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Biotech Science

U.S. Gov't Grows Giant Mutant Trout 56

Posted by timothy
from the now-with-more-frickin' dept.
An anonymous reader writes "USDA scientists are genetically engineering trout that have three sets of chromosomes instead of the usual two. Trout with three chromosome grow faster because they are unable to reproduce, and energy from the food they eat is shifted from reproduction to growth. No word on whether said trout produce more fish fingers than their non-Frankenstein brothers."
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U.S. Gov't Grows Giant Mutant Trout

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  • "Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should"
    Dr. Ian Malcolm
  • by Pacifix (465793) <zorp@@@zorpy...com> on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @03:43PM (#13116365)
    First you give me sea bass, mutated sea bass and now these? I asked for sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads, people!
  • Hmm... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by joeslugg (8092)
    Seems fishy to me.
    Why go through this sort of effort to make bigger trout?
    Why not just farm-raise fish of a larger species (like catfish)?

    Can I get the goverment to make a genetically-altered giant version
    of all my other favorite foods too? (e.g. Twinkies)

    Is this a good use of our tax dollars?
    • Mmmmmmm. genetically-altered giant Twinkie. Ggghahaahhahahhahh.

      People's tastes dictate how some groups' reasearch is funded, unfortunately.
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by PitaBred (632671)
      Mmm, gotta love RTFMing.
      a) Make bigger trout to have bigger fillets, because that's what the consumer wants
      b) Catfish doesn't taste like trout. People want trout.
      c) Twinkies growing on trees... mmmmm.... oh, wait
      d) I'd say it's a lot better than many uses of our tax dollars, but that's just MHO.
    • Can I get the goverment to make a genetically-altered giant version of all my other favorite foods too? (e.g. Twinkies)

      Twinkies are already genetically altered much more than they should be... So much so that they are superior to any other genetic being (they will even survive a nuclear holocaust).
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

      by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @03:54PM (#13116491)

      Can I get the goverment to make a genetically-altered giant version
      of all my other favorite foods too? (e.g. Twinkies)


      I don't know...have they finished sequencing the Twinkie genome yet? ^_^
    • I most especially welcome our new genetically altered Giant Twinkie overlords!

      Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
  • In other news... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Still no cure for cancer.
  • by Tachikoma (878191)
    It's good to see that we're on the same wacky science boat as the Chinese [bbc.co.uk]
    • by m50d (797211)
      How is this wacky? Polyploidy is probably the simplest mutation to induce, generally easier than any other effect you want, but affects a surprising number of things depending on the organism. I wouldn't have been able to predict this result (the growing faster, how do they know they're infertile?)
      • oh, you and you're big fancy words and your small, difficult ones.

        I'm not going to pretend to know what 'polyploidy' means but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that it is in fact a real word with actual meaning.
        My sole intent was to point out the scientific insignificance of this 'polyploidy' experiment and put it up there with some astronomical pig sperm.
        No matter how many movies we make about bad things happening after sending things into space (Planet of the apes / Event horizon / Space balls)
        • "Polyploidy" is just the scientific name for "more than one set of chromosomes". There are various sub-terms as well, eg sperm and ova are 'haploid' (one set), most animals inc. humans are 'diploid' (two sets) and plants are all over the place. Breeding for polyploidy happened in the development of many of our modern crop plants from their wild ancestors. IIRC, modern wheat is hexaploid (six sets of chromosomes).

          Polyploidy has various effects that differ between organisms and are hard to predict (I don't kn

  • by jhoger (519683) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @03:57PM (#13116518) Homepage
    Not only should we have giant genetically engineered food animals, but we should make them smart, just to tell God and anyone else who the new boss is.
  • Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JoeD (12073) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @03:57PM (#13116525) Homepage
    Energy is shifted from reproduction to growth?

    Polyploid organisms are bigger because their cells are bigger, not because their energy is transferred.

    They also say that because the triploid trout can't reproduce, there is no danger to existing stocks, but they seem to have forgotten the fertile tetraploid trout used to produce them.

    Interesting factiod: the same technique used to produce the triploid trout is used to produce the triploid seedless watermelons in your supermarket.

    • Re:Huh? (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I think you have your factoids and your triploids mixed up. Any basic genome expert knows that the tetratroids are attached to the bi-fiber hemmeroid layer, resulting in at least a factor of three increase in the simuloid sequencing. If you keep that in mind then the triploid vs biploid all makes sense.
      • I think you have your factoids and your triploids mixed up. Any basic genome expert knows that the tetratroids are attached to the bi-fiber hemmeroid layer, resulting in at least a factor of three increase in the simuloid sequencing. If you keep that in mind then the triploid vs biploid all makes sense.

        AC could hae given a very lucid correction, or blown smoke up our collective arses. And I'll never know the difference...
  • Trout with three chromosome sets grew faster than fish with two sets, so the industry tries to breed fish with three sets for meat production. Rainbow trout with three sets of chromosomes grow faster because they are unable to reproduce. The energy from the food they eat is shifted from reproduction to growth.

    Is this really true? Unless biology has changed much since high school, triploid animals are usually sterile because meiosis fails. They still have gonads, and those gonads still go about trying to
  • Oh, great... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Xaroth (67516)
    Giant mutant trout with Klinefelter's syndrome [wikipedia.org]. Just what the world needs.

    In an amusing bit of coincidence, the best test for Klinefelter's is known as FISH [nodak.edu].
  • So the Dep't of Agriculture is having a clearance sale on rubbish from the Dep't of Energy's nuclear energy/waste sites. Are they financing Superfund sites with bake sales, now that Bush has cut off its budget [sierraclub.org]?
  • by QSYSMAN (755313)
    I, for one, welcome our giant, genetically altered fish overlords.
  • If they can't reproduce... what on earth is the advantage?

    Looks like all we're doing is getting 1 step closer to vat grown fish sticks, yee haw!
    • Re:Advantage? (Score:3, Informative)

      by bar-agent (698856)
      You take normal trout eggs, which are very plentiful, run them through a process, and grow giant trout, which you eat. You'd have eaten them anyway if they were normal, though I don't know whether the normal trout would have been collected before or after reproducing.

      If normal trout are collected before reproducing, then the situation with the giant trout would result in no net change in trout population over the situation with normal trout. And in that case, the only concern is whether the extra money you
  • by museumpeace (735109) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @05:27PM (#13117341) Journal
    a few years back the ecologists and biologist were very worried about a spate of population declines and muliple cases of hideous mutations in frog species. we had lots of 3-legged frogs in places around the US when the French were the only ones who'd want that. UV from depleted ozone, pesticide polution...all sorts of theories were advanced. Turns out ONE of the problems was desease or parasites introduced into ponds and rivers when the Forest Service and restocked fisheries with trout they'd farmed in tanks.
  • by nyrk (779328) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @05:55PM (#13117769)
    Nothing really new to see here. These fish are already being planted in lakes in Washington State. They are called triplods. They are usually planted in heavily fished lakes for sport fishermen to catch. I guess not many slashdotters are sport fishermen.
  • this and farm run off gets you egg producting male bass [washingtonpost.com] in the Potomac River.

  • compare to what was announced in the news today...

    --| US Government Growing Giant Mutant Trout [scienceblog.com] |---

    Trout with three chromosome sets grew faster than fish with two sets, so the industry tries to breed fish with three sets for meat production. RAINBOW TROUT WITH THREE SETS OF CHROMOSOMES GROW FASTER BECAUSE THEY ARE UNABLE TO REPRODUCE. The energy from the food they eat is shifted from reproduction to growth.

    with what was said in 1924...

    --| What Steiner Said About Salmon in 1924 |---

    Salmon... have a spec
  • ...when they have news like this and absolutely no pictures. Remember the giant catfish? Most of the value of the news was in the pictures which showed the fish compared with people, pictures worth a thousand words.

    Now how would you feel if you had read all about elephants and never seen one?
  • "three sets of chromosomes instead of the usual two"

    Am I the only one that thought of the syndicated TV version of War of the Worlds where the alien invaders had triple helix DNA?

  • Give a man a fish, you feed him for a....proximately 3 1/2 weeks. Teach a man to genetically alter fish for increased yield...


  • Instead of Mutant Trout, they should call it Mule Trout. A mule is result of sex between a horse and a jack ass. A mule has no sex organs.
  • Why do you insist that life is sacred or taboo? Why not remove a genetic code here and add another code there? Is life so sacred that it brooks no improvement?

    -Chairman Chiang Hive, _looking God in the eye_

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys

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