Thursday, December 20, 2007

Of Glowing Pets

Imagine your new pet, an adorable kitten, a white fluffy fur ball. It does all the stuff that kittens are supposed to do and more. In addition to that how would you like if it glowed in the dark. Freaky…

No it’s not the attack of the glowing cats or some other horror movie. This is the story of two cloned cats that glow in the dark. This is the latest feat by the scientists at Gyeongsang National University in South Korea, who managed to successfully clone two Angoran cats with a manipulated fluorescence protein gene. As a result of which they tend to glow when exposed to ultraviolet light.

It’s hoped that these type of research may help scientist better understand human genetic diseases. This is because cats have around 250 of the same genetic disorders that affect humans. Researches hope that this ability to clone genetically altered cats may also help to develop new stem cell treatments for humans. And, using the same technology, researchers say they may be able to clone endangered animals like tigers, leopards and wildcats. Ain’t science wonderful eh?
Unfortunately, it’ll be a long time since these lightshow kitties will make an appearance in you nearest pet store. People are still arguing over the ethics of cloning.

If glowing kitties are not you cup of tea, why not go for a “GloFish®”. These are genetically modified fluorescent zebrafish in a range exiting colors, such as Starfire Red™, Electric Green™, and Sunburst Orange™. According to the company website “They look great under white light, even better under blue light, and appear to glow-in-the-dark under a black light in a dark room! “

These fluorescent fish were first created so that scientists can detect environmental pollutants, by adding a fluorescent gene into the fish, which in turn creates a beautifully colored protein that can be seen when looking at the fish. These fluorescent protein genes are naturally occurring genes which are derived from marine organisms, such as jelly fish. The process of starting a fluorescent fish line begins by inserting the FP Gene into one-minute old fish embryos. Once the gene integrates itself to the embryos genome, the resulting fish can pass on the gene to it’s offspring.

The glowing effect is created because the fluorescent fish absorbs the light and re-emits it. This creates the perception that they are glowing, particularly when shining a black light on the fish in a dark room.

Ok I’m not going to bore yall with more details. Bellow are some links for those who are interested :D

Glowing Cats Article 1
Glowing Cats Article 2

Glowing Cats Article 3

GloFish Site


1 comment:

Lady divine said...

Another informational post after a long time eh?