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.
A better understanding how a sperm swims its way toward an egg could help inform new treatments for male infertility. Researchers from the University of York have now come up with a mathematical formula to model how large numbers of moving sperm interact with fluid they’re swimming through. From the University: By analysing the head […]
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Biologist Nipam Patel and his team at UC Berkeley study how butterflies develop wing shape and color by performing surgery on caterpillars, creating translucent windows in their cocoons.
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]