Saturday, December 30, 2006

Glowing pigs

To test genetic modifications in animals is something that I am opposed to, but still there are people out there who claim that such practices are useful. Thus, I want to believe that there exists a boundary between useful and destructive experimentation on animals.

According to a well known newspaper, in the northern Chinese city of Harbin, three pigs were born. The peculiarity of those animals is that their tongues, snouts and hoofs have an unusual fluorescent green color.

Such eccentricity was made possible because of the work of a group of scientists at the Northeastern Agricultural University in the above mentioned city. What they did was to extract certain proteins from medusas, which are able to create bioluminescence. Then, they injected such protein in pig embryos, which developed well formed pigs with fluorescent parts of their bodies that glow in the dark.

What I find more annoying is that these scientists claim that their “success” will encourage further research about the properties and usage of mother cells (can somebody please tell me what’s the link between changing the color to some poor pigs and developing cures from mother cells?). So it looks that they are really satisfied of destroying nature and they even invite some others to join their campaign.

I don’t know exactly what was the purpose of doing that kind of experiment. Is it the way in which those scientists want to celebrate the upcoming Chinese year of the pig?

In my opinion, these types of practices should be banned. To genetically modify an animal’s natural color does not provide any benefits to science, but it does probably harm the creature’s health and life.

I’d say that to genetically modify animals without a real potential benefit of doing it is really sick and disgusting. If experimentation in China will keep going the same way, don’t be surprised if in the future you go to a Chinese restaurant and the color of your food is fluorescent!

Photo by Reuters


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