Glofish (tm), as the name may imply, are small fish that fluoresce bright red, green, or orange, a characteristic imparted by the addition of a fluorescence gene
extracted from sea anemone
s and jellyfish
. Originally developed to detect pollution by glowing in toxic environments, Glofish are now consumer-tailored creatures, becoming the first genetically engineered
pets sold in the united states.
First created at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology
), Glofish are modified zebrafish
, a member of cyprinidae family. Zebrafish are widely used in science, as they are easy to maintain, and reproduce quickly enough for scientists to create genetic mutations and observe them in a timely manner.
Glofish fluoresce by absorbing and gradually reemitting light, and thus the brilliance of their glow depends upon the energy and intensity of the light source. High-energy black lights, for example, are noticeably more influential than ambient sunlight.
A number of ethical questions arise from the sale of these fish, most finding voice in the religous and environmental communities. Some scientists also oppose the sale of these fish, as it somewhat trivializes legitimate research, and prematurely opens new avenues of genetic modification to the business sector.
Information obtained from www.glofish.com