Pine Nuts: Sheep that glow in the dark |

Pine Nuts: Sheep that glow in the dark


One of the most overlooked pieces of noteworthy scientific advancement buried by the pandemic of 2020 occurred in Uruguay. Yes, right out of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, a group of Uruguayan scientists announced that they had successfully modified the genetic makeup of a group of sheep to make them glow in the dark. Your first question, like mine, might be, “But why?” I don’t know, though the Uruguayan wolves are high-fiving each other like crazy. Oh, night hunting for wolves will now be like shooting fish in a barrel if you will forgive a mixed simile.

But how on Earth did the Uruguayan scientists do this, pray tell? Well, they did it by extracting a green fluorescent protein found in jellyfish, and implanting that green protein into the sheep, don’t ask me where. And I suppose if one were to inject that same fluorescent green protein into the big toe of a human, that human could walk around in the dark barefooted, and that human would no longer need a night light to get from bed to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Worse case scenario, if that same human were lost at sea in a lifeboat, that lost human could just wave his or her big toe in the air when an airplane flew overhead and be rescued at dawn.

The possibilities are endless. Imagine dropping your car key in the snow on a dark January night, and as good fortune would have it, you just had your tongue injected with green fluorescent protein earlier that day, and now all you need do to find that lost car key is to get down on your hands and knees and stick out your tongue.

Then again, what if we could get mosquitos to glow in the dark? We could effectively wipe out the entire mosquito population of the planet with our bare hands in one summer’s night. Taking it a step further, what if those Uruguayan scientists could make a virus glow? Imagine if I were COVID-19 positive and walked into a family reunion shimmering like a glow-stick. Well, the family would flee like rats off a burning ship, but for the next two weeks, my quarantine would be an easy matter, as I could read all night long just from the glow of my forehead.

I’m going to get in touch with those scientists down in Uruguay who can make sheep glow in the dark, and see if I can convince them to try to make a virus glow in the dark. It would be so much easier to rid ourselves of the little monsters if we could only see them. Yes, I do believe those Uruguayan scientists are on to something big, and I intend to incite them to take their research to the next level. Indeed, I shall attend to it first thing in the morning, if I can find this napkin with all these scribbles on it to remind myself…

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

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