Four Grand Or The Kitten Gets It!

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Four Grand Or The Kitten Gets It!

Postby Seamus OBlimey » Mon Sep 25, 2006 3:26 pm

<!--EZCODE IMAGE START--><img src="http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/42124000/jpg/_42124214_aller203smallkits.jpg" style="border:0;"/><!--EZCODE IMAGE END--><br><br><!--EZCODE CENTER START--><div style="text-align:center">----------------------</div><!--EZCODE CENTER END--><br>What are claimed to be the world's first specially bred hypoallergenic cats have gone on sale in the US. <br><br>US biotech firm Allerca says it has managed to selectively breed them by reducing a certain type of protein that triggers allergic reactions. <br><br>The company says the animals will not cause the red eyes, sneezing and even asthma triggered by cat allergy, except in the most acute cases. <br><br>Despite costing $3,950 (£2,104), there is already a waiting list to get one. <br><br>Allerca first started taking orders for hypoallergenic cats back in 2004. <br><br>No genetic modification <br><br>It tested huge numbers of cats trying to find the tiny fraction that do not carry the glycoprotein Fel d1 - contained in an animal's saliva, fur and skin - which often prompts an allergic reaction in humans. <br><br>Those cats were then selectively bred to produce the hypoallergenic kittens now on sale, the company says. <br><br>The company's Steve May told the BBC that it was a natural, if time consuming, method. <br><br>"This is a natural gene divergence within the cat DNA - one out of 50,000 cats will have this natural divergence," he said. <br><br>"So candidates - natural divergent cats - were found and then bred so there is really no modification of the gene." <br><br>The BBC's Pascale Harter says there could soon be a global market for the kittens - in the US alone 38 million households own a cat, and around the world an estimated 35% of humans suffer from allergies.<br><!--EZCODE CENTER START--><div style="text-align:center">----------------------</div><!--EZCODE CENTER END--><br><br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5375900.stm">BBC</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br><br>How many of these monsters have been created and what will be the consequences of their breeding with domestic and feral cats? Or do they have Terminator(tm) genes?<br><br>The BBC makes no mention of GM, which is no surprise as it's been seriously resisted in the UK, but would "US biotech firm Allerca" be interested without a patent?<br><br>I think not.<br><br>$4000? How many have they bred, how many can they sell and what happens to the surplus? <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Four Grand Or The Kitten Gets It!

Postby chiggerbit » Mon Sep 25, 2006 3:33 pm

??? The article says quite clearly that there was no genetic modification. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Four Grand Or The Kitten Gets It!

Postby Seamus OBlimey » Mon Sep 25, 2006 3:56 pm

Is selective breeding any less than GM if one speicies is bred to meet the requirements of another? Genes can be manipulated as well as modified.<br><br>And the text does not say there was no genetic modification. Only a subtitle says that.<br><br>Isn't genetic selection the death of a species? Or at least the end of that species ability to evolve naturally?<br><br>I suppose the real question is, do we want to change the world to fit our needs or change ourselves to fit into the world?<br><br>I think I know which one's a dead end. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Four Grand Or The Kitten Gets It!

Postby Et in Arcadia ego » Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:11 pm

I think you're over-reacting a bit. Selective breeding is how all kinds of dogs cats, and bannanas are made without ever using GM. Just because they're exploiting a rare condition to people's advantages in a new sub-genera of cats doesn't mean they're going to eradicate the entire cat population.. <p>____________________<br>Some are born to sweet delight, some are born to endless night.</p><i></i>
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Re: Four Grand Or The Kitten Gets It!

Postby chiggerbit » Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:41 pm

I'm glad they've found a way to make it possible for people with cat allergies to be able to enjoy being owned by such a wonderful animal. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Four Grand Or The Kitten Gets It!

Postby Et in Arcadia ego » Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:50 pm

Absolutely. <p>____________________<br>Some are born to sweet delight, some are born to endless night.</p><i></i>
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Re: Four Grand Or The Kitten Gets It!

Postby Seamus OBlimey » Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:12 pm

So it's better to make cats to fit our allergies than deal with our allergies?<br><br>With that kind of reasoning we'll soon have dogs singing and dancing so that we don't have to.<br><br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CECFZpQ_7Yo">DOG DANCE</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br><br>Better than having to take drugs though, and even that's better than having to change our lifestyles. I wonder how the world would manage without us. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Four Grand Or The Kitten Gets It!

Postby chiggerbit » Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:15 pm

OMG, that looks like the kind of dogs I have--very selectively bred, I might add. And I will very selectively breed them, too, with particular attention to temperament. <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=chiggerbit@rigorousintuition>chiggerbit</A> at: 9/25/06 3:21 pm<br></i>
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Re: Four Grand Or The Kitten Gets It!

Postby Seamus OBlimey » Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:29 pm

Suts you sir. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Four Grand Or The Kitten Gets It!

Postby Seamus OBlimey » Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:46 pm

So why don't we do the same with humans? Most religions, philosophies or belief systems have some kind of restrictions on breeding. All seeking to keep the gene pool pure, or as clean as it can be kept.<br><br>What's stopping us culling the bad kids like we do the bad cats and dogs? Surely that way we'd have more people fitting in nicely with the rest of us. <p></p><i></i>
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It all depends on

Postby DBtv » Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:36 pm

who defines "the rest of us." <p></p><i></i>
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We are genetically engineered anyways.

Postby slimmouse » Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:50 pm

<br><br> We are genetically engineered anyways.<br><br> Whats the big deal, other than getting people to understand this.<br><br> Once they understand how all this works, they will stop taking aspartame with every meal. They will stop eating MSG and similar poisons which create ADS and subject people to a lifetime of "pychotherapy" courtesy of your local shrink, or pychotropic drugs courtesy of your local pharmacy.<br><br> 9/11 is childsplay in the bigger picture of things !<br><br> Think Bovi, Think Goyim. Think how the elite see us. <br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: It all depends on

Postby chiggerbit » Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:53 pm

Didn't hear anybody talking about "culling", actually. I'd say there should be plenty of non-allergenic people wanting the other kitties. And what do you think the dating game is really all about? It's the human form of selective breeding. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Four Grand Or The Kitten Gets It!

Postby chiggerbit » Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:36 pm

Of course, on the other hand, selective breeding might breed out some very useful traits for the future. Don't worry, Seamus, I'm doing my part to keep the "undesirable allgergenic traits" alive. I still have one unplaced kitty from a pair of litters of wild kitties that I got suckered with the old "or the kittens get it" ploy this summer. Only they really did mean it. This wasn't the first time I got suckered. I got a litter of four last year that was trapped in the state park, much too young to be taken off their mom, so it required bottle feeding and MUCH bathing (partly to poo and pee them, because they can't do it on their own, so I had to mimick mom's licking with a washcloth). This summer, it was two from the same mom. These were so wild that I had to take them out of the live trap with a winter coat and two layers of leather golves. Then the park proceeded to trap a third sibling kitten and the mom and they killed them. I was sick when I heard that, because I had been saying for over a year that I would take them all. And a week later I got an unrelated pair from across the river, so I was taming four kittens. After two months I started to find homes for them, but for some reason, no one wanted the male orange one. What a sweetie. No one would ever guess that this affectionate kitten had been so wild. And now I am becoming attached, so I suppose he will be joining the other four permanent cats at my place. I guess it's time to name him. Baby Boy won't do any more. One of the other four is his sister from last year. Last year, unlike this year, I quickly found homes for all three orange males with one ad, but no one wanted Honey, a "plain" tabby with an orange-tipped tail like a striped candlestick with a flame at the tip. Wish I knew how to post pics--she looked just like the one in the middle above. <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=chiggerbit@rigorousintuition>chiggerbit</A> at: 9/25/06 8:47 pm<br></i>
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Re: Four Grand Or The Kitten Gets It!

Postby Seamus OBlimey » Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:03 am

A bit about the breeder...<br>________________<br>Allergen-free kittens among many claims by Allerca's founder<br>By Penni Crabtree<br>UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER<br><br>July 16, 2006<br><br>For allergic cat lovers, a San Diego company's claim to have produced the world's first kittens that are virtually free of allergy-producing proteins is nothing to sneeze at. <br><br>Allerca, a self-described biotechnology company, began soliciting cat fanciers last month to fork out an eye-watering minimum of $3,950 to “pre-purchase” one of its kittens. And even though Allerca says it will take up to two years to deliver the pets, the company predicts demand will soon reach 10,000 kittens a year. <br><br>But despite Allerca's entrepreneurial zeal, questions about the company's finances, its ability to deliver what it has promised and the track record of founder Simon Brodie might give prospective pet owners pause, according to court records and interviews with former Allerca associates. <br><br>For instance, Allerca was evicted in February from its San Diego headquarters – which was also Brodie's residence – in the downtown 777 Sixth Avenue Lofts complex for nonpayment of rent, according to court records. In addition, Allerca, Brodie and other Brodie-affiliated companies have accumulated tens of thousands of dollars in bad debt in recent years. <br><br>Some scientists and cat breeders also have raised questions about Allerca's technology and business plan. The company has yet to provide proof of its genomics accomplishment – such as a scientific paper published in a peer-reviewed journal – and the scale of its enterprise seems far-fetched, some say. <br><br>In response to a list of questions about Allerca and other Brodie-owned or associated companies, as well as a request for an interview with Brodie, Allerca spokeswoman Samia Lavenant said no one with the company would comment. <br><br>Allerca claims to have devised a test to screen the genes of cats for “genetic divergences” in the Fel D1 gene, which is responsible for the allergy-producing protein. The protein is present in the dander and saliva of cats, so exposure to one that has licked its fur can cause an allergic reaction.<br><br>Allerca says that once it found cats that were genetically prone to produce low amounts of allergen, they were bred to produce virtually allergen-free offspring. The company is advertising the cats on its Web site. <br><br>But Allerca has declined to provide any details about its feat. In an interview last month, Allerca chief executive Megan Young would not say where the company is located, how it is funded, how many people it employs, how many cats it has produced or where the cats are housed, or identify any scientists or laboratories involved in the project. <br><br>One leading scientist said it is “plausible” that Allerca discovered a variant in the cat gene responsible for allergen production. <br><br>“The question is: Is there a variant that knocks out the production of the protein that causes the allergen?” said Stephen O'Brien, chief of the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity at the National Cancer Institute and head of the Cat Genome Project, an effort to map and sequence the genes of the domestic cat. “It would be incredibly lucky if they hit it. <br><br>“The proof is when they describe the actual variance in the gene and allow other people to replicate it.” <br><br>Young has said Allerca plans soon to publish a scientific paper on its research. <br><br>Scientists and cat breeders say it is possible to find cats that naturally produce low levels of allergen and breed them to fix the trait in future offspring. But most were skeptical that Allerca could produce the cats on the scale it has promised – or that it would be ethical to do so. <br><br>Allerca's Young said the company expects to produce 400 to 500 kittens in 2007 and build that number to 5,000 by 2008. In interviews with other media, Young put the number as high as 10,000 cats by 2009.<br><br>Carol Barbee, president of the American Cat Fanciers Association, a leading organization for cat breeders, said Allerca's math doesn't add up – at least in a financially viable or ethical way. <br><br>Most cats are not bred until they are at least 1 year old, and on average a cat will produce a litter of four kittens each year. Having a cat produce more than one litter a year is considered irresponsible, Barbee said. <br><br>“In the breeding world today, 10,000 kittens a year would be unheard of,” she said. “This doesn't seem real.” <br><br>Only 45 registered breeders in the United States and overseas produced more than 75 kittens last year, according to the cat association, the world's largest registry of pedigreed felines. The most came from an Ohio breeder who produced 322 kittens in 2005. <br><br>Average pedigreed-cat prices are about $400 to $600, with some rarer breeds commanding up to $2,000. <br><br>“I feel this company is overestimating the number of people willing to pay $3,950 for a cat that is bred to meet their needs,” said Lorraine Shelton, co-author of “Robinson's Genetics for Cat Breeders and Veterinarians,” a leading textbook. “The scale of this is quite unimaginable, in my opinion.” <br><br>This is not the first time that Allerca founder Brodie has been involved in companies that propose to do things on a grand scale. At various times, the entrepreneur has promoted companies that proposed to create the world's most powerful computer processor, as well as a national Wi-Fi network. <br><br>Some of Brodie's companies seem to appear suddenly and fade quickly, and in some cases leave behind unhappy clients, unpaid employees, debts, lawsuits, court judgments and liens, according to court records, former Brodie associates and media accounts. <br><br>In 1998, Brodie promoted Integra Information Technology, a Toronto company that recruited non-computer-literate people in England to pay 15,000 pounds, or about $25,000 at that time, to take a three-week Lotus Notes training course by promising them highly paid contracting work. <br><br>The price tag included flights to Integra's training center in Toronto, accommodations, software and vouchers for the cost of taking the Lotus exams on the clients' return to England. At the time, the cost of similar Lotus training, which typically required months to complete, was only about 2,000 pounds, or around $3,300, in the United Kingdom. <br><br>The British magazine Computer Weekly took a skeptical look at Integra in September 1998, detailing in an article the plight of former Integra clients and the company's dubious marketing practices. <br>         <br>Those former clients said that Brodie, who described himself as Integra's business development manager, promised that the course would provide them with full Notes training and that the company would help find them work. <br><br>Computer Weekly, which interviewed Integra clients and information technology experts, concluded that the reality was far different, with “ex-course members struggling to complete their Notes certification on their own, left to fend for themselves in the job market, and grappling with huge debts for the exorbitant course fees.” <br><br>A year later, in New York, a company called Cerentis appeared with the aim, proclaimed in a September 1999 news release, of using the Internet to create “the world's most powerful computer processor.” <br><br>Brodie, identified as a Cerentis spokesman, said the company would harness 10 million PCs via the Web to analyze massive amounts of data for customers. <br><br>The idea was almost identical to a nonprofit project announced earlier that year by SETI, or Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, in which participants would install a screen-saver-like application that, when the individual's PC was not in use, analyzed SETI data and relayed it back to SETI. <br><br>Cerentis' for-profit venture, dubbed Terra One, would work in the same way, according to Brodie. The company's news release described a program “in association with the biggest and best online retailers,” such as Amazon.com and Dell, in which users would build up credits that could be used to make purchases at online stores. <br><br>But Amazon.com and Dell never had any association with Cerentis or Brodie, representatives of the companies said last month. <br><br>After Cerentis' initial media splash, with articles written about the venture by high-tech media, the company appeared to fade from the scene. <br><br>According to court records, Cerentis, whose mailing address matched Brodie's New York address, failed to pay more than $50,000 in state taxes and has numerous liens against it. <br><br>Other Brodie-owned or affiliated companies followed, including Integra Associates, Cerentis Broadcasting Co., Samba Wireless, Geneticas Life Sciences, ForeverPet, Genetiate, GeneSentinel, Cyntegra and Allerca. <br><br>Little is known about the fate of those companies, but court records and interviews with former Brodie associates indicate that some were plagued with financial problems. <br><br>In January, Brodie and Allerca were sued for defaulting on a $25,000 loan; Brodie and two other Brodie-affiliated companies, Cerentis and Integra Associates, also defaulted on a $72,280 promissory note, according to court records. <br><br>Last year, Brodie proposed to raise $500,000 in a private offering of GeneSentinel stock, according to a GeneSentinel private-offering memorandum. The investment appeared risky at best: GeneSentinel, which listed Brodie as chairman, president and CEO, had assets of $3,000 and debts of $200,000. <br><br>GeneSentinel planned to create a test to detect pathogens and genetic mutations in samples from animals, but the project had the potential to generate legal problems. Allerca, the parent of GeneSentinel, had extensive discussions with Minneapolis-based Fair Isaac Corp. regarding the development of a similar product using Fair Isaac technology, but negotiations broke off in June 2005, according to the memo. <br><br>Subsequently, Fair Isaac's legal counsel informed Allerca that if it moved forward with an alternative technology, Fair Isaac would take legal action if it believed Allerca was using or disclosing Fair Isaac's confidential information, according to the memo. <br><br>It is not the first time that a company has raised concerns about Allerca and Brodie potentially usurping proprietary information. On Oct. 26, 2004, Brodie incorporated Allerca in California, and two days later issued a news release about the company's plans to genetically engineer allergen-free cats. <br><br>Brodie's announcement, and his intention to take deposits to reserve cats that had not yet been created and might never be, met with a flurry of national media coverage. <br><br>Within two months, Colorado-based Transgenic Pets sued Allerca and Brodie for allegedly stealing its trade secrets and business plans. <br><br>Transgenic Pets, founded in 2001, alleged that Brodie, then CEO of a company incorporated in Florida called Geneticas Life Sciences, had approached Transgenic earlier that year about becoming an investor. <br><br>In order to view Transgenic's business plans, Brodie signed a nondisclosure agreement, promising not to reveal confidential information, according to the Transgenic lawsuit. <br><br>On Sept. 24, 2004, Brodie signed articles of incorporation to create Allerca, with Transgenic founder David Avner as its president, according to the lawsuit. Brodie also agreed to invest $2.5 million in the new company. <br><br>But the money never came. On Oct. 12, 2004, Brodie e-mailed Avner that he and Geneticas would not participate, according to the lawsuit. Days later, Brodie incorporated Allerca in California and issued its news release. <br><br>Transgenic sued Allerca and Brodie. Under terms of a settlement, Allerca had to shut down its Web site and agree not to re-enter the market for genetically engineered, allergen-free cats until after May 31, 2006. <br><br>Allerca issued a news release June 7 claiming to have bred the allergen-free kittens first promised in 2004.<br><br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20060716-9999-1n16allerca.html">signonsandiego</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br>_________________________________<br><br>And yea I do know all breeding is selective but as humans we usually prefer consensual selection.<br><br>Looks like this guy's been at it for quite a while though...<br>__________________________________<br><br>SIMON BRODIE<br><br>Symon Brodie had a cow:<br>The cow was lost, and he cou'd na find her;<br>When he had done what man cou'd do,<br>The cow came hame, and the tail behind her.<br><br><br>Honest, auld Symon Brodie,<br>Stupid, auld, doited bodie;<br>I'll awa' to the North Countrie,<br>And see my ain dear Symon Brodie.<br><br>Symon Brodie had a wife,<br>And wow but she was braw and bonnie;<br>She took the dish-clout aff the bink,<br>And prin'd it to her cockernonie.<br>Honest, auld Symon Brodie, &c.<br><br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=5340">mudcat</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br>____________________________________<br><br>and...<br>____________________________________<br><br>More doubts over plan for allergen-free cats<br><br>The plans are nothing if not ambitious. Allerca has only six full-time employees and has yet to demonstrate gene silencing in cats. Research and development is being outsourced, and will begin at the start of 2005, says Brodie. <br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>He says labs have been lined up, but said they would not be named until January. His plan is to treat embryos to suppress expression of the allergen - a glycoprotein called Fel d 1 - then implant them in surrogate mothers and breed the kittens normally. By 2007, he claims the company will deliver 200,000 kittens per year.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br>Genetically altering cats to block allergens was proposed in 2001 by a company called Transgenic Pets in Syracuse, New York, US. However, funding problems brought their efforts to a halt in 2002. "But I know of several other people who are trying to do this," Platts-Mills told New Scientist.<br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6594.html">New Scientist</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br>______________________________<br><br>Still want one?<br><br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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