Thursday, April 30, 2009

Does your dog glow red?

Does your dog glow red? Mine does not, thankfully. If it did I'd be pretty freaked out in a major way.

If your dog glows red, chances are pretty high that you've got a clone on your hands. Freaky to say the least, Koreans have found a way to clone dogs that glow red. Didn't know there were any in the first place.

Benefits of owning a dog that glows red:

You can find your dog easiily in the dark.
You can find your own way in the dark using your dog as a nightlight.
You can use your dog as an SOS in case of emergency.
You can scare neighborhood children.

Yes, these fluorescent dogs are true clones, but they are not for personal use, nor are they for sale (at least not at the moment), and they are not the first fluorescent animals. They are, however suppose to help researchers study information on human deseases and possibly even finding cures.

If you ask me, what a dog has to do with a human, I couldn't tell you. However, what is significant about this study, apparently, is the fact that they have found ways to inject genes, not just alter them.

Here's a read on the subject:

If you can get to this article, great, but since I can't get any links to work, here is the AP article for your reading pleasure.

SKorean experts claim to have cloned glowing dogs
By HYUNG-JIN KIM – 1 day
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean scientists say they have
engineered four beagles that glow red using cloning techniques that could help
develop cures for human diseases. The four dogs, all named "Ruppy" — a
combination of the words "ruby" and "puppy" — look like typical beagles by
But they glow red under ultraviolet light, and the dogs' nails and
abdomens, which have thin skins, look red even to the naked eye.
National University professor Lee Byeong-chun, head of the research team, called
them the world's first transgenic dogs carrying fluorescent genes, an
achievement that goes beyond just the glowing novelty.
"What's significant in
this work is not the dogs expressing red colors but that we planted genes into
them," Lee told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
His team identified the dogs
as clones of a cell donor through DNA tests and earlier this month introduced
the achievement in a paper on the Web site of the journal
Scientists in the U.S., Japan and in Europe previously have cloned
fluorescent mice and pigs, but this would be the first time dogs with modified
genes have been cloned successfully, Lee said.
He said his team took skin
cells from a beagle, inserted fluorescent genes into them and put them into eggs
before implanted them into the womb of a surrogate mother, a local mixed
Six female beagles were born in December 2007 through a cloning with a
gene that produces a red fluorescent protein that make them glow, he said. Two
died, but the four others survived.
The glowing dogs show that it is possible
to successfully insert genes with a specific trait, which could lead to
implanting other, non-fluorescent genes that could help treat specific diseases,
Lee said.
The scientist said his team has started to implant human
disease-related genes in the course of dog cloning, saying that will help them
find new treatments for genetic diseases such as Parkinson's. He refused to
provide further details, saying the research was still under way.
A South
Korean scientist who created glowing cats in 2007 based on a similar cloning
technique said that Lee's puppies are genuine clones, saying he had seen them
and had read about them in the journal.
"We can appraise this is a step
forward" toward finding cures for human diseases, said veterinary professor Kong
Il-keun at South Korea's Gyeongsang National University. "What is important now
is on what specific diseases (Lee's team) will focus on."
Lee was a key aide
to disgraced scientist Hwang Woo-suk, whose breakthroughs on stem cell research
were found to have been made using faked data. Independent tests, however, later
proved the team's dog cloning was genuine.
Copyright © 2009 The Associated
Press. All rights reserved.

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