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Genetically Modified Puppy Glows In The Dark

Genetically Modified Puppy Glows In The Dark

Scientists have created a genetically engineered beagle puppy named Tegon who glows bright green when she is under an ultraviolet light. The puppy will be used by researchers to test new drugs for humans.

Discovery News reported that Tegon is the latest version of a group of genetically modified glowing animals. She joins a red fluorescent puppy named Ruppy and a cat named Mr. Green Genes.

ByeongChun Lee, director of the Seoul National University Hospital for Animals in Korea headed up the team that created Tegon. He said the little beagle differs from the other generations of animals because her entire body glows bright green when she is exposed to UV light and the process can be turned on and off by command.

Lee’s team created Tegon in order to test new drugs for their “effectiveness, toxicology and dosage” before they are given to humans.

Lee also hopes to glowing ability of the puppy will allow researchers to track the course of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

“The creation of Tegon opens new horizons since the gene injected to make the dog glow can be substituted with genes that trigger fatal human diseases,” Lee said in a Global Post story.

The unique beagle was created in a multi-step cloning process. First researchers mixed DNA from a dog gene with a green fluorescent gene from a sea anemone. Next they used a method called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer to “generate” an embryo. That embryo was placed in a surrogate dog mother who ultimately gave birth to Tegon.

To make the puppy glow, scientists must add a “doxycycline antibiotic” to Tegon’s food and then place her under an ultraviolet light.

The American Anti-Vivisection Society and other animal rights groups have protested the efforts to create genetically modified animals for research, but labs around the world are involved in the growing practice.

Chemyong Jay Ko, an associate professor in the College of Health and Sciences at the University of Kentucky told Discovery News, “Dogs have long been used as one of the prime animal models in the field of medical research.”

Dogs have 268 genetic type illnesses that are similar to humans and they have substantial “physiological and anatomical” similarities. Researchers also like to work with dogs because they have “good communication skills” and are easy to handle.

Dr. Ko thinks glowing cats and dogs may even become popular with pet owners. “The technology could be used for producing a variety of unique cats and dogs, possibly creating a new area of commercial interest.”

If the public decides to embrace this technology, they might want to reflect on little Tegon sitting in a cage inside a lab waiting to be injected with a fatal human disease.

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Photo from airbeagle via flickr.

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5:23AM PST on Jan 17, 2013

Wow I want one where can I buy one!

3:55PM PDT on Oct 25, 2011

This is so wrong in so many ways.

10:47AM PDT on Sep 17, 2011

Animal testing is wrong no matter the outcome. These animals suffer terribly.

10:51PM PDT on Sep 13, 2011

I'm sorry, its still cruelty no matter how you look @ it! :(

6:33PM PDT on Sep 1, 2011

I totally disagree with "research" like this...

12:27AM PDT on Aug 31, 2011

A new gimmick for torturing these animals in labs! Now we can make genetically modified animals that glow in fluorescent light as we stick catheters, needles in them, give them drugs and make them terminally ill. I just wish that these scientists would use themselves as the guinea pigs instead of the animals. Let them glow in the fluorescent light or better yet, maybe there's a gene that we can give them that would make them feel empathy and have a heart for these poor animals that they put in tiny cages all their lives, and cause so much suffering for as they become so out of touch with their humanity! And in the end, all these experiments on animals as their physiology isn't just like ours, undermines the validity, reliability, and subjects the animals to a life of unnecessary pain and misery.

8:42PM PDT on Aug 30, 2011

The arrogance of the scientific establishment is just astonishing. If you want to be a scientist then you are required to separate your emotions from your work and all natural feelings of empathy must be ignored. Science favours the dominance of the left brain over the right, and so you have an imbalance of cold logic over feeling. It has always been this way, and so to use Dr. Ko's logic, then this is justification enough to continue. Ideally, the establishment would wish to be free from all ethical and moral concerns such as animal testing, because these are seen as a mere hindrance to advancements. Dr. Ko didn't mention what happens to those unfortunate dogs which don't have "good communication skills" or who don't feel like co-operating. We don't live in this ideal world he presents.

7:44PM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

What a sad world we live in. What is the definition of HUMAN again?????

12:10PM PDT on Aug 21, 2011

This is disgusting. I can't put into words how angry this makes me.

4:24AM PDT on Aug 17, 2011

This is horrendous, someones, refeered to as "human" doing a monstrous thing.

"...dogs have “physiological and anatomical” similarities (to humans). Researchers also like to work with dogs because they have “good communication skills” and are easy to handle."

Are these genetically engineered scientists? I just don't get it.

Ther seems to be no end to cruel and unusual punishments "human" will inflict on others ... in the name of "science?"

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