25 Jun '13, 5pm

SAY WHAT? Japanese scientists have genetically engineered silkworms to produce fluorescent fibers

SAY WHAT? Japanese scientists have genetically engineered silkworms to produce fluorescent fibers

In the past, researchers have created colorful silk made by feeding the spinning silkworms colorful dyes , but this breed of worm create their colorful threads through genetic engineering. First developed by Toshiki Tamura at the National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, the transgenic worms create colored fluorescent protein, which is then transferred to the silk that they obsessively spin. The fluorescent proteins were derived from the DNA of other organisms that produce fluorescent molecules, like Discosoma Corals, Fungia concinna coral and jellyfish, which produce red, orange and green glowing hues, respectively. Once injected with the other organism’s DNA sequence, the silkworm genome formed a transgenic animal, able to spin three colors of glowing silk.

Full article: http://www.ecouterre.com/transgenic-silkworms-spin-fluore...

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