They used a technique known as gamete-targeted lentiviral transgenesis. The tongue-twister technique involved inserting the desired gene into the cat's eggs before sperm fertilization.
The resulting kittens produced the macaque's protein, a restriction factor known as TRIMCyp, as well as the jellyfish's glow in the dark chemical, known as green fluorescent protein.
Not only did the first generation of kittens come out luminescent and FIV-resistant, the new genes were passed on to their offspring. The phosphorescent fur-balls were healthy and thriving, report the Mayo Clinic scientists.
Though this technique is not a direct treatment for FIV, HIV, or AIDS, it will help researchers understand how the proteins known as restriction factors can be used in gene therapy. Since FIV is similar to HIV, the luminescent cats could shed light on treatments for both diseases.
As cool as having a glowing cat would be, don't expect to see phosphorescent felines at the pet store. Genetically engineering pets is highly controversial, and the Mayo researchers made these cats solely to help the fight against AIDS, not to be awesome additions to a Halloween party.