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These bunnies glow in the dark

Glowing Green Rabbits from UHMed on Vimeo.


Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Saturday, August 17, 2013, 7:48 AM -

Somewhere in Turkey, there are two newborn fuzzy bunnies that glow in the dark (fast forward to around 13 seconds into the video above).

Scientists at the University of Istanbul joined forces with researchers at the University of Hawai'i and Marmara University, also in Turkey, to produce the glowing green rabbits, who were born earlier this month. They're apparently in good health, and are expected to live long, well-lit lives.

The rabbits' embryoes were injected with the same protein that causes some jellyfish to glow in the dark.

Two of the eight bunnies in the litter glowed green when placed under a blacklight.

"Our colleagues in Turkey have been so excited by the birth of the transgenic rabbits - and that excitement has spread to the public through news coverage on Turkish television," project lead Stefan Moisyadi said in a release from the University of Hawai'i's medical school.

Believe it or not, this is actually legitimate research: The point of the research is to show that genetic manipulation works in rabbits.

The fluorescent result was chosen simply to provide a genetic trait that's easy to see, as proof that it worked.

Eventually, researchers will introduce new kinds of genes into rabbits, hopefully leading to new treatments for illnesses caused by genetic problems.

Glowing animals aren't anything new -- the University of Hawai'i was experimenting with glow-in-the-dark mice more than a decade ago, collaboration with a Chinese team produced fluorescent piglets recently, and the same researchers that produced the bunnies are expecting the birth of the first transgenic lamb in Turkey in a few months.

No word on what colour THAT one will glow.

We regret that none of the animals in our online video gallery glow in the dark, but they're still cute. Check them out.

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