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Home / Science / The first genetically modified squid born transparent after the pigmentation gene of scientists’ ‘knock out’

The first genetically modified squid born transparent after the pigmentation gene of scientists’ ‘knock out’



The first genetically modified squid are born transparent after the scientists’ ‘knock out’ pigmentation gene in embryos that control the color of eye cells and skin

  • Scientists have genetically modified a squid embryo for the first time in history
  • Team pigmentation genes in a Doryteuthis pealeii, making it transparent
  • This will allow researchers to study the unique creature system

For the first time in history, scientists have genetically modified squid embryos by removing a pigmentation gene that resulted in transparent creatures.

The team used CRISPR-Cas9 to ‘knock out’ the gene in a Doryteuthis pealeii and in turn eliminated staining from the eyes and skin cells.

The procedure involved capturing the hard outer layer of the egg with small scissors and dispersing the reagents inside the embryo.

Cephalopods, which include squid, octopus and sea urchins, have been a mystery to researchers, as their nervous systems are capable of disguising themselves – but progress must ‘address a host of biological questions’.

For the first time in history, scientists have genetically modified squid embryos by removing a pigmentation gene that resulted in transparent creatures.  The team used CRISPR-Cas9 for it

For the first time in history, scientists have genetically modified squid embryos by removing a pigmentation gene that resulted in transparent creatures. The team used CRISPR-Cas9 to ‘break down’ the pigmentation genes in a Doryteuthis pealeii and in turn eliminated the color from the eyes and skin cells

Cephalopods have the largest brains of all invertebrates, a nervous system capable of camouflaging itself and the unique ability to recycle their own genetic information within its messenger RNA – and of course, they all have the characteristics of rare and interesting.

Scientists have long tried to uncover the secrets of these creatures, but have failed because of their inability to access their structures – so far.

Joshua Rosenthal, a researcher at the University of Marine Biology Biology Laboratory, told NPR: ‘They have evolved these big brains and this sophistication of completely independent behavior.

“It provides an opportunity to compare them with us and see which elements are common and which elements are unique.”

Cephalopods, which include squid, octopus, and sea urchins, have been a mystery to researchers, as their nervous systems are capable of disguising themselves - but progress must 'address a host of biological questions.'

Cephalopods, which include squid, octopus and sea urchins, have been a mystery to researchers, as their nervous systems are capable of disguising themselves – but progress must ‘address a host of biological questions’.

Rosenthal and his team began their journey by first delivering the CRISPR-Cas system to the single-celled embryo.

However, they met the first challenge, as it is surrounded by a strong layer that protects the embryo until it is ready to hatch.

The team designed a special pair of scissors to capture the surface of the egg and used a quartz needle to deliver CRISPR-Cas9 reagents.

Genetically modified squid, which look similar to this creature of the world, were born completely transparent with open and clean eyes.

Scientists shared special divisions earlier this year that included the mysterious giant squid.

Scientists published the full genome sequence in January of the giant squid, which seems to hint at the creature’s high intelligence.

An international research team found that their genes look a lot like other animals – with a genome size not far from that of humans.

The squid, Architeuthius dux, has eyes as large as dinner plates and tentacles that snatch prey from 10 yards away.

Its average length is about 33 meters – approximately the size of a medium-sized school bus.

In the picture are unchanged, adult adult Doryteuthis pealeii, which are often called Woods Hole squid

In the picture are unchanged, adult adult Doryteuthis pealeii, which are often called Woods Hole squid

But these legendary creatures are extremely elusive and sightings are rare, making them difficult to study.

Now an international team of researchers has fully mapped the species genome to answer key evolutionary questions.

They found that the giant squid genome has about 2.7 billion base pairs of DNA – chemical compounds linked to opposite sides of DNA strands.

That’s about 90 percent of the size of the human genome – we have about 3 billion.

While genome size is not necessarily equal to intelligence, it can imply traits such as cell division rate, body size, developmental rate, and even the risk of extinction.

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