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Below is a small sample of biopharmed organisms in development that could at some point in the future result in the inadvertent ingestion of human proteins (technically, cannibalism):
- GMO Bulls expressing human lactoferrin in their tissues, intended for human consumption.[iv]
- GMO Mice expressing a human granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor under control of a goat gene (goat alpha-S1-casein gene).[v]
- GMO Cattle milk expressing the human breastmilk proteins human α-lactalbumin (TC-LA), lactoferrin (TC-LF) or lysozyme (TC-LZ).[vi]
- GMO Pigs designed to express human α-galactosidase.[vii]
- GMO Chickens designed to express human urokinase-type plasminogen activator.[viii]
- GMO Chickens designed to express human parathormone.[ix]
- GMO Flies expressing human taste receptor genes.[x]
- GMO Silkworm cells expressing human glycoproteins.[xi]
- GMO Tomatoes expressing a human brain protein (humanβ-secretase).[xii]
- GMO Tobacco expressing human erythropoietin intended to be used to treat tissue injury.[xiii]
- GMO Tobacco expressing human interferon alpha intended for medical use.[xiv]
- GMO Yeast expressing human Apolipoprotein A-II intended for study.[xv]
- GMO Lettuce and chicory expressing human interferon alpha intended for medical use.[xvi]
- GMO Rapeseed expressing human interferon alpha intended for medical use.[xvii]
- GMO Rice expressing human serum albumin (blood protein) intended for medical purposes.[xviii]
- GMO Rice expressing human lactoferrin intended for medical use.[xix]
- GMO Rice expressing human CYP1A1 enzyme (found in placenta and liver) intended to help remediate pesticides in soil.[xx]
- GMO Rice expressing human amyloidβ-peptide 'Alzheimer's brain protein' intended as an oral vaccine producing plant.[xxi]
With biotech weaving into the web of life arbitrarily placed human genes and their biological products, cannibalism (human consumption of human proteins) will become an inevitably in the future. The question is, will we stand for this reworking of the very molecular and genetic infrastructure of life, or pretend like it won't also result in the genetic modification of our own bodies.
[iii] José Luís Redondo Calderón. [Vaccines, biotechnology and their connection with induced abortion]. Cuad Bioet. 2008 May-Aug;19(66):321-53. PMID: 18611078
[iv] Jie Zhao, Jianxiang Xu, Jianwu Wang, Ning Li. Nutritional composition analysis of meat from human lactoferrin transgenic bulls.
I A Burkov, I A Serova, N R Battulin, A V Smirnov, I V Babkin, L E Andreeva, G A Dvoryanchikov, O L Serov. Expression of the human granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (hGM-CSF) gene under control of the 5'-regulatory sequence of the goat alpha-S1-casein gene with and without a MAR element in transgenic mice.
[vi] Ran Zhang, Chengdong Guo, Shunchao Sui, Tian Yu, Jianwu Wang, Ning Li. Comprehensive assessment of milk composition in transgenic cloned cattle.
[vii] J Zeyland, B Gawrońska, W Juzwa, J Jura, A Nowak, R Słomski, Z Smorąg, M Szalata, A Woźniak, D Lipiński. Transgenic pigs designed to express humanα-galactosidase to avoid humoral xenograft rejection.
[viii] Sung Ho Lee, Mukesh Kumar Gupta, Young Tae Ho, Teoan Kim, Hoon Taek Lee. Transgenic chickens expressing human urokinase-type plasminogen activator.
[ix] S H Lee, M K Gupta, D W Han, S Y Han, S J Uhm, T Kim, H T Lee. Development of transgenic chickens expressing human parathormone under the control of a ubiquitous promoter by using a retrovirus vector system.
[x] Ryota Adachi, Yuko Sasaki, Hiromi Morita, Michio Komai, Hitoshi Shirakawa, Tomoko Goto, Akira Furuyama, Kunio Isono. Behavioral analysis of Drosophila transformants expressing human taste receptor genes in the gustatory receptor neurons.
[xi] Jia-Biao Hu, Peng Zhang, Mei-Xian Wang, Fang Zhou, Yan-Shan Niu, Yun-Gen Miao. A transgenic Bm cell line of piggyBac transposon-derived targeting expression of humanized glycoproteins through N-glycosylation.
[xii] H-S Kim, J-W Youm, K-B Moon, J-H Ha, Y-H Kim, H Joung, J-H Jeon. Expression analysis of humanβ-secretase in transgenic tomato fruits.
[xiii] Farooqahmed S Kittur, Mamudou Bah, Stephanie Archer-Hartmann, Chiu-Yueh Hung, Parastoo Azadi, Mayumi Ishihara, David C Sane, Jiahua Xie. Cytoprotective Effect of Recombinant Human Erythropoietin Produced in Transgenic Tobacco Plants.
[xiv] I M Gerasymenko, L O Sakhno, M G Mazur, Y V Sheludko. Multiplex pcr assay for detection of human interferon alpha2b gene in transgenic plants.
[xv] Manman Su, Yitian Qi, Mingxing Wang, Weiqin Chang, Shuang Peng, Tianmin Xu, Dingding Wang. Expression and Purification of Recombinant Human Apolipoprotein A-II in Pichia pastoris.
[xvi] N A Matveeva, Iu I Kudriavets, A A Likhova, A M Shakhovskiĭ, N A Bezdenezhnykh, E Iu Kvasko. [Antiviral activity of extracts of transgenic cichory and lettuce plants with the human interferon alpha-2b gene].
[xvii] L O Sakhno, O Y Kvasko, Z M Olevinska, M Y Spivak, M V Kuchuk. Creation of transgenic Brassica napus L. plants expressing human alpha 2b interferon gene.
[xviii] Qing Zhang, Hui Yu, Feng-Zhen Zhang, Zhi-Cheng Shen. Expression and purification of recombinant human serum albumin from selectively terminable transgenic rice.
[xix] Chaoyang Lin, Peng Nie, Wei Lu, Qing Zhang, Jing Li, Zhicheng Shen. A selectively terminable transgenic rice line expressing human lactoferrin.
[xx] Hiroyuki Kawahigashi, Sakiko Hirose, Hideo Ohkawa, Yasunobu Ohkawa. Transgenic rice plants expressing human CYP1A1 remediate the triazine herbicides atrazine and simazine. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Nov 2;53(22):8557-64. PMID: 16248553
[xxi] Taiji Yoshida, Eiichi Kimura, Setsuo Koike, Jun Nojima, Eugene Futai, Noboru Sasagawa, Yuichiro Watanabe, Shoichi Ishiura. Transgenic rice expressing amyloidβ-peptide for oral immunization. Int J Biol Sci. 2011;7(3):301-7. Epub 2011 Mar 25. PMID: 21448341