This web page was produced as an assignment for an undergraduate course at Davidson College.

Transgenic Pets: The GloFish™

By William Wood

Pic 1. GloFish™ fluorescent fish during the day. Pic 2. GloFish™ fluorescent fish during the night.
Permission granted by GloFish support.

In recent years genetically modified animals have started popping up all over T.V., newspapers and most recently pet shops. One such newcomer to the genetically modified pet market is that of the GloFish™. GloFish™ fluorescent fish are zebrafish that have a gene from a sea anemone inserted into their genetic code (Nature, 2003). This gene allows the fish to absorb white light and then re-emit it. By being able to absorb light, the GloFish™ seems to glow in the day time (Pic 1).

In a completely dark room, however, to take full effect of the GloFish’s™ fluorescence capabilities one must use a black light (Pic 2) (, 2004). Since the GloFish™ has to initially absorb light before it can give off light, the black light enables the GloFish™ to have light that it may absorb (, 2004).

This website will take a look at some of the events surrounding the GloFish™, including what is the GloFish™, laws and regulations of Genetically Modified Pets and problems with GMP’s and lastly a brief history of fluorescent pets.


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