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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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