Glow-in-the-Dark Piglets Born in China

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By sangeetha seshagiri | December 28, 2013 8:18 PM EST

In a first, scientists have created ten transgenic piglets that glow a greenish tint under black light.

The ten transgenic piglets were born in Guangdong Province in Southern China this year. The glowing piglets were produced using a technique developed by reproductive scientists from John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

The method involves the transfer of plasmids carrying a fluorescent protein from jellyfish DNA into the embryo of the pig. Scientists have released a video showing the piglets glowing green under dark light. To check the video click HERE. The green glow indicates that the fluorescent genetic material that was injected into the pig embryos has been incorporated into the animal's natural make-up, according to a press statement

"It's just a marker to show that we can take a gene that was not originally present in the animal and now exists in it," Dr. Stefan Moisyadi, a veteran bioscientist at UH medical school's Institute for Biogenesis Research (IBR), said in the statement.

Moisyadi also confirmed that the piglets will not be affected by the fluorescent genetic material and will live as long as the normal piglets live.

Moisyadi and the other researchers are aiming to introduce beneficial genes into larger animals to develop cost effective, more efficient medicines that could help treat genetic disorders in humans. "[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 rather than a factory that will cost millions of dollars to build," he added.

The details of the study have been submitted to the Biology of Reproduction journal

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