GLOWING ANIMALS: Pictures of Beasts Shining for Science

GLOWING ANIMALS: Pictures of Beasts Shining for Science
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Zebrafish


How does it glow?


Green, yellow, and red fluorescent protein, introduced into its DNA (2003)

What can we learn?

In 1999 scientists at the National University of Singapore began working with zebra fish and green fluorescent protein, hoping to engineer a fish that would glow in the presence of toxic chemicals.

In the process, the scientists created fish that fluoresce all the time (under ultraviolet light) and in a range of colors.

A few years later, the first fluorescent pet hit the market, after Singapore had become the first country to authorize the sale of the genetically modified fish in 2003. Later that year "GloFish" (pictured) debuted in the United States, where in 2009 they retail for five to ten dollars at some pet stores.

Though fluorescent pet fish have spawned no scientific advances, they inspired the creation and clarification of laws governing genetically modified pets. The United States, for example, was initially forced to classify the genetic modification as a drug.
—Photograph courtesy GloFish
 
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