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.
Princeton University psych prof Susan Fiske published an open letter denouncing the practice of using social media to call out statistical errors in psychology research, describing the people who do this as “terrorists” and arguing that this was toxic because of the structure of social science scholarship, having an outsized effect on careers.
Blue writes, “Peter Watts has be stricken with debilitating pain, loss of range of motion and motor control. Watts’ doctors remain baffled despite a battery of tests, and Watts has reached out to his fans to ask for their theories and ideas as to what might be causing his illness.”
Today, I’ve launched a very special Kickstarter with two friends, Timothy Daly and Lawrence Azerrad. A year in the making (and many more years on our minds), the Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition is the first vinyl release of the stunning golden phonograph record launched by NASA in 1977 aboard the Voyager spacecraft, one […]
If you own a dog, you’ve most likely heard of BarkBox – the monthly subscription box for dogs. What started as a simple idea to try out the subscription model on pet owners has since developed a cult following of dog lovers. If you haven’t given it a try yet, this one month free deal is the […]
With the iPhone headphone jack having gone by the wayside, we’re excited about the addition of the FRANKLIN Bluetooth Headphones in our store. These headphones are foldable so they’re easy to carry around, but most importantly, they pack impressive sound. Our biggest struggle with Bluetooth headphones is the worry of them dying at the worst moment. This pair lasts an impressive 8-10 […]
Evan Kimbrell, founder of the digital agency Sprintkick, recently released a series of online courses that feature some of the best advice we’ve come across. These courses are well worth your time, and will save you from making many typical mistakes down the line if you ever want to start your own business.With this Business […]