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What can this glow-in-the-dark kitten teach scientists about AIDS?

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posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 12:27 PM
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This picture of a glowing cat has not been altered in any way. The cat, on the other hand, has been altered quite a bit. A team of researchers has genetically engineered it to express green fluorescent protein (aka "GFP," originally found in jellyfish), which makes the cat glow green under ultraviolet light. But GFP isn't the only extra-species gene this cat is carrying — it's also packing a gene called TRIMCyp, originally found in monkeys. By giving the gene to the cats, the researchers hope to shed light on how they might combat diseases like HIV/AIDS — not just in felines, but in humans, too. Cats, like humans, can develop AIDS. In cats, AIDS is preceded by feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), while in humans it's preceded by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).


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Vaccine As with HIV, the development of an effective vaccine against FIV is difficult because of the high number and variations of the virus strains. "Single strain" vaccines, i.e. vaccines that only protect against a single virus variant, have already demonstrated a good efficacy against homologous FIV strains. A dual-subtype vaccine for FIV released in 2002 called Fel-O-Vax (ATCvet code: QI06AA10) made it possible to immunize cats against more FIV strains. It was developed using inactivated isolates of two of the five FIV subtypes (or clades): A Petaluma and D Shizuoka.[7] The vaccine was shown to be moderately protective (82% of cats were protected) against subtype A FIV,[8] but a later study showed it to offer no protection against subtype A.[9] It has shown 100% effectiveness against two different subtype B FIV strains.[10][11] Vaccination will cause cats to have positive results on FIV tests, making diagnosis more difficult. For these reasons the vaccine is considered "non-core", and the decision to vaccinate should be made after discussion with a veterinarian and consideration of the risks vs. the effectiveness.[12]


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I found this simply fascinating. It looks like they may have developed a way to make the cats cells immune to FIV, by using TRIMCyp, a restriction factor from a monkey. The cats all show that they are going to be immune to the disease, and the next step is to try and infect them to basically prove that they are. This is a pretty big step in helping us combat the disease in my opinion. So not only is science trying to save cats and people from AIDS, but they have successully made kittens glow, and I want one!




posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 12:30 PM
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reply to post by Domo1
 


The search engine is your friend.
www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 12:32 PM
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reply to post by DrumsRfun
 


Damn I have been doing poorly with that today. I still think my thread is better. I have pictures damn't! Stop policing my threads!



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 12:35 PM
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reply to post by Domo1
 


hahahahahahha Im not laughing at your post because its very interesting but the title itself is hilarious!! lmao
S&F for laughter and a good read



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 12:36 PM
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reply to post by Artorius
 


I wish I could take credit for the title but that was the good folks over at Io9. Great website if you've never checked it out. At least when they're not prattling on about Dr. Who.



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 12:41 PM
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I wish my cat was glow-in-the-dark.. She already posses the incredible skills of cute, beg and bite. This would just make her super-cat in my book.

An interesting find, I think we could quite easily find a cure if more resources were placed into researches of all different types.. I mean come on, this is pretty g-damn imaginative what they have already done here.. Imagine you had more money and more great minds working alike?

Anyway, as someone said, that title really is an eye catcher



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 12:43 PM
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reply to post by TeroK
 


If you read the second link I plopped in the OP it actually talks a bit about why it is so hard to find a cure/vaccine for AIDS, human or feline. I agree though, I think with enough money anything is possible.



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by Domo1
reply to post by DrumsRfun
 


Damn I have been doing poorly with that today. I still think my thread is better. I have pictures damn't! Stop policing my threads!
I like your thread, myself. The pictures speak a thousand words beyond what simple text and links accomplish.

To address the OP and headline question though, I think the glow-kitty here ought to teach scientists that they really can bypass every safeguard nature developed to prevent the very thing they've done. Mixing of the species. They've succeeded in out-doing nature....but nature will have the last word and laugh. I have no doubt on that. Nature isn't known to be kind or gentle about it either, to observe historic examples of her temper tantrums.



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 04:40 PM
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Maybe its just me but making an animal glow in dark is wrong... :/



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 07:17 PM
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Originally posted by TeroK
I wish my cat was glow-in-the-dark.. She already posses the incredible skills of cute, beg and bite. This would just make her super-cat in my book.



Start counting your coins. You've just witnessed a commercial product undoubtedly soon to be available at your local Petco.



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