July 27, 2011

South Korean Scientists Create Glowing Dog

The Yonhap news agency reports that South Korean scientists have created a glowing dog using a cloning technique that could help find cures for human diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

According to the report, the research team from Seoul National University (SNU) said the genetically modified female beagle has been found to glow fluorescent green under ultraviolet light if given a doxycycline antibiotic.

The researchers said the ability to glow can be turned on or off by adding a drug to the dog's food.

"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," the news agency quoted lead researcher Lee Byeong-chun as saying.

He said the dog was created using the somatic cell nuclear transfer technology the team used to make the world's first cloned dog with in 2005.

According to the report, the scientists said that because there are 268 illnesses that humans and dogs have in common, creating dogs that artificially show symptoms like this could aid treatment methods for diseases that afflict humans.

The discovery was published in an international journal called "Genesis."  Yonhap said the research took four years with about $3 million spent to make the dog and conduct the necessary verification tests.


On the Net: