Tag Archives: science or fiction

A Forever Pet…Not So Much

A little over a decade ago, Texas A&M University cloned a cat.  That cat, appropriately named Copy Cat, is still alive and well (at least at the time of the report when she turned 10 years old).  She has a great life and a great home.

But was she a carbon copy of her donor mother cat?  Not at all.  She looks nothing like her “mother.”  You can read the AP article here.

It’s Tuesday, so that means TINSTAAFL Tuesday.  There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Check out my other TINSTAAFL Tuesday posts about DNA manipulation: Welcome to Gattica and Tracking Pooch’s Poo.

When animal cloning seemed to be on the horizon, many people wanted to store tissue samples of their beloved pets so they could recreate that same animal later after the dog or cat passed over the rainbow bridge.  The company called Genetic Savings & Clone (catchy, huh?) were ready to store genetic material and eventually produce clones for $50,000.  Keep in mind, there is no promise that the resulting cat will be anything like the original.  It might look the same, but it probably won’t act the same.

Um, hello, there are some pretty incredible shelter cats that would love to have nice homes at a fraction of the price. My sister-in-law found two adorable kittens that need homes now.

The company closed in 2006 due to the lack of demand for cloned cats.  Evidently, the business was not sustainable.  Well, no surprise there.

I just found this other article about cloned cats that glow!  South Korean scientists modified the DNA of cloned cats so they glowed red in ultraviolet light.  More recently in the US, a cat was cloned–he glows green.  Take a look at this video:

Much of the latest research that is going on now is in the direction of cloning endangered animals, rather than resurrecting dead pets.  I’m not sure how making them glow has anything to do with saving a species, but I have a great idea for a science fiction story in the works now.

Just remember:  There is no such thing as a free lunch.  😉

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Mermaids aren’t real?

I had a different idea for my first post, but then I heard about the announcement that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration made recently that “No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found.

Really?  All this because Animal Planet ran a science fiction episode about what if mermaids were an evolutionary possibility?  You can see their press release information for yourself.

I haven’t seen the show, but there were some viewers who thought the information was believable enough to contact NOAA to ask for proof.  NOAA’s brief announcement was wise to point out the obvious that the question of the mythological creature won’t be answered by them.

No worries.  Mer-mythology is still safe. 

As a kid, I played mermaid games in the pool with my siblings and cousins.  We kicked our legs together and pushed ourselves through the water.  It was hard work keeping my feet in line and legs bending just right to get the best mermaid movement through the water.  Aquaman had it easier and could communicate with sea creatures.  I wanted that gift.

As an art major (very briefly) in college, I had to do a full-sized self portrait.  I made myself a mermaid.

This is where my 14-year-old appropriates a quote from a Harry Potter character: “Are you sure that’s a real mermaid?  Well, it’s not very good, is it?” (You can see why I changed my major.)

News alert: Diana Beebe is not a mermaid and never was a mermaid.  This is only a photograph of an art assignment, not of a mermaid. No calls to NOAA or any other agency to check, please.

Does that mean mermaids aren’t real?

Even though archeological, biological, zoological, or any other  -logical evidence doesn’t exist, the fascination and love of mermaids exists worldwide.   It would take pages to list all the movies, books, and TV shows that include merpeople.

A friend of mine writes a blog about all things mer, including many people who have their own tails and spend their time working to protect our world’s oceans.  Check out Cynthia’s blog and then tell me mermaids aren’t real.

I imagine that those people who contacted NOAA for answers after watching an episode of science theory feel a little bit silly chasing a red herring (sorry, couldn’t resist at least one pun).

What mythological creature would you love to see found, or not?  Why, or why not?  I’d love to hear what you think.  Leave a comment below.

Following and sharing are welcome, too.  😉