Brian (digibri) wrote,
Brian
digibri

Taiwan
breeds green-glowing pigs


Uh, weird!

B.



By Chris Hogg
BBC News, Hong Kong

Scientists in Taiwan say they have bred three pigs that glow in the
dark.

They claim that while other researchers have bred partly fluorescent
pigs, theirs are the only pigs in the world which are green through and
through.

The pigs are transgenic, created by adding genetic material from
jellyfish into a normal pig embryo.

The researchers hope the pigs will boost the island's stem cell
research, as well as helping with the study of human disease.

The researchers, from National Taiwan University's Department of Animal
Science and Technology, say that although the pigs glow, they are
otherwise no different from any others.

Taiwan is not claiming a world first. Others have bred partially
fluorescent pigs before. But the researchers insist the three pigs they
have produced are better.


In daylight, their eyes and skin are green-tinged

They are the only ones that are green from the inside out. Even their
heart and internal organs are green, they say.

To create them, DNA from jellyfish was added to about 265 pig embryos
which were implanted in eight different pigs.

Four of the pigs became pregnant and three male piglets were born three
months ago.

Green generation

In daylight the researchers say the pigs' eyes, teeth and trotters look
green. Their skin has a greenish tinge.

In the dark, shine a blue light on them and they glow torch-light
bright.

The scientists will use the transgenic pigs to study human disease.
Because the pig's genetic material is green, it is easy to spot.

So if, for instance, some of its stem cells are injected into another
animal, scientists can track how they develop without the need for a
biopsy or invasive test.

But creating them has not been easy. Many of the altered embryos failed
to develop.

The researchers say they hope the new, green pigs will mate with
ordinary female pigs to create a new generation - much greater numbers
of transgenic pigs for use in research.

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