Glow-in-the-dark cats

What a year for felines - first a company linkurl:claims to have bred;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/39383 them to be hypoallergenic and now South Korean scientists have made them glow in the dark. According to news linkurl:reports;http://tinyurl.com/2cseps this week, Kong Il-keun at Gyeongsang National University cloned Turkish Angora cats with red fluorescent protein inserted into their genome. According to Korea.net, Il-keun is excited about the possibility of using the cat as a

By | December 13, 2007

What a year for felines - first a company linkurl:claims to have bred;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/39383 them to be hypoallergenic and now South Korean scientists have made them glow in the dark. According to news linkurl:reports;http://tinyurl.com/2cseps this week, Kong Il-keun at Gyeongsang National University cloned Turkish Angora cats with red fluorescent protein inserted into their genome. According to Korea.net, Il-keun is excited about the possibility of using the cat as a model for human disease. Interestingly, the company selling hypoallergenic cats, Allerca, also wanted to make linkurl:glow-in-the-dark animals.;http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/1/1/38/1 Simon Brodie, the company's founder, thought making deer glow at night could help prevent them from being hit by cars. Perhaps not surprisingly, the project never got off the ground. (As my father once quipped, "I don't care if the deer's on fire; if you're going 60 miles an hour and it jumps out in front of you, you're going to hit it.") The hypoallergenic cat project got a bit further, including winning one of __Time__ magazine's linkurl:best inventions;http://www.time.com/time/2006/techguide/bestinventions/inventions/medicine3.html of 2006. But the accolades and enthusiastic news reports don't seem to suit the sentiment of the Allerca customers linkurl:I've been in touch with;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53265 since investigating the science behind Allerca earlier this year. Several complained about not getting their deposits back (these pets cost several thousand dollars) after being denied a cat because the company said they were too allergic for a hypoallergenic cat. Allerca's website has a few testimonials from customers who received a cat and are living happily with it. But just yesterday, another customer, linkurl:Deborah Muldower,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/52947/#comments wrote __The Scientist__ to say that, although she has not been denied a cat, she has not received one or the allergy testing kit required for the pet adoption. "...and e-mails and phone calls have gone unanswered."

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