An article written by Elizabeth Gamillo for the Smithsonian Magazine discusses CRISPER gene editing technology and cats. Researchers are using CRISER to engineer hypoallergenic felines. They way this is possible is by blocking genes responsible for a major cat allergen.
InBio, a United States biotech company is removing sections of DNA in cats at specific locations in the genome. After analyzing DNA in 50 domestic cats researchers identified regions along the two genes that the team could cut and edit with CRISPR. This is the first step in being able to breed the resulting hypoallergenic cats to produce offspring that are not genetically modified.
Removing the allergen causing gene is anticipated to not cause any health risks to the cat. And the protein is believed to be not essential for survival. There are ways to reduce the amount of the allergen causing gene without the use of CRISPER, but not totally remove it.
In my own experience - being allergic to cat dander - I've notice over time when exposed to the same cat, my immune system will build a tolerance and allergy symptoms will reduce or even subside after a few months of consistently visiting the house in which the cat resides. However, this tolerance acts much like that of caffeine. After about a week of no exposure, my tolerance plummets and I'm back to being allergic.ReplyDelete