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Cats engineered for disease resistance

Genetically modified felines may be immune to HIV-like virus

By
9:23am, September 12, 2011

A new breed of glowing green kitties may represent a first step in creating cats that are resistant to feline AIDS, and possibly give clues about fighting HIV infections in people.

The kittens are engineered with a gene that makes an antiviral protein that scientists hope will combat feline immunodeficiency virus, or FIV. Another inserted gene makes the cats glow under fluorescent light so scientists can readily confirm the success of the procedure. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., and Yamaguchi University in Japan report the accomplishment online September 11 in Nature Methods.

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