Chinese scientists have unveiled a litter of glow-in-the-dark piglets.

The team from South China Agricultural University were able to create 10 pigs that turn green under black fluorescent lights, thanks to a technique developed by the University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Medicine.

The method sees animal embryos injected with DNA from a jellyfish and was used to create the world's first glow-in-the-dark rabbits in Turkey earlier this year.

The Turkish team is now working on a glowing sheep, while researchers at the Audubon Centre for Research of Endangered Species have created glowing cloned wildcats in an attempt to save the endangered species.

But all the fluorescent fauna isn't just for fun. The goal is to introduce beneficial genes into larger animals to create less costly and more efficient medicines.

"We can make those enzymes a lot cheaper in animals rather than a factory that will cost millions of dollars to build," Dr Stefan Moisyadi of the University of Hawaii explained.

The green colour indicates that the fluorescent genetic material injected into the pig embryos has been incorporated into the animal's natural make-up.

"It's just a marker to show that we can take a gene that was not originally present in the animal and now exists in it," Dr Moisyadi said.

The animals were not affected by the fluorescent protein, he said, and would have the same life span as other pigs.

"The green is only a marker to show that it's working easily."

Fairfax NZ