Top 10 Interesting Genetic Engineering Products

7. Vaccine Bananas


 An Indian research team came up with an idea to provide vaccination to people via their food in 2007. They managed to alter bananas, carrots, lettuce, potatoes and tobacco to carry the vaccine. Moreover, it was determined that bananas serve as the best medium to transfer the vaccine. However, there are a number of constraints and flaws to this approach; allergic reactions, virus adapting to vaccine and the person’s right to not receive the vaccine!

6. Environment Friendly Pigs


 Pigs are a source of phosphorous via the waste they generate and this content builds up in the soil, leeching into the water sources resulting in a environmental problem since this encourages algae growth which consumes oxygen, leaving the fish de-oxygenized. Solution to the problem just described is Enviropig; a pig engineered to reduce the amount of phosphorous waste produced by taking in more phytic acid. This particular project got shut down due to lack of funding in 2012 after running for decades.

5. Chicken Egg Drugs


 British researcher Helen Sang has managed to fuse human DNA into chickens resulting in chickens whose eggs will help you fight skin cancer because of the protein contained in them. Basically, half the amount of normal protein will be switched with protein drug that fights cancer. This can be isolated and administered to patients. The approach is to find an alternative to expensive cancer drugs and manufacturing them this way is quite economical and efficient compared to the bio-reactors in use.

 4. Humanized Cow Milk


 Ning Li, from China came up with an alternative for breast milk. Well, it is an alternative in the sense that it’s coming from cows instead of lactating human mother. The cows have been ‘humanized’ via genetic engineering and are producing milk identical to that of a lactating human mother. The goal of research was to find a genetically altered alternative to baby formula which can be provided to infants.

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Lec 1 | MIT 5.111 Principles of Chemical Science, Fall 2005