Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Fast growing, transgenic, salmon coming soon

AquaBounty is a company looking to have their transgenic salmon approved for human consumption, and the FDA appears to be moving the fish through their approval process, says New Scientist.  Since the fish contain genes from other fish, they're not really as modified as something like, say, Bt cotton:
Since 1995, a company called AquaBounty, based in Maynard, Massachusetts, has been seeking approval from the US government to sell its AquAdvantage fish. These Pacific salmon have been modified with a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon, which causes them to grow twice as fast as normal fish.
The degree of genetic modifications seem to be enough to prevent escape and spread of the fish in the wild:
The company plans to engineer its eggs in highly secure tanks in Canada, then ship them to Panama to mature. As a precaution, the fish are all female and contain three copies of each chromosome rather than two, rendering them sterile.