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A new $4,000 genetically designed cat may keep the sneezing at bay

December 6th, 2006, 11:27 AM

quite interesting...

December 6th, 2006, 11:38 AM
i wonder what this will spark! pretty controversial IMO... is it tinkering with DNA now? :confused:

December 6th, 2006, 11:40 AM
Yeah I agree Techno...I really don't like the idea of tinkering with dna for no reason...Things to cure diseases, etc fine, I can see the point, but this...:shrug:

December 7th, 2006, 08:15 AM
They used selective breeding (not DNA tinkering) to develop cats with a divergent gene for the cat allergen Fel d 1, which results in the cats having a Fel d 1 protein that doesn't trigger an allergic response in people. This isn't actually 'gmo', which would involve cloning and DNA manipulation. It is breeding for a trait, similar to what is done with crop plants and what was done to develop the breeds of dogs/cats we know today. They used modern scientific technology to guide the breeding, but that's it. Still, somehow I don't like this. It bothers me to think of all the cats and kittens they went through to get to this point (what did they do with them?), plus, you can order kittens online from their website. But on the other hand, I dont' have cat allergies and have lots of friends who do, which complicates visits to my house.

December 7th, 2006, 10:10 AM
Too much tinkering IMO. I AM allergic to cats ( very mild) and so is my bf ( bit worse than me) my mom is severly allergic so when she comes by its hard. But we make it work, and she hasnt reacted yet to my "home"
I wouldnt spend $4000 on one cat and hope that it doesnt trigger allergies. When in reality, our much more affordable solution is, my cats get put in the spare room when my mom comes over and the house gets a GOOD overhaul ( cleaning) Its effective for us.
We, as humans, try to play "god" a bit too much sometimes.
Why not focus more on peanut allergies and other things like that which seem to be out of control now???

December 7th, 2006, 10:34 AM
Again, the cat's DNA was not tinkered with. This is just a breeding program. There IS research being done to deal with the peanut allergy problem. An example in the link below from which the quote was taken. This is 'tinkering'...

"Hortense Dodo, a professor of food biotechnology at Alabama A&M University, created a hypoallergenic peanut. After five years of genetic tinkering, her team announced last year they had produced specimens stripped of a protein called Ara h2, to which 90 per cent of allergic people react. They've since shut down two more proteins."

December 7th, 2006, 10:37 AM
And just to be clear, I don't support this cat breeding program, as I would imagine it took hundreds if not thousands of litters to get to the cat with modified cat allergen protein. Also, $4000 is much better spent on adopting, donating and caring for homeless, feral and pet cats.

December 7th, 2006, 11:16 AM
Yeah I agree. It seems like it is like an equivalent to the new "designer" dog breeds:rolleyes:

December 7th, 2006, 12:19 PM
Maybe dogs will be next... at least, when they are done w/ the 'other popular breeds' of cats. There is even a survey to decide which.

"ALLERCA GD cats are medium sized cats averaging between ten and fifteen pounds (4 to 8 kg). They are fully mature at approximately three years of age and have a long life expectancy.

An ALLERCA GD cat's personality is very sweet and affectionate. They make great family pets and are wonderful with children.

Other popular breeds will follow soon, so please take our quick survey and help us to decide future breeds of hypoallergenic cat."

December 7th, 2006, 12:30 PM
i dunno. it's all so very wrong for so many reasons, IMO :(

December 7th, 2006, 02:04 PM
i dont necessarily agree with all the tinkering to make the cat allergen free (what nec. proteins is the cat now not producing for itsself?) and its creepy. but i find it even more sad that the cat is here now,(so theres not much to do about that) and they are charging $4000 for one!!!! so its not made for people with allergies its made for people who want to show off their "status" really sad :(

December 7th, 2006, 02:09 PM
a cat for RICH people with allergies :cool:

December 7th, 2006, 03:09 PM
They're trying to franchise, and have another 'breed', the Ashera, which apparently looks like a Serval. Only $6000! A better way to use the technology would be to guide breeding with the goal of removing detrimental traits in existing breeds. But then again that would be expensive and would up the cost of those breeds. Unless the gene for that protein is linked to others, the breeding this company did to get low allergen cats should not be harmful. The cat is producing the Fel d protein, just a different version of it than most cats. Reading about this, they originally were planning on doing genetic engineering, but then found some cats which naturally had this different Fel d protein, so bred them instead to get to this 'breed'. I find all this disturbing, as it paves the way for more of the same. When does it stop? But if people buy the cats, they will just keep on doing it. ugh.

December 7th, 2006, 03:11 PM
The founder of the company seems pretty shady as well...

December 7th, 2006, 03:29 PM

more info here...

December 7th, 2006, 11:02 PM
from the website:

The journal Nature reported in September, 2006 that in an Allerca-funded study, Sheldon Spector, a clinical allergy expert at the University of California, Los Angeles, found the company's cats to be less allergy-inducing than the control. However, neither the study nor its underlying data have been published.[2] A July 2006 article in the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that no details about the cats have been released, nor have there been any peer-reviewed studies published about the company's work.[3] Cat experts also questioned whether the company's breeding model - stated at the time to be up to 10,000 cats by 2009 - was viable.

OMG it just gets worse and worse! LEAVE MOTHER NATURE ALONE!!

December 8th, 2006, 07:27 AM
I know, this all seems pretty sketchy to me. Just my opinion. And that is a lot of cats to breed, what are they planning, a cat factory, similar to puppy mills?