After ten years of tinkering with DNA in a Rhode Island lab, a top fish boffin claims he has created a genetically enhanced mutant supertrout.
"Our findings are quite stunning," says Professor Terry Bradley, an expert on trout, salmon, flounder and tuna. "The results have significant implications."
Bradley says he has managed to modify the genetic pattern of rainbow trout so that the tasty fish become hugely more muscular and powerful than normal. Apparently the process is similar to that which occurs in a type of "double muscled" blue cow produced in Belgium.
"Belgian blue cattle have a natural mutation in myostatin causing increased muscle mass, and mice overexpressing myostatin exhibit a two-fold increase in skeletal muscle mass. But fish have a very different mechanism of muscle growth than mammals, so we weren't certain it was going to work," says Bradley.
He has spent the last decade, apparently, toiling away in his lab injecting no fewer than 20,000 rainbow trout eggs with "various DNA types" before scoring a bullseye with his mutated, mega-muscular super-fish. According to a University of Rhode Island statement, one can easily tell the supertrout from their normal relatives by their "prominent dorsal humps" and "six-pack abs".
The obvious purpose for powerful and possibly ill-tempered mutated superpowered fish would be the elimination of tiresome government operatives using an in-lair execution pool, possibly augmented by some type of headmounted energy weapon.
However, it appears that in fact Bradley intends to try and get the government on his side with the supertrout programme, and is seeking regulatory approval for their widespread sale. The prof says that the colossal world trout industry - the US and Europe produce half a million metric tonnes of trout a year, apparently - would bite his arm off if offered the secret of embedding blue Belgian bovine bulge benefits into their fish. He believes that bigger trout could be farmed for the same amount of food.
There's more from the Rhode Island uni in the form of video below (warning: mildly disturbing trout-milking scenes). ®