Requesting help with my research.
snottebaum at silverlink.net
Sun Apr 26 18:23:47 EST 1998
In my research of cellular hybrids I've coe to an end where I am
dependent on the advice and help of other people. Therefore I would
really appreciate your help with this.:
By Sven Nottebaum
My Senior Project is about a dream, a curiosity and my experiences with
science and its challenges.
One day after a biology class in Germany I came up with an theory about
the topic that we were dealing with. We discussed the basics of
photosynthesis and its tremendous importance for all living beings. So
this theory has followed me all the way and really made me think about
it. It bothered me all the time, not to know the answers to my questions
and to have so many uncertainties regarding my theory.
I thought I could ask my teachers and that they could tell me how my
theory worked out but when I asked them about it, they couldnt come up
with a satisfying answer for me and they themselves didnt know all the
details I was confronting them with. They said that something like what
I was thinking wouldnt be possible.
Obviously my question and my theory went further into the field of
science than my teachers were familiar with and that was the moment when
I decided that I wanted to do something in my future related to science.
At first I tried to gather information about my theory but I didnt have
the resources to start a serious research. I tried to comprehend the
little information I could get a hold of but my background knowledge was
not strong enough to fully understand it. And I had no one who would be
able to explain all the details to me.
So the research for my theory came to a momentary stop because I also
had to pursue other goals in my life such as keeping up with school.
But when I had a conversation with a friend of mine earlier this year,
who is attending university, about my theory, he told me that he read an
article not long ago that dealt with the same problem my theory does.
And this was the time when I decided that from then on I would always be
on the search for the answers to my questions.
My theory is to create a cellular hybrid of plant cells or plant cell
components and mammal cells, which should create a kind of symbiotic
interaction. The chlorophyll of the plant cell should supply the mammal
cell part with nutrients, energy and work as a detoxifying agent by
filtering out CO-2, produced by respiration and use it for their
photosynthesis. The accomplishment of this task is in my opinion most
likely achievable by incorporating chloroplasts of plants into mammalian
cells. Unfortunately I have no idea where to start in setting up an
experiment, therefore my investigations are limited to basic research.
My assumptions are that an incompatible gene makeup of plant and mammal
structures will lead to a rejection of the plant component in the mammal
cell. Therefore proper adjustments regarding genetic engineering have to
be performed to achieve cellular acception.
These research studies not only involve science but also require further
research in the field of ethics and laws regarding to the necessities of
the experiment that have to be performed for proving or falsifying the
hypothesis of my theories.
This Senior Project would thereby lay the basics for my further
and fulfill the first step of a long dream of mine, to come find the
answers to the questions my theory presents.
Progress, Senior Project
Since the start of my research I learned a lot about cell physiology and
genetics. It really helps my understanding of comprehending scientific
articles and understand concepts presented in these articles.
My investigations not only were limited to the really helpful assistance
of my Biology teacher Mrs. Bonnett but also involved the use of the
Internet. Unfortunately the huge amount of information on the Internet
is not easy to filter out and therefore my primary task was to find
articles that dealt with my topic. Following you will find some sites I
Also I tried to look up articles or web pages in search engines like:
On my search I used following search strings:
- plant animal hybridoma
- symbiotic cell compartments
- flatworm symbiotic relationship
- extraction techniques of symbiotic algae from lichen
These topics seem to be related to the study that I want to perform
right now. But my success of finding satisfying articles was very slim.
Never the less I got exposed to a lot of information of how scientific
collaboration over the Internet takes place and I hope that I will find
satisfying data soon.
The bloody truth
The goal I would like to achieve is basically pretty easy to explain.
Think about a mammalian cell that is able of using its waste products of
cellular respiration, inorganic carbon dioxide and water to form new
energy by photosynthesis. Imagine that the products of photosynthesis,
O2 and polysaccharides to fuel aerobic cell respiration in return. A
cycle of energy production fueled by its waste products and powered by
solar power. A kind of symbiotic relationship of autotrophic plant cell
compartments in the environment of a mammalian cell.
Protists like Euglena ? are believed to be able of being autotrophes, as
well as well as heterothrophes. Bacteria that use chloroplasts to drive
their energy production in time when nutrition is scarce. Lichen living
in a close symbiosis with algae to provide them with nutrients and
energy. In consideration that autotrophes and heterotrophes had their
origin on prokaryotes what enabled caused their separation. One theory
that heterotrophes are able to use greater amounts of energy states that
it benefited their evolution is very considerable. But what if no
separation at all occurred but rather a cell emerged that was able of
driving photosynthesis and cellular respiration of mammal cells?
I want to discover if it is possible to biotechnically engineer a
mammalian cell that contains chloroplasts, which coexist with the cell
in a kind of symbiotic relationship.
First of all, mitochondrian and chloroplast DNA undergoes a separate
cycle of duplication during meitosis. Mere genesplicing on the genome of
the nucleus wouldnt result in the production of proper working
Secondly, the genetical incompatibilities of plant and mammal cells of
prevent a mere transplantation of cells from one tissue type into the
other. A rejection of adverse cells would occur.
Also there are factors that enable Photosynthesis in plants the are
present in the genome of the plant, different from the chloroplasts,
which drives photosynthesis? E.g. the production of a special enzyme or
protein that is necessary for photosynthesis. The problem then would be
to spice it into the genome of the target cell.
How to prevent the rejection of the plant organelles (chloroplasts)?
Engineering chloroplasts with inserted glycoproteins that identify them
as parts of the cell? How? Modifying monoclonal antibodies to inhibit
receptors of the chloroplasts so they become invisible for the
antibodies of the mammal cell? Or even try immunization?
What modifications in the metabolic and anabolic pathways had to be
achieved so the cholroplasts can effectively work within the cell?
Would they be able to facilitate solar energy although in a foreign
To gain some answers for all these questions I am looking forward to
find out more about the following:
- Extraction techniques of symbiotic algae from lichen
- The symbiotic relationships of flatworms
- How can an organism like the protist Euglena be a autotroph and a
heterotroph at the same time?
- What major factors are relevant for the acceptation of foreign cell
parts into a mammal cell? How can these mechanisms be surrounded?
- What help would nanotechnology be for works at cells like this?
- What companies are dealing with research, related to the topics that
are necessary for my research and how far would they support me in their
expertise and research achievements?
- Where can I find people to talk to about this research project that
have already encountered parts of my questions or a project similar to
- Bacteriorhodopsin (light capturing pigment)
- Photoauto- and heterotrophs, chemoauto- and heterotrophs
- Green and purple Sulfur bacteria
- Purple non-sulfur bacteria
I would appreciate the help of everyone who reads this and knows the
answers to some of my questions. You are most welcome to give me hints
that lead me to relevant web pages or articles. My email is:
snottebaum at silverlink.net
The successful accomplishment of this project would be a dream becoming
true for me and I hope that you enjoyed reading about my idea.
More information about the Methods