London: Green-Glowing Cats Help AIDS Research

13 Sep

Glow-In-The-Dark Cats Help Aids Research

Glow-In-The-Dark Cats Help Aids Research
Gene scientists working with Aids have created green-glowing cats as part of their work to beat the illness.

The animals had their DNA modified with a gene from a fluorescent jellyfish and give off a green glow when placed under a blue light.

The purpose of the study was to find out if a natural protein that prevents macaque monkeys from developing Aids can do the same in cats.

The jellyfish gene was inserted into tabby cats which then gave birth to luminous kittens.

Cats are susceptible to a feline version of the HIV virus that triggers Aids and overwhelms the immune system.

 The monkeys have proteins known as “restriction factors” that can stop the viruses from invading immune cells.

The cats have been engineered, using the jellyfish DNA, to reproduce the restriction factors.

Eric Poeschla, who led the study, said the research would benefit both human and feline health.

But animal welfare campaigners have opposed the experiments.

A veterinary advisor for the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) said they had ethical concerns about the research.

“This type of research on cats serves only to continue our reliance on scientifically flawed animal-based research,” he said. 

“Science should instead be progressing in the area of modern, non-animal alternatives.”

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