They may look like normal piglets, but once the lights go out ten little pigs born this year in a Chinese laboratory emit an eerie green florescent glow thanks to a trangenetic technique incorporates a protein transferred from jellyfish DNA.
The same method was used to create glow-in-the dark rabbits earlier this year at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. And if you think that’s weird, just note that scientists all over the world have been developed florescent animals in laboratories since the 1980s, using puppies, kittens and monkeys, as well as a flock of sheep in Uruguay this past April.
The idea, however, is not to save n electric bills, but rather to “create a marker to show that we can take a gene that was not originally present in the animal and now exists in it," explained Stefan Moisyadi, bioscientist with the University of Hawaii medical school's Institute for Biogenesis Research. "The green is only a marker to show that it's working easily."
He also went on to state "The benefits in doing it in large animals is to create bio-reactors that basically produce pharmaceuticals that can be made a lot cheaper. This is especially beneficial for hemophiliacs who need blood-clotting enzymes in their blood. As a result of this success, we know we can now make those enzymes a lot cheaper in animals rather than a factory that will cost millions of dollars tomanufacture.”