Saturday, December 15, 2007

"Glow-in-the-dark Cats!"


Jinju, South Korea

No, these are not lolcats who eated your glow sticks.

According to scientists in South Korea, the animal on the right is among the first cats cloned to have red fluorescence protein (RFP) genes. The one on the left is an unaltered kitty seen under ultraviolet light.

"Glowing" RFP genes are scientific tools used by researchers to mark changes made in an organism's genome. A team led by Kong Il-keun, a cloning expert at Gyeongsang National University, says it created the cats in the hopes of using altered felines to develop treatments for genetic human diseases.

Earlier this year an international team of scientists mapped the first "rough draft" of the domestic cat genome, noting at the time that the genetic similarities between cats and people make the common feline a good model for medical studies.

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