Do you think you might like cats, but alas, you’re allergic to them? Do you know you like cats, but you live with someone who would be rendered perpetually sneezy/scratchy-eyed/possibly dead if you got one? (Or two. Or three. Or four.) Do you hate cats and would rather be able to be around one without feeling like death?
Then rejoice! Your suffering may soon be at an end.
According to the The Telegraph, scientists at Cambridge University have isolated the protein in cat dander that combines with a chemical found in us humans (apologies if you’re reading this and are not human) to trigger allergies in one in ten people. Says Dr. Clare Bryant, the study’s lead author:
“When cats lick themselves they spread saliva, hormones and skin cells on to their coat. When the hair falls out, it is proteins in this dandruff stuck on their fur that people are allergic to. How cat dander causes such a severe allergic reaction in some people has long been a mystery. This is the first time we have discovered the process that leads to the allergic reaction. It opens up a whole new type of drug to treat it.”
Currently the only treatment for cat allergies is to take antihistamines or have injections to build up one’s tolerance, but now that the science behind the allergy is better understood there could be a better medicine on the market within five years. “With just a puff of an inhaler which contains the drug, a person would be OK to interact with cats without an adverse reaction, ” Dr Bryant explains.
I much prefer dogs to cats m’self (It’s not that dogs don’t have enough personality, like some people say. It’s that dogs’ personalities don’t tend to be evil. Come at me, cat lovers! The eternal battle rages on.), but I’m really happy for the people who could be positively affected by this. I know the pain of wanting to have a pet but not being able to have one. Darn apartment restrictions.
(via: Death and Taxes)