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Rabbits Genetically Altered to Glow in the Dark

glowingbunniesHere’s your fascinating scientific experiment for the day. Enjoy!

Rabbits cloned by scientists, glow in the dark. This is an attempt to improve research into treatments for life-threatening illnesses.

A litter of eight rabbits was produced by researchers from Hawaii and Turkey, out of which only two glow green in the dark.

Bio-genesis researcher Dr. Stefan Moisyadi, said the rabbits are like “a LED light, and on top of it, their fur is beginning to grow and the greenness is shining right through their fur, it is so intense,” he added.

Incorporated into the rabbits’ natural make up, is a fluorescent coloring that is used to indicate that the genetic material is injected into the embryos.

“It is just a marker to show that we can take a gene that was not originally in the animal and now exists in the animal.” Dr Moisyadi explained.

The animals are not affected by this fluorescent protein and will have the same life span as a normal rabbit. “The green is only a marker to show that it is working easily.”  Said Dr Moisyadi.

Fluorescent protein taken from a jellyfish DNA got injected to eight rabbit embryos. This is how they produced the glow. The embryos were then reinserted into the mother rabbit, leaving two to be born with the fluorescent glow.

The research follows similar experiments by scientists, who have genetically modified other animals to create glow in the dark kittens, puppies, and monkeys.

They now plan to eventually introduce the beneficial genes into larger animals to create less costly and more efficient medicines.

“For patients who suffer from hemophilia and they need the blood clotting enzymes in their blood, we can make those enzymes a lot cheaper in animals with barrier re-actives rather than a factory that will cost billions of dollars to build,” Dr Moisyadi said.

The rabbits were born in Istanbul, Turkey.

Dr Moisyadi said that to eventually bring their work to the U.S. could prove somewhat difficult.

“At home, there is this hysteria that transgenic animals should not be used for anything,” Dr Moisyadi said.


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