Fighting Off Dreaded Allergies

When I went away to college, I developed an allergy to cats.  No telling whether it was the preponderance of felines squired away illegally in dorm rooms, or whether there were other allergens in the air that put my system into red alert.  No matter.  If I walked into a room where a cat had been, my eyes would instantly swell, my nose would open like a fire hose, and I'd begin sneezing with backbreaking violence.

Four years and two sore arms later, I completed a series of prophylactic injections against cat dander and could once again live comfortably in the same time zone as good old fluffy.  Now, according to reports in that paragon of journalistic verity, The New York Times, scientists are working on protein therapy that can block your body's histamine reaction to allergens.  Bizarre enough, the cure was discovered after they injected mice with cat dander.

The Cat and Mouse Solution

According to Dr. Christopher L. Kepley, who joined in the study with scientists at the University of California, the remedy comes from combining feline protein with human proteins that spark histamine reactions in immune cells. Tested in mice, the little critters suffered no severe reactions to cat dander.  Then, tested in humans who were allergic to tabby, the spliced human-feline protein blocked 90 percent of the histamine than in those who did not have the treatment.

It may be a few years from clearing FDA approval, but the protein splice offers hope to those seeking a permanent solution to an itchy problem.  I still don't own a cat.  I'm awaiting the splice of kitty litter with Chanel #5.


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