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Biotech Science

China Heralds Year of the Fluorescent Green Pig 112

Apocalypse111 writes "Chinese scientists have successfully bred partially green fluorescent pigs which they hope will boost stem cell research. A research team at the Northeast Agricultural University in Harbin managed to breed three transgenic pigs by injecting fluorescent green protein into embryonic pigs. Xinhua quoted Professor Liu Zhonghua as saying. 'The mouth, trotters and tongue of the pigs are green under ultraviolet light'."
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China Heralds Year of the Fluorescent Green Pig

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  • by dfoulger ( 1044592 ) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @04:30AM (#17414842) Homepage
    So I'll take my Egg McMuffin with the Florescent Green Canadian Bacon. Hmmm. I think not.

    Here's an accomplishment that will create a real conundrum for the Green Party. Is the pig a symbol to be cherished, a genetic freak to be feared, or some combination.
    • by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @04:54AM (#17414924) Homepage Journal
      So I'll take my Egg McMuffin with the Florescent Green Canadian Bacon. Hmmm. I think not.

      Try it. Try it. Sam I am.

    • by dvice_null ( 981029 ) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @05:15AM (#17415004)
      The point is not to create green pigs, the point is to prove that we can do anything. But basicly green pigs is a relatively easy tasks when compared to creating a pig with wings and a genetic ability to learn to use them and fly. But in theory it is already possible, all we need to know is what genes we need to use and where to put them. That is difficult, but possible. The more we learn, the more we can do.
      • I'm sure that the reasons for doing this particular modification were pure. The genetics of making organisms glow is relatively well understood. Applying that bit of genetics to mammals is a particularly visible demonstration. It may even be a good kind of demonstration for the purposes of getting short term funding for extending the research.

        But its the wrong kind of demonstration if you want to be able to sell genetically modified anything over the long term. The "humor" in my initial posting plays to
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by mindwhip ( 894744 )
      So I'll take my Egg McMuffin with the Florescent Green Canadian Bacon.
      I'll take that... and pigs might fly... oh.. wait...theres a genetically modified flying pig now :(
      • by kabz ( 770151 )
        The 'flying pigs' just got a lot closer when Apple switched to Intel.

        And that is what has been spurring porcine aeronautics, lo these 6 months.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drsquare ( 530038 )
      So I'll take my Egg McMuffin with the Florescent Green Canadian Bacon. Hmmm. I think not.

      The irony is that the green pig would probably be the least artificial thing on McDonald's menu.
  • I mean seriously that is all the picture looks like right?
    • by JoshJ ( 1009085 )
      Actually, it would be kinda funny if this was one of China's "government truths".
    • by macadamia_harold ( 947445 ) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @06:07AM (#17415144) Homepage
      Night shot camera?? I mean seriously that is all the picture looks like right?

      Unless I'm missing something here, I've already seen similar footage involving Paris Hilton in a hotel room. I wasn't aware that she was the result of a genetic experiment, but it sure would explain a lot.
      • Now I'm really confused, when I saw the story about a pig, I thought it was about Paris Hilton...
      • by Melfina ( 872932 )
        Same method, different subjects~

        1. Inject with genetic material
        2. Record with night shot
        3. ...
        4. Profit!

    • It could also be a blacklight and they showered them with something beforehand. Hell, even human skin glows slightly under blacklight (as does urine).

      Either theory could be valid - it's weird how the pigs seem to glow only in a certain radius - like a light (not necessarily visible to humans) was shown on them - they have dark spots.

      In any case I won't rule anything out - it's possible. Watches used to have dials that glowed fluorescent in the dark after a decent exposure to light (phosporus?). Submarine
      • Uh, I would hope a light was being shone on them. Fluorescence [wikipedia.org] only happens while a UV light is actually shining on the object. Phosphorescence [wikipedia.org] is the one that lasts after the light stops. If there were no light being shone, that would mean the pigs aren't fluorescent.
    • I'm pretty sure that's just a random picture they found that seemed to fit with the story. The article states (as reflected in the last line of the /. summary) that the "mouth, trotters and tongue of the pigs are green under ultraviolet light". Hardly sounds like a completely glowing pig to me. It's probably a picture of normal pigs using night-vision or something. Or I could be wrong and we're halfway towards finally getting green eggs and ham.
    • by Azarael ( 896715 )
      Here's another picture that looks less bogus.
      http://www.wftv.com/slideshow/news/2691965/detail. html?qs=;s=66;w=480 [wftv.com]

      I recommend looking at the rest of the gallery too, there's some pretty fun stuff.
  • by kihjin ( 866070 ) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @04:31AM (#17414850)
    I do not like them in a box.
    I do not like them with a fox.
    I do not like them in a house.
    I do not like them with a mouse.
    I do not like them here or there.
    I do not like them anywhere.
    I do not like green eggs and ham.
    I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

    From China with love,
  • by jesdynf ( 42915 ) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @04:32AM (#17414854) Homepage
    ... Green Eggs Soon To Follow.

    In other news, Hormel spokesperson Sam I Am is the Public Relations Man Of The Year according to...
  • dupe? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Janek Kozicki ( 722688 ) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @04:47AM (#17414902) Journal
    compare with old news [slashdot.org].
    • Chinese pirates must of found a way to create a cheap imitation....
    • by Propaganda13 ( 312548 ) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @05:07AM (#17414980)
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4605202.st m [bbc.co.uk]
      Below is the info I wanted to know that's not included in MSNBC link

      The scientists will use the transgenic pigs to study human disease. Because the pig's genetic material encodes a protein that shows up as green, it is easy to spot.

      So if, for instance, some of its stem cells are injected into another animal, scientists can track how they develop without the need for a biopsy or invasive test.
    • by umghhh ( 965931 )
      But the missed the real target i.e. a fluorescent pig with built-in flag - all red except few yellow stars on it. The flag - they have to work on it still or they will end up as food for the fluorescent warms.

      Good thing is that it will all stay within a fluorescent realm of the ruling party.

    • Taiwan, now Chinese?

      Somehow I think this is some sort of wicked scientist in-joke to test DNA manipulation.

      - How far along are we in our transgenic studies now?
      - Well, we can make the flourescent green pig!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Animals glowing green in the dark was invented 1986 in Chernobyl.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...welcome our fluorescent pig overlords.
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @04:56AM (#17414932) Homepage Journal
    Unless you get them really, really drunk...

    Cripes they're mixing pigs with jellyfish and the most interesting thing they can think to do with it is make the pig green? How about breeding a pig with deadly stinging tentacles? Now that would be something truly worthwhile!

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Maybe they should also consider attaching some frikken lasers to the tentacles too.
    • by ameoba ( 173803 )
      Glowing green pigs with tentacles? /me waits for live-action hentai.
  • While I'm sure multiple trials of such things help at least in terms of adding to the data pool. But things like this sure do not win them any points in terms of public perception. I'm all for this research for medical benefits, but I'm not looking forward to the inevitable mutant animals.
  • by mrmeval ( 662166 ) <<mrmeval> <at> <gmail.com>> on Sunday December 31, 2006 @05:33AM (#17415054) Journal
    What is it with some news orgs calling this a Chinese development? Is it solidarity with the communists?

    The BBC used the correct name, it's Taiwan and it's been independant for some time now. Get over it.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4605202.st m [bbc.co.uk]
    • What is it with some news orgs calling this a Chinese development?

      Because it is?

      This is not a dupe. It was Taiwanese scientists last time, this time it is Chinese scientists.

      From TFA:
      A research team at the Northeast Agricultural University in Harbin...

      Harbin is very much in China.
    • by ceeam ( 39911 )
      I'm reasonably sure Taiwan citizens are calling themselves Chinese.
      • by teslar ( 706653 )
        I used to have a Taiwanese gf and the best way to make her completely furious was to call her Chinese. Seriously. She'd rip your head off just for that comment. However, at the other end, there are Taiwanese who really want to be friends with China and calling those Chinese is perfectly ok, in fact, it will make them really happy. I also knew a guy like that. Actually, he seemed to be happy whether you called him Taiwanese (you recognised where he was from specifically - wow) or Chinese (China is great, so
        • i do love how you found out the best way to make her furious, know wonder why you USED to have a Taiwanese gf hahaha. and regular eggs and green ham FTW
        • I think this shows exactly how politically divided Taiwanese people are over their own identity. This used to be a non-issue about 15 years ago, because at that time, the word Taiwanese is neutural. It only refers to people live in Taiwan, with no ethnic implications. But now, thanks to the brainwash by pro-independence politicians, everything labelled with Taiwan is good, with China, bad. Migrants who came to Taiwan after 1949 are sinful, because their connection to the mainland. Their descendants too, eve
        • by JPriest ( 547211 )
          The next time I meet someone from China I am going to have to say:

          "Oh, you are from China, isn't that somewhere near Taiwan?" :)

          • Now try this one,

            "Oh, you are from America. Isn't that somewhere near Guantanamo?"

            • by JPriest ( 547211 )
              Americans don't like the Bush administration either, it just took most of them till the end of his second term to realize it. I think if we impeached Clinton over lying about an affair then Bush is fair game too, and we should have thrown him out of office a while ago.

              Anyway, since you seem educated and you live in China (I am guessing), can you tell me a little bit about it?

              Specifically, I have spoke with people in the US that refuse to purchase goods from Wal-Mart on the basis that most of those good

              • It seems every country has its own problem to deal with. I do not intend to criticize Mr Bush here. There's already enough talking about him. And besides, he's not my president. However, I'm very pleased to answer your questions. :-)

                As an oversea Chinese, I currently live in the UK. Living situation here is not too bad, except the weather ;-p. I grew up in China and spent my first 20 some years there. Needless to say, I've been always keen on developments back in my home country and as a fluent Chinese spe

    • by teslar ( 706653 )
      No, you are wrong, this has been done in Harbin [wikipedia.org], which is in China, not Taiwan. The Taiwanese have done something similar, much earlier in the year, but this does not refer to that (Though I have a feeling the pic in TFA is actually from the Taiwanese work because those pigs are clearly not just partially green). Also, see here [theregister.co.uk].
    • This is America. Whatever we say is true. Even though the majority of us are idiots.
    • Well, my boyfriend's family is from Shanghai, and they're Chinese Nationalists (his mom just returned to DC from Taiwan 3 days ago). According to him, China has technically been in a state of civil war for the last 50 years. Therefore, Taiwan isn't really it's own country right now. This is sort of like you saying, in 1863, "Gosh, the South is TOTALLY a different country! The Confederacy broke away 2 years ago!" even though the Civil War wasn't over and the South ended up re-assimilating. Both the PRC
    • Therefore
      Anti-china = democracy = good

      Come on, moderators. How was this mod'ed insightful?

      Even if it's not biased stereotyping, the dispute over Taiwan's political status has nothing to do with scientific discoveries.

    • Yes, the photo is from the National Taiwan University, but the work was done by scientists at the Northeast Argicultural University in Harbin - MAINLAND CHINA.
    • by solitas ( 916005 )
      I like the way the assholes at PMSnbc used the original image from the Jan/2006 BBC article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/460 5202.stm), and properly cited "National Taiwan University" in the photo credit, while talking about "Northeast Agricultural University" in the copy. REAL pro...

      BTW: that BBC article has video too.
  • Xinhua confirm that Chinese scientists have successfully tested a simple machine consisting of a circular frame with spokes that can rotate on a shaft or axle.

    This appears to be a new type of dupe. I googled for fluorescent pigs and got this latest "news" swamping the top 30 results. Add a -china -taiwan and some reports from around 2001-2002 came up, including a research paper entitled:
    "Transgenic pig expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein produced by nuclear transfer" Jul 2002.
    Did anyone else h
    • indeed.. i was quite sure i'd read that story before somewhere .. but who knows, perhpas they made the pig even greener!
  • You've heard of goats at the Frat party, here's pigs to take to the rave!
  • The other day at ShopRite I've seen a package of green bacon. I was worried it went bad (you know, "manager's special"). Silly me. Now I know green bacon comes from green fluorescent transgenic pigs, of course.
  • first steps to soylent green?
  • That photo in tfa screams Pink Floyd! And, as for flying pigs... http://www.batterseapowerstation.org.uk/floyd/floy d.html [batterseap...ion.org.uk]
  • All that is left now is to insert the gene for fuckin' lasers on the head into embryonic sharks.
  • Odd article (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Skylinux ( 942824 ) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @06:13AM (#17415162) Homepage
    The main picture of the article shows animals created by Taiwanese scientist instead of the pigs created by the Chinese scientists mentioned in the article. MSNBC .....

    Another article I have read explained that the Taiwanese pigs where superior due to their much stronger glow throughout their bodies which can be seen in the picture.
    Link to the other article:
    ahref=http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/12/29/fluo rescent_pig/rel=url2html-7150 [slashdot.org]http://www.theregiste r.co.uk/2006/12/29/fluorescent_pig/>

    And here is where the pic came from:
    ahref=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacifi c/4605202.stmrel=url2html-7150 [slashdot.org]http://news.bbc.co.u k/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4605202.stm>
  • And now we can make green SPAM as well
    http://www.spam.com/ [spam.com]
  • by no reason to be here ( 218628 ) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @06:27AM (#17415194) Homepage
    A research team at the Northeast Agricultural University in Harbin managed to breed three transgenic pigs by injecting fluorescent green protein into embryonic pigs. Xinhua quoted Professor Liu Zhonghua as saying. 'The mouth, trotters and tongue of the pigs are green under ultraviolet light'."

    what really happened is that kermit finally knocked up miss piggy.
  • Now they need to invent a flourescent spider which can weave a flourescent web that says "SOME PIG" in flourescent letters.
  • I can eat my breakfast in the dark!

    Thanks China!
  • welcome our flourescent green porcine overlords.

    (Sorry, I couldn't resist....and it is one of the cooler "overlord" sayings possible for the last few months.)
  • It might make a good Superhero TM origin-story.
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Pigs, the X-Pigs...
  • Is this where they get green ham from?
  • It's just a little green, it's still good, it's still good!...
  • I swear, every year, more and more science fiction becomes fact as we push the boundaries. When I see news like this, I realize how every day the real world comes closer to the vision of authors like Douglas Adams.
  • by Audacious ( 611811 ) on Sunday December 31, 2006 @12:11PM (#17416310) Homepage
    Didn't anyone notice that the paragraph said "mouth, trotters(feet), and tongue" were flourescent yet the entire pig was flourescent in the picture? This is more like a picture taken with a green light. Here is why:

    What we call a black light doesn't make an area black - it causes things which are flourescent in nature to glow. White objects look purple, reds take on more of an orange glow, and greens really look saturated. Pigs are not the cleanest of creatures and biological refuse (such as blood, offal, urine, and such) glow under flourescent lights as well. Even the cleanest creature will glow somewhat due to the various substances which are brushed up against or contained within the skin. None of that shows up in the picture.

    The picture is a circular area which shows the backs and tops of the pig's head, it's shoulders, and ears. None of which are the mouths, feet, or tongue. Had the picture had dim outlines of the pigs with their mouth's glowing and their feet glowing - it would have been believe-able. Because it would have matched what was said. But this picture does not.
  • That picture reminds me of certain enemys in DOOM 1. China's got rockets, all they have to do now is send them to Mars.
  • what a bright idea
  • i do not like green ham and eggs!
  • Maybe we can add a few flourescent sows to the breeding population in Hawaii and then it'll become easier to control them ....
  • OMG, LOL. This is fake! I saw this article a few years ago. I have the picture to prove it. I remember saving it because I thought it was cool. I just checked. Yeah its the exact same picture. I saw it on HLfallout.com in a post along with the article.
  • Yess, the scientists have finally solved the eternal problem of how to find ham in the fridge with lamp down.

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."