|Ruppy the transgenic puppy at 10 days old under UV light, showing the red fluorescent protein produced by sea anemones (Photo: Byeong Chun Lee)|
A group of researchers at South Korea claims that they have a couple of beagles with an implanted fluorescent gene. Some of the researchers thinks that the technique could be applied to treat certain human diseases. The scientists of South Korea have been burning their midnight oil and have engineered several beagles that glow with a red tint. They said they did this by using a cloning techniques that may helps scientists ion detecting and studying human diseases in future. The first born was a dog called "Ruppy" - the name given in the combination of "Ruby" and "Puppy" and her siblings look almost exactly like beagles under the normal light. But interestingly when Ruby's siblings are viewed under Ultraviolet light, they glow red. The nails of the dogs and their abdomens look red when viewed in naked eye under Ultraviolet light. According to the team lead of the project, Ruby's siblings are the "world's first transgenic dogs carrying fluorescent genes".
The Korean professor Lee Byeong-chun, Seoul National University said: "We have succeeded in cloning dogs with gene transformation by inserting a special gene in the cell. Even though we inserted a transgenic gene in them, if we insert a human disease related gene, we can use them as a great model to study diseases." Lee told the Associated Press that what actually is important is not just that the dogs displays red tint. What is more important is that they have succeeded to plant genes in the dogs. Professor Lee also said the scientists in the U.S., Japan and Europe that his team had already cloned fluorescent mice and pigs, but this time it's different. These are actually the World's first transgenic dogs carrying fluorescent genes. Never before this that dogs with modified genes have been successfully cloned, although Snuppy the Afghan Hound was the WORLD'S FIRST CLONED DOG, but he's not carrying fluorescent genes