Science! Sheep Genetically Modified To Glow Green In The Dark

Posted by Bob Muir on Apr 30, 2013 in Science |

Glow-in-the-dark Sheep

In the tradition of super-science, Alejo Menchaca and his researchers at the Animal Reproduction Institute of Uruguay have modified sheep to glow in the dark, thanks to the addition of green fluorescent protein (“GFP”). This peptide is normally found in the jellyfish Aequorea victoria and causes animals to glow green under ultraviolet light. And they did this because…well, it’s a proof-of-concept, which means for now, they just did this because it’s cool.

What is interesting when it comes to future applications is that GFP can be designed to only express itself if another specific protein is around, it can be used to show when that protein is present. Other animals have been being genetically modified lately to express GFP, and in the case of the sheep, it might be used to designate which sheep are modified to produce milk with human growth hormones for humans with endocrine disorders.

There are other potential applications of GFP, but it doesn’t change the fact that you could, I don’t know, tag an animal instead of breeding a glowing version. And who is going to drink milk from a glowing sheep without being worried they’ll gain radioactive sheep powers? So ultimately, even if there is more in the pipeline, for now, I’m classifying this advancement under experiments done just for the sake of experimenting.

Science!

Source: io9

 

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