Green-glowing cats may help AIDS research

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A recent study published in the journal ‘Nature Methods’ shows that genetically modified cats have cells that are resistant to infection from feline immunodeficiency virus which causes AIDS in cats. Scientists inserted monkey genes that are capable to fight against the virus and jellyfish genes.

This could actually be breakthrough – preventing cats from being infected with the disease is a big step in AIDS research, since men and cats are equally likely to be affected by the virus and both display similar symptoms. Dr Robin Lovell-Badge said: ‘Understanding how to confer resistance is (…) of equal importance to cat health and human health.’

It remains to be seen whether the cells actually make the cats immune to the disease. Lead scientist Dr. Eric Poeschla of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota stated: ‘If you could show that you confer protection to these animals, it would give us a lot of information about protecting humans’.

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