Most folks are familiar with glow worms , especially fireflies kids love to catch on warm summer evenings after dusk. But, baby chicks whose beaks and feet glow when subjected to ultra violet light! Is that a novelty for Easter time, or does the GMO-chick have a real scientific purpose?
According to scientists at Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute, GMO-glow chickens are part of a scientific project to block bird flu in egg-laying hens, which has devastated flocks of chickens and turkeys in the USA to the tune of some 48 million chickens and turkeys that had to be destroyed since December of 2014.
To genetically engineer chickens, the UK researchers inject a “decoy” gene into a cluster of cells on the yolk of a newly laid egg. The egg will hatch into a chick containing the decoy gene, which it will be able to pass on to its offspring.
The decoy gene is injected into the chicken chromosome alongside the fluorescent protein that makes the birds glow under ultraviolet light, similar to glow-in-the-dark posters in college dorm rooms. The birds would not be bred to glow if they are commercialized.
When the modified birds come into contact with the flu, their genetic code is designed to trick the virus into copying the decoy and to inhibit the virus’ ability to reproduce itself. 
Research to prevent bird flu also involves creating a vaccine to target the H5N2 virus. However, one would imagine that genetic modification probably is favored since the process enables the chick to pass on that trait to its offspring! But what’s the transgenic “decoy gene”? That’s the proprietary secret that enables patenting of a life form, so we probably may never know.
What we do know is that in transgenic GMs, “Genes of one species can be modified, or genes can be transplanted from one species to another. Genetic engineering is made possible by recombinant DNA technology. Organisms that have altered genomes are known as transgenic.”  That, I offer, is what makes GM/GE ‘phood’ unlike and not comparable to natural food, as the U.S. FDA contends.
I have yet to learn that Nature can—or will—insert a fish gene into a tomato or a spider gene into a goat. Somehow that reminds me of “science gone off the rails” to think science will reclassify Nature’s gifts into science-manipulated propriety fiscal assets to proclaim “substantially equivalent” to non-GMO food, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration pontificates. Hogwash! Or, should I say a load of scientific BS, and not Bachelor of Science.
Back in 2011, molecular virologist Laurence Tiley, the lead author of a paper “identified a gene that could make birds produce a piece of RNA that acts as a decoy to polymerase, an enzyme that is vital for viral replication. Rather than binding with the virus’ genome, polymerase attaches itself to the decoy gene, preventing the virus from being able to replicate itself and spread.” 
We’re told, however, that the decoy gene mimics an important control mechanism of the bird flu virus, i.e., to recognize the decoy gene instead of the bird flu genome.  Furthermore, Laurence Tiley, the senior lecturer at Cambridge Infectious Disease, says, “The decoy mimics an essential part of the flu virus genome that is identical for all strains of influenza A.”
That sends up a red flag along with evoking numerous questions this writer has about chickens being genetically modified to fight or prevent bird flu.
- How does the decoy gene affect the nutritional status of eggs, plus the meat of old laying hens past their prime, which usually are sold as “stewing chickens”?
- What does the decoy gene do to the protein and cholesterol in eggs from GM chickens?
- Does the decoy gene alter how egg protein—already a known allergen for many—will be handled by the digestive system, liver, and intestinal tract?
- Will the decoy gene ‘program’ the egg yolk cholesterol to be problematic for the human digestive tract?
- Will cholesterol, in general, in the human body be impacted negatively by a decoy gene in egg cholesterol?
- Will the decoy gene for chickens be used in the manufacture of human influenza vaccines?
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With all this GM messing around with Nature’s food to ‘improve’ it, the only thing improved, as far as I can tell, is vested-interest corporate balance sheets.
We know that children on the Autism Spectrum experience tremendous intestinal distress, which is relieved and even cured, when physicians prescribe non-GMO diets! 
At the rate ‘phood scientists’ are going, there will be nothing left to eat that is not genetically modified nor sprayed with tremendous amounts of glyphosate, which has been declared a probable human carcinogen (Group 2A) by the World Health Organization’s International Agency on Cancer Research (IACR) .
Don’t you think we need more common sense in food science and research, production, and at the U.S. FDA, along with GMO labeling in the USA?
Top Image: A baby chick, genetically modified to block transmission of bird flu, glows under an ultraviolent light, next to a chick that has not been modified, in this undated handout photo provided by Norrie Russell of The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh. Graphic Source: Reuters/Norrie Russell of The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh/Handout
Glow-in-the-dark chickens are genetically engineered to fight bird flu
Doctors Warn: Avoid Genetically Modified Food
Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.
Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.
Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.
Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)