South Korean scientists claim they have cloned glowing dogs.
They have cloned four beagles that glow red under ultraviolet light, and sometimes look red to the eye. Six females dogs were born in December 2007, but two of them died. The scientists named all four dogs Ruppy, a combination of ruby and puppy. The head of the research team, professor Lee Byeong-chun, said “What’s significant in this work is not the dogs expressing red colors but that we planted genes into them.” Scientists in other places such as the U.S., Japan and Europe have previously cloned fluorescent mice and pigs, but it is the first time dogs with “modified genes” have been cloned successfully. He said his team took skin cells from a beagle and inserted fluorescent genes. Then they put them into eggs before they implanted it into a pregnant dog. The glowing dogs show that it’s possible to put genes with a specific trait that could help treat certain diseases.
The team has started to implant “human disease-related” genes in the course of dog cloning. It might help them find new treatments for diseases like Parkinson’s.