S. Korean Scientist Create a Glow-in-the-Dark Dog

Category: Technology / Jul 29, 2011 5:43PM EDT
South Korean scientists have created a glow in the dark dog that apparently has an on and off switch. The genetically modified female beagle named Tegon, glows fluorescent green under ultraviolet light if given a doxycycline antibiotic. The scientists are claiming they have created the dog using a cloning technique that could help find cures for human diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. With a two year test now in completion, the researchers have said that the fluorescent green gene can be turned on and off by the administering of the antibiotic which is usually added to the dog’s food. Head researcher at Seoul National University, Lee Byeong-Chun, said that future experimentation will involve substituting the gene injected to make Tegon glow with genes that trigger fatal human disease into genetically modified dogs so they can better explore and possibly find cures for the 268 illnesses humans and dogs have in common. Lee specifically mentioned the possibility of injecting the Alzheimer’s gene into a dog and triggering it for the purpose of studying the disease and a new medicine or treatment. The university team created Tegon by employing the same somatic cell nuclear transfer technology used back in 2005 to create, Snuppy, the world’s first cloned dog. The glowing breakthrough that is Tegon, has been published in the international journal, Genesis, and consisted of four years of research, costing roughly three million dollars.