which was I think quite famous for gene magic (for example making a human ear grow on a mouse out of a human hair...what I heard...but truth is concealed or even deformed...but only sometimes)

    I say Switzerland is a conservative country because in our state (?), the people still have not voted on "genetic manipulation on animals", whereas in the US you can clone your pet (isn't it)....But here the laws the the whole population has to vote on, I think don't has so much to do with what researchers do in their lab...I think they are more afraid of finding biotech modified food at the supermarket...but I think they are there from years already....(information is often going far less fater than light)
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2005
  20. Oct 6, 2005 #19
    I see that there is already effect of genetically modified food on me (or is it the flu I caught), because I really type a lot of mistaken letters....I'm sorry for that.
  21. Oct 6, 2005 #20
    SSDS: I'm not sure which experiments you are referring to? Are you referring to something that relates to the photoshopped picture someone just posted?
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