Delighted to Meet You, Glow-in-the-Dark Kitties

Bizarre cats part of Mayo Clinic study to fight HIV, AIDS

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 12, 2011 2:38 AM CDT

(Newser) – Me-WOW. Some cats are glowing, thanks to researchers at Mayo Clinic, who inserted Rhesus monkey and jellyfish genes into unfertilized cat eggs. The mix makes resulting kittens apparently resistant to feline immunodeficiency virus, which causes feline AIDS. Oh, yeah, and it also makes them glow under special lights. It's all part of a study on how to best fight human HIV and AIDS—as well as battle feline AIDS, which is plaguing domestic cats. The glowing stunt helps researchers track the cats' engineered genes and cells. "We want to see if we can protect the domestic cat against its AIDS virus, if we can protect any species, eventually including ours, against its own AIDS virus," Dr. Eric Poeschla tells Live Science.

Cats in a Mayo Clinic study glow in the dark. The project is part of a study on how to best battle HIV and AIDS in humans.
Cats in a Mayo Clinic study glow in the dark. The project is part of a study on how to best battle HIV and AIDS in humans.   (Photo: Mayo Clinic)
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