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back to article Science of the lambs: Boffins grow GLOW-IN-THE-DARK sheep

Shepherds who watch their flocks by night could soon have a much easier job: South American scientists have successfully reared fluorescent sheep. Boffins at the Animal Reproduction Institute of Uruguay implanted a glow-in-the-dark gene from the Aequorea victoria jellyfish into nine of the woolly animals. The bright-minded …

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I wonder if this could be used in future to effectively tag sheep. Yes officer, those are my sheep he rustled (shines torch).

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I’m really glad you only went with “rustled”

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Happy

Probably not. All the 'glo-animals' are validation of experimental modification techniques; glowing is not the goal itself. The idea is that if the animal does is fact glow then the new genetic material has successfully been introduced into the gonads & future generations will pass along the material. If they glow then you can begin introducing other non-visible modifications with the confidence the changes will carry on.

On a side note, my wife is Uruguayan and we are going to visit in July. I'm going to try & visit the lab and get some pics with the sheep while we are there. My brother-in-law is involved in the project so I think I can get it done.

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Coat

"rustled" or...???

A UV-torch shone on some *ahem* "rustled" sheep might show you more glowing patches than you might be willing to see

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Coat

You don't need your sheep to glow, in order to identify them. You just read the baaa code.

Shamefacedly wanders off to get coat...

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Anonymous Coward

Is yours the woollen, hi-vis coat?

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Anonymous Coward

I'll bet that someone will create a Youtube video showing a herd of these glow-in-the-dark sheep running across the fields with shepherds running after them and the song 'ghost riders in the sky' being played.

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Happy

Not the shepherds shouting, "Benton! Benton! Oh Jesus!"...

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WTF?

This is going to make...

...being pissed in the countryside after closing time a whole heap more surreal.

GJC

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Boffin

Re: This is going to make...

Only if you bring your own UV torch with you

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Boffin

Re: This is going to make...

Doesn't everyone?

GJC

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Re: This is going to make...

Touché! :-)

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+1

How do I upvote the article tagline?

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Re: +1

My sentiments exactly. The thought of the El Reg hacks sitting in the pub/office thinking up lines like this makes my day.

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Re: +1

I also loved the tagline. +1. Well done.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: +1

"The thought of the El Reg hacks sitting in the pub/office thinking up lines like this makes my day."

:-) It's sorta like the way the New York Post is portrayed in this vid.

C.

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Happy

Re: +1

Yet another headline, produced under incredible pressure, is comedy gold :-)

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FAIL

NOT glow in the dark - you need UV. NOT DARK.

Stupid headline AGAIN.

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Re: NOT glow in the dark - you need UV. NOT DARK.

So IOW, they're FLUORescent not PHOSPHORescent.

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I have a cunning plan. It involves selling UV floodlights to the local wolves.

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So wait

Do the bodies of the sheep glow? Or does the wool glow. Because if it's the wool that could lead to a whole new line of wooly rave ware.

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Boffin

Re: So wait

Just the skin, as far as I'm aware. You may recall a recent brouhaha over glowing bunnies... the real thing woudl have glowing skin but not fur, and the pictures of the supposed glowing bunnies showed an even all-over glow. Have a look at the (hopefully) relevant wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_fluorescent_protein.

I'm assuming that the protein is either not expressed by follicle cells, or is not stable over the long term so any fluorescence in hair would only appear at the very base, and older parts of the hair would appear boring and normal.

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Boffin

Re: So wait

It is hard for the GFP protein to take the correct fluorescent structure when it is not inside the cell so I don't think you can do fluoro-wool using this method. You can see on the piccies that the green only shows up in skin where there is little wool.

It's a great marker protein to look at control of gene expression 'cos you don't need any other chemicals to see where it is and it pretty much stays in the cell where it is expressed. You can get other modifications that emit different colours (blues and reds), but I don't think anyone has that good control over gene expression to make pretty pictures with them all - yet....

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Anonymous Coward

"not the traditional breeding system [...] very much loved"

Hmm... that's an interesting way of wording it...

We should be protecting traditional breeding systems!

/joke

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Mushroom

Impressive bofinry but where's my flying car, damnit?

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Roast Lamb

Guaranteed to give you glow in the dark shit anyway...

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Pint

Re: Roast Lamb

The lamb from my local kebab shop does that already

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Happy

This seems familiar.....

Dr Sheldon Cooper did it first in the Big Bang Theory! =)

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Boffin

Re: This seems familiar.....

And other boffins did it before him in white mice, and evolution (or $deity_of_choice) did it millions of years ago in various marine life.

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JDX
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"very much loved"

Oh yeah?

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Anonymous Coward

Rave on!

So, when McCloud takes his "date" to the rave....

(As Mike Jagger said to the Scotsman: "Hey! McCloud! Get offa my ewe!")

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Re: Rave on!

OUCH!!!

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Happy

Saving the extras.

Now they have changed the colour, if they can make them taste a little minty then we have "Ready Mint Sauced Lambs" - how about that for a cash saver (just don't mention the additional chemicals or higher chance of food poisioning).

Also, this ensures you are getting lamb and not horse. Not a good thing for Findus but good for the customers :-)

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Headmaster

What's next?

What's next? Talking sheep? "Four legs good, two legs better!"

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Re: What's next?

Beware of "that most dangerous of animals, a clever sheep"*.

*Monty Python

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Ooh, that's handy

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“The technique is complex and demands much work, which is one of the limiting factors. So despite the global interest and demand it is still a slow process," Menchaca continued.

bahahahahaha

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Anonymous Coward

huh

Are ultraviolet visors or whatever you use significantly cheaper than infra-red one's? Otherwise what's the point? It must cost money to gentically engineer these sheep, putting the costs up. And surely you can't use ultraviolet vision to find your sheep when they're buried in snow!

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Humans

So, how long until UV-glowing humans are available? I mean, it sounds like they've debugged the process on monkeys, rabbits, and sheep, so it should be ready for human trials.

D

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Next up...

Wolves that shoot ultraviolet rays from their eyeballs!

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Windows

Erm,

last time i checked, sheep were somewhat "wooly"

As this technique makes only the skin glow, as far as herding and locating sheep, seems to be a bit of a non starter...

Easier to find a lamb butty in the dark though...

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That logo...

That logo or whatever it is correctly called, at the bottom of the video, is *extremely* intrusive.

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Do mechanoids dream of fluorescent sheep?

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I can't believe...

... nobody's asked whether this affects their speed in a vacuum.

Nope. Just me then?

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is this....

A viable replacement for lightbulbs?

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