19 February 2008

Recent Developments in Animal Transparency

Transparent frogs:

A research team led by professor Masayuki Sumida at Hiroshima University’s Institute for Amphibian Biology has created a type of transparent frog whose internal organs are visible through its skin.

Professor Sumida says, “Transparent frogs will prove useful as laboratory animals because they make it easier and cheaper to observe the development and progress of cancer, the growth and aging of internal organs, and the effects of chemicals on organs.”

The researchers also say that by fusing the genes of fluorescent proteins to the frog’s genes, they can create frogs that glow.

And transparent fish:

Now scientists at Children's Hospital Boston have generated a transparent zebrafish by mating two specific strains: a breed that lacks reflective pigment, called roy orbison, with one that lacks black pigment, called nacre. The offspring had only yellow pigment in their skin, essentially looking clear. Richard White, a clinical fellow in the Stem Cell Program at Children's, named the new breed Casper...

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