In a technological demonstration of advanced bio-engineering, use of methods like vivisection to see the workings of organs in live goldfish have now, in a sense, been made obsolete. “You don’t have to cut it open. You can see a tiny brain above the goldfish’s black eyes,” says Yutaka Tamaru, an associate professor in the department of life science at Mie University.

Indeed, a new process has produced the favorable result of goldfish with translucent skin, in response to growing controversy regarding dissections of animals for study.

Calling the see-through fish “ryukin,” the goldfish were produced through a process of selectively breeding varieties of “mutant” hatchery goldfish with pale skin. “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,” Tamaru told AFP.

This is the second instance of bio-engineering that has successfully produced translucent animals. In 2007, a team of researchers at the Institute for Amphibian Biology of Hiroshima University also managed to breed light-skinned frogs, creating creatures whose organs can be observed from the minute life stages of tadpole squiggling, to froggy kick-swimming. Such processes are believed to be more humane, and will hopefully curb the dissent of animal rights activists who have suggested other humane methods of study that include computer simulations.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Micah Hanks

Author: Micah Hanks

Micah Hanks is a writer, researcher, and podcaster. His interests include areas of history, science, archaeology, philosophy, and the study of anomalous phenomena in nature. He can be reached at info@micahhanks.com.