A team at Seoul National University located in South Korea has successfully created a new breed of beagle capable of fluorescing under ultraviolet light. There's even a video to brighten up your day. Why, you might ask? Some species, such as fireflies and plankton, can create light naturally but genetic engineers have been keen to develop luminescence in other animals. This transgenic canine, named Ruby Red, had a gene inserted into its DNA that creates a fluorescent protein when in contact with ultraviolet light. If placed in the dark with a UV source the puppy glows bright red.
So, apart from possibly creating a fad for luminescent tattoos, is there any real use for this? Do you really need to look for a stray dog armed with a UV ray? Scientists claim that if they could tag various cell types with different fluorescing genes then that could help locate things such as tumours and cancers. Sounds tenuous to me. The most obvious application is in tagging people. Maybe it won't be enough to have a radio frequency microchip implant but just for good measure you could have different classes of people emit a different colour. I'd say it would be impossible for a person to hack into their own genes. Your new fluorescent colour will run much deeper than your mere skin colour.