Tag Archives: DNA

When Distant Relatives Visit

It’s the holiday season, and people visit family and friends.  How do you prepare for those…uh, distant relatives who come to visit?  You know the ones I’m talking about.  They are difficult to accommodate and have strange eating habits.  Don’t even think about the Neanderthal-like hygiene practices. *shiver*

Where are these nine-feet (or taller, even) cousins going to sleep?

I think I’ll rig up an extra large hammock between the trees in the backyard.  No, that won’t work because the winter seedlings are slowly working their way up.  I wouldn’t want our guest to step in the garden.  Maybe, we’ll have to borrow a huge tent.

If the thought of preparing meals for the crowd everyday starts to overwhelm, we can think about the edibles we have growing outside.  I don’t mean the seedlings and baby broccoli which barely survived housing the offspring of negligent, flighty parents.  (They could’ve at least waited for the caterpillars to hatch before they flew away somewhere to whatever it is butterflies do after they lay eggs on baby broccoli.)

No, these guests require a special diet.  They don’t like any processed foods–everything must be natural.  It’s a good thing that our yard has a variety of dandelions and clover.  The neighborhood has lots of wild rabbits, too–our newest family members will feel right at home.

(Note to self: Warn the neighbors to bring in their cats.)

Put out the best towels.  On second thought, hide the best towels and put out all the old ones, even the ones that we use to dry off the dogs.

(Note to self: Board the dogs at a kennel for the weekend.)

So who are Cousins George, Bob, and Fred that I fear for my furry kids’ lives?

Bigfoot.

If they are anything like Harry from Harry and the Hendersons, then I’d worry more about my house.

What a great holiday card!

What a great holiday card!

These are the mythological creatures of forest wildernesses.  They are our close relatives.

Their DNA proves it. Yep.  Some scientists in Texas have sequenced the DNA of bigfoot. Their findings are controversial though.  (Ya think?)   They claim human females cross-bred with unknown primates.  Some 15,000 years later, those descendants should have human rights.

Hmmm…  Well, it seems we will have to wait for more conclusive evidence and test results before we need to give Fred, Bob, and George voting rights or a place at the holiday dinner table.

Their cousins from Everest are getting a lot of attention, too.  It seems the Sasquatch is mighty elusive.

For other interesting ideas, go check out what Debra Kristi says about Bigfoot at her blog.  There are other interesting links to read, too.

I’d love to see mermaids in real life, too–maybe from a distance.  Oh, wait!  Mermaids are half human.  Does that mean….

Nevermind.

What do you think about Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti stories? Are they close relatives, stuff made of myth, or seriously clever creatures?

Tracking Pooch’s Poo

I had a different post planned for TINSTAAFL (There is no such thing as a free lunch) Tuesday until I saw this news story out of Austin, Texas.  It’s real-world example of how DNA can be used to track people.  But in this case, it is a way to track people who aren’t picking up after their dogs.  It makes me wonder if we aren’t already approaching the world depicted in Gattaca. So consider this an update to last week’s Welcome to Gattaca.

Here’s the scoop: A lab out of Tennessee has a service to catalog the collected DNA samples from dogs.  Usually, these dogs’ humans live in communities with active homeowner associations (HOAs), apartment complexes, and condominiums, where the property management offices are requiring dog owners to have their dogs’ DNA to be recorded.  Then when any dog, um, presents are discovered on the lawn, because someone didn’t pick up after their pet, the HOA can send a sample to the lab to be analyzed.  Offenders face stinky fines.

It’s the law to pick up dog stuff, for many obvious reasons.  We pick up after our dogs.  A 75-pound dog doesn’t leave small bombs behind.  It’s disgusting when people don’t clean up after their pooches, and it makes me mad when they leave it in my front yard.  We wouldn’t leave it in their yards, even in retaliation.

The customer survey results show a 100 percent success rate at reducing pet waste.  The customers said that what they liked best was that it provided “undeniable accountability” of their tenants.  Gee, I wonder what the chances are that one of those residences will risk a fine, or worse, after they know that their dogs’ DNA is in the database.

I’m not doggin’ the company for marketing a service.  I don’t question anyone’s right to own a business.  The conundrum here is that dog owners aren’t doing their duty to pick up the doo.  In reality, there would not be a need for these communities to go to the extreme of tracking doggie DNA if people just do the right thing.

So, TINSTAAFL!  Does this make you wonder where the line stops?  Will this creep from residential communities into cities and counties?  What do you think about this?