UNDATED (CBS) -- Using an active transgenesis technique founded by medical researchers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, scientists in Turkey have produced glowing green rabbits. This is the first time the UH technique has been used to produce rabbits.
In normal lighting, they look just like their furry, white rabbit siblings. But when exposed to black light, the pair of transgenic bunnies shines a vivid shade of green.
The glowing effect is the result of a fluorescent protein from jellyfish DNA, which was injected into the mother rabbit's embryo in the lab. The altered embryos were re-inserted into the mother rabbit, and when the litter of eight was born, two of the rabbits carried the "glowing gene." That is a higher percentage rate than previously achieved in rabbits.
The point of the experiment was to show that genetic manipulation with the University of Hawai`i's technique works efficiently in rabbits. The overall goal is to introduce a beneficial gene into female rabbits, then to collect the protein made in the milk produced by the female rabbits. This approach could lead to new and competitively efficient ways to produce medicines.
The Turkish success was collaboration between two universities in Turkey and the UHM Institute for Biogenesis Research (IBR) at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).