These fish stole an antifreeze gene from another fish and became natural GMOs

CBC News

Millions of years before scientists created genetically modified Atlantic salmon with genes from two other fish, nature created genetically modified smelt with a gene from herring, growing evidence shows.

And now the Canadian scientists who first proposed that controversial idea say they have a hunch how nature might have done it.

A new study by Queen’s University researchers Laurie Graham and Peter Davies finds “conclusive” evidence for the controversial idea that the antifreeze gene that helps rainbow smelt survive icy coastal waters originally came from herring and was somehow stolen by smelt about 20 million years ago.

They propose in their new paper in Trends in Genetics that this could have happened through a process quite similar to the way genes are sometimes transferred from one species to another by scientists in the lab today.

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