[image 1] Artist Eduardo Kac holding a rabbit.
[image 2] Logo of Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA).

Outsourcing Gene Manipulation

Kac had originally hoped to use a dog, but could not find a research lab that specialized in canine transgenics. So he turned to rabbits and to a French biomedical laboratory, the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA).

Since 1998, INRA had been producing rabbits with the GFP gene so that other researchers could track the development of embryonic cells. Kac did not himself know how to combine green fluorescent protein (GFP) with rabbit DNA, and so in 1999 he contacted INRA to create a transgenic rabbit for him.