Scientists in South Korea have cloned a beagle which they have named Ruppy. What makes Ruppy world news? Well Ruppy happens to be the first transgenic dog. Ruppy and her four fellow beagles all exhibit fluorescent genes, particularly a red fluorescence that glows under a UV light. This gene is usually only present in sea anemones, mind you. You read correctly, this poor dog and her “littermates” all glow red under ultraviolet light.
First of all, I’m the first to say that I dislike cloning in general, but to clone a dog to make the poor puppy glow red? Then to parade her around the media like she is some tool of the trade? Wait, that is what they see her as unfortunately.
Why is this poor dog glowing red for all the world to see? Well, this is my favorite part. The scientists in South Korea stated: “I think these dogs will be a very useful model for our research. The next step for us is to generate a true disease model.” Wonderful! Hooray! Now dogs can not only be cloned but be destined for a life of a plethora of human diseases. I tell ya, what could be better?
“The long lifespan of dogs and their reproductive cycle could make them more relevant to human fertility than mice.” Oh golly gee. This is excellent news. Now those women who insist on being impregnated even though their bodies clearly do not believe they should be (what does nature know?) can potentially become pregnant more easily because of poor glowing puppies. Well, if I do say so myself it is well worth it to increase the world’s population (its not like we don’t have too many people already or anything) AND torture dogs that were brought into this world just for that purpose. Win-win!
The only glimmer of hope for future clones like Ruppy is the fact that many in the field believe the methods are too “laborious, expensive and slow” and that it is too expensive to care for “laboratory-reared dogs” to become common procedure. Unfortunately, this knowledge has not spared Ruppy or her pals from what I can only imagine will be a life of pain (mental, emotional and physical).