If we were to integrate the green fluorescent protein gene into a human zygote and then implant it into the mother would the baby(and the adult in the future) be able to glow in the dark? Would the gfp evoke an immune response in the body of the human?

Edit: As John has pointed out in the comments experiments have already been done on primates but it seems that the success rate is very low

  1. During the method in which ANDi was created, 224 eggs were injected with the protein and only 166 or 75% were successfully fertilized. 126 or 76% of these fertilized eggs developed to the four-cell-stage embryos. 40 of the fertilized embryos were implanted in 20 surrogate rhesus mothers, each carrying two embryos. 5 of the surrogates became pregnant. From these five surrogates, three live births proceeded. In these three monkey births, only one infant, ANDi, carried the transgene. (Transgenic monkeys produced by retroviral gene transfer into mature oocytes Chan A.W.S., Chong K.Y., Martinovich C., Simerly C., Schatten G. (2001) Science, 291 (5502) , pp. 309-312.)

  2. Although 80 transgenic embryos were implanted into 50 marmoset females, only seven of the monkeys became pregnant, and three miscarried during their pregnancies. The four remaining surrogate mothers gave birth to five healthy infants (including one set of twins), and four of the five babies expressed the gene throughout their bodies. (Sasaki, E., Suemizu, H., Shimada, A. et al. Generation of transgenic non-human primates with germline transmission. Nature 459, 523–527 (2009).)

Both of these papers show that not only is it difficult to produce the embryo, many mothers miscarry and not all of the infants carry the transgene. The results may be similar in humans. Is the low success rate specifically because of the gfp transgene or is it an inherent trait of the technology used?

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    $\begingroup$ Why ask this question? What is motivating it? $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Jul 7 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ I read that scientists were able to make glowing mice. So I wanted to know whether we already have the technology to bioengineer humans. Moreover I wanted to know if messing with our genes could have any health risks like whether our immune system will see the protein as foreign and attack every cell in our body. $\endgroup$ – trinitrotoluene Jul 7 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ How would you propose scientists study that? $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Jul 7 at 17:27
  • $\begingroup$ Well I guess they can't because of ethical reasons but based on knowledge from experimenting on other organisms wouldn't it be possible to know whether it would work in a human or not? Maybe this raises a more fundamental question. If scientists are not allowed to genetically modify humans due to ethical reasons then would we ever achieve disease resistance, or immortality? $\endgroup$ – trinitrotoluene Jul 7 at 17:31
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    $\begingroup$ Those underlying questions are quickly falling into speculation and the realm of opinion-based questions that aren't good for the SE model. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Jul 7 at 17:43

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