Scientists in Taiwan claim to have bred fluorescent green pigs - closely following the exposure of a scientist in neighbouring South Korea for faking genetic research.
Wu Shinn-Chih, a professor at the university's Institute and Department of Animal Science and Technology, said on Thursday that by injecting fluorescent green protein into embryonic pigs, a research team at the island's leading National Taiwan University had bred three male transgenic pigs. It was hoped that the creatures would be useful in stem cell research.
"There are partially fluorescent green pigs elsewhere, but ours are the only ones in the world that are green from inside out," Wu said. "Even their hearts and internal organs are green."
The transgenic pigs, commonly used to study human diseases, would help researchers monitor and trace changes of the tissues during the physical development, he said.
In 2003, a Taiwanese company cloned the world's first genetically engineered fish, prompting protests from environmentalists who said the fluorescent green fish posed a threat to the earth's ecosystem.
Meanwhile, South Korea's disgraced stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk apologised on Thursday for wrongdoing at his laboratory. He claimed that there had been a conspiracy to discredit him and said he was blinded by the zeal of advancing stem-cell studies.
An investigation panel at Seoul National University confirmed on Tuesday that a team led by Hwang faked two landmark papers on embryonic stem cells, but did produce the world's first cloned dog. However, the dog achievement was not considered to be a significant breakthrough because many other types of animals have already been cloned.