Researchers in a joint project between the University of Istanbul and the University of Hawaii have created bunnies that glow-in-the-dark as part of a genetic manipulation study.
In an effort to improve treatments for life-threatening illnesses, the scientists injected jellyfish DNA into the mother rabbit's embryos. Two out of the litter of eight produce a the neon green light - an indication to the researchers that the genetic manipulation technique they are studying works efficiently.
Stefan Moisyadi, an associate professor at the University of Hawaii, says the colour is cosmetic, but the results are significant: "The green is not important at all, it's just a marker to show the experiment can be done successfully."
The technique that was used to give the rabbits their luminous glow is expected to lead to new ways to produce medicine, just as these glow-in-the-dark cats helped with a study of HIV. However, the research team do acknowledge that not everyone agrees with them testing their theories on animals. Moisyadi said:
"To the people against, I say: think about, what are the benefits and what are the injuries? And if the benefits outweigh the injuries, let's go with the benefits."
The glow-in-the-dark bunnies are expected to live as long as the rest of the litter,