Asia scientists claim world's first glow-in-the-dark pigs
Published:  16 December, 2005

TAIWANESE SCIENTISTS say they have bred the only pigs in the world to glow completely in the dark and hope they will boost the island's stem cell research.

They claim that while other researchers have bred pigs that were partly fluorescent, theirs were the only pigs to be green through and through. The transgenic pigs are created with DNA from jellyfish which was added to around 265 pig embryos which were implanted in eight different pigs. Four of the pigs became pregnant and three male piglets were born.

The researchers, from National Taiwan University's Department of Animal Science and Technology, said that apart from glowing green, the pigs were no different from any others.

They are the only pigs that are green from the inside out, even their heart and internal organs are green, researchers said. Their skin has a greenish tinge and in daylight researchers say the pigs' eyes, teeth and trotters look green. In the dark, shine a blue light on them and they glow torch-light bright.

The scientists will use the transgenic pigs to study human disease and because the pig's genetic material is green, it is easy to spot.

If some of its stem cells are injected into another animal, scientists can track how they develop without the need for a biopsy or invasive test.