First Genetically Engineered Pet

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Durandal7, Nov 21, 2003.

  1. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

    Feb 24, 2001
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A little tropical fish that glows fluorescent red will be the first genetically engineered pet, a Texas-based company has said.

    The zebra fish were originally developed to detect environmental toxins, but Alan Blake and colleagues at Yorktown Technologies, L.P. licensed them to sell as pets.

    "These fish were bred to help fight environmental pollution," Blake said in a telephone interview on Friday. "They were bred to fluoresce in the presence of toxins."

    Scientists have for decades used a gene called green fluorescent protein, taken from jellyfish, to help in research. The fish, sold under the trademarked name GloFish, carry a similar gene taken from a sea coral that makes it glow all the time.

    Blake said there is no evidence the fish will pose any threat to the environment. Normal zebra fish are commonly used in aquariums and cannot survive in non-tropical waters.

    "They are very bright under any type of light," Blake said. "Under ultraviolet light in a dark room they will appear to be glowing in the dark."

    Blake, who before he set up the new business ran an Internet company, says he did not have a particular interest in fish before. "I had an aquarium when I was about 10," he said.

    The fish, developed at the National University of Singapore by researcher Zhiyuan Gong, are also available as pets in Taiwan, the company said. They will sell for about $5 apiece at pet stores in January.
  2. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2003
    Adelaide, Australia
    Crazy I want one.

    Are they avaliable anywhere else but the US at this stage?
  3. stoid macrumors 601


    Feb 17, 2002
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    YES! A cool pet that I can actually have in the dorm!!

    Sweetness, I'll buy 10!
  4. teabgs macrumors 68030


    Jan 18, 2002
    behind you
    I wanna see a picture...

    and you can also get them in Taiwan

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