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South Korean scientists clone four glow-in-the-dark beagles


What to give a beagle owner who has everything? How about a cloned beagle that glows in the dark?

South Korean scientists have created such an animal via a cloning technique that they hope will be able to cure diseases in the future. Sadly, that sort of creativity wasn't utilized when the team got around to naming the four-legged freaks, the Associated Press reports.

The four dogs, all named "Ruppy" — a combination of the words "ruby" and "puppy" — look like typical beagles by daylight.

But they glow red under ultraviolet light, and the dogs' nails and abdomens, which have thin skins, look red even to the naked eye.

Seoul National University professor Lee Byeong-chun, head of the research team, called them the world's first transgenic dogs carrying fluorescent genes, an achievement that goes beyond just the glowing novelty.

"What's significant in this work is not the dogs expressing red colors but that we planted genes into them," Lee told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

More pictures and even video of the glow-in-the-dark dogs after the jump.


Fluorescent animals are nothing new thanks to cloning. Over the years, scientists in Europe, Japan, and the U.S. have cloned mice and pigs. Dr. Lee, however, said that this was the first time that glow-in-the-dark dogs were successfully created, and a South Korean scientist who manufactured the first glowing cat backed up Lee's claim.

Although the Ruppies might be cute, they were created for serious reasons, Dr. Lee told the AP:

The glowing dogs show that it is possible to successfully insert genes with a specific trait, which could lead to implanting other, non-fluorescent genes that could help treat specific diseases, Lee said.

The scientist said his team has started to implant human disease-related genes in the course of dog cloning, saying that will help them find new treatments for genetic diseases such as Parkinson's.

-- Tony Pierce

Photos:  The world's first transgenic female beagle dogs carry fluorescent genes that make the canines--all named Ruppy--glow red.

Credit: Seoul National University

Comments () | Archives (11)

The comments to this entry are closed.

There are a number of practical applications of this bio technology that come to mind.

Let's pass a law where all bleeding-heart-liberals must possess the gene. That way we can see the Obama worshipers coming, even in the dark!

What in the heck are we making dogs glow in the dark for? That's what modern science is spending research grants on?

What's wrong with these people. This is just sick! Things like this are exactly why some folks are so fearful of and against cloning. Shame on these "scientists".

I am not sure who wrote this article or who these scientists claim to be, but glowing under UV light is not GLOW IN THE DARK....they created a fluorescent dog. If you turn off the lights you will not see your red beagle running around the living room. He will look the same as any other beagle.


Mankind is doomed by its own hand.

Just to add a post here directly relate to the actual research at hand, this is an incredible feat! They were able successfully insert a fluorescent gene into this animals and they seemingly have no side effects. That means that in the future we may be able to insert disease curing genes into dogs and eventually humans. This is a serious scientific break through if it did indeed happen. Since its in Korea the US may never know for sure... To the poster about glow in the dark, you're absolutely right but unfortunately not everyone is intelligent.

The object was not to make them glow per se, but to provide empirical data demonstrating that it was possible to isolate and "transplant" (though that is hardly an accurate description of the process) specific genes cross-species in a safe and effective way.

Man... it is just SO sad that many Americans (and peoples of other nations too... I believe the "literacy" of people in the US regarding science is like 15% and Europe it's like 14%) are scared and misunderstand science. SO sad (and sometimes infuriating).

People, the reason why they do this is because it is basically practice. They use a gene which is highly visible. If you add some random gene in there how the hell would you know if you succeeded or not? So they use a gene that makes the dog fluoresce and then they know they've succeeded so they can move on to other genes.

You people seem to think that the gov't gives out money like candy. THAT IS NEVER THE CASE. They are really tough on what they give out money for. I work in a research lab (in a very reputable university) and professors are always bitching about how we don't have any money. They are always looking for ways to save money, and get things done for free. Can't tell you how many times we have had to "ghettorize" something we needed.

i think its aesome

acctually.....these dogs are may be very useful to our society even in a small amount of ways

this is really cool


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