Alongside 3D printing, Miley Cyrus, and twerking, it seems 2013's other obsession was turning living things into living night lights -- from glowing plants and rabbits to glowing snails and silkworms. And just in time for the new year, science has unveiled another glow-in-the-dark guinea pig -- make that, the pig.
Once again using the luminescent DNA of jellyfish, scientists, this time at South China Agriculture University, have modified pig embryos to created a new breed of bioluminescent swine.
While glow-in-the-dark piglets would be the ideal accessory at rural raves and agriculturally themed dance parties, the reason for creating the colorful animals was simply to see if the genetic modification would be successful.
It's the first step in a much longer term goal of finding more efficient and cost effective ways of producing medicine. As associate professor Dr. Stefan Moisyadi stated in a press release by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (the institute which originally developed this reproductive technique):
"[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."
We think one Gizmodo commenter hit the nail on the head with the Archer reference below. Although unlike Dr. Krieger's Piggly, these test subjects remain unfazed by their mutant superpower and will have the same life span as normal pigs.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.