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Science: Little Pigs Made To Glow Green… A Big Advancement In Genetic Science (Video)

Alright, you didn’t have to pay attention in school for too long to learn about gene transfer. In fact, every few episodes of Law & Order: SVU is going to involve some complex DNA evidence presented by the medical examiner, right? But could we actually see evidence of DNA? And can we use it for some science other than criminology or for something other than ‘Maury’ episodes?

Answer: Yes.

Scientists in Guangdong Province, Southern China, have created piglets that glow green under a black-light. The glow is caused by a fluorescent protein from jellyfish DNA that was transferred into the embryos within the sow, as a marker to show that the transfer of genetic material had been successful… The long-term aim of the research goal is to introduce beneficial genes into larger animals as a means of creating less costly and more efficient medicines.

Shout out to GizMag for really going ‘ham’ (yeah, did that) with the scientific explanations. But Dr. Stefan Moisyadi, Associate Professor at the Institute for Biogenesis Research (IBR), related the short and sweet practical applications: For doctors to treat patients with blood disorders like hemophilia, it is much (cheaper) to just produce the needed enzymes in animals’ blood than it is to build a factory and harvest them as is done today. Put the ‘formula’ into animals’ DNA and let nature’s factory produce and reproduce them. Done. And animal activists, worry not. The creators of the IBR technique is touting that there will no impact on the animals’ lifespan or quality of life.

Watch the video demo above. And just try not to think ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ (you will… can’t be helped). Good science, as long as the pigs don’t go Bruce Banner on us. The Incredible Pork. Okay, okay. The jokes stop if you watch.


Picture 3Okay. Two pigs in the light… before we go dark…

Picture 1…and only one glows green in the dark! Get it? No fancy explanation needed. Clearly, the pig you see in the dark had the ‘green glowing’ parent. Mr. Hog… in the case of the glow-in-the-dark piglet… you ARE the father!

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