Today’s award for the weirdest achievement in genetic engineering goes to the scientists at the Central Institute for Experimental Animals in Kawasaki, Japan.
Not only have they succeeded in breeding marmosets with fluorescent feet, but for the first time ever, a fluorescent mama marmoset has passed the trait on to her offspring.
Experts say the development will make it easier to produce animals for medical research into human disease. Thank God someone is finally working on a cure for human glow-in-the-dark-foot disease!
All kidding aside, I hope someone much smarter than me is thinking about the implications of creating artificial genetic changes so significant that they can be passed to the next generation. This is way beyond Mendel and his peas.
Here’s the first graph from the original article, should you wish to look it up:
By MALCOLM RITTER (AP Science Writer)
From Associated Press
May 27, 2009 3:44 PM EDT
NEW YORK – Scientists gave marmosets a gene that made their feet glow green, and one of the animals passed it along to its offspring – the first time that an added gene has been inherited by a monkey. It was a milestone, experts said, that should make it easier to produce animals with versions of human disease for medical research.