Wired has a lengthy piece on the increasing trend of cloned livestock – livestock that go on to produce the milk you drink, or the choice cuts you eat. Little more than a decade since the birth of Dolly the sheep, cloning is becoming accepted by the agricultural industry, if not the average consumer.
Whether Joe Average’s reaction to cloning (and similar technologies like GM foods) is a natural knee-jerk or a media-fueled disgust (or a combination of the two) is unknown to me, but it’s certainly not based on rational facts – animals are animals are animals, no matter how their birth was brought about. But if cloned livestock can freak people out, the reactions we’ll see when vat-grown meat becomes available should be pretty spectacular … [Image by FiskFisk]
[tags]agriculture, biotech, cloning, livestock[/tags]
An international research team has discovered that they can obtain good DNA samples from the shafts of mammoth hair. Apparently keratin, the protein out of which hair is made, acts as a kind of plastic, preserving the DNA from contamination by marauding bacteria. The research could help scientists figure out why the mammoths went extinct at the end of the last ice age, and the technique could be applied to samples from other species that went extinct in relatively recent times, even samples that have been tucked away in museum drawers for decades. (Via National Geographic News; tip from The Walrus Said.)
Of course, what everyone really wants to know is, can we use this DNA to bring woolly mammoths back?
Short answer: maybe, but you won’t see them in Siberia’s nascent Pleistocene Park any time soon. (Image from Wikimedia Commons.)
[tags]genetics, DNA, cloning, extinction[/tags]
Aaah, aren’t these little piglets cute? They’re also fourth-generation piglet clones, apparently free of any abnormalities resulting from their engineered origin. Scientists have pinned great hopes on the cloning of animals as a potential solution to the world-wide shortage of transplantable organs; pigs, with their great similarity to human physiology, may well play a large part in such plans.
It sounds as if the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police is a science fiction fan – one who takes it a little too seriously. During a recent conference, he suggested that the police forces of the near future will have to deal with a variety of new threats to law and order, ranging from tech-savvy small-time crooks to rogue clones and human-robot hybrids. Personally, I’m not entirely convinced this isn’t just a viral marketing ploy for the forthcoming Blade Runner re-release.
Frequent Futurismic contributor Ruth Nestvold has done it again with “The Other Side Of Silence” – a disturbing tale about the future of executive entertainment.
[ IMPORTANT NOTICE: This story is NOT covered by the Creative Commons License that covers the majority of content on Futurismic; copyright remains with the author, and any redistribution is a breach thereof. Thanks. ]
The Other Side Of Silence
by Ruth Nestvold
“If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. As it is, the quickest of us walk about well wadded with stupidity.”
– George Eliot, Middlemarch
Judith went through the pile of data cubes one more time, hoping she had just overlooked the game somehow. It was uncanny the way children always seemed to know instinctively when interruptions would be most inconvenient for their parents. She had a deadline in less than a week, an environment for Chrysalis Biotechnics, the biggest, most powerful company in their corporate zone in Portland. It could make or break her career as environmental artist. Continue reading THE OTHER SIDE OF SILENCE by Ruth Nestvold