South Korean scientists created a fluorescent dog, using a cloning technique that could help find cures for human diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, said Yonhap news agency on Wednesday.It is a beagle female dog genetically modified called Tegon, using the technology of somatic cell nuclear transfer that the team of Seoul National University used to create the world’s first cloned dog, Snuppy, in 2005.
Tegon was born in 2009, and glows in a fluorescent green color under ultraviolet light, because it has received the doxycycline antibiotic. The researchers, who completed a two-year trial, said the dog’s ability to shine can be activated or deactivated by adding a drug to the animal’s food.
“The creation of Tegon opens new horizons, since the gene injected to make the dog glow can be substituted with genes that trigger fatal human disease,” said Lee Byeong-chun, who has been principal investigator for this science. There are 268 diseases that humans and dogs have in common, which is why artificially created dogs show many symptoms that may help treatments for humans’ diseases.