UH Technique Credited in Green Glowing Piglet Research

December 24, 2013, 6:02 AM HST · Updated December 24, 9:32 AM
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South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, 2013. Photo courtesy UH.

South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, 2013. Photo courtesy UH.

By Maui Now Staff

Ten piglets born this year in the Guangdong Province in Southern China glow a green tint under black light, thanks to a reproductive technique developed by University of Hawaiʻi scientists, the university announced.

Researchers injected the pig embryos with plasmids carrying fluorescent protein from jellyfish DNA.

According to information released UH, the green color indicates that the florescent genetic material has been incorporated into the animals’ makeup.

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“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,” Dr. Stefan Moisyadi, a veteran bioscientist with the UH medical school’s Institute for Biogenesis Research, said in a university press release.

Scientists say the ultimate goal is to introduce beneficial genes into larger animals to create less costly and more efficient medicines.

A manuscript detailing the work was submitted to the journal “Biology of Reproduction.”  It was prepared by UH alumni Dr. Zicong Li and Dr. Zhenfang Wu of the South China Agricultural University with the assistance of Dr. Johann Urschitz, an assistant research professor in the UH medical school’s Institute for Biogenesis Research.

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