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Glow-in-the-dark bunnies carry jellyfish DNA

Under normal light, a litter of eight white rabbits born in an Istanbul university last week look like any other rabbits. But in a darkroom, two of those rabbits glow a fluorescent green.

A Turkish lab used a technique developed at the University of Hawaii to breed a colony of rabbits that glow bright green in the dark, in what scientists say is an attempt to advance research into treatments for life-threatening genetic diseases.

The glow-in-the-dark bunnies are the result of a fluorescent protein injection from jellyfish DNA into a female rabbit’s embryos.

Scientists used an injection to see if genetic material could be passed on to a litter’s natural makeup. They say the rabbits are perfectly healthy and should live as long as normal rabbits do.

Although this is not the first time a glow-in-the-dark rabbit has been created, scientists say it is the first time this technique was used and shows a greater success rate than previous attempts.

Dr. Stefan Moisyadi, associate professor at the University of Hawaii’s school of medicine, told Hawaii’s KHON2 that the experiment could help mass-produce medication for genetic disorders, such as hemophilia.

The scientists responsible for the glowing rabbits plan to create another fluorescent animal later in the year.

Moisyadi told KHON2 that he and his team were drawn to this kind of controversial research because of the “eventual benefit” to the world.

Compiled using Review-Journal News Services

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