South Koreans are shocking Americans with their scientific kitsch. I have seen black dogs, brown dogs, tan dogs and white dogs but never have I seen a glowing dog. South Korean Scientists have cloned a dog using a somatic cell nuclear transfer, and this dog can glow. The research being done with the luminescent dog may soon become cutting edge medical research for disease control and prevention.
A dog named Tegon looks like a normal beagle in the light, but under ultraviolet light she glows. The “Glowing Dog Project” cost about 3 million dollars to accomplish, yet the project has loftier goals than simply creating a puppy-night-light.
Scientist hope that by inputting different genes into dogs, such as the one that causes Tegon to glow, they will be able to cure some diseases that both humans and dogs are susceptible to. Scientist next step is to give dogs genes for deadly diseases then try and cure them. There are approximately 268 diseases that humans and dogs share.
“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 diseases,” Said lead researcher Lee Byeong-Chun.
The amount of illumination Tegon gives off can now be adjusted by how much of a certain drug is put into her food. Scientist are planning to use this same process to help determine if drugs they are using to “cure” the diseases they give to the dog are working.
In 2009, South Korean Scientists led by Lee Byeong-Chun, completed the initial experiment of producing four glowing puppies known as “Ruppys”. Out of the four, two puppies survived, and for the last two years they have been undergoing research leading up to this point where Lee can now turn off the glowing ailment he gave the dogs.
Lee Byeong-Chun says his Ruppys: “Are the world’s first transgenic dogs,” meaning they have genes which are not found in nature and have been engineered.
Using the method of cloning, gene implantation, and experimentation South Korean scientist will try to cure diseases. The process learned by making glowing puppies not glow will now be used in an attempt to cure real diseases. Scientist made puppies glow and then “cured” the puppies of glowing. Now, scientist will give dogs diseases, then try and cure them. The final step in this process will be implementing a cloned-dog-cure on a diseased human.
Tegon is the sole survivor who has given South Korean scientist the success they were looking for. Tegon’s successful cloning, illumination, and anti-glow cure have paved the way for further research with diseases and clones.