A cloned beagle named Tegon is the world’s first transgenic dog: her body produces a fluorescent protein that glows in ultraviolet light. Researchers at Seoul National University report that the genetically modified dog glows fluorescent green under ultraviolet light after consuming a doxycycline antibiotic.
The team, led by Byeong-Chun Lee of Seoul National University in South Korea, created the dogs. “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,” Lee said in an interview with Yonhap news agency.
Lee feels that because there are at least 268 illnesses that humans and dogs have in common, the use of dogs that artificially display such symptoms could aid treatment research for human diseases. Dogs metabolize drugs in the same way as humans – making the testing of treatments more transferable to humans.
Already known in the scientific community for his earlier achievements, Lee and fellow researcher Woo Suk Hwang are the duo credited with creating the world’s first cloned dog in 2005.