Japanese researchers have produced a new species of goldfish with see-through skin. You can see the fish’s beating heart, brain, and other internal organs, right through its invisible scales. And that’s precisely the point–the scientists created the fish to eliminate the need for dissections, which are getting ever more controversial in Japan. Here’s how they did it. (Pics and video)

Creating the ‘Ryukin’: the Translucent Goldfish
According to the AFP, the researchers “produced the “ryukin” goldfish by picking mutant hatchery goldfish with pale skin and breeding them together.” They effectively bred fish with translucent, pigment-less scales and skin. The see-through fish will also live 20 years and grow up to 10 inches long–proving they’re certainly not your average goldfish.


Another group of Japanese researchers had already developed translucent frogs, which they’re planning on ‘mass producing’ and selling as early as next year. The see-through goldfish should be close behind. Both were created in response to mounting pressures from animal rights groups who object to mass dissections.

See-Through Fish in Nature
Surprisingly, such incredible transparent skin exists in the wild naturally as well–just check out this National Geographic photo of a fish photographed off the California coast with a see-through head for proof:

fish head

A Good Year for Fishy Research
2009 turned out to be a big year for fish-related research–especially on the robotic variety. All kinds of robotic fish were developed to help clean up pollution or aid in marine preservation. Remember this robotic fish that was designed to patrol the oceans for pollution?


Pretty amazing. But the question really is now–what fishy scientific innovations or see-through deep sea discoveries will be unveiled in 2010?

Via Treehugger