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12 bizarre examples of genetic engineering

By: Laura Moss on Oct. 27, 2010, 12:30 p.m.
These cats are the cuddliest night lights ever.

Photo: SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images

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Glow-in-the-dark animals

In 2007, South Korean scientists altered a cat's DNA to make it glow in the dark and then took that DNA and cloned other cats from it — creating a set of fluffy, fluorescent felines. Here’s how they did it: The researchers took skin cells from Turkish Angora female cats and used a virus to insert genetic instructions for making red fluorescent protein. Then they put the gene-altered nuclei into the eggs for cloning, and the cloned embryos were implanted back into the donor cats — making the cats the surrogate mothers for their own clones.

Earlier research in Taiwan created three pigs that glowed fluorescent green. That's Wu Shinn-chih, assistant professor for the Institute and Department of Animal Science and Technology of National Taiwan University (NTU), with one of the pigs in the photo.

What's the point of creating a pet that doubles as a nightlight? Scientists say the ability to engineer animals with fluorescent proteins will enable them to artificially create animals with human genetic diseases.