Genetic Modification of Yeast and Bacteria to work for us
  • RealityWizardRealityWizard December 2016
    So I have an idea that you could modify common gut bacteria to fit your needs.  You may be able to make it produce some vitamin or some amino acid that you need and are deficient in.  Also interesting idea would be to modify yeast in bread to produce many more vitamins, minerals, and amino acids allowing one to eat mostly bread for their meals.  I've lot's of ideas for these things.  Is there anyone that would want to work on something like this with me?
  • glimsglims December 2016
    This has been discussed a bit. Search around both here and on the web. There are some serious roadbloacks that need to be addressed.
  • BirdhandzBirdhandz December 2016
    I have no experience with this company but they probably have the stuff you would need to modify the yeast or bacteria.

    They have tutorials and information on that website for free.

  • UsefulIdiotUsefulIdiot December 2016
    I suggest pinpointing exactly which chemicals you wish the bacteria/yeast to produce for you, and then find the necessary enzyme chain for producing desired chemical from desired substrate. Are there any specific chemicals/enzymes you wish for bacteria to produce?
  • RealityWizardRealityWizard December 2016
    So you mentioned some roadblocks, what are the main significant ones?

    Also when it comes to finding something specific for them to produce, maybe we could make them initially produce Vitamin D.  I think that might be of interest and would be rather useful.
  • IvoTheSquireIvoTheSquire December 2016
    Whether or not the bacteria will be able to compete with the others in the gut flora and survive will be one.
  • UsefulIdiotUsefulIdiot December 2016
    We would need an enzyme to convert 7-DHC into vitamin D, taking the place of UV light, which would be inhibited by vitamin D.

    I say we need the UV-substitute enzyme to be inhibited by vitamin D so that not too much v-D is produced, as that can cause poisoning, and we must make sure our body is still capable of producing cholesterol, as it is the basis of our body's other steroids, like testosterone and estrogen, as well as other lesser-known steroids. The only problem I see with inhibition of one enzyme that is the start and finish of a pathway is that vitamin D will inhibit its own production, and result in a net gain of nothing. It would be somewhat better if there were two enzymes for this.

    As for roadblocks, there are not many if you know what you are looking for, which, in the case of bacteria crapping out chemicals, are various enzymes/metabolic pathways, which you can determine and locate the genes necessary for the assembly line. If the chemical is already produced in some animal, wikipedia may have tabs on the enzymes required, or it may not, depending on how obscure this chemical is. The big challenge will be when a chemical you desire is not produced by a single living thing. This would require engineering a new enzyme to do your bidding, as well as making sure DNA codes for it, and would require actual education in the field of genetics and nanotechnology, which I do not have.

    If someone else has formal training in the necessary fields and any interest, I implore you to step forward.
  • RealityWizardRealityWizard December 2016
    Hmm, Interesting.  For a start I would surely stick to making things that have been made before and not synthesizing my own enzymes as I do not have nearly the expertise to do that.  

    Maybe the way to start would be to find a pathway that uses very little checks and try to get some bacteria to produce that chemical.  Once the initial state was done, one may be able to do the same transformation to bacteria such as yoghurt bacteria.  This way we aren't inserting the bacteria into us just yet and having it compete with gut flora or possibly OD us on vitamin D, but instead it is "fortifying" our foods.

  • glimsglims December 2016
    I should really just have this in a file I can copypaste at will

    Your main issue with making bacteria that make a vitamin, enzyme, whatever is that the bacterias goals are diametrically opposed to yours.
    Beyond that, all of our tools for genetic engineering come from bacteria. This means that they are way better at it than we are. They hot swap genes for optimization like two adderall laced 7 year olds with a  fresh pack of pokemon cards.
    This means, in short, that they don't care about your desire to make a vitamin. It is metabolically not in their favor to make your vitamin. A few generations in your gut and they will have either died from out competition or more likely removed the mod and ignored you.
    Even in professional industry labs, we don't have excellent means of stopping them from doing this. Even if we attach antibiotic resistance to them, neuter them, whatever, they just keep kicking and eventually we're back to culling the lot of them and starting over.

    Modifying a strain of yeast for making an enriched bread and keeping a 'ideal culture' on ice and then pulling it out just to make your thing, may be a good idea though. Less difficult.