Monday, September 12, 2011

The Search For The Cure For AIDS: Glowing Green Cats Edition

Scientists, tirelessly continuing the search for a cure for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, have come up with an inventive new method for tracking HIV resistance in monkey species: by genetically engineering cats to include resistant genes.  The cool factor?  They have included bio luminescent genes from jellyfish to easily identify the newly resistant cells.  The result?  Cats that glow green:

The study, published Sunday in the journal Nature Methods, involved inserting monkey genes that block the virus into feline eggs, or oocytes, before they are fertilized. 
The scientists also inserted jellyfish genes that make the modified cells glow an eerie green color — making the altered genes easy to spot. 
Tests on cells taken from the cats show they are resistant to feline immunodeficiency virus, or FIV, which causes AIDS in cats. 
"This provides the unprecedented capability to study the effects of giving AIDS-protection genes into an AIDS-vulnerable animal," Dr. Eric Poeschla of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who led the study, said in a telephone interview.
I'm a big cat person, so I think it's rad that my kitty friends are helping to cure my disease (yes, I said kitty friends.  I'm that bad).  Plus?  I want a mutant green cat, RIGHT THE HELL NOW.

Thanks to reader Houston C. for the tip.

No comments:

Post a Comment