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See-through goldfish  (Source: AFP)
See-through goldfish could be used for research purposes, or make an expensive pet

South Korean scientists may have created a glowing cat, but Japanese researchers have successfully developed a transparent goldfish.

The clear goldfish allows observers to see the tiny fish's beating heart, which allows scientists to observe living creatures and reduces the numbers of dissections.

"You can see a live heart and other organs because the scales and skin have no pigments," said Yukata Tamaru, Mie University associate professor, in a statement to the AFP.  "You don't have to cut it open. You can see a tiny brain above the goldfish's black eyes.  Having a pale colour is a disadvantage for goldfish in an aquarium but it's good to see how organs sit in a body three-dimensionally."

The goldfish could live up to 20 years and can grow up to 10 inches in length.  Researchers can view the fish as it grows from a speck up to a five-pound goldfish later in life.

Japanese researchers from the Institute for Amphibian Biology of Hiroshima University are expected to begin mass producing see-through frogs sometime in 2010, with the estimated price near $110.

Human rights experts around the world have voiced concern regarding the overall lack of other options aside from dissections, which was one of the leading reasons behind similar research.



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RE: Should apply the same to humans
By jdietz on 12/31/2009 1:56:17 PM , Rating: 2
Hypochondriacs could take it to a whole new level. Now you'll really know if you have internal bleeding or not!
On the other hand, it would make it more difficult to examine the skin for problems. It would be possible to detect a major bone fracture - even without an X-ray.
Even in the Goldfish, you can't see it's stomach, for example because it's covered by muscle tissue. Humans have the same problem - a bunch of stuff (mostly muscle?) is covering all the good parts. You can't see the brain - the skull is covering most of it. Bones are never going to be transparent. They are made of mostly calcium phosphate-which is white (and not clear).


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