Glowing Monkey Born

Marmoset offspring from a genetically modified father have feet that glow green on the soles when observed in UV light (Image: E.Sasaki et al. 2009)

Marmoset offspring from a genetically modified father have feet that glow green on the soles when observed in UV light (Image: E.Sasaki et al. 2009)

With traits right out of a scifi pulp novel, a green glow-in-the-dark monkey was recently born in Japan.  Japanese researchers genetically engineered common marmosets by splicing jellyfish genes into embryos via a virus.  The jellyfish genes caused the monkey’s blood, skin & hair roots to glow green in UV light.  What makes this birth interesting is that one of the monkeys born from a genetically manipulated embryo fathered a monkey that also glows, a milestone for science.  While glowing monkeys don’t have a lot of obvious uses (the KAMS Blog will have to think about this one for awhile), there are many other possibilities for applying this research to genetic diseases.  For example, one of the researchers, Hideyuki Okano of the Keio University School of Medicine, has an interest in studying Parkinson’s disease and ALS.  For more information on the study, see here.

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