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Night Pearls: Genetically Engineered Fish Essay

828 words - 3 pages

Strategic Marketing, MKT 501Module #2 - Case Assignment"Recent Biotech Innovation is a Little Fishy""Night Pearls" are not worn around the neck of the wealthy and famous and they are not a new appetizer at Red Lobster. These new little gems were stumbled upon by H.J. Tsai who is a professor of Fisheries Science at National Taiwan University. While working with genetically modified fish for medical research, Tsai isolated a gene from naturally glowing jellyfish, extracted it, and inserted it into the DNA of zebra fish. To Tsai's surprise, the jellyfish gene made zebra fish glow!These new little beauties caught the eye of Taikong, a worldwide supplier of fish food and equipment. Professor Tsai agreed to share his genetic expertise with Taikong in exchange for research funding. Taikong's president, Willis Fang, was immediately drawn to the hypnotic appeal and immediately believed the charm of the little green glow in the dark fish would just turn into "true greenbacks" for his company.This genetic engineering represents "one of the first leisure-time applications for genetic engineering"; however, many dispute that statement. Humans have been genetically modifying animals for hundreds of years by selectively breeding them for our benefit - for instance, cows with better milk production and how could we not consider the selective breeding of race horses so they can run the fastest quarter-mile? Other examples of genetic engineer are mice (engineered to resist diabetes) and Salmon (engineered to grow at a rapid rate for faster harvesting). While the mice are not a threat to grace our dinner tables, the salmon is likely to be the first to be commercially developed for human consumption (if approved by the FDA).While transgenic animals contribute to human welfare by benefiting advancements in the agricultural, medical and industrial arenas, the jury is still out as to what social benefits the "Night Pearls" will provide.Stephen Grauwels from the Associated Press wrote, "Their weird glowing green color makes them look like they've been swimming in a nuclear plant's spent fuel pond." While Taikong's president may have dubbed his little pretties as "Night Pearls", some in the aquatic circles have nicknamed them "Frakenfish". The world market for tropical fish is worth roughly $5 billion and is growing larger every year. Fang observed that the limited market might also be expanded if the notion of using aquariums as a stress reliever continues to gain currency. He noted that in Japan doctors are actually...

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