Feeds

Glow-in-the-dark kittens to help produce cure for AIDS

Can't your cat liven up parties or fight killer diseases?

Application security programs and practises

Glow-in-the-dark kittens are science's latest weapon in the war against HIV. The cats, bred at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, are resistant to feline AIDS, glow unearthly green under UV light and are an important step towards disrupting the mechanism by which HIV destroys the human immune system.

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) causes AIDS in cats in the same way that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) does in people: by depleting the body's infection-fighting T-cells. The feline and human versions of key proteins that defend mammals against virus invasion are ineffective against the virus.

To create the luminous FIV-proof cats, the unfertilised eggs of a cat were injected with DNA proteins from a rheus macaque monkey and glow-in-the-dark jellyfish genes. The two pieces of genetic material were joined together so that the fluorescent jellyfish protein could be used to track their take-up by the cat.

The Mayo Clinic explains that though there are no immediate applications for HIV sufferers, it holds potential for understanding of the disease:

The macaque restriction factor, TRIMCyp, blocks FIV by attacking and disabling the virus's outer shield as it tries to invade a cell. The researchers know that works well in a culture dish and want to determine how it will work in vivo. This specific transgenesis (genome modification) approach will not be used directly for treating people with HIV or cats with FIV, but it will help medical and veterinary researchers understand how restriction factors can be used to advance gene therapy for AIDS caused by either virus."

The research is published in full by Nature Methods. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.