Even in the 21st century, we are walking a fine line with how we treat animals. We wish we were surprised to hear that scientists are making animals glow, but sadly, this isn’t the first time such a story has made headlines.

Earlier this year, a laboratory did the same thing by creating the first bunnies that glowed under fluorescent lights, and there’s even research going on to make glowing sheep!

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This process was inspired by cloning technology developed by Dr. Ryuzo Yanagimachi, who cloned the first mouse in 1990 and later successfully transferred a jellyfish gene to a mouse, producing the first glow-in-the-dark mice. Meaning – this process has been studied before, nearly 25 years before, been proven effective, and yet we’ve just tried it out on pigs.

According to The University of Hawaii at Manoa, “The goal is to introduce beneficial genes into larger animals to create less costly and more efficient medicines. ”

“[For] patients who suffer from hemophilia and they need the blood-clotting enzymes in their blood, we can make those enzymes a lot cheaper in animals rather than a factory that will cost millions of dollars to build,” said Dr. Stefan Moisyadi, a veteran bioscientist with the Institute for Biogenesis Research at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Cheaper and more effective medicine for humans is a good thing, but must we use other animals to perfect our technology?

Dr. Moisyadi says that the medicine can be created in a factory, then adds that it would just be easier to use pigs and other animals to effectively farm the medicine for us. Supporters of animal research could say that the pigs, mice, rabbits, etc. aren’t being technically harmed in this specific instance, but who is to say the harvesting process will be painless?

To this we must ask: Why do we feel that using another sentient being at our whim to create our medicine is the “right” thing to do?

Image Source: A.Sparrow/Flickr

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