Friday, November 02, 2007

potent rodent

From here:

http://news.independent.co.uk/sci_tech/article3121157.ece

[NB: For as long as the blockage lasts, I won't be posting hyperlinks, but I will include URLs for the curious.]

THE MOUSE THAT SHOOK THE WORLD

It can run for hours at 20 metres per minute without getting tired. It lives longer, has more sex, and eats more without gaining weight. Could the science that created this supermouse be applied to humans?

By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Published: 02 November 2007

Scientists have been astounded by the creation of a genetically modified "supermouse" with extraordinary physical abilities – comparable to the performance of the very best athletes – raising the prospect that the discovery may one day be used to transform people's capacities.

The mouse (pictured on the front page) can run up to six kilometres (3.7 miles) at a speed of 20 metres per minute for five hours or more without stopping. Scientists said that this was equivalent of a man cycling at speed up an Alpine mountain without a break. Although it eats up to 60 per cent more food than an ordinary mouse, the modified mouse does not put on weight. It also lives longer and enjoys an active sex life well into old age – being capable of breeding at three times the normal maximum age.

American scientists who created the mice – they now have a breeding colony of 500 – said that they were stunned by their abilities, especially given that the animals came about as a result of a standard genetic modification to a single metabolism gene shared with humans.

They emphasised that the aim of the research was not to prepare the way to enhance the genes of people. However, they accepted that it may be possible to use the findings to develop new drugs or treatments that could one day be used to "enhance" the natural abilities of athletes.

I'm not sure we want enhanced mice that eat 60% more food, but I'm liking the other benefits of enhancement.

Ladies, be warned: you can bet that dick-enhancing injections are not far behind; I'm afraid you're just going to have to live with below-the-knee schlongitude.

Oh, yes: the article mentions some other genetically altered animals. The one that caught my attention was this:

Spider-silk goats

Spider-silk protein gene is inserted into goats to extract the substance from their milk. The silk is stronger than steel, so [it] could be used in industry.

Yeah, baby!


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2 comments:

Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I wondered why my goat cheese was tasting stringy...

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

Richardson said...

PETA frees rats; rats will rule the world?

Maybe they should try monkeys next, so we can use them for servants... somehow seems familiar...

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