Glow In The Dark Monkeys
Updated : May 28, 2009
The Glow Worm was one of VeryHappyPig’s favourite toys as a piglet. The glow in the dark worm was multi-purposeful as well being a play thing it helped VHP over a fear of the dark. So imagine how excited VHP was when it heard that scientists in Japan have created luminous designer monkeys.
It is part of an experiment into how genetic diseases are handed down from generation to generation.
The Daily Mail reports that five of the marmosets have been born at the country's Central Institute for Experimental Animals.
After their mothers were exposed to an artificially created virus, they inherited an artificial gene that causes their skin and hair roots to glow under ultraviolet light.
Researchers hope the experiment will help find cures for devastating diseases such as Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis (MS) by providing more relevant information than similar procedures on mice.
However, while disease support groups have expressed their support, the research is facing criticism from animal welfare campaigners and opponents of genetic engineering.
Dr David King, of Human Genetics Alert, expressed concern that the experiments could pave the way for scientists to start fiddling with human genes and create 'designer babies'.