Cats

Scientists find a way to genetically modify cats that don’t cause allergies

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In the United States, as many as one in 10 people (10%) with allergies have an allergic reaction to cats, which is about twice as common as dog allergies (5%). That’s unfortunate because cats are fantastic pets. But in the future, it may be possible to breed genetically modified cats that are hypoallergenic. Supposedly no harm will come to the cat.

Allergy-free cats

Most people believe that cat allergies are caused by the cat’s fur. This actually, is not the case. The allergic reaction is actually caused by a protein produced by house cats called Fel d 1, which is found in their saliva and tears. And as any cat-person will tell you, cats lick themselves fastidiously. So that saliva remains on the fur.

In 2020, Purina released a new line of cat food products that contained an egg-based protein that inhibits Fel d 1. Levels of the allergen dropped by 47% three weeks after cats were fed with the treated food.

Gene-Editing For Cat Allergies

A biotech firm sets eliminate the offensive protein altogether through gene-editing. Virginia-based biotech company InBio claims it’s possible to use the gene-editing tool CRISPR to breed cats that produce little to no Fel d 1. The idea is to breed genetically modified cats without the offending gene and perhaps genetically edit adults cat as well.

Scientists find a way to genetically modify cats that don’t cause allergies

In the United States, as many as one in 10 people with allergies have an allergic reaction to cats, which is about twice as common as dog allergies. That’s unfortunate because cats can be fantastic pets. But in the future, it may be possible to breed genetically modified cats that are hypoallergenic, scientists say.





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