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Glow-in-the-Dark Deer
image Genetiate is a biotech company working on that one thing the world has been crying out for: glow-in-the-dark deer. It's such a bizarre project, that it screams hoax. The amateur quality of its website reinforces this impression. But I think it's real. Genetiate is a division of Geneticas Life Sciences. Those are the same people who, through yet another division, are creating the hypoallergenic cats. But why create a glow-in-the-dark deer? So that it will more easily be seen by motorists. The site gives this explanation:
"By implanting the gene of a special jellyfish into deer, the transgenic NIGHTSAVE deer produced by GENETIATE (patent pending) have fluorescing hair and skin when illuminated by car headlights. The implanted gene has no other effect on the deer, who appear normal in daylight." The illogical thing about this is that even if they create a couple of these special deer (or even if they create thousands of them), that's hardly going to have an effect on the wild deer population as a whole, who will still be just as invisible to motorists.
AnimalsScience
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 16, 2004
Ah, but you've failed to take into account the magic of Evolution, surely?

Provided the offspring of these glow-in-the-dark deer also fluoresce, then over time their survival advantage should lead to them overcoming their less illuminating cousins.

And I for one welcome our new glowing ruminant overlords.
Posted by Kieran  in  Macau, China  on  Tue Nov 16, 2004  at  03:55 AM
Don't see why it couldn't be real, they gene-spliced lab mice with jellyfish genes to make them glow.

However, I thought they only fluoresced under UV light? Would regular car headlights even work?
Posted by Ponygirl  on  Tue Nov 16, 2004  at  06:18 AM
Roll on the UV headlight!
Posted by paul in prague  on  Tue Nov 16, 2004  at  06:29 AM
I work in insurance...and the 500,000 crashes a year aren't all, "I was driving down the road and the deer slowly stepped into my path...", they're usually more like, "A deer just attacked my CAR!" A lot of deer come into the path at a point when there is no possible avoidance...plus even if you see a glowing deer & try to swerve your car to avoid it and hit a guardrail instead, you've just given yourself a collision loss vs. a comprehensive loss & now your driving history will be affected. Plus, I would think this would have a terrible effect on other wildlife.

Animals who are nocturnal don't need light to see & a glow might also effect their vision. Maybe?

And...500,000? Do you REALLY think everyone reported their deer hit to the insurance or to the police to be recorded? I don't think so. A lot of people take their deer HOME.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Tue Nov 16, 2004  at  10:10 AM
It's a fake.
Exhibit A: the photo is clearly of the same two deer, photoshopped for a green glow.
Exhibit B: car headlights won't cause fluorescence

For some real science about trangenic mice with GFP (green fluorescent protein, derrived from jellyfish) , look here: http://pr.caltech.edu/periodicals/336/articles/Volume 2/01-24-02/mouse.html


For lots of links to Alba, the GFP bunny, look here:
http://www.ekac.org/gfpbunny.html
Posted by John.  on  Tue Nov 16, 2004  at  12:21 PM
Good point. I never even stopped to think about that. I was just thinking about the process!
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Tue Nov 16, 2004  at  01:41 PM
"Exhibit A: the photo is clearly of the same two deer, photoshopped for a green glow."

To see the photo, you have to click on a link that identifies it as a simulation. They don't claim it's actually glowing deer. Not that I think this is this is for real, but they cop to the photo being a fake up front.
Posted by Matt  on  Tue Nov 16, 2004  at  01:58 PM
This company is extremely dubious at best, a simple scam at worst. They're already taking a $250 deposit "to reserve a hypoallergenic kitten".

http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996594
Posted by TurtleGuy  on  Tue Nov 16, 2004  at  02:30 PM
Only stupid people hit deer, anybody who knows what to look for can see deer from a mile away in the dark. Besides deer have adapted fairly well to highways, they don't get jumpy everytime a vechicle drives by, they only run out when something spooks them, a loud sterio or car with a coffe can for a muffler.
Posted by Wes Rains  on  Tue Nov 16, 2004  at  04:06 PM
During mating season the Bucks get agressive. They have jumped on parked & stopped cars.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Wed Nov 17, 2004  at  10:00 AM
I'm surprised no one mentioned how (if this was real) this would change the hunting scene. It would take most of the sport out of the "sport" of deer hunting, as most hunters choose to do so at wee hours of the morning, before the sun has broken over the horizon.

Would that be considered cheating?
Posted by Scott  in  Annapolis, MD  on  Thu Nov 18, 2004  at  12:49 AM
Um...they're not technically glow-in-the-dark deer like radioactive material, they're deer that will supposedly fluoresce when car lights hit them.

Although like it has been pointed out originally, the mice that were spliced to carry jellyfish genes fluoresce under ultraviolet light, not normal white light. If the deer splicing even works, cars (and hunters) would need to be equipped with UV lights in order for the deer to look at all glowy.
Posted by Ponygirl  on  Thu Nov 18, 2004  at  02:50 AM
It's taken with a nigshot ! I have a nightshot camera, and on them, the clear/white that are almost not able to see are glowing. and the nightshot takes green shots, of the same nature this pic does. Looks to me like someone with a nightshot camera went for a walk at night ... o_O
Posted by Akashka  in  France  on  Thu Nov 18, 2004  at  09:11 AM
Alba, the GFP bunny

Also questionable:
http://www.wired.com/news/print/0,1294,54399,00.html
Posted by Ray  in  Devon, UK  on  Fri Nov 19, 2004  at  10:48 PM
This would be great for night hunting.
Posted by Mark  in  New Zealand  on  Tue Nov 30, 2004  at  09:13 AM
this whole splice thing seems sketchy. A: the website dosent look like that of a professional genetics company. plus the deer collisons happen because the deer run out right before your on top of them.O boy now well get to see how big the one were hitting is
Posted by john  in  Tx  on  Tue Dec 14, 2004  at  01:14 PM
Well, I've been using luminous deer now for the last couple of years. Whenever I go camping with family, the first thing we do is capture a lumideer (as they are known). Some people know them as lumodeer.

We then tie the deer to a stake and feed it lots of deer kinda food. At night, we use the deers light to have friendly banter and tell camping tales.

When we leave, we let the deer go free, to which the deer always says "Thank you".

My friend uses roadkill lumideer instead of headlights for his truck. As a matter of fact, all the rooms at his house are lit by lumideer remains. I never call round his house anymore, because the stench makes me gag.

Oh look! The nice doctors are coming back for me.
Posted by Dave  on  Sat Jan 15, 2005  at  06:18 PM
It would make night hunting easier, LOL. I wish it could really be done.
Posted by Crystal  in  Outskirts of Panama City, Florida  on  Tue Feb 08, 2005  at  11:03 AM
HA HA HA IF U GUYS ARE ACTUALLY BUYING INTO THIS THEN...HA HA WOW...THE DEER IS REFLECTING OFF OF SOMEONES FLASH LIGHT IF U HAVE EVER BEEN HUNTING U WOULD KNO THAT LOL!
Posted by lllllllpppppp  on  Sun Jan 21, 2007  at  01:14 PM
ohhhh that is horrible!
how on earth could anyone even think that this would benefit the deer?
For one thing, why can't we just leave them alone and let evolution deal with the crash fatalities?
And, as several people have pointed out, this would probably not affect the number of deer crashes every year, for several possible reasons.
It is also doubtful that it would not affect the deer in some way, in regards to their health.
And, guess what, this will make them easier to hunt at night !!
yay, lots of glowing DEAD deer!
Posted by skye  in  Australia  on  Fri Dec 07, 2007  at  08:25 PM
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