An article from Science Tech Daily talks about how researchers from InBio are working on developing a cat that is hypoallergenic and safe for those who suffer with allergies to cats. People who are allergic to cats are allergic to a protein called Fel d 1 that is shed by all cats. Researchers looked at the Fel d 1 gene in 50 domestic cats in order to find a coding region that can be used in CRISPR editing, and when compared to a handful of exotic cat samples it was determined that with the amount of variation seen suggests that Fel d 1 is nonessential for cats. Researchers have used CRISPR- Cas9 to disturb the Fel d 1 with relative sucess, and they are hoping that they will be able to use gene deletion technology to remove the Fel d 1 from some cats making them safe for cat allergy sufferers.
I think this is an amazing feat of science and technology, and as someone who knows many people who suffer from cat allergies but still love cats, I think this will help animal people all over the world. Like dogs, cats can offer many therapeutic benefits, but because there is no hypoallergenic breed of cat people who suffer from allergies to cats cannot appreciate the benefits of owning at cat. I'm hoping in the near future that cat allergy sufferers will soon be able to interact with the first hypoallergenic cats.