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Skip to 0 minutes and 14 seconds 1997, another important discovery. Transgenic corn was produced by Monsanto. We do have one big problem with the corn crop where’s the corn worms damage. And the scientists Monsanto discovered a toxin which is called Cry toxin from a bacteria in the soil it’s called Bacillus Thuringiensis.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 seconds And we introduced the gene of Cry toxin to the yellow corn, and then the yellow corn will be able to produce that toxin. So when the insect eats the corn, the insect would be poison to death. And that’s how the insect damage was prevented. And of course, Monsanto sell the insect-resistant corn seed to the world and make a ton of money. So this is an important application of biotechnology in agriculture.

Skip to 1 minute and 44 seconds In the year 2000, Golden Rice was developed. Now the white wines will not produce beta-carotene Beta-carotene is important nutrition or as a nutrition and to prevent some forms of blindness which is prevalent in some African countries. So in order to produce the beta-carotene containing rice. We used two enzymes, phytoene synthase and carotene desaturase. So we identified the first enzyme from a flower daffodil and the second enzyme from a soil bacterium. And we identify the gene associated with those two enzymes. Insert those two genes into the white rice and the white rice will be able to produce beta-carotene. and we call it golden rice. So this is another important accomplishment in the agricultural biotechnology.

Skip to 3 minutes and 2 seconds In 2003, Glofish the first biotech pet was on the market, and the fish glows because of a gene from a GFP the fluorescence protein, green fluorescent protein,(GFP) isolated from the jellyfish. So someday in the future, we may be able to pick and choose the color of the sushi that we want to eat. In 2006, Taiwan make a big splash by breathing glowing pigs and this pig glows because of a green fluorescence protein, the gene inserted from jellyfish.

Skip to 3 minutes and 58 seconds And this green fluorescence protein actually won a Nobel Prize in 2008, shared by Shimomura, Chalfie, and Tsien. Now I put in an asterisk on Prasher*, because he actually did not win the Nobel Prize and there was a sad story about him. If you are interested you can read a story from the link All that I want to say is that don’t give up, you could win the Nobel Prize.

Unlimited Biotechnology Applications

Agritech involves the use of biotechnological principles, tools and techniques to modify living organisms including plants, animals, and microorganisms. Monsanto’s pest-resistant and high yield maize are important and productive examples for modern and sustainable agriculture.

This series of slides depict the unlimited applications of biotechnology in agriculture (e.g., pest resistant corn and nutrition enriched rice), and potentially in pet industry (glowing fish, cloned cat and fluorescent pigs). Chalfie, Shimomura and Tsien were awarded Nobel Prize for their discovery and application of fluorescent protein in medical research.

How would you think of having glowing sushi? How do you view genetically modified foods?

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This video is from the free online course:

Pharmacotherapy: Understanding Biotechnology Products

Taipei Medical University