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Tag: fluorescent

Contractor charged with spray painting dog

A Georgia prosecutor says he intends to aggressively prosecute a contractor who allegedly sprayed fluorescent orange paint on a barking black lab mix that was in a fenced backyard.

“To spray paint a dog in the eye makes no sense,” DeKalb County Solicitor Robert James told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution yesterday. “It was gratuitous. The animal was behind a fence. Its really something we take serious and were going to try to make this thing right. We’re going to take this very seriously.”

Dario Harris appeared in DeKalb County State Court Tuesday on two counts of animal cruelty, a charge that could mean as much as 12 months in jail.

Harris was dispatched in March to mark gas lines in preparation for scheduled digging along the residential street. A homeowner, Jeffrey Tompkins, heard his dog, Bear, barking and then saw a truck driving away. A few minutes later, he found his dog rubbing her eyes with her front paws.

Tompkins said there were “seven individual spray marks” low on the fence about the height of the dog’s eyes.

“It wasn’t like he just sprayed one time across [ the fence],” Tompkins said in an interview Wednesday. “He [Harris] went up to the fence. He had no reason to go in the backyard.”

Harris said he “reacted to the dog coming to the gate and scaring me. It wasn’t anything intentional. I wasn’t out to do any harm. I was just doing my job.”

A vet flushed Bear’s eyes and provided antibiotics, and Harris said he would repay Tompkins for those expenses.

“This is making me out to be a criminal,” Harris said. “I’m not.”

Scientists announce fluorescent dog clones

South Korean scientists have finally announced what they pulled off almost 18 months ago — the births of four cloned beagles that glow red under ultraviolet light.

All named  “Ruppy” — a combination of the words “ruby” and “puppy” — the dogs are pups no more, as you can see in a photo I took in February during my visit to Seoul National University, where Snuppy, the world’s first dog clone, was born in 2005.

Seoul National University professor Lee Byeong-chun, head of the research team, says they are the world’s first transgenic cloned dogs.

The fluorescence serves no purpose — other than letting the scientists know that the modified genes they inserted during the cloning process were successfully transferred.

“What’s significant in this work is not the dogs expressing red colors but that we planted genes into them,” Lee told the Associated Press Tuesday.

Successfully cloning dogs with flourescent genes paves the way to implanting disease-related genes into dogs, which will allow scientists to study and develop cures for human diseases.

The achievement was first publicized earlier this month in a paper on the website of the journal “Genesis.”

The fluorescence is noticeable, even when the dogs aren’t under ultraviolet light. The Ruppy I met and photographed had pinkish skin around his nose, and pink claws.

Scientists in the U.S., Japan and in Europe have cloned fluorescent mice and pigs, but SNU’s achievement is the first time dogs with modified genes have been cloned successfully, Lee said.

He said his team took skin cells from a beagle, inserted fluorescent genes into them and put them into enucleated eggs cells from a surrogate mother dog. Those were implanted into the womb of the surrogate mother, a local mixed breed. Six cloned flourescent female beagles were born in December 2007, two of which died.

Lee said his team has already started to implant human disease-related genes during the cloning process, in hopes they will be able to discover treatments for genetic diseases such as Parkinson’s.