chloroplasts in humans?

tivol at tivol at
Thu Mar 2 14:27:54 EST 1995

In article <3ilunr$l3i at>, rhayden at (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?  :-)
				Bill Tivol

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