Six transgenic piglets were born in China recently, and they glow green under a black light.
The newly-created reproductive technique quadrupled the success rate of which "plasmids carrying a fluorescent protein from jellyfish DNA were transferred into the embryo of the pig," a University of Hawai'i at Mānoa news release reported.
The pigs, that are enhanced with glowing jellyfish DNA, only show their colors under a black light. In a video clip featuring the pigs, the little guys squeal as if they are children afraid of the dark. A black light is then turned on, revealing the green glow.
The glow suggests the jellyfish DNA that was injected into the pigs' embryos became incorporated into their "natural make-up."
"It's just a marker to show that we can take a gene that was not originally present in the animal and now exists in it," explains Doctor Stefan Moisyadi, a veteran bioscientist with UH medical school's Institute for Biogenesis Research (IBR).
Moisyadi said the pigs' health will not be affected by the added genetic material; and the animals are expected to have the same lifespan as other pigs.
"The green is only a marker to show that it's working easily," he said.
The team hopes to try out introducing "beneficial" genes into larger animals in the future, this could allow for cheaper and more successful medicine.
"[For] patients who suffer from hemophilia and they need the blood-clotting enzymes in their blood, we can make those enzymes a lot cheaper in animals rather than a factory that will cost millions of dollars to build," Moisyadi said.
The new technique employs proprietary pmgenie-3 plasmids that confer "active integration during cytoplasmic injection," the news release reported.
The same technique was also demonstrated on rabbits recently in Turkey. The same researchers will announce the results of another experiment in which they performed the same procedure on sheep.