South Korean scientists have cloned cats that look reddish under ultraviolet light by modifying a protein gene to change their skin color.
The team at Gyeongsang National University produced three Turkish Angora cats possessing altered fluorescence protein (RFP) genes.
The Ministry of Science and Technology said, “It marked the first time in the world that cats with RFP genes have been cloned. The ability to produce cloned cats with the manipulated genes is significant as it could be used for developing treatments for genetic diseases and for reproducing model (cloned) animals suffering from the same diseases as humans.”
Also, the team stated this cloned cat research will be used to help reproduce rare animals, such as tigers, leopards, and wildcats, which are on the verge of extinction. The technology will also be used to develop stemcell treatments.
To clone the Turkish Angora cats, the team used skin cells of the mother cat. They modified its genes to make them fluorescent by using a virus, which was transplanted into the ova. The ova were then implanted into the womb of the donor cat.