Cat Could Cure Vision Diseases

1 decade 2 years 10 months ago Sunday, November 04 2007 Nov 4, 2007 Sunday, November 04, 2007 3:15:05 PM CST November 04, 2007 in News

"She has a very docile personality and she's very easy to work with, and she's a very nice cat," said Lani Castamer MU Veterninary Technician.

But Little Cinnamon the cat is making big strides in medicine.

Cinnamon belongs to Dr. Kristina Narfstrom, a Veterinary Opthamologist at MU. Narfstrom wants to cure diseases like Retinitis pigmentosa, or RP that can cause blindness.

RP affects one in every 3,500 people.

Dr. Narfstrom says the cure could come from a lab where Cinnamon gets her tests done.

Doctor Narfstrom bred her specifically for research four years ago, though scientists are just now starting to repair her DNA.

"The gene sequence that's being explored by Dr. Narfstrom at the veterinary school is a novel way to try to alter the genetics of this condition and replace those parts that are not functioning," said MU Optometrist Dr. John Cowden.

The process is painless.

And Cinnamon has the potential to save millions from going blind.

Cats and humans have 250 diseases in common.

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