News & Events
Scientists have created the first genetically modified lizards
- April 8, 2019
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
Despite the fact that genetic modification is becoming increasingly popular and widespread in the circles of researchers in evolutionary biology, the world still knows very few experiments with the introduction of this type of technology. However, today a talented team of specialists from the University of Georgia in the United States presented the results of its own experiment of this nature aimed at brown anoles – small lizards of a fairly wide range of distribution. In particular, the specialists were able to apply the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic modification technique in order to change the genome incorporated in still young, unfertilized eggs inside the female anoles.
The fact is that previous experiments on the effects on already fertilized eggs did not always bring the expected result, because there are two main difficulties – firstly, since the anola females can not fertilize them immediately, it becomes difficult to distinguish one from other eggs, and – Secondly, by direct fertilization, it is fairly easy to damage the microenvironment of the embryo, as well as the embryo itself. That is why the specialists carried out the injection of a genetically modified solution into the uterus of the anoles, thus affecting 21 lizards and more than 146 eggs.
They aimed at changing the gene compound called tyrosinase, which determines the pigment component of the skin – and achieved very unique results, having received four newborn lizards of light pink skin color. The fact that not all of them have passed through a mutation suggests that some of the third-party genome was probably missed, but this has yet to be clarified empirically in the near future.
However, even despite the fact that the experiment of experts was fully successful, after all, they actually managed to create four genetically modified dinosaurs, using a relatively common, developed and proven gene modification technique called CRISPR-Cas9. In addition, experts are interested in further improving the current iteration of their gene-modification technique.