Maggie Koerth-Baker is a guest blogger on Boing Boing. A freelance science and health journalist, Maggie lives in Minneapolis, brain dumps on Twitter, and writes quite often for mental_floss magazine.
Researchers at Seoul National University in South Korea have successfully made transgenic puppies, according to New Scientist. The baby beagles carry a gene normally found in sea anemones, which means....yes....these fuzzy-wuzzy little puppykins glow in the dark. Thank you, science.
What, you may ask, is the point of a glow-in-the-dark dog? Er, well, this seems to be the point where everybody starts shuffling their feet and staring awkwardly up at the ceiling. One member of the research team says the experiment is basically just a proof-of-concept. What they really want to do is make transgenic dogs that could serve as research models for human disease. But while the other scientists interviewed in the article seem to agree that glowing puppies are a pretty damn awesome accomplishment, they're less convinced on any near-term practical applications of the technology.
New Scientist quotes Greg Barsh, a geneticist at Stanford University who studies dogs as models of human disease:
"I do not know of specific situations where the ability to produce transgenic dogs represents an immediate experimental opportunity,"
And Nathan Sutter, a dog geneticist at Cornell says it's not on his horizon at all, partly because of the expense of making and caring for the dogs...but also because the public still isn't really ready to accept that transgenic puppies won't someday rise up and kill us all.
Oh, well. They're still cute as all get out and way nifty. Go take a look. New Scientist has both "lights on" and "lights off" pictures.
BTW, this team is tangentially related to the guy who turned out to have faked a lot of human cell cloning data. But New Scientist says these puppies (and the cloned dog that came before them) are legit.
Mathematician Stephen Wolfram and his company do a lot of consulting for Hollywood. But he doesn’t often do it on an urgent basis because a movie is about to shoot and they neglected to “tech the tech.” When I first started looking at the script for [Arrival], I quickly realized that to make coherent suggestions […]
Can you “hear” motion or light flashes? If so, according to new research from City University London, you may be experiencing a not-so-rare form of synaesthesia. Synesthesia is the fascinating neurological phenomenon whereby stimulation of one sense involuntarily triggers another sensory pathway. For example, a synesthete might taste sounds or hear colors. (In this study, […]
Scientists declared the ruby seadragon a new species in 2015, but that was based on dead specimens in a museum. Now though, Scripps Institution of Oceanography biologist Greg Rouse who led the team that originally discovered the species, managed to find two of the wonderful fish swimming around the Recherche Archipelago, off the south coast […]
You know as well as I that writing complex, long-long form text requires significant organization. You’re probably also well aware that Word just isn’t up to the task. That’s why I’m a huge fan of Scrivener, the software suite used by best-selling authors and technical writers alike.Scrivener is much more than another digital typewriter. With a […]
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Traditional folding wallets are designed for paper bills—but these days, carrying cash is rarely a necessity. More often than not, I don’t carry cash at all. This Bogui Clik Wallet is the best answer I’ve found for avoiding the hassle of those tight-fitting credit card pockets.This attractive, minimalist wallet features a protective lip, so my cards don’t […]