Wiki tells us that a genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically engineered organism (GEO) is a biological entity whose genetics have been altered through genetic engineering. Favored in genetic engineering is recombinant DNA which is created through splicing DNA sequences that would not naturally occur. Transgenic organisms are created by splicing DNA of different species.
You can purchase GloFish today as a pet - genetically enhanced zebrafish that have a fluorescent gene added to produce unnatural colors in the tropical fish. The company's website explains the original purpose was to create a pollution-detecting fish that would vividly indicate the presence of toxins in their environment. Skeptical? See Zebra fish as pollution indicators. Wiki tells that the green zebrafish had a gene spliced from a jellyfish. The red zebrafish obtains its color from a sea coral gene. A yellow zebrafish has a different gene from a jellyfish.
Although popular in the U.S., the European Union has banned the GloFish.
Another transgenic has been produced - Ruppy, or short for Ruby Puppy. Seoul National University has cloned five puppies with a fluorescent gene. The researchers inserted the gene using a retrovirus, but this is sort of like throwing the dice - you don't know where the virus will insert the gene. They were lucky - when the puppies are illuminated with ultraviolet light, they glow a deep red.
Germany joins the European mutiny over genetically modified crops tells that Germany has banned a genetically modified strain of corn developed by Monsanto. Five other European countries have similarly rejected the pest-resistant corn. In contrast, the U.S. is creating medicines and all other sorts of genetically modified products.
Mmm. Retroviruses can be incredibly dangerous. Do it yourself DNA: amateurs trying genetic engineering at home tells that home scientists are striving to create new life forms. It should not be too hard to write a new novel from this!