Glow-in-the-Dark Kittens Help Fight Human AIDS

When I was trying to find a topic to blog about, I saw a picture of a glow-in-the-dark cat, and I thought it was really cute. When I clicked on it, I found out that the article was on so much more than just cute glow-in-the-dark kittens. Recently, scientists have been genetically making cats able to glow in the dark so they can do studies on how to possibly stop AIDS.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV, or AIDS in humans) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV, or AIDS in domestic cats) are a lot alike. For this reason, researchers have wanted to experiment with infected cats to help understand and fight AIDS. ┬áScientists insert genes into the cats’ genomes to genetically modify them. They do this at the earliest stage of a cat’s development as possible so that the gene goes into all of the tissues.

The newest way of genetically modifying these cats it to modify the egg cells directly with the virus. They also inject a tiny amount of jellyfish genes to make the genes infected with the virus easily detectable. The kittens that went through the process were healthy and they also ended up glowing bright green under a blue light. The genes also were transmitted to their offspring.

Cats are still not 100% resistant to AIDS and there are still many studies that need to be performed on AIDS-infected cats. This study, however, is encouraging to the scientists working with these cats. They are still trying to come up with a way to protect cats from their AIDS virus, and eventually, they will hopefully be able to do the same for humans.

Do scientists have a lead on how to make cats completely resistant to AIDS? When will they be able to do these types of studies on humans?

7 thoughts on “Glow-in-the-Dark Kittens Help Fight Human AIDS

  1. This article brings up some very interesting points on the topic of stopping the spread of AIDS. You did a good job of generally describing the experiments, but it left me with some unanswered questions. So, I did some of my own research. One question I had was maybe a little obvious, how does making a cat glow make it unable to contract FIV, the cause of AIDS in cats? Well according to the Huffington Post website, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/12/glow-in-the-dark-cats-aids_n_958415.html, the different genes they insert in to the cat make their bodies produce a protein that helps them resist contracting FIV. Although you had a lot of good information, there is still a lot out there and a lot not yet discovered, but thanks to your blog you made me aware of what advancements scientists are making towards the elimination of AIDS.

  2. I think this article was very interesting. I would have never thought of glow-in-the-dark-kittens. I think that it would be good if they found some cure for AIDS but, it will take a while for that to happen. I think testing the kittens is very harmful. But in the end it is for a good cause. If they do find a cure for AIDS, and that would be great. If you go to the website that I have provide it talks about more information on curing AIDS. It also talks about how the kittens can help cure AIDS as well.

  3. Your blog was very informative. I never knew that scientists were doing some testings to cats to help prevent AIDS. I also found a website that had some good information on this topic. http://www.kswo.com/story/15454392/glow-in-the-dark-cats-help-with-aids-research Hopefully this website wil help you get more information for your blog. The information that you have found on this topic is very good. It is something that hardly anybody really knows what the scientists are doing. Hopefully scientists will get cats 100% resistant, then they can hopeuflly help the humans do the same. Your blog was very nice, and complete. Very nice job on this topic. This was great information for everybody to know.

  4. This had so much great information! I had no idea that cats caould glow in the dark. Let alone that it could help us find out how to make cats resistable to ADIS. This webiste has information on glow in the dark cats to. http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-09/genetically-modified-cats-resist-aids-and-glow-dark I feel bad for the kittens but the testing is for a great cuase. Maybe once we find out how to make cats 100% resistant, then we can find out how to cure it in humans. Thank you for your great blog! you did so well!

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