The idea appears to not be totally original, but since Tsein suddenly found fame and fortune making shit glow, I wanted to grab a slice of that pie for myself by marketing glowing shit to kids.  Glowing pets aren’t new and you can buy glowing Zebra fish at pet stores and, if you wish really, really hard, you can maybe get a glowing kitteh or bunneh.  Drawing on my previous experience as a child I realized that children like

  1. To put shit in their mouths
  2. Yogurt filled with sugar
  3. Glowing things
  4. Spending their parents’ money

Yogurt is even easier since it already comes preloaded with cultured Lactobacillus, a lactose loving bacteria that makes milk into tasty yogurt.  The fact that it’s lactose loving and essentially just lives in the yogurt would make it an ideal candidate for transfection with a plasmid that encodes for green fluorescent protein (it’s safe) and Aequorin.  Little did I know, however, that the process was a little more complicated than that.

Plasmids, it turns out, ARE NOT permanent parts of the bacterial genome and the only way to keep them being expressed in the genome is to give the bacteria an ‘offer they cannot refuse.’  I.E. attach some shit that encodes for Amoxicillin resistance and grow them in a yogurt culture with Amoxicillin delicately blended in.  This way, if they don’t express the plasmid they die, and since they’re expressing the plasmid they might as well encode for the GFP while they’re at it.

This sort of left me and my charter company, Sports Milk Inc., with a rather difficult choice.  Do I put Amoxicillin resistant bacteria in children’s yogurt?  Why not?  And while this may have sat well with me, I can just imaging all the pissed off people at “regulatory” agencies that would find this “bad” or “irresponsible.”  Whateves.  That means I have to actually insert the gene INTO the bacteria’s DNA.  Alternately Sports Milk Inc. could market antibiotic yogurt to those crazy fucking soccer moms that have Purell dispensers attached to the outside of their minivans.

In the end, transfection with a plasmid is likely not going to be an effective strategy.

The second hurdle is actually making GLOWING yogurt and not fluorescent yogurt.  Given the associated costs of producing these things, each cup will probably have to sell for about $16,000 so, you can imagine, when Junior opens the lid HE HAD BETTER FUCKING SEE GLOWING YOGURT.  Sadly, the Lactobacillus used in yogurt production is a facultative anerobic organism, which means that Junior will most likely have to furiously whip air into the yogurt before it starts to glow so the Aequorin can get a good source of oxygen.  That’s not a bad thing per se but kids don’t cleanly but furiously stir shit.  Not only that, incorporating the GFP into the bacterial genome is going to be hard enough – also incorporating aequorin is going to be especially painful.  THUS, exogenous materials must be used, for which I have a solution:

Coat granola in Cyalume and Fluorescein and include it in one of those lid-sachet thingiees with a small plastic ampule of 30% hydrogen peroxide that Junior would break into the yogurt and lightly mix.  PRESTO!  Glogurt for cheap.

Now give me my fucking Nobel Prize.  I must now painfully do titration experiments.  If you have a great program that will calculate the Ka of shit in a 1:1 or 2:1 binding mode, don’t hold back! I really want someone to tell me there’s a program that will do that for me.  I poop on Origin since they didn’t bother to put any nonlinear fits that do that.