Friday, December 18, 2009

The NYT Says, "Meet Ruppy"

You won't have met Ruppy at the Dog Park. Ruppy doesn't get out much. He's the first of a new breed of dogs, according to The New York Times Magazine in its 9th Annual Year in Ideas issue (Dec. 13, 2009). (To read the article, click here and scroll down to "Glow-in-the-Dark Dog, The.") Ruppy is mostly a beagle, but he also hosts genes from a sea anemone, which means that his skin glows red when viewed under ultraviolet light. He is the first of his kind, a transgenic dog.

The point of making Ruppy (Ruby + Puppy = Ruppy; cute) fluorescent is to help fertility researchers study hormones. The researchers who developed Ruppy used to study transgenic mice, but their hormones are not as compatible to humans' for study. Plus, they died during the process. The beauty of Ruppy, says the article, written by Emily Biuso, is that "unlike the rodents, Ruppy can provide useful scientific knowledge without necessarily having to sacrifice his life."

Necessarily is the key word here.

By the way, Eric B., I did not read this story in The Onion. 

The magazine's other topics of interest to Dog Parkers include mosquito combat lasers, bicycle highways, and why Jane Austen's books are ripe for zombiefication.

Art above is from NYT: Photo illustration by Reinhard Hunger; set design by Sarah Illenberger; they also did the cover art.

Finally, a hearty congratulations to Sarah (Tony), who graduates summa cum laude from Texas State University today with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Animal Science. Hooray!


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