Scientists from the University of Hawaii and two Turkish universities have unveiled a litter of eight rabbit kits earlier this month, two of which faintly glow green in the absence of light. This bizarre trait was created when researchers injected the rabbit embryos with plasmids containing jellyfish DNA, causing the newborn kits to take on some strange characteristics. While glowing in the dark has no function in itself—aside from being detrimental to the animals’ survival in the wild—scientists say that it could open up new avenues for transgenesis research, eventually allowing for less expensive and more efficient medicine by utilizing proteins produced inside the animals. The researchers are currently waiting for the birth of several sheep also injected with the jellyfish DNA.
The glowing trait appeared in two of the eight kits, a success rate of about 25 percent. It is not known if these rabbits are sterile. If not, an escaped animal or two could mean a dramatically easier season for rabbit hunters.