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bioluminscence - (Aug/17/2007 )

Well... I have been studying bioluminscence the past few days on the internet when a thought crossed my mind after reading about the bioluminscence gene from a jellyfish being put into rabbits as an art form. What I started thinking about was has the been done on humans, or if it is possible and/or safe in human applications?


I have seen many chimeric animals which have been genetically altered to express the gene for GFP. Mice, rabbits, rats, snakes, fish... I don't believe, however, that the use of this marker has been approved for use in Humans. I'm not even too sure of what clinical applications this would have. Perhaps to mark which cells have taken up a certain drug? The problem is GFP can have many non-specific effects. That is why, when working with this tag, a researcher must always have a GFP alone control sample. Did you know that expression of GFP alone will inhibit centrosome duplication in HU-treated CHO cells? Yep..this destroyed a huge experiment I wanted to do and I am now considering redoing a bunch of cloning to switch the tag (sigh).


Putting an antigenic foreign protein into human soley for art purpose? I doubt this will be approved by FDA.


Human genetic engineering for art!!
Come back in 100 yr, society and politics have not even accepted thereputic genetic engineering... situations of life and death. It will be a while before 'human', 'genetic engineering' and 'art' appear in the same sentence.


What about something that could be used like botox or something that would be able to glow THRU the skin... I have heard of L.E.D tatooes but that is mechanical...


Unlike LED, protein-based bioluminscence is generally weak in the amount of light it emits. Otherwise you need an excitation light source of a certain wavelength to make a fluorescence protein to glow, which maybe OK for a fish in a tank, but it would not be as easy for a human being.


There are periodic cases of human infection with Photorhabdus luminescens. Typically these cases show up in the emergency room convinced that they have been fatally exposed to radiation, since their wounds glow. Glowing wounds were thought in ancient days to be a positive prognosticator. Since Photorhabdus also puts out good antibiotics, this might actually have been true.