View real-time genes and contribute to the study of diseases and development of medical treatments are some of the scientific purpose of working with animals when exposed to ultraviolet light.
For animal advocates may seem a cruel and unethical. For scientists, a useful tool that helps us understands disease processes and treatments in an animal model similar to humans. It is genetically modified animals that light up when in contact with ultraviolet light.
The fluorescence is defined as the property of a substance to emit light when exposed to ultraviolet radiation type, cathode rays or X-ray Absorbed radiation (invisible to the eye), are transformed into visible light.
Applying this concept and through a genetic disorder, a group of researchers from the School of Biological Sciences at the U. Concepcion, achieved after 4 months, creating the first transgenic mice in our country.
In this way, and as explained study leader, Dr. Juan Toledo Biological Sciences introduced a piece of DNA fluorescent protein GFP in all cells of your body. This causes ultraviolet light to direct them low density, your skin look bright green in color. The transgenic mice will allow testing related to illnesses such as cancer and diabetes, among others. In addition, researchers are already working to generate transgenic embryos of cattle and poultry that can be used to detect substances in their milk, useful in drug development.
But how comes this creation science? In 1961, Osamu Shimomura, a researcher at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Masssachussets (USA), a molecule found in jellyfish that glowed green under ultraviolet light. After several studies and found the green fluorescent protein GFP, Osamu Shimomura and Roger Tsien of the University of California at San Diego and Martin Chalfie of Columbia University, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008.
Like them, several groups of scientists around the world have applied the technique of genetic modification in pigs, squirrels and fish, with alleged medical purposes. And is that in addition to avoiding the fluorescence dissecting the animals under study, could be a key tool to make visible various biomedical processes as the development of nerve cells in the brain, the spread of cancer cells, or the effect of drug therapies to treat diseases.