Friday, December 21, 2007

all i want for xmas is...


I have some friends who are waiting for the price of a hypoallergenic cat to come down before they treat themselves (they're currently about $6,000), but I'm putting something even cooler on my (evergreen) xmas list: a glow-in-the-dark cat. Scientists in South Korea announced last week that they had cloned several housecats—which in itself is nothing new—but that in these cats, they fiddled with a gene that makes a certain protein fluoresce. So, when they are exposed to ultraviolet light, the Turkish Angoras glow a faint but unmistakable red! Supposedly, the glowing is an unintended side effect, and the real goal is to be able to reproduce certain proteins during cloning that might lead to treatments for genetic diseases. Which is all well and good, but...who doesn't want a glow-in-the-dark cat?! I suppose the cats themselves might not appreciate being more detectable at night—especially, say, by rodent enemies. But I certainly will be less likely to step on my feline's tail on my way to the john at four in the morning if I can see it glowing red. I'm guessing these kitties will be even longer in coming than the hypoallergenic kind, so for now I'm just gonna put it on my list, and wait til Santa agrees that I've been nice enough.

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