Feeds

'Supermodel' glow-in-the-dark pocket monkeys created

Jellyfish-marmoset makes cover of boffins' glossy

Top three mobile application threats

A team of crack Japanese boffins has at last achieved one of humanity's most important scientific goals - namely, the creation of small monkeys which glow green when exposed to ultraviolet light. Unsatisfactory one-off fluorescent primates had been created previously, but the new, cutting-edge fluoro-monkeys' abilities are hereditary.

Quite apart from their glow-in-the-dark capabilities, the transgenic marmosets are also handier and more portable than ordinary experimental monkeys. At around 20cm tall, they are easily transported in a lab-coat pocket. The palmtop primates are "less expensive to handle and house" than regular lab chimps and so forth, according to Science magazine.

Japanese boffins from seven different institutions came together to create the fluoro-marmos by injecting a gene into their embryos causing them to produce green fluorescent protein (GFP) - a chemical normally found only in jellyfish. The little fellows' ability to pass this gene on to their offspring is what has scientists excited, as it will let them put other genes into such monkeys and find out more about inherited human diseases - for instance Parkinson's and motor neurone disease.

So chuffed are the scientific community with the modified jellyfish-marmosets that one is on the cover of heavyweight boffinry mag Nature, described as a "supermodel".

As ever, there are party poopers. Jarrod Bailey, an activist with the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), told the BBC that "monkeys do not tell us about human disease".

In a statement, the animal-rights group added:

Regardless of how much the researchers try to force a nonhuman primate to have features of human beings, numerous, significant and inexorable species differences will ultimately negate the biomedical utility of any research done on them.

Though in fact, the boffins seem to have been endowing the marmosets with features found in jellyfish, rather than ones found in humans.

The scholarly paper by the Japanese team is published online here (subscription required). ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.