||hell yes - beck
"The LIFESTYLE PETS research and development team placed the company in a unique position to produce the world's first scientifically-proven hypoallergenic cat.
"A glycoprotein, Fel d 1, secreted by the sebaceous glands, is the major cat allergen. This allergen is found in the fur, saliva, urine, mucous, salivary glands, and hair roots of the cat. The Fel d 1 gene present in normal cats is responsible for the production of this protein.
"Starting with proprietary genetic testing technologies*, the LIFESTYLE PETS team began by focusing on the particular gene that produces the Fel d 1 glycoprotein. The process uses gene sequencing to detect naturally occurring genetic divergences in cats. LIFESTYLE PETS then targeted those divergences that could potentially produce kittens with a change in the structure of the Fel d 1 allergen produced by the gene. Using sophisticated bioinformatics to manage feline breeding programs, the final stage resulted in cats with a divergent gene that produces a different version of the Fel D 1 protein - and a GD cat that no longer triggers the autoimmune system of people allergic to cats.
"The next stage was to conduct controlled experiments exposing volunteers with known feline allergies to both ALLERCA GD cats and non-GD cats. The results? None of the human subjects exposed to the ALLERCA GD cats reacted in any way. When these same volunteers were exposed to non-GD cats, the subjects demonstrated classic symptoms of a feline allergic reaction, including watery eyes, runny noses, hives and itchy skin.
"For 2008, LIFESTYLE PETS will introduce a new hypoallergenic breed, the CHAKAN GD, based on the Siamese (priced at $11,950) and the ASHERA GD, a hypoallergenic variant of its exotic ASHERA (priced at US$28,000). CHAKAN GD and ASHERA GD kittens can be ordered now for delivery in late 2008.
"* Patents Pending"
yes, they talked about how they can produce a similar divergent protein that can replace the allergenic gene, but the next stage was definitely not just to start the exposure experiments. how the hell did they get that gene back into the cats? and how exactly do they breed them? i'm hoping that they just perform some sort of in vitro fertilization with the egg and sperm, but chances are, they're messing with either the fertilized blastomere or embryo. either way, that starts to get ethically risky. and "*patents pending" also is a bit sketch.
conclusion: non-allergenic cats sound pretty fucking cool, but i'm not convinced by their procedures.