A Korean team report the generation of a RFP-transgenic beagle. Dogs exhibits 224 genetic diseases similar to those found in humans making them one of the closest known models for various human hereditary diseases. However, experimentation with animal -which should be at the service of the whole mankind - raises strong and acute ethical challenges, particularly if the experimental model is a pet.
Although still prototypical, the concept of "reporter animal" arguments toward a new use of animal experimentation based on the generation of a knowledge based on the non-invasive observation of physiological events in living animals at molecular detail. This vision is still in its infancy and several ameliorements steps need to be undertaken. One of them, is the development of better transgenic abilities to safely introduce a genetically-encoded reporter into mammals. Due to the technical difﬁculty in obtaining fertilizable eggs and the unavailability of embryonic stem cells, no transgenic dog has been generated so far. Hong et al., report now the use of Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) to generate, from a stably-transfected fibroblast, a dog carrying the red-fluorescent protein. This will be probably a debated proof of concept.
Hong, S., Kim, M., Jang, G., Oh, H., Park, J., Kang, J., Koo, O., Kim, T., Kwon, M., Koo, B., Ra, J., Kim, D., Ko, C., & Lee, B. (2009). Generation of red fluorescent protein transgenic dogs genesis DOI: 10.1002/dvg.20504