zaterdag, oktober 25, 2008

Mr. Green Genes: the glow-in-the-dark cat

Well if this isn't the perfect marketing tool to get more kids into science, I don't know what is. "You want to make your own glowing animals when you grow up Johny?". Hey, that reminds me of an application: "Order your Viagra now and you'll receive a free 'glow-in-the-dark"-sample...

Seriously, what's going on here? Well, scientists at the Audubon Centre for Research of Endangered Species (go figure) in New Orleans, created a cat who's eyes, gums and tongue glow in the dark. Because when you make endangered species glow in the dark other animals will stop bothering them so they're no longer endangered? No, not really. "The researchers made him, so they could learn whether a gene could be introduced harmlessly into the feline's genetic sequence to create what is formally known as a transgenic cat. If so, it would be the first step in a process that could lead to the development of ways to combat diseases via gene therapy."

The only reason they made the cat glow, was to show that the gene went where it was supposed to go. Go with the flow and glow you know. Sorry. Read all about it here.

Yep, that's what you get when you start playing with genetics. And since these are merely the humble beginnings, make sure to stay tuned to "Creatures of creativity", our weekly show where high school children present their latest projects. Imagine. Anyway, earlier this month the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to three scientists who had discovered the gene through their work with jellyfish. So really, seriously, imagine...

...cause there are many more exciting genes out there! And one day we'll build 'm ourselves altogether. But for now I'll settle for glowing animals. Could I get some glowing hummingbirds, like 10, all in different colors. I'll have them flying through the house at night. Trippy.

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