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article imageScientists successfully breed glow-in-the-dark rabbits

By Lizz Riggs     Aug 14, 2013 in Science
Scientists in Hawaii and Turkey have successfully bred a litter of eight rabbits in an attempt to develop medicine for life-threatening diseases. What's so special about that? Two of these rabbits glow in the dark.
"These rabbits are like a light bulb glowing, like an LED light all over their body." said the biogenesis researcher Dr. Stefan Moisyadi. “And on top of it, their fur is beginning to grow and the greenness is shining right through their fur. It’s so intense.”
The rabbits were born at a research center in Turkey last week, after fluorescent protein from jellyfish DNA was inserted into the eight rabbit embryos and re-inserted into the mother rabbit, meaning the protein is present in the rabbits’ genetic natural makeup.
In the light of day, they look like normal, fluffy bunnies. The dye that they use is similar to that used for X-rays or MRIs for humans. “They live just as long as normal animals do. In mice, I can tell you that from mice, and they show no ill effects.”
The experiment follows research started in the 1980s when glow-in-the-dark mice were created at the University of Hawaii. With this new breakthrough, scientists hope to create cheaper medicine for genetic disorders such as hemophilia, and cures for human illnesses caused by genetic deficiencies.
Dr. Moisyadi told Hawaii's KHON2 that the experiment could help mass produce medication. He and his team are committed to this type of research, which many consider controversial, because he strongly believes it will result in an “eventual benefit” for humans. Next on the list to help the research process along is a glow-in-the-dark lamb.
“Sheep, cows, and even pigs,” Dr. Moisyadi said. “The benefits in doing it in large animals is to create bio-reactors that basically produce pharmaceuticals that can be made a lot cheaper.”
More about Science, Medicine, Diseases, Animal testing, Rabbit
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