Archive for November, 2007|Monthly archive page
OK: the medical community has run up the white flag and admitted drinking (in moderation) is good for you! Good for the heart, the pancreas, and the joints. Now, we need to take it to the next level; I’m going to request a tequila prescription from my doctor and go to the drug store to get it filled and paid for by my medical insurance.
Alas, FDA and the pharmaceutical companies will get involved and Tequila will start costing $150 a bottle.
Whatever you do, do NOT turn this newly discovered critter over to the first scientists of this story. Nor the ones from this story on giant bamboo rats. Nor to these that are making rats smarter (we’ll need Ph.D. to design mouse traps filled with dynamite.)
This first story is a an example of just because you can do something, sometimes you need to think whether you should first.
A genetically engineered “supermouse” has stunned scientists with its physical abilities. The mouse can run up to six kilometres at a speed of 20 metres per minute for five hours or more without stopping, British newspaper The Independent reports. The engineered mouse also lives longer, has more sex and can breed well into old age, and eats more without getting fat, the paper reports. The “supermouse” is the creation of American scientists who are working to create a community of 500 of the rodents. …
“They are metabolically similar to Lance Armstrong biking up the Pyrenees. They utilise mainly fatty acids for energy and produce very little lactic acid,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.
“They are not eating or drinking and yet they can run for four or five hours. They are 10 times more active than ordinary mice in their home cage. They also live longer – up to three years of age – and are reproductively active for almost three years. In short, they are remarkable animals.”
But he said the supermouse was “very aggressive” and scientists weren’t yet sure why.
“We could spot them at just a few weeks after birth. They popped around the cage like popcorn. We found that they were about 10 times as active as ordinary mice,” the paper quoted him as saying.
Well, that makes a lot of sense. You now have a mouse that can not only outrun Tabby, but can beat the crap out of him if he chooses. Eats more, breeds more and breeds longer. Combine all the stories above and you’ve got ultra-fast, super-smart, hyper-aggressive rats the size of dogs! Let that sucker out of the lab and we’ll need fully automatic shotguns to deal with the problem.
What’s next? More aggressive fire ants the size of your fist? Hungrier mosquitoes the size and wingspeed of hummingbirds?
However, this next story pretty well undoes some of the rest:
In an experiment with mice, the researchers identified and removed certain receptors on the olfactory bulb of their brains — and the result was a batch of fearless rodents. To prove their point, the scientists showed pictures of a brown mouse within an inch of a cat, sniffing up its ear, kissing it and playing with its predator’s collar.
Great; they bred self-replicating cat food; the feline population will need tiny treadmills and Stairmaster after these become available.
Scientists: Make up you mind, will ya?
UPDATE: And this is what all cats will look like if this second strain of mice becomes common: Except the cats won’t have to eat orange tabby cats, like the one this beast appears to be in the middle of crapping out.