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Years ago when I was but a wild-eyed undergrad,  I hoped to do graduate
work w/ a Prof. whose research focus was transgenetics and their
application in fish.  I had this idea of one day be able to transfer the
genetic sequence that coded for a firefly's phosphorescence to aquarium
plants (swords) and/or fish (Oscars) in order to get them to glow in the

Green plants would glow green, red plants would glow red (imagine Rotala
Macrandra, Tropic Sunset or Nymphaea zenkeri glowing RED!)..etc.

I was partly motivated by the destruction I saw taking place worldwide as
reefs were being stripped of exotic looking fish to supply the saltwater
trade.  I thought eventually transferring genetic pigmentation patterns
from saltwater angelfish to freshwater angels would stem the demand for the
saltwater species if MORE exotic freshwater species could be artificially

I answered concerns of genetic distortion of wild populations by the
possibility of escaping hybrids by suggesting only triploid chromosome
(sterile) versions of the trans-genic fish could be produced to mitigate
against that possibility.

Unfortunately, back then "Jurassic Park"  was only a just-released book so
the public only had Jerry Rifkin's "doom-'an-gloom" scenarios with which to
understand genetic engineering.  Negative legislation was pending...my
Prof. couldn't even get $10,000 minimum funding from the Florida growers to
allow him to take on a graduate student.  They just "didn't get it".  

I got disillusioned, and left that dream behind.  That was 1987.

Does anyone know if any graduate students under a professor with the
vision, resources and/or the tenacity to back and support them are doing
similar work these days?

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