Meet Ruppy. That’s short for Ruby Puppy, not exactly the best name for a little itty bitty beagle, especially when Ruby would have sufficed. The scientists who named Ruppy probably didn’t want to be self-conscious at such a young age. Didn’t want to be obvious.
Yuppers, Ruppy is the world’s first transgenic dog, created by scientists at the Seoul National University by cloning fibroblast cells that express a red fluorescent gene produced by sea anemones.
Ruppy glows a faint red color when exposed to ultra-violet light.
Why would scienctists want to do this? Apparantly it has something to do with human disease models.
Greg Barsh, a geneticist at Stanford University who studies dogs as models of human disease, says creating a transgenic dog is “an important accomplishment”, showing that cloning and transgenesis can be applied to a wide range of mammals.
“I do not know of specific situations where the ability to produce transgenic dogs represents an immediate experimental opportunity,” Barsh adds. But transgenic dogs will give researchers another potential tool to understand disease.
And this is Ruppy under ultra-violet light. Is anyone else sorta bothered by this? I know she’s just a clone and I probably wouldn’t feel so disgusting if this were a glow in the dark monkey, but I really just want to take Ruppy home we me and let her sit on my lap.