Luminous monkeys



Scientists in Japan have created luminous designer monkeys. Five marmosets have been born at the country's Central Institute for Experimental Animals. After their mothers were exposed to an artificially created virus, they inherited an artificial gene that causes their skin and hair roots to glow under ultraviolet light.

Researchers hope the experiment will help find cures for diseases such as Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis. However, while disease support groups have expressed their support, the research is facing criticism from animal welfare campaigners and opponents of genetic engineering.

Orchestra plays live for horses



A British horse racing track asked the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to give a recital at its finishing post, hoping to wow spectators and spur the animals to quicken their pace.

Kempton Park race course, just south of London, staged the unique event, as the orchestra played the "William Tell" Overture, and the "Lone Ranger" theme song, during a horse race.

Hopes that the music would encourage a speedier race were dashed. Winning horse Action Impact covered that one mile, three furlong course (2.2km) in two minutes and 20.34 seconds, more than two seconds off the record pace.