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Hypoallergenic Cats

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the good-use-of-science dept.

215

Lambticc writes "The BBC is running an article about how a US firm has successfully bred cats to reduce the production of the protein which causes an allergic reaction. Since the result was achieved through selective breeding, there should not be any complaints from the anti-GM lobby." From the article: "The cats will not cause the red eyes, sneezing and even asthma that some cat allergy sufferers experience, except in the most acute cases. Despite costing $3,950 (£2,104), there is already a waiting list to get one. Allerca first started taking orders for genetically engineered hypoallergenic cats back in 2004."

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215 comments

Dupe (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16180755)

You already reported it in 2004 [slashdot.org] .

Re:Yes, but they are now shipping! (4, Funny)

Psykechan (255694) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180781)

Get yours now from petsovernight.com [petsovernight.com] .

Selectively Breaded Cats (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180807)

Since the result was achieved through selective breading

Funny, I figured they'd be available down at the local Chinese restaurant...

Re:Selectively Breaded Cats (1)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181017)

Is that wheat breading I wonder?

Re:Selectively Breaded Cats (2, Funny)

momerath2003 (606823) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181107)

"selective breading"?

Maybe it has something to do with catbread [ytmnd.com] ?

(more [ytmnd.com] , originals [flickr.com] )

I want a dupe free slash dot contributor (0, Redundant)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180823)

And since I expect most /. contributors are not likely to participate in breeding, selective or otherwise, I'm prepared to soften my anti-GM stance to get one!

Re:Dupe (3, Informative)

TekPolitik (147802) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181391)

It wasn't even new then. There's an entire breed, called Siberians, that have been known to have this quality. All that seems to have happened here is selective cross-breading to get it into other more conventional species.

Re:Dupe (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181471)

Yes except in that discussion someone posted about a cat race that's already hypoallergenic by nature which noone has done this time.

Heh (4, Funny)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180759)

But when will they finally breed the North American House Hippo!? Huh? That's what I want to know.

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16180785)

they already do, you can usually find them eating at macdonalds, or any other fast food joint. beware though, if they get ahold of your credit cards, they will spend it all at the mall, and some wont put out, till after you put a ring on thier finger

Re:Heh (4, Funny)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181105)

they already do, you can usually find them eating at macdonalds, or any other fast food joint. beware though, if they get ahold of your credit cards, they will spend it all at the mall, and some wont put out, till after you put a ring on thier finger
Another variety sits around in its underwear all day, watching TV while drinking beer and refuses to help out around the house.

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16180797)

Re:Heh (1)

Fyre2012 (762907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180803)

But when will they finally breed the North American House Hippo!? Huh? That's what I want to know.

The same time they breed the pot bellied elephant. But we all know those genes just don't splice anyways.

What i'm waiting for is a cat that doesn't shed. *scratches self*

Re:Heh (1)

BrettJB (64947) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180999)

Re:Heh (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181277)

So much for "evolution doesn't happen".

Re:Heh (3, Funny)

rpbird (304450) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181439)

Our friend Mr. Evolution actually created those, and elephants the size of dogs. I kid you not. Weird things happen to creatures stranded on islands. Sometimes they get really large (the Dodo), sometimes they get really small (tiny elephants and hippos). Unfortunately for those pet lovers out there, our distant ancestors found these island species and ate them all. Kinda reminds me of Futurama and the last can of sardines.

Repost (1)

valkabo (840034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180765)

Repost Do the posters even read slashdot?

Re:Repost (1)

daspriest (904701) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181099)

Read?

Patents? (2, Interesting)

giminy (94188) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180769)

I hope they annoyingly patented what they did (though I don't get how to you specifically patent selective breeding), or the first two owners of frisky felines will put them out of business.

Maybe they'll sell one gender of cat?

Re:Patents? (5, Informative)

Duckz (147715) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180811)

You can only get spayed or neutered animals from them.

Re:Patents? (1)

iroll (717924) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180857)

Good thing we live in the age of cloning!

Only way they could (currently) close that loophole is by selling only aged and decrepit cats. Young'uns would clone nicely :)

(sigh...You know you're a nerd when thinking about selling clones reminds you of Compaq.)

Re:Patents? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180877)

You can only get spayed or neutered animals from them.

Time to fire up the Mr. Cloner.

KFG

Re:Patents? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181043)

Well, after the recent article on part regeneration, that's hardly a problem!

Re:Patents? (2, Funny)

QuantumFTL (197300) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181209)

You can only get spayed or neutered animals from them.

And that, my friend, is why I release all of my pets under the GPL. What an outrage!

Re:Patents? (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181897)

These cats are GPL compliant. The company simply forked the existing feline breed and released their own breed. You can of course modify those cats all you want. The only caveat is that their cats have already been modified in ways that prevent additional forks.
 

Re:Patents? (1)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181237)

But you could clone a neutered hypoallergenic cat. The offspring would not be sterile.

Of course, the "intellectual property" which is represented by the cat's genetic makeup may also be copyrighted or patented.

Now, if you'll excuse me as I entertain Buttons(TM) here with a Laser Pointer [youtube.com] (TM) until I go broke from licensing fees or fall asleep in a hypnogogic Benadryl(TM) haze [wikipedia.org] ...

la la la la la atchoo atchoo atchoo! bless me dammit i'm an atheist but i do love benadryl and cats

Good! (2, Insightful)

Craig Ringer (302899) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181759)

Sure, that's just good business sense for them - but it also helps reduce the number of strays on the streets, and gets people used to sterilizing their pets.

Re:Patents? (1)

Edis Krad (1003934) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181305)

Unless they mixed their DNA with frog DNA.. in that case, they might change sex spontaneously and breed!!!

Whats next? (1)

JimXugle (921609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180773)

Fish that don't need water to live in?

Yeah, we know. (1)

My Iron Lung (834019) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180795)

Thought this sounded familiar: http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/10/2 6/2139244 [slashdot.org]

Re:Yeah, we know. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16180859)

This to announce that they're actually available now, that was announcing pre orders. Way to read fucktard!

It still doesn't fix the biggest problem (0, Troll)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180801)

This still doesn't fix the biggest problem I have with cats. Cats kill native animals at night, drag home dead things and are perhaps the most disgusting of all domestic animals. Although perhaps most of those things are the fault of the owners, not the cats.

Re:It still doesn't fix the biggest problem (1, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180817)

Fuck native animals.

As a matter of fact, kill em all, this is our world now.

Re:It still doesn't fix the biggest problem (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180989)

These cats were already domesticated, and the mice they occasionally feed on are domesticated, this is just the next step.

Re:It still doesn't fix the biggest problem (1)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181819)

how long have you been living where you are, and does that make you a native? If so, I wanna come kill you for your xbox ;-)

Re:It still doesn't fix the biggest problem (1)

essence (812715) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181179)

The impact of cats is minimal in comparison to what humans have done, and are still doing, to this planet. I have a problem with humans, leave the cats alone.

Re:It still doesn't fix the biggest problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16181443)

Animals native to what? The house? Around the house? Not sure if you know this, but in their original environment, cats killed native animals too. They aren't the only ones [wikipedia.org] .

Actually, for a long time, things have killed things, it is pretty much integral to life on the planet.

As for cats being disgusting, i'd say that is pretty much complete opinion. But if you see a cat, and are disgusted, I for one think you have some kind of weird problem.

Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16180813)

Now I won't have to throw my cats into the washing machine anymore.

Selective breading? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16180815)

Mmmm, breaded cat meat.

Re:Selective breading? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16181325)

That's unpossible!

Artificial species (1)

Starker_Kull (896770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180819)

Well... not really. Just evolution in action, with manmade selection vs. the 'natural' kind. I like cats, but hate the allergic reactions I get from them. Sign me up.

Re:Artificial species (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180959)

You might want to wait for the second model year. There's still some question about whether they're just selling cat oil or not.

KFG

Breading? (5, Funny)

dmwst30 (463874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180827)

Hrm...selective breading of cats...wonder how that works. Extra crispy or regular? Corn flake or bread crumb or batter? How do they keep the cats from eating it?

("The BBC is running an article about how a US firm has successfully bred cats to reduce the production of the protein which causes an allergic reaction. Since the result was achieved through selective breading, there should not be any complaints from the anti-GM lobby." if they fix this one)

So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16180833)

Let me know when they're breeding cats with frickin' lasers on their heads.

I for one welcome our new hypoallergenic overlords (3, Funny)

KNicolson (147698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180885)

I know every time I've got some pussy, I've had terrible rashes and itchiness, although I've never had to pay as much as $4,000 dollars for them.

Re:I for one welcome our new hypoallergenic overlo (1)

Dryanta (978861) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180913)

Breaded pussy? You might be on to something here. That's a million dollar product, as long as it's still warm when it gets delivered to the table.

Re:I for one welcome our new hypoallergenic overlo (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181091)

Breaded pussy? You might be on to something here.

But why would breading be any better than the traditional flour or Alka-Seltzer?

Re:I for one welcome our new hypoallergenic overlo (2, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181363)

I know every time I've got some pussy, I've had terrible rashes and itchiness, although I've never had to pay as much as $4,000 dollars for them.

As Norm MacDonald once said:

  • Norm: How come whenever we go out it always costs me a couple hundred dollars?
  • Woman: Because I'm a prostitute.

try using a condom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16181395)

they should help avoid getting VDs when you get some pussy. not that i'd personally know of course, its what i've heard.

Oh good lord, Aryan Kitties! (1)

alchemy101 (961551) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180927)

Selective breeding? The perfect race... of cats?

Re:Oh good lord, Aryan Kitties! (1)

nixusar (905155) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180995)

yes..and they're even blonde haired with blue eyes!!!

Re:Oh good lord, Aryan Kitties! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16181827)

They exist already. They're called Siamese.

Fair haired. Blue eyed. Intellligent. Cute.

Moreover, considering that you're a Slashdotter, they're more articulate than you, thinner than you, cleaner than you, they venture outdoors more often than you, and they have less of a limitless sense of entitlement to something for nothing than you.

what about the non-selected cats... (1)

wired_LAIN (974675) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180945)

I wonder what they did with the cats that tested positive for the glycoprotein Fel d1 (the one that causes the allergies)... I mean, it says the processed a "huge number" of cats looking for the "small fraction" that didnt have the protein. No mention of the fate of the ones that did have it. Poor cats T_T

Re:what about the non-selected cats... (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181327)

I wonder what they did with the cats that tested positive for the glycoprotein Fel d1 (the one that causes the allergies)... I

Haven't you seen Young Einstein? Even the summary mentions this idea of selective breading.

Re:what about the non-selected cats... (3, Funny)

mdhoover (856288) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181831)

Surplus cats were sent to universities worldwide for helping out with the quantum computing effort. They go through a lot of cats that way...

Side effects (1)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16180991)

Does anyone know if this gene has a desired effect besides "make humans allergic to us"? It seems there could, possibly, be side effects from this - there aren't that many species that humans are commonly allergic to, so perhaps there's a reason for this gene to exist.

Re:Side effects (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16181027)

Maybe it also happens to be the "suppress thirst for human blood" gene.

Re:Side effects (1)

TekPolitik (147802) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181293)

Does anyone know if this gene has a desired effect besides "make humans allergic to us"?

You don't think "keeping humans away" is enough of a positive side-effect in an animal gene?

Re:Side effects (1)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181559)

When it's not intense enough to keep the human from killing and eating you, but too intense to keep the human from taking care of you? I think it's a pretty clear negative side-effect.

I posted this idea to Usenet back in 1992 (2, Interesting)

Jon Noring (715238) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181001)

As noted in a prior comment to Slashdot [slashdot.org] , I proposed this idea to Usenet in 1992 (link to Google archive of my original article included in my prior comment.) Of course, I'm tooting my horn, but Allerca actually did it. Good luck to Allerca.

Re:I posted this idea to Usenet back in 1992 (1)

sunwolf (853208) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181073)

I wonder if you could've independently achieved the same results if you had started your breeding program back in '92.

Re:I posted this idea to Usenet back in 1992 (1)

Jon Noring (715238) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181139)

I wonder if you could've independently achieved the same results if you had started your breeding program back in '92.

Laugh. Probably not. I'm very allergic to cats, so I can't even be near most of them, which is probably a requirement for being involved with a breeding program. Also, I don't have any experience breeding animals.

I did note back in 1992 that my idea is being cast to the "public domain" for someone to make into a reality. Allerca definitely made it a reality, but the founders may have come up with the idea unawares of my Usenet post. As noted before, I wish them good luck...

Re:I posted this idea to Usenet back in 1992 (1)

Sircus (16869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181795)

Good work on the cat-breeding foresight, but how do you feel now about your support for Perot? :-)

The real question (2, Funny)

iknowcss (937215) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181009)

The real question is, though, will they taste as good?

Good BYEEEEE karma

Simplier solution (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16181033)

Personally I just shave my cats. Far cheaper and keeps the hair off the furniture. If you really want to take the easy way out just wrap them in tape, grab one end then give it a good hard yank. All the nasty hair will be gone in a second. Word of warning, if you use method two avoid the cats for a few days. Cats are like women, they are the best at love and revenge. After the tape treatment they tend to be out for blood. Just stop feeding them for a day or two and they'll be your best friend again.

I have one thing to say about that... (3, Funny)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181103)

ACK! phftt!

Okay already! (1)

grommit (97148) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181109)

I'll buy the damn cat if you'd just stop adversiting on slashdot every month!

Great but can they.... (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181115)

...breed out the gene that attracts psycho women who think they're a witch, read their stars religously every day, and treat their cat as if it were their child? On second thoughts I like having a clear sign that a chick is nuts. Without this men would fall prey to the psycho chicks more often.

Re:Great but can they.... (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181745)

On second thoughts I like having a clear sign that a chick is nuts.

Or you could just make sure there's no Y chromosome. That's another clear sign. Dude, they're ALL nuts, just in different ways, and to different degrees. That's why they're always a surprise!

Yawn... (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181123)

Wake me when I can get a hyper-allergenic cat. Ideally one that's so adorable that even though it causes excruciating allergy flare ups in its owners, they can't bring themselves to get rid of it. Yes... That would be the perfect gift for those pesky in-laws...

38 million households own a cat?? (4, Funny)

stox (131684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181125)

No one "owns" a cat. What they really need to say is that there are 38 million households where the cat(s) tolerate the presence of humans. In most cases, the cats will have trained their humans to fulfill their every whim.

Re:38 million households own a cat?? (5, Funny)

Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181229)

kmdoibhau''an 97483ujrg vmcv

Get off my damned keyboard you whiskerfaced devil!!!

Re:38 million households own a cat?? (1)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181299)

Actually, cats are incredibly good pets. My Mittens catches mice and insects that get into the house. They bathe themselves, and they bury their own waste, unlike dogs. They tend to have rather unique personalities. I've known more than a dozen cats in my thirty-odd years, and every single relationship has been rewarding for me, and I hope also for the cats.

Re:38 million households own a cat?? (1)

stox (131684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181445)

I never said cats weren't good pets. I was commenting on how much cats manage to negotiate a shared existence with their cohabitants. Clever little devils.

Re:38 million households own a cat?? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181455)

And often the cats will have multiple "owners".

Re:38 million households own a cat?? (4, Funny)

allanj (151784) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181641)

I've heard it like this:

The Dog sees the Man serving food and water and generally taking care of it and loving it. The Dog concludes: "Wow, he must be God".

The Cat sees the Man serving food and water and generally taking care of it and loving it. The Cat concludes: "Wow, I must be God".

Wasted effort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16181135)

Let me know when they create successfully breed kittens that don't rip the shit out of everything, wake you up with meowing at 3 in the morning, and try to trip you when you go down the stairs.

Coming to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16181149)

...a Chinese fast food near you.

Priceless moggy (1)

tashammer (905647) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181151)

Hmm, these selectively bred cats are soooo cheap at only almost $US7,000 to many overseas countries. $7,000? I am starting to get an idea that the extremist group, Earth First, may have the right idea in that abusing creatures just to make money sucks big time - cats for cuteness, horses for speed, dogs that cannot breathe properly or have open skulls. This isn't even a matter of food for survival. Stewardship?

Hypoallergenic Handbag (1)

Pink Tinkletini (978889) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181183)

Now I won't have to keep sneezing because of my fashionable homemade bag [encycloped...matica.com] .

Why pay $4000 for a cat? (2, Interesting)

Derwood5555 (828126) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181247)

Why pay that much for a cat when theres plenty of dogs out there that are already hypoallergenic.
Take the Basenji for example. It's hypoallergenic, doesn't bark, grooms itself like a cat, and dislikes water like most cats.
And while they don't bark, they do make a yodeling type of noise.

And, you can usually get one for quite a lot less than $4000.

Re:Why pay $4000 for a cat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16181729)

Do they bury their own shit? If not, no deal.

Re:Why pay $4000 for a cat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16181929)

Because cats are better?

take claritin and adopt a stray instead! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16181251)

Thousands of healthy cats are killed daily in the USA (and probably around the world). Just take claritin and adopt one of these beautiful creatures instead of creating new life that we don't need.

I'm allergic to cats and taking claritin twice a day works for me.

(also get your cat fixed please!)

Selective breeding vs GM? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181279)

IMHO, selective breeding is just one way of genetic modification. It does alter the DNA as well, and the difference is a matter of degree. People have practiced it for millennia, and for some weird reason it's only in recent years that we've had anti-GM activity.

I imagine it's possible to get the same results with modern, direct GM, as these guys did with SB. In that case this is equally evil and unnatural as any GM ;)

Re:Selective breeding vs GM? (2, Insightful)

aXis100 (690904) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181519)

No amount of natural cross-breeding will result in tomatoe vines with glow-in-the-dark fish genes.

The anti-GM activity is due to the proliferation of new protiens in existing foods that will trigger new alergies/diseases. Also with plants once they start releasing pollen you cant control it.

How long must I wait... (1)

Bugbear1973 (930850) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181283)

...before I can get my cat with a fricking laser on it's head?

Sphynx cats (2, Informative)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181377)

I know a guy who is allergic to cats, so they got a couple of sphynx cats. Hairless, so no dander problems. Look a bit like Yoda [naughty-nature.com] . In fact, kind of repulsive. And I'm a cat lover.

Hairless cats are NOT less allergic (1)

figgypower (809463) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181783)

As a cat allergy sufferer, I feel the strong urge to tell everybody on what kind of cats do not cause allergies. None. Exactly none. Not even the one mentioned in TFA; although, reduced. Hairless cats do not solve the problem as the allergies are caused by flakes of dead skin cells. The Sphynx maybe hairless, but definitely still has dander (defined as dead skin cells and clumped hair).

That said, allergies have a large psychological component. I know from being, uh, "light and airy" on, uh, "mild mood enhancers" that my allergies are not as bad. Perhaps your friend has a mostly psychological reaction and little physiological reaction.

Siberian cats (2, Interesting)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181817)

A torrent of anecdotal evidence claims that this breed, a more normal looking one, doesn't make allergic people wheeze and break out. On the other hand neither my allergist nor our late cat's vet has seen anything to confirm that in the professional literature.

They're also very expensive.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberian_(cat) [wikipedia.org]

Human breeding (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181417)

When are they gonna breed people who are not stupid? I suppose such would ruin the Darwin Awards however.

Hypoallergenic (4, Interesting)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181589)

Interestingly, it's a marketting term - it has no legal meaning per the FDA, which is why cosmetic companies feel free to use it; they are not saying you won't be allergic to this or that any FDA approved testing has been done. Yet people think it means something so they buy hypoallergenic products.

As one marketeer put it during a presentation - "My job is great - I sell a product that is 90% air and people pay a premium for it!!"

oblig (1)

elmedico27 (931070) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181723)

I, for one, welcome our new hypoallergenic overlords!

great news for allergy-suffering biodiesel users (1)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181791)

does this mean when you convert your cat into biodiesel [ananova.com] that you won't get allergic reactions to the exhaust fumes?

this would certainly get ME to buy as diesel car as I'm allergic to cats !

I'll buy one IF.. (1)

Uranium Hexafluoride (1005323) | more than 7 years ago | (#16181973)

I can select breed, size, sex, temperment AND It comes with a Mammalian Cellular Regeneration gene
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<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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