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UH-Manoa research helps produce pigs that glow green

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 09:43 a.m. HST, Dec 24, 2013

Green Pigs demonstrate success of UH reproductive science technique from UHMed on Vimeo.

A technique developed by reproductive scientists from the University of Hawaii medical school helped scientists create ten piglets that glow green under black fluorescent lights.

Scientists at the South China Agricultural University injected a fluorescent protein from jellyfish DNA into pig embryos to create the glowing pigs.

The green color shows that the fluorescent genetic material injected into the pig embryos was incorporated into the animal's natural make-up.  

"It's just a marker to show that we can take a gene that was not originally present in the animal and now exists in it," said Dr. Stefan Moisyadi, a UH Manoa bioscientist with the Institute for Biological Research.

The UH Manoa technique helped quadruple the success rate for the fluorescent protein to be incorporated into the pig DNA.

This technique was also used to produce the world's first "glowing green rabbits" in Turkey earlier this year. Turkey is expected to announce results of similar research involving sheep next year.

Moisyadi said the animals are not affected by the fluorescent protein and will have the same life span as other pigs.

The goal of the research is to introduce beneficial genes into larger animals to create less costly and more efficient medicines.

 "[For] patients who suffer from hemophilia and they need the blood-clotting enzymes in their blood, we can make those enzymes a lot cheaper in animals rather than a factory that will cost millions of dollars to build," Moisyadi said.

Drs. Zhenfang Wu, a UH Manoa graduate, and Zicong Li of the South China Agricultural University submitted the results of the research to the Biology of Reproduction journal.  Dr. Johann Urschitz, a UH Manoa assistant research professor also contributed to the paper.

The Institute for Biogenesis Research at the John A. Burns School of Medicine was founded by emeritus professor Ryuzo Yanagimachi, who produced the world's first cloned mouse and produced transgenic mice that also glowed green using the jellyfish genes.

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GooglyMoogly wrote:
*insert "Green Eggs and Ham" joke here*
on December 23,2013 | 09:26PM
Skyler wrote:
You mean "green ham & eggs"... right? :-P
on December 23,2013 | 09:43PM
hilopango wrote:
Green eggs, green ham, green lamb...
on December 24,2013 | 08:58AM
Oahuan wrote:
Great!! Make them glow in the dark for easier target!
on December 23,2013 | 09:37PM
Skyler wrote:
So... does that mean you have to kill the pig to get the medicine or do you just take it out of its blood?
on December 23,2013 | 09:43PM
HanabataDays wrote:
I hope to see this at the next baby lu'au I go to. In case HECO puts out the lights, can still find my kalua pig.
on December 24,2013 | 02:35AM
awahana wrote:
Time to go Vegan.
on December 24,2013 | 03:47AM
Honulove wrote:
I love all the subtle and not so subtle signs of the success that the local gmo educational efforts have had-not only on our local elected officials but also local media......................."It's just a marker to show that we can take a gene that was not originally present in the animal and now exists in it," .................................."The UH Manoa technique...".................folks, this is GENETIC ENGINEERING, this aberration of nature, of what God has created, is a GMO-GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM .........................a gmo is not thousands of years of hybridizing plants and animals, it is a new, UNTESTED laboratory technique that forces a gene from one species into the DNA of another unrelated species, period.....................Yes, we consume gmo every day in our prescribed medicines, but know that it has NOT been tested for human consumption and the companies that produce them are not required to show the FDA that they are safe......................It is simply a VOLUNTARY PROCESS, where companies can pick and choose what data they want show our government agencies that are supposed to be protecting us.
on December 24,2013 | 04:04AM
CriticalReader wrote:
on December 24,2013 | 04:33AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
How can I sign up to have this done to my next kid? I would like to GMO my kid so that he or she can grow up to be prepared to work at a bar or club....
on December 24,2013 | 06:33AM
niimi wrote:
We should let some of these pigs go feral, then the pig hunting at night would be glorious.
on December 24,2013 | 06:53AM
HOSSANA wrote:
and this is where our taxpayers monies goes for research for this stupid kind of projects...geezus, what a monumental waste of time and monies!!! HOW STUPID!!
on December 24,2013 | 06:59AM
hilopango wrote:
I thought so, too, at first, but if you read the whole article, there's a reason for the madness. "The goal of the research is to introduce beneficial genes into larger animals to create less costly and more efficient medicines."
on December 24,2013 | 09:02AM
Honulove wrote:
It's all about the multi-million(billion?) dollar patents.
on December 24,2013 | 09:20AM
DownSpout wrote:
Perfect as kalua pork at a Green Party luau!
on December 24,2013 | 08:57AM
lee1957 wrote:
Probably illegal on two islands.
on December 24,2013 | 10:30AM
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