South American Scientists Successfully Breed Glow-in-the-Dark Sheep
Scientists at the Animal Reproductive Institute of Uruguay have implanted a glow-in-the-dark gene from the Aequorea victoria jellyfish into nine sheep, which has transformed them from boring white sheep to one's that can be easily spotted in the dark of the night.
The scientists claim that the sheep are healthy and grew up no differently to their normal relatives, which is a key factor in the happiness of the species. Their behavior is also similar to other sheep, aside from the fact that they now glow green when exposed to ultraviolet light.
Alejo Menchaca, head of the research team, said:
"We did not use a protein of medical interest or to help with a particular medicine because we wanted to fine-tune the technique. We used the green protein because the color is easily identifiable in the sheep's tissues."
The nine glowing lambs were born in October 2012 at a farm that belongs to the Animal Reproduction Institute, which is also linked to the French non-profit science group Pasteur Institute.
Unfortunately this technique will not be available to the general public anytime soon. Menchaca noted:
“The technique is complex and demands much work, which is one of the limiting factors. So despite the global interest and demand it is still a slow process. Our focus is generating knowledge and making it public so the scientific community can be informed and help in the long run march to generate tools so humans can live better. We’re not out in the market to sell technology.”