The famous faster-growing transgenic salmon AquAdvantage, produced by the biotechnology company AquaBounty Technologies (Maynard, MA, USA), might see eventually its path cleared to the US market in year 2013, 24 years after it was originally generated (in 1989) and 18 years after the company initiated its application for commercialization (in 1995). This long-awaited green light will come after many debates, studies and investigations, and after having been declared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a safe food product, “as safe as food from conventional Atlantic salmon” (on 20 September 2010), and with no significant impact to the environment (on 4 May 2012). The last FDA report on environmental safety of the AquAdvantage salmon, prepared more than seven months ago, was eventually made public last week (on 21 December 2012), after an article published in Slate.com suggested political interference of the AquAdvantage’s FDA approval process . Subsequently, several newspapers reported on this FDA’s new report (e.g., Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, The Independent) which appears to be, probably, one of the last steps (still pending the mandatory 60 day period for public comments) before the eventual approval for commercialization of this transgenic fish, after being passed the FDA’s Food Safety and Environmental Safety assessments. If this finally becomes a reality, the AquAdvantage salmon would be the first genetically-modified animal authorised as food for human consumption. These are not only good news for the producing company itself but for the Animal Biotechnology field as a whole.
The AquAdvantage salmon, is a genetically-modified Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) [termed transgenic line EO-1alpha] carrying an “all-fish” transgene (opAFP-GHc2) which contains the coding sequence of the growth hormone gene from the Pacific Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) under the control of 5’ UTR, promoter and 3’ UTR sequences of the type III anti-freeze protein OP5a gene from the ocean pout (Macrozoarces americanus). The transgenic EO-1alpha line grows considerably more rapidly than non-transgenic Atlantic salmon. This genetic modification provides AquAdvantage salmon with the potential to reach market size (4-6 kg) in about half the time required by conventional Atlantic salmon (3 years) cultured commercially in sea cages. This genetically-modified salmon has been described and characterized in several scientific publications (e.g., Du et al. 1992; Yaskowiak et al. 2006; Hobbs and Fletcher 2008; Levesque et al. 2008).
As described in the FDA’s last report, the AquAdvantage salmon would be produced as triploid (and therefore sterile), all-female (and therefore monosex) populations with eyed-eggs as the product for commercial sale and distribution. These eggs would be generated in the AquaBounty Technologies facility on Prince Edward Island (Canada) and thereafter shipped to a grow-out land-based facility in Panama, where they would be reared to market size and harvested for processing (e.g., preparation of fish fillets, steaks, etc.) prior to retail sale in the US. AquAdvantage salmon would not be produced or grown in the US, or in net pens or cages, and no live fish would be imported for processing.
The 2013 edition of this workshop is organized by ISTT Members James Bussell (WTSI) and Nikki Osborne (RSPCA), along with Neil Dear (SAHMRI) and Sara Wells(MRC-Harwell). The three-day program of this 2013 workshop will cover:
– Basic Genetics: what you need to know
– Fundamentals of Colony Management (including basic breeding calculations, e-resources & nomenclature)
– Mice in Biological Research (including establishing & maintaining GA and conditional lines, cryopreservation and archiving, mouse anatomy and necropsy)
– Health Monitoring and Wellbeing of Murine Colonies (including, GA resources, maintenance of high health status colonies, experimental design and what’s wrong with my mouse?)
All of these will be presented with particular attention to improving animal welfare and application of the 3Rs.
Instructors and Lecturers appointed to this 2013 workshop include:
James Bussell Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK; ISTT Member
Neil Dear South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), Australia
Adrian Deeny University College London, UK
Martin Fray Medical Research Council, Harwell, UK; ISTT Member
Nikki Osborne RSPCA, UK; ISTT Member
Sara Wells Medical Research Council, Harwell, UK
Helen Booler Royal Veterinary College, UK
Jacqui White Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK
Derek Fry University of Manchester, UK
Michelle Hudson-Shore FRAME (Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments) UK
Ian Jackson Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit, UK
Brendan Doe Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK; ISTT Member
All information regarding the TT2014 meeting will be published in its official meeting web site: www.tt2014.org, and all messages, comments, requests, inquiries, suggestions can be sent to the official meeting email address: email@example.com