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Image Gallery: Cats that Glow in the Dark

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HIV and FIV

Credit: © Ioana Grecu | Dreamstime.com

The world is currently facing two devastating AIDS pandemics— one in humans, the other in domestic cats. The viruses responsible, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), are highly similar.

As such, researchers have long wanted to genetically experiment with cats to better understand how to combat AIDS. Now scientists have developed a new way to create genetically engineered domestic cats where they modify egg cells directly with viruses. To be able to tell if the cells expressed the inserted genes, the researchers inserted a tag-along fluorescent jellyfish protein. Result: three healthy kittens that glowed green when a blue light was shone on them and transmitted the gene to their offspring.

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