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Boffins breed fluorescent pig

Best glow-in-the-dark porker yet

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Taiwanese boffins have successfully bred three fluorescent pigs who, they claim, far outshine previous efforts at producing glow-in-the-dark porkers, which resulted in a disappointing partial fluorescence.

We kid you not. The BBC is reporting that National Taiwan University's Department of Animal Science and Technology has pulled off a fluorescent pig coup in breeding the green-to-the-core "transgenic" pigs using jellyfish DNA. The DNA was injected into about 260 embryos which were then implanted into eight sows. Four became pregnant, leading to the birth of three male piglets three months ago.

The scientists apparently insist "the three pigs they have produced are better" than those concocted by rival fluorescent pig breeders. In fact, they are green through-and-through since their internal organs are green and their skin has a green tinge in daylight.

There is, mercifully, some method to the madness. The boffins reckon the pigs' genetic material can be used to study human disease because it's "easy to spot". For example, if some of the pigs' stem cells are "injected into another animal, scientists can track how the stem cells develop without the need for a biopsy or invasive test".

Naturally, scientists need more fluorescent pigs before such tests can begin, and the team hopes the three little pigs will mate and produce glow-in-the-dark offspring. And, of course, they will have a nice fundraising sideline in knocking out fluorescent bangers for the kids' novelty food market. ®

Bootnote

Think we've lost our marbles? The BBC has photographic evidence of the transgenic glow-in-the-dark pig right here.

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