gengineer

GloFish, why not.

   Originally g'engineered to express GFP (jellyfish green fluorescent protein) in the study of vertebrate development, GloFish are a patented variety of Zebrafish (Danio rerio) and glow constantly, sold as GM pets.

    Juvenile D. rerio is transparent, ideal for studying mechanisms behind development and stem-cell function. It can also regenerate lost or damaged organs, inc. cardiac, muscle, and optical tissue, partially by regressing adult cells to a stem-cell state.

Also one of the few animals to have their own scientific databases, journals, and been into space.

[wiki / marketing]

E. coli engineered to convert alga into ethanol

External image

   UCBerkeley Bio Architecture Lab splice 36 kb of Vibrio splendidus DNA into E. coli, allowing it to convert brown macroalgae (e.g. kelp seaweed) sugars into bioethanol at near 80% efficiency.

   The novel Vibrio DNA gives E. coli a new path, allowing it to break down, import and metabolise the polysaccharides that make up the algal cell wall, then separately engineered genes convert the sugars into alcohol, all within the bacterium cell.

   Macroalgae can grow over two feet a day, but few organisms are able to metabolise alginate polysaccharides due to the complex pattern of sugars and bonds involved.

   Bioethanol is a growing industry which supplements existing fuel systems, but competes with essential food crops for space: by moving the production source to the ocean, we can maximise our land use and reduce habitat demand elsewhere. 

   Although bioethanol faces a number of obstacles, seaweeds now hold major promise as a high-yield resource for renewable fuel.

[news:nature.org] [news:CNN]