This has to fall under the What? category, even though I have a beagle, and she is the cutest of the cute.
Scientists in South Korea have developed the world’s first transgenic dog – a dog that produces genes from a different species, in this case, genes from sea anemones. These puppies make a fluorescent protein that glows red under ultraviolet light. The puppy’s name? Ruppy – for Ruby Puppy.
You ready for some cuteness?
This experiment is a proof-of-principle experiment stemming from scientist Woo Suk Hwang’s Snuppy, the world’s first cloned dog – Ruppy is a cloned beagle as well, and we have professor Byeong-Chun Lee of Seoul National University to thank. Funny enough, Hwang’s work on human cells back in 2005 proved to be pretty much a crock (and very fraudulent, too!) but Snuppy was real. He failed at man, but he got man’s best friend right, at least.
The bummer part of this experiment as I see it? These cloned dogs are to be used as stand-ins for human disease research. Ruppy was created out of a bucket of cute (and sea anemone fibroblasts) to see if it could be done. The ruppy was mated with some non-transgenic dogs, and the spawned dogs are now spawning their own fluorescent puppies.
Okay, one more bit of cute – now you can go on with your day:
Thanks, New Scientist!