Uruguayan scientists have genetically modified sheep to glow in the dark when exposed to ultraviolet light. Scientists at the Animal Reproduction Institute of Uruguay took glow-in-the-dark genes from the Aequorea victoria jellyfish and implanted it into a flock of nine lambs.
Lead researcher Alejo Menchaca 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.
“They are out in the field as any other sheep, but in better conditions, not the traditional breeding system. They are well looked after, well fed and very much loved.
Speaking to the Merco Press, he said:
“The technique is complex and demands much work and is one of the limiting factors, so despite the global interest and demand it is still a slow process. Our focus is generating knowledge, make it public so the scientific community can be informed and help in the long run march to generate tools so humans can live better, but we’re not out in the market to sell technology.”
Scientists at the institute also stated:
“Cats are susceptible to feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), a close relative of HIV, the cause of Aids. The application of the new technology suggested in this paper (Antiviral restriction factor transgenesis in the domestic cat) is to develop the use of genetically-modified cats for the study of FIV, providing valuable information for the study of Aids.”