Here is something to take your mind of the wildfires...
GLOW IN THE DARK KITTENS!!!
Story behind the awesomeness.
Link to story
|Scientists exploring possible treatments for HIV have, purely as a byproduct of their methods, earned themselves a spot in today’s science blog postings: They’ve made glowing kittens.|
When these green kitties were still twinkles in their parents’ eyes, scientists investigating a macaque gene thought to protect monkeys against feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) inserted it into cat eggs with a lab-grown virus, intending to test whether cats carrying the gene were resistant to FIV as well. Researchers are interested in seeing how the macaque gene guards against FIV, which is the feline version of HIV, in hopes of transferring their insights to combating HIV.
But here’s where things get wacky: The team also included in the virus a jellyfish gene that makes a glowing green protein, to act as a signal. The virus does not always succeed in transferring the genes entrusted to it, but by including the jellyfish gene, the team gave themselves an easy way to tell when the transfer took place: kittens that glow green under fluorescent light, showing that they carry the jellyfish gene, almost certainly carry the macaque gene as well.
Fluorescent reporter genes are a fairly common way to make sure that your gene transfer “took”—we’ve seen glowing pigs, monkeys, and mice before. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t an amazing effect. If someone offered us a glowing, FIV-resistant kitten for our office, we wouldn’t say no.