Glowing puppies the latest in science fiction?

South Korean scientists have genetically engineered four dogs to glow in the dark. The cloned beagles (all named Ruppy) glow red under ultraviolet light. The important point, claims Seoul National University professor Lee Byeong-chun, is that the fluorescent genes were planted. In related fluorescence news, Nobel prize-winning chemist Roger Tsien and his colleagues at the University of California, San Diego attach fluorescent proteins to cancer-related matrix metalloproteinases enzymes. These glowing particles help surgeons carve out cancer riddled tumors during exploratory surgery. It’s probably bad science to put these two technologies together, but we can foresee Hollywood doing just that. Watch for a new killer thriller starring Matt Damon/Tom Cruise/Clive Owen featuring glowing heroes on the run. That, or maybe in the future we can watch for glowing swine flu (recently renamed N1H1) carriers.