As one TV station reported yesterday, fluorescent green bunnies have researchers hopping with excitement. Scientists from Hawaii and Turkey transferred a jellyfish gene into the rabbits when they were still embryos, and the gene for producing that fluorescent protein expressed itself in the baby rabbits. Fluorescence, of course, means that the protein absorbs ultraviolet photons and gives off visible light.
The researchers have other goals for the gene transfer method, such as producing new or better drugs for human use. This is just one of those “proof of concept” experiments. It doesn’t hurt the rabbits. However, I wouldn’t let a fluorescent bunny loose in the wild, as that glow might make it an easy target for nocturnal predators.
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