Tuesday, April 28, 2009


from the New York Post


Meet Ruppy, the glow-in-the-dark puppy.

The cloned beagle -- her full name is Ruby Puppy -- and four other pups glow because they have genetic information from sea anemones, a breakthrough scientists hope will help in the study of human diseases.

The pups produce a protein that glows under ultraviolet light, New Scientist magazine reported yesterday.

Researchers created the first transgenic dog -- so-called because it has genes transferred from another species -- by cloning and inserting cells that express a red fluorescent gene produced by sea anemones.

Scientists hope it will lead to transgenic dog models of human diseases, the magazine quoted one of the team members, CheMyong Ko of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, as saying.
"The next step for us is to generate a true disease model," he said.

The team that created Ruppy was led by Byeong-Chun Lee of Seoul National University in South Korea, who with stem-cell researcher Woo Suk Hwang was part of the scientific effort that in 2005 created Snuppy, the first cloned dog.

Greg Barsh, a Stanford University geneticist who studies dogs as models of disease, called it an "important accomplishment," according to the magazine.
But Nathan Sutter, a geneticist at Cornell University whose specialty is dogs, said "transgenesis is laborious, expensive and slow."

When the cost of tending to the animals and negative public impressions are factored in, few researchers might consider transgenic dogs, the magazine quoted him as saying. "It's not on my horizon as a dog geneticist at all."

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Acupuncture for Sparky

Sparky had his first acupuncture appointment today. His Ch'i runs a little hot. His yin is good, but he could spice up his yang. He didn't really seem to mind the needles and he certainly liked all the treats. I hope all of this will help his back.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Take two asprin and call the accupunturist

Sparky went back to the vet this weekend. The vet thinks he might have a slipped disc. He was given some Deramaxx for the inflammation and arthritis. He is also going to start accupuncture next week. At least the nice weather perked him up and we enjoyed some long walks in the neighborhood.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sparky says congrats to Bo

The First Puppy Makes a Big Splash, Bo, the Portuguese Water Dog.

The identity of the first puppy -- the one that the Washington press corps has been yelping about for months, the one President Obama has seemed to delight in dropping hints about -- leaked out yesterday. This despite White House efforts to delay the news until the big debut planned for Tuesday afternoon.

The little guy is a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog given to the Obama girls as a gift by that Portuguese water dog-lovin' senator himself, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts. The girls named it Bo -- and let it be noted that you learned that here first. Malia and Sasha chose the name, because their cousins have a cat named Bo and because first lady Michelle Obama's father was nicknamed Diddley, a source said. (Get it? Bo . . . Diddley?)
Bo's a handsome little guy. Well suited for formal occasions at the White House, he's got tuxedo-black fur, with a white chest, white paws and a rakish white goatee.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sparky's results are in...

Sparky test results are in, but are inconclusive "it is difficult to reliably differentiate between epithelial hyperplasia and benign and malignant epithelial neoplasia in this sample". A "biopsy and histopathology is recommended", so we made an appointment with a specialist.

He seem to be doing better in some ways, but he is also whining and crying alot, especially before he lays down.

More to come...