Scientists Clone Red Fluorescent Cats

Red Cat

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.

Source: Korea Times, AFP

52 Responses to “Scientists Clone Red Fluorescent Cats”

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  1. Al says:

    Too true - the main problems with testing these things on people are that
    a) humans have extremely long generations so that it’s very hard to monitor any changes unless you are prepared to wait decades, and
    b) many of the comments on this post suggest doing things like this to criminals like rapists - the problem is this is that EVERYBODY has human rights. No matter what they’ve done, if we do terrible things to them, we’re just as bad as them, if not worse. Also, we have no idea whether people are going to be criminals until they’re mature, and with genetic alterations like this, it’s too late by then anyway.
    Think about this and the previous three comments, and try to get it into your thick skulls that the research is vital, and if you really believed what all the comments before that are saying, then you wouldn’t use things like medicine, beauty products, shampoo, soaps, and perfumes. (I could go on, but I’d be here all day.)
    Just think about it, and use your common sense.

  2. Stephie says:

    Before, you read this post, know that I’m not specifically arguing with anyone here on any specific point. I just want to make that clear from the outset.
    However, I do believe that genetic science is inherently wrong, and have several reasons for this.
    Humans have no real comprehension of evolution. Even Darwin’s theory has holes, such as why does evolution appear to have cycles where it speeds up and slows down, etc.
    Without a proper knowledge of what it can do, IN THE LONG RUN, Genetic science could possibly create many more problems than it would ever solve, and I refer specifically to the modification of micro-organisms such as bacteria and viruses. Were GM viruses ever to escape, the rapid reproduction (and hence, evolution) of these micro-organisms could have devastating effects on the natural environment (Chimera Effect). Everyone knows what happens when you introduce a foreign species into a new ecosystem, and it does particularly well. Some native creature suffers. Why do governments introduce such strict controls on foreign imports of animals, when they’re making aliens in laboratories?
    Another point is the question of, just because you CAN, doesn’t necessarily mean you SHOULD. I have experienced the loss of family members and friends as many people have, and while it is one of the most distressing things that could ever happen to you, my point is this. Death is part of the natural order of things. The death of someone you love should not be the devastating event that society has made it. Our culture has turned our perception of death into the worst possible thing that could ever happen. This is not true. Death is natural. It creates space for the next generation. Medicine, if anything, PREVENTS the progress of humans as a species. There is far too much hysteria about staying alive as long as possible.
    The world is already vastly overpopulated with people. Much, much moreso since the advent of medical science. The human fear of and resistance to death is eventually going to cause more deaths than it prevents. We have already seen (and to a certain extent, foreseen) what overuse and misuse of antibiotics can do to the natural world (MRSA, “superbugs”).
    My point is this: Even though we CAN prevent death (for a while) and prolong life, should we? Why is it so important that each man lives as long as possible? Should we not be so selfish? The planet is overstretched for resources as it is. The hysteria over preventing death is simply that- hysteria. No one seems to be looking at the big picture.
    The planet is in a fine balance, a balance that cannot compensate for the irresponsibility of man. Our own fear of death will be the end of us.

    Humans in this day and age have far too much knowledge, and little or no wisdom to guide us towards the proper use of this knowledge. As a race, we can be likened to a two year old child with a power drill. No doubt that our inventions are magnificent, but we have no real idea of how to wield them.

    Also, ignoring the bigger questions for a while, animal testing is cruel and selfish. Especially when the possible results are unknown. Human vanity and immaturity is responsible for so much cruelty and death of innocent animals. Even animal breeding, the most basic and primitive of all genetic sciences, is cruel. It can cause all sorts of genetic problems in the breeds it creates, such as deformed ears in Staffordshire bull terriers, and breathing difficulties in pugs and bulldogs, not to mention the horrific skin problems developed by West Highland terriers. Animal testing with such a powerful tool as Genetic Science goes beyond irresponsibility and cruelty.

    To anyone who would suggest that I am a hypocrite, don’t I use make up, medicine or cosmetics tested on animals? No. I don’t. There is at least one moral organization out there who do everything they can to avoid amoral decisions. They sell handmade, fresh, fairtrade cosmetic products (soaps, shampoos, etc) which are never tested on animals and are quite frankly gorgeous in their aroma and effects. I also buy my makeup from a sister company of theirs. As to medicine; anything my body cant fight off will just have to finish me. I’m in perfect health at the moment and have never taken an antibiotic or painkiller or other unnatural substance to relieve any symptoms. Herbal remedies all the way.
    If I get something fatal, I’ll die. Why fear it? Everyone dies of something, someday. Whats the point in fearing disease when I could be hit by a car tomorrow? The hysteria has got to stop.

    Sorry for ranting. I didn’t actually intend to sound like a preacher. I just came to have a look, following a link from a lighthearted cat lovers website. These are just my opinions and am quite willing to listen to others, and I am not directly attacking any one previous poster. There is ignorance on both sides of the argument.

    Regards,
    Steph.

    (icanhascheezburger.com is the best.)

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