Friday, March 28, 2008

Flourescent Felines: The Pet of the Future?

A team of South Korean scientists at the Gyeongsang National University have succeeded in what could appear to be the strangest genetic modification ever.

The research team led by Kong Il-keun have acchieved a world first when they cloned the first cats with modified genes ever, in an effort to treat diseases in animals as well as the close to 250 diseases that human suffer that bare similarity to feline illnesses, with one small hitch, the new GM kittens glow red when they are placed under UV light.

The cats were modified by the addition of a red fluorescence protein to the skin tissue, which causes the tissue to, when viewed under ultraviolet light, appear red. The modified skin cells were then fused with an egg cell without a nucleus; the result - two Turkish Angoras that may be the next step in the treatment of human and animal genetic diseases.
However, the discovery has not come without it's fair share of debate, mostly over the success rate with regards to genetically modified and cloned creatures, raising the same theological and ethical questions that have been asked for many years. Though while these questions of ethics have and will continue for many years, it seems that for now we may have not only a new kind of pet, but a novel solution when it comes to home lighting.
Posted by Ben Sandford
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