chloroplasts in humans?

tivol at tethys.ph.albany.edu tivol at tethys.ph.albany.edu
Thu Mar 2 14:27:54 EST 1995


In article <3ilunr$l3i at network.ucsd.edu>, rhayden at ucsd.edu (Bob) writes:
>This might actually be quite ludicrous, but I wonder, 
>would it be possible to indroduce chloroplasts into 
>eukaryotic cells?

Dear Bob,
 	My first thought is "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature."  It may be
a better idea to modify skin bacteria.

>An abundance of functional chloroplasts
>in epidermal tissue could provide a means of reducing the
>amount of CO2 we have to exhale and also introducing 
>glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate into glycolysis, ultimately 
>lowering the required dietary intake of glucose...A sun 
>tan and a meal all in one!
>
Not only would you have to introduce the chloroplasts, you would also have to
deal with transport of the CO2, etc. and compensate for the pH changes.  Fur-
thermore, you would have to provide for the transport of the products--remem-
ber, O2 is a powerful toxin for which cells have a series of detoxifying en-
zymes, such as catalase and superoxide dismutase.  Trying to balance all that
and still have functioning skin cells is trickier than I'd want to deal with.

>Choloplasts multiply like mitochondria right? That is, 
>the chloroplasts are self-replicating and independant of 
>the genome... Therefore one would only need to introduce 
>a few chloroplasts into the zygote (female right?) and 
>embryological development would initiate the multiplication, 
>etc... A way would have to be discovered to target the 
>chloroplasts to the skin tissue though...
>
It might be better to introduce the chloroplast genes into the genome, linked
to a gene (or genes) expressed only in skin tissue.

>Comments?????? Laughs?
>
Don't we have enough problems with racism without introducing a whole other
skin color?  :-)
				Yours,
				Bill Tivol



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