Scientists create glow-in-the-dark dog

No, that is not a typo.

Scientists in South Korea claim they have used cloning to produce four dogs which can glow red in the dark. While it sounds like a wacky student prank, it actually has major implications for medical science.

The four cloned beagles look perfectly normal in daylight, but several bodyparts glow red in the dark, including the nails, skin, eyes and abdomen. The entire body glows under ultraviolet light. The effect comes from a gene which produces a protein which glows.

The project involved taking canine fibroblast cells, which appear mainly in connective tissue, and injecting them with a virus which inserted the fluorescent gene into the nucleus. This nucleus was then put into an egg cell from another dog, with this cell used in an implanted embryo.

The surrogate mother gave birth to six puppies, all of which glowed, and four of whom survived. The births took place in December 2007 but have only just been publicized, likely to allow time for the project to be reviewed and confirmed by third parties.

The project was led by Lee Byeong-chun, a professor at Seoul National University. There’s bound to be some suspicion over his claims given that he was an assistant to Hwang Woo-suk, a stem cell researcher found to have faked data in the past. However, Lee’s later work, including producing the first cloned dog, has been independently verified.

While the glowing is a (literally) visible effect, the key achievement is the transplantation of a gene with a particular trait. It shows that, in principle at least, it should be possible to insert genes related to human diseases into cloned dogs. This will make it much easier to use animals to research the effects of, and cures for, genetic conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

[Pictures via AFP]

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16 Responses to Scientists create glow-in-the-dark dog

  1. Honestly, I don't think making it easier to use animals to research human disease is what we could call a step forward.

    I'm not a tree hugger as such but I'd like to think that a real step forward would be in the field of artificial organ creation for such testing and you'd think this would be a more accurate method of testing human disease effects/cures.

    • i completly agree 100% with you. if they start injecting human diseases, which are diseases not ment for any kind of animal its going to cause some major problems with genetics down the road.

  2. Honestly, I don’t think making it easier to use animals to research human disease is what we could call a step forward.

    I’m not a tree hugger as such but I’d like to think that a real step forward would be in the field of artificial organ creation for such testing and you’d think this would be a more accurate method of testing human disease effects/cures.

  3. Hey, great, now we can watch dogs suffer with Parkinson's!

    0_o

    I wonder if these dogs have any vision problems, what with their eyes' ability to glow and all….

  4. Hey, great, now we can watch dogs suffer with Parkinson’s!

    0_o

    I wonder if these dogs have any vision problems, what with their eyes’ ability to glow and all….

  5. They should NOT do that to GODS gifts. We should not use animals to make them glow. And pets that are clond will have a mest up life. Also the SCOENTISTS who dose this is bad and who made these dogs glow in the dark should be ashamed. And they should feel like that pupies also how would you feel if you were clond to be an experiment. I would feel sad about life.

    YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELFS.

    • ….. dogs shouldn't be allowed to glow in the dark? that means cows, chickens, pigs, and other animals shouldn't be eaten? are you vegan? maybe corn shouldn't be eaten either because they have ears? why the shame? are you a scientist? did you know that the "glowing" techniques are a manipulation of genes and such manipulations are precursors to possible cures for disease? … shame on you?

  6. They should NOT do that to GODS gifts. We should not use animals to make them glow. And pets that are clond will have a mest up life. Also the SCOENTISTS who dose this is bad and who made these dogs glow in the dark should be ashamed. And they should feel like that pupies also how would you feel if you were clond to be an experiment. I would feel sad about life.
    YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELFS.

    • ….. dogs shouldn’t be allowed to glow in the dark? that means cows, chickens, pigs, and other animals shouldn’t be eaten? are you vegan? maybe corn shouldn’t be eaten either because they have ears? why the shame? are you a scientist? did you know that the “glowing” techniques are a manipulation of genes and such manipulations are precursors to possible cures for disease? … shame on you?