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The Glowing Axolotl

g1g5

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Whilst studying for my undergraduate degree, I read an article in Developmental Biology which gave me more than a little bit of a laugh.

http://www.ambystoma.org/AGSC/article.pdf

It essentially outlines the production of GFP expressing strain of Axolotl.

Aequorea victoria Green fluorescence protein GFP is a biological product with a fluorescence emission peak of 509nm (green), resulting from an excitation peak of 395nm (blue). It is a common analytical tool widely used as expression label in molecular biology.

The concept of GFP expressing advanced macroorganisms is not a new one, GFP mice has existed since 1998 [1]. However the thought of a glowing axolotl must bring a smile to any amphibian hobbyist, and has been highly significant in the study of cell fate in developmental biology. A factor unique to the axolotl is its unique regenerative capability, being able to regrow entire lost limbs, an ability it retains into adulthood [2]. This axolotl tm is therefore of some interest in the study of tissue generation.

Anyway enjoy.

[1]
A.-K. Hadjantonakis, M. Gertsenstein, M. Ikawa, M. Okabe, and A. Nagy. Generating green fluorescent mice by germline transmission of green fluorescent ES cells. Mechanism of Development 76, 79-90 (1998).

[2]
I suspect this is linked to Axolotl's neoteny trait. Does anyone know if adult american tiger salamander could regrow limbs?
 

g1g5

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I accept that there are numerous threads on this topic. However most of them ( at least those I have managed to find) are fairly informal and do not really discuss the scientific merits or implications of this paper, beyond generally saying how cool a pet the glowing axolotl would make (whilst indubitably true this is not an academic analysis).

Another interesting point to highlight is how elegantly simple the protocol is. Most of the method used in this paper is standard microbiological techniques and not beyond the skill of a good undergraduate biotech student. The plasmid vector is fairly common (addgene would probably supply it) and sequence of the GFP containing construct, including the associated regulation regions (I believe they used cytoskeleton actin promoter), can be found in any respectable gene bank. Barring a few basic lab apparatus, the only piece of material needed is Axolotl embryonic cells, which is probably less difficult to get one's hands on than an official lab clearance for vertebrate tissue culture (in the UK at least).

Honestly, for anyone with a reasonable background in molecular bioscience and a supply of embryonic axolotls, and the British Government's bureaucratic cr@p not withstanding, following in this paper's footsteps only requires the will to do so.
 

Kal El

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Another interesting point to highlight is how elegantly simple the protocol is. Most of the method used in this paper is standard microbiological techniques and not beyond the skill of a good undergraduate biotech student. The plasmid vector is fairly common (addgene would probably supply it) and sequence of the GFP containing construct, including the associated regulation regions (I believe they used cytoskeleton actin promoter), can be found in any respectable gene bank. Barring a few basic lab apparatus, the only piece of material needed is Axolotl embryonic cells, which is probably less difficult to get one's hands on than an official lab clearance for vertebrate tissue culture (in the UK at least).

Honestly, for anyone with a reasonable background in molecular bioscience and a supply of embryonic axolotls, and the British Government's bureaucratic cr@p not withstanding, following in this paper's footsteps only requires the will to do so.

Old topic, I know. But from my experience, the only reason why some molecular biology/biotech methods appear "easy" is because most undergraduate students are provided with fail-proof experiments. Not only that, most scientific articles do ramble on about the time they spent optimising the technique. Once again, this is just based on previous experience.

- Jay
 

John

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Putting GFP into organisms became something of a fad/"me too" thing before they got to axolotls. It has its uses but I don't think the procedure in and of itself sparked much interest simply because it's nothing really new. I'm a little surprised it even got into Developmental Biology rather than a lower tier journal.
 
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    Because his soil is certainly not 80 degrees fahrenheit, and I dont want to freeze the poor bugger with ice packs if he really doesnt need them. Hes been doing fine, but Im just so stressed because I cant get ANy information on how to handle this little guy. Theyre illegal to keep without a permit, but this one would not have survived without my intervention. So I cant call and ask anyone for help. If theres a betetr site than this one, I sure havent found it. But I never get any replies here. We are all just asking questions and getting none answered basically. Its really frustrating as I just want to help this little dude be happy and healthy. All I can get him to eat is potato bugs as well. I cant find anything else that he will eat. Is that even okay? :/ hes been eating strictly those since may first.
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    Second of all, was you who said you wild caught your salamander? And had Authorities threaten to retrieve it from you?
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    he was dying outside. SO SORRY i was nice enough to save him. can i even release him in wetaher thats 40 degree celcius? will he not just die outside because he cant dig through the hard ground?
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    I am very sure he was just trying to pass by, because he certainly cant dig ANYWHERE in the soil ANYWHERE near where I live. So I cannot just release him in 40 degree celcius on the super hard baked ground where theres no shelter and no food and now ater to be seen for miles. I dont see how that wioll help him at all.
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    What did I say sorry? What word?
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    Same thoughts reduced to bytes on a website
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