Wednesday, October 22, 2008 - 04:50
I've heard that all cats are grey in the dark, but I guess that's no longer true in New Orleans. Scientists at the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species have made a cloned kitty that glows lime green. Some of you already know my fascination with glowing fish, fluorescent cats, and cloned puppies. This New Orleans cat is interesting too, partly, because it's the first transgenic cat made in this country, and partly because of the work that ACRES has been doing to try and rescue endangered species. ACRES has made the headlines before. Dr. C. Earle Pope and Dr. Martha Gomez, with Dr. Alex Cole, who worked on Mr. Green Genes, also cloned endangered African wildcats. Ditteaux is shown in this photo. One of my readers sent links to some photos of Mr. Green Genes. You can see him here and in more pictures from the Times Picayune: here and here. The earlier project was focused on preserving endangered species.
"The goal is to use whatever tools we can to help boost these populations," said Dr. Dresser, who also serves as Research Professor of Biology and the Virginia Kock/Audubon Institute Endowed Chair in Species Survival and Conservation at the University of New Orleans. "While no single approach is going to solve the incredibly complex problem of disappearing wildlife, cloning is critically important in the race against extinction."From About.com Mr. Green Genes (the transgenic kitty) contains a jellyfish gene that codes for green fluorescent protein, and glows because he's making GFP. The procedure that helped researchers put the gene into the cat could help researchers understand more about putting genes into other creatures, and using genes as therapeutic tools. You can read more about Mr. Green Genes and ACRES here and find a link to a video here.