Glow in the Dark Cats

Continuing the trend of posting things here just because I, personally, think they’re awesome, here’s a news article about what those wacky Koreans are doing with Cats these days:

Korean scientists have cloned cats possessing red fluorescence protein (RFP) that can be used to treat human genetic diseases, the government said Wednesday (Dec. 12).

The Ministry of Science and Technology said a team led by Kong Il-keun, an animal cloning expert at Gyeongsang National University, manipulated the RFP in the skin tissue of Turkish Angora cats.

Three cats with the changed RFP were born in January and February with one being born dead.

The two living animals are the first RFP cats produced in the world, and currently weigh 3.0 kilograms and 3.5 kilograms each, the ministry said. It added while they look like other Turkish Angoras under normal light, they “glow” in the dark if exposed to ultraviolet beams.

“The ability to manipulate the fluorescent protein and use this to clone cats, opens new horizons for artificially creating animals with human illnesses linked to genetic causes,” a government official said. This, he said, can speed up efforts to find treatment and drugs by allowing scientists to study animals and conduct experiments that are not possible with human patients.

The expert said the ability to clone cats could be further developed to help endangered animals including tigers and leopards, maintain the numbers needed for procreation.

The ministry provided funding for the project to help bolster the country’s knowledge in this bio-science field.

Kong had made headlines by becoming the first person in the country to clone cats in 2004 and has since been named director of research of a state-supported project to clone animals for therapeutic research.

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