They look like normal white rabbits, but flip on a black light, and the two of the fuzzy bunnies light up a bright, glowing green.
The two special rabbits were born last week after researchers injected a naturally glowing jellyfish protein into rabbit embryos in a pregnant rabbit. When the rabbit gave birth, two of her babies carried the gene, according to a press release.
The bunnies are perfectly healthy.
The researchers hope to use the procedure to make rabbits that can produce useful chemicals -- like medicines -- in their milk. The fluorescent gene serves as a "maker" which makes it easy to see which animals have gotten the gene of interest. In fact, scientists already harvest medicine from the milk of genetically modified animals, including insulin and blood-clotting proteins. They have also been experimenting with gene manipulation in sheep, and the project's first transgenic lamb is scheduled to be born in November. This also is not the first time a rabbit has been genetically modified to glow bright green, either. In 2002, an artist named Eduardo Kac commissioned French scientists to produce a similarly glowing bunny as a piece of conceptual art. Other animals that scientists have gotten to glow green include dogs, cats, pigs, and mice -- but these bunnies are the brightest we've seen so far. Here is another video (the glowing bunny footage stops at 1:53). [video provider="vimeo" id="71936493" size="xlarge" align="center"] Glowing Green Rabbits from UHMed on Vimeo. University of Hawaiʻi -- Mānoa geneticists, Ryuzo Yanagimachi and Stefan Moisyadi, collaborated with Turkish scientists at the University of Istanbul and Marmara University to create the fluorescent rabbits.
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