We thought cats couldn’t get any cooler. I mean, they even LOL at you.
But behold: there are cats that not only glow in the dark but have the potential to help find a cure for both HIV and FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus). Live Science reports on research at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, N.Y., on a new genetic engineering technique. Egg cells are modified directly with tiny amounts of genetic material, resulting in embryos which expressed the implanted material. In this case, kittens whose genes were engineered with a code for “a florescent jellyfish protein,” became “three healthy kittens that glowed green when a blue light was shone on them and transmitted the gene to their offspring.” They also received antiviral proteins from rhesus monkeys that can block HIV and FIV.
Though the cats were not “AIDS-proof,” as one researcher put it, Live Science writes that “Preliminary results suggested cells from these cats grown in the lab resisted replication of the feline AIDS virus FIV, keeping it from spreading.”