Saturday, September 29, 2007

Transparent Frog

Where you one of those kids who got squeamish during lab when it came to dissecting those slimy frogs?

That certainly wasn’t the case for me as I remember my partner and I getting in trouble for tossing part of the little froggie at the kids at the next table...too much fun really. But, then I was only in 7th grade, and dissecting frogs was more entertaining than a learning experience. Anywhoo...maybe all that frog dissecting will be made a little easier in the future. Check it out!

September 28, 2007—For high school students everywhere, this revealing amphibian may be a cut above regular frogs.

That's because the see-through frog does not require dissection to see its organs, blood vessels, and eggs.

Masayuki Sumida, a professor at the Institute for Amphibian Biology at Japan's Hiroshima University, bred the frog to be a humane learning tool.

"You can watch organs of the same frog over its entire life, as you don't have to dissect it," Sumida told the news agency Agence France-Presse. The scientist announced his research last week at an academic meeting.

Dissecting animals for science has sparked controversies worldwide, even prompting some companies to create computer simulations as cruelty-free alternatives.

Researchers bred the sheer creature—a type of Japanese brown frog—for two recessive genes that make it pale.

Though not yet patented, the frog is the first four-legged, see-through animal to be bred by scientists. Some fish species are also clear.

Only 1 in 16 frogs end up see-through, and Sumida's team has not yet figured out how to pass on the transparent trait to offspring.

I'll have to tell my son about this one though it doesn't appear that these little guys will be circulating to the schools any time soon. He's about the age where I'll get to start hearing about frog dissection.