London, Dec 16: Researchers in South Korea have cloned a cat and modified its genes, to make it glow red under ultraviolet light.
Scientists at the Gyeongsang National University, South Korea, led by Prof. Kong Il-keun, modified the genes of Turkish Angora cats so that a red protein would glow in their skin when exposed to ultraviolet light.
To clone the cats, the team used skin cells of the mother cat and modified its genes to make them fluorescent by using a virus, which was transplanted into the ova. The ova were then implanted into the womb of the donor cat.
One kitten was stillborn, but the two glowing survivors now weigh between 3kg and 3.5kg, reports the Scotsman.
The cats do not shine in the dark, but their ears, noses and places where fur cover is minimal, take on a dull red colour.
The cloned kittens look red fluorescent under ultraviolet light because of the red fluorescence protein in their skin cells while an ordinary one appears to be green.
South Korea's ministry of science and technology claims the process marks the first time cats with modified genes have been cloned.
The researchers say that the technique could allow other genes to be altered during cloning, producing lab cats with genetic diseases, including those of humans, to help develop new treatments. (ANI)
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