GFP Bunny? Michael Chen

The idea of a glow-in-the-dark bunny sounds really cool, but I cannot find any true definitive evidence that this GFP Bunny actually existed. There appears to be next to no mention of this genetically-altered bunny in scientific journals; instead, the only instances are art publications, and the same simulated photograph of the said glowing bunny. Even Edward Shanken himself said that the glow was hardly perceptible even with the lights off. Theoretically, the glow could have just been the fact that a white object- the bunny- is a lot lighter than a dark room. Then again, since there’s very little evidence, the glow-in-the-dark bunny could have been the real thing, but it is pretty hard to trust the word of a guest lecturer who cannot remember how old the bunny was or when (or even if) it died.

Regardless of whether the bunny existed or not, the idea of transgenic art opens up the debate of whether genetic engineering is ethical or not. The argument against genetic alteration maintains that nature, for better or worse, works one way, and that it is not within our domain, as humans, to toy with nature. The argument for is that if we can improve our living quality, or that of something else’s, then we should do everything in our power to do it. Of course, there is also everything in between…

Then there is the GFP bunny itself; is this modification really beneficial to anyone? I mean, a glow-in-the-dark bunny that actually glows would be a boon for the pet industry, but besides that does the bunny benefit? Does the bunny suffer? Is it wrong- or is it right?


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