Green-glowing cats are the new tool in AIDS research

September 12th, 2011 - 8:16 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

New York, Sept 12 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Scientists working to develop a cure for the deadly HIV/AIDS virus have announced a major breakthrough. They have successfully altered the genes of domestic cats resulting in the animals’ ability to fight infection from similar viruses like HIV. The scientists also altered the DNA structure of the animals to contain a gene from jellyfish. The second gene causes the animals to glow under ultraviolet light.

The researchers say they could use the technique to prevent several sicknesses in domestic pets which will eventually reduce the need for owners to make trips to the veterinary. The research is in the early stages and the scientists do not plan to use it on humans anytime soon.

The research was published in the journal Nature Methods. The scientists carried out more than twenty attempts before they eventually got it right. Five kittens were born as a result of the experiment and animal right groups say the experiment is too risky for the animals it is supposed to protect.

The altered genes of the kittens are able to withstand the feline immunodeficiency virus which is the version of HIV in cats.

HIV is a major issue in the world and it is estimated to have killed 30 million people since it was discovered.

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