Reuters reports that South Korean scientists seem to have made a genetically-engineered glowing beagle with hopes of finding cures for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and also aims to help researchers identify possible side-effects of such treatments in humans.
Named as Tegon, this puppy may hold the key to various human diseases, as the glow-in-the-dark property which can be controlled with the addition of an antibiotic called doxycycline. Without harming the dog, the ability to make it glow helps to identify possible complications from diseases.
The genes being injected to make the dog glow could be substituted with genes that trigger fatal diseases. Scientists would then be able to chart the course and have better understanding how such diseases develop.
Tegon was created through a multi-step cloning process called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer which was used to generate an embryo with the modified DNA (a dog’s combined with a green fluorescent gene from a sea anemone). The embryo then was implanted in a surrogate beagle mother. In 2009, the Associated Press reported that four beagles that glowed red which were called “the world’s first transgenic dogs carrying fluorescent genes were likewise engineered by South Korean scientists.