Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Patented Pets?

By tarsand in MLP
Sun Jul 01, 2001 at 04:54:08 PM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)
Science

According to this article a fledgling company named Transgenic Pets, of Syracuse, New York, want to develop and market cats which don't produce the protein that stimulates allergic reactions in some people.


Transgenic Pets hope to sell the cats for about $1,000 each. They'll be spayed or neutered before sale to prevent illicit breeding.

I think this is going a bit too far. If you're allergic to cats, don't own cats, or be prepared to cope with the allergies.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll
Are transgentic pets a good idea?
o Yes 9%
o No 16%
o Maybe 19%
o I want my cat with wings please 54%

Votes: 73
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o article
o Also by tarsand


Display: Sort:
Patented Pets? | 36 comments (31 topical, 5 editorial, 1 hidden)
[OT] Oh Crap... (3.16 / 6) (#3)
by ti dave on Sun Jul 01, 2001 at 05:19:02 AM EST

Insert generic "Blade Runner" reference here.
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

The Future (2.75 / 8) (#5)
by Anatta on Sun Jul 01, 2001 at 08:12:48 AM EST

Here's to all the people who will finally be able to enjoy the wonderful world of felines... (for me, I'd rather see a personality changing gene than a non-allergy gene)

And here's to the groups like the Extropians for pushing us towards the future...
My Music

I Want Another Kitty (3.40 / 10) (#6)
by SEWilco on Sun Jul 01, 2001 at 10:15:22 AM EST

They'll be spayed or neutered before sale to prevent illicit breeding.

What are the names of the companies which are offering to clone your pet?

Cool idea, but $1000? (3.80 / 10) (#7)
by Canimal on Sun Jul 01, 2001 at 10:40:19 AM EST

I think these guys are totally off their rocker on price. I suppose they know their business best but it sure seems like they'd be better off trying to sell to the middle class, where they can catch the wife whose husband is allergic etc. As it is they are only going to sell to people who are really rich, really like cats, and are also allergic to them. Small market.

Back when I was a genetics major I thought it would be fun and profitable to make brightly colored pets. Transferring pigment genes around should be pretty feasible and straightforward. I'd like to have a cardinal red cat, or a bluejay blue dog. Fun.

Matt



A grand is not bad.. (4.37 / 8) (#8)
by jabber on Sun Jul 01, 2001 at 12:38:35 PM EST

AKC puppies, depending on breed, can easily fetch (no pun intended, really.. I'm very sorry) twice that amount. Heck, check your local paper.. Dogs that sell privately can cost as much. Rare, pure-bred cats cost that much as well.

I recall, a few years back I saw the greatest pair of (twin) Abssynians (sp?) at a local pet shop. They were very cute, and got along perfectly. I had just gotten a good raise, so I considered it, but at $750 EACH, I just could not justify the expense. For several days afterwards, I felt down, knowing that at that price, they would end up being split up.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

yes but (3.00 / 4) (#19)
by TheLer on Sun Jul 01, 2001 at 07:23:46 PM EST

Cats are not dogs. You can get a cat/kitten for free from a local pound and you'll be saving it from possible extermination. $1000 is a lot to pay for a cat, although I do think this is a very interesting idea and I can see a possible market for such an animal if the prices came down.

[ Parent ]
What?? (4.50 / 4) (#20)
by jabber on Sun Jul 01, 2001 at 08:22:26 PM EST

You can get a dog from the pound as well. In either case, you're doing the animal a favor.. Sure, there's no disputing it.

However, for a purebred, dog or cat, you will pay through the nose.

Considering the cost and exclusivity of pedigreed animals, a custom-engineered one for a grand is not a bad deal. I'm sure it will become quite the fad among the techno-rich.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Price (4.50 / 2) (#30)
by catseye on Tue Jul 03, 2001 at 09:46:56 AM EST

The price isn't bad actually... Go into any pet store and you'll see pure-bred cats for between $300-$500. Charging 2-3x more for one that won't trigger allergies is pretty good.

[ Parent ]
Why not? (4.00 / 11) (#9)
by trhurler on Sun Jul 01, 2001 at 01:35:07 PM EST

I'm allergic to cats. For me, this isn't a problem, because I don't want pets anyway. However, I can easily see how this would be something people would pay good money for. Presuming they've studied cats enough to know that this protein isn't vital in any way(it should be easy enough to raise a couple of generations of cats and watch them to find out,) why shouldn't they do this? If it does create a problem, you just kill the project off and forget about it; as animal research goes, that's relatively within normal boundaries. If not, you have healthy cats that people will pay money for, and you get profits by which you can continue to explore the benefits science can offer.

Why is it that after thousands of years of observing past societies screw themselves up through irrational fears, there are still billions of people doing just that? I'm beginning to think that lack of perspective and common sense are the rule, and that people merely give the appearance of being reasonable as an adaptive trait to help them get along in society rather than actually possessing that characteristic. This wouldn't be nearly so depressing if not for the fact that they've instituted this idea that the opinion of the majority constitutes a proper legal system.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

Progress, but caution is needed (4.00 / 6) (#10)
by raaymoose on Sun Jul 01, 2001 at 04:01:39 PM EST

I don't think concerns surrounding genetic manipulation of this sort of nature is irrational. It's a new area of science, relatively speaking, and it's just arrogant to assume that we as humans can just prance off and do whatever we want just because it might be profitable -- that sort of viewpoint is ignorant and archaic. It's not as though any reasonable person is calling for it to be abolished, just to have care taken. This sort of use of the technology is blatently superfluous.

Other than that, cats are animals too, not our playthings. I'm not totally against using animals in research as long as guidelines regarding their treatment are followed, however, manipulating an animals genetic structure, which we're barely qualified to do to begin with, for this purpose is just selfish. I don't think anyone can truely justify the possible suffering that is caused to these animals when it turns out that manipulating the gene(s) that control production of the protein causes other effects. It's not just a theoretical possibility, it will happen. There's no discrete relationship between a single gene and a single feature, the interrelationships haven't even been realised by humans yet. It's like trying to cut a single hair in the dark -- you might get it done, but in the meantime, you've cut off the ears, and possibly the head as well.

Genetic manipulations of this nature should not be used for such things, not at this point in time. Caution is the best way to proceed at this point in time.


[ Parent ]
Ah (4.00 / 6) (#11)
by trhurler on Sun Jul 01, 2001 at 04:37:01 PM EST

I don't think concerns surrounding genetic manipulation of this sort of nature is irrational.
Depends. Do you mean concerns founded on some actual reason, or just blind "something bad could happen!" fearmongering? The latter is all that most people's education could possibly allow them to actually have(ie, they don't actually know anything about the real risks,) and yet look at all the people screaming about this technology.
It's not as though any reasonable person is calling for it to be abolished
So then what you're saying is that almost all of the population of Europe is unreasonable? I've often thought so myself, but I'm surprised to see anyone else say so:)
This sort of use of the technology is blatently superfluous.
Superfluous projects are precisely the area we ought to be concentrating on; the less important it is to us, the more we can afford to screw up. I'd just as soon not let loose a dominant strain of rice that happens to be poisonous or indigestible; I really don't care if we set loose a line of cats that has three eyes. The latter might be somewhat ugly, but the former is a disaster. Similarly, early use of other technologies has usually been in areas in which they were not all that important, and as they came to be well understood and well trusted, they took on more important roles. I find it amazing that the first real applications we put this technology to were food related; I'm all for the technology, but I do not see why we aren't doing more of these "unimportant" things first.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
meow! (3.57 / 7) (#16)
by raaymoose on Sun Jul 01, 2001 at 05:14:58 PM EST

So then what you're saying is that almost all of the population of Europe is unreasonable? I've often thought so myself, but I'm surprised to see anyone else say so:)

I'm sure if you went and talked to one of those Europeans you'd find that a great deal of them actually have rational, logical reasons behind their rejection of (and in this case, I think you're referring to) genetically modified crops (which is an entirely different, yet related debate), and that when it comes down to specifics they do think it's tolerable in some circumstance. This I gather from personal experiences with people from the mentioned continent on the issue.

Let's extrapolate on your three eyed cat. If these cats were released, we can assume if they're successful, it must mean that the third eye gives them an advantage. They go out and decimate the bird/rodent/lizard populations because they're so adept at hunting, due to their great eyesight. With these mid-level omnivores removed from the ecosystem, their natural predators populations dive due to lack of food, insects are running rampant, eating human food crops etc ad naseum. That'd be worst case, but as we've seen, introducing forgein species into other ecosystems can be absolutely devastating (ie. there's a real problem with cinqfoil weeds in some watersheds, it chokes out natural vegetation, and then there's a cascade effect through that ecosystem). Introducing something that was never meant to exist in nature into an ecosystem, well, that has the potential to be quite bad (I do realise that it might not be, but why risk it).
We really can't afford to take the risk of destroying the ecosystems that support humans, if it can be avoided.

Well, if you support superfluous use of technology, I guess I'll be building my mininuke in your backyard then ;)

Science isn't some godly savoir of the human race, unfortunately; it's just another tool. Just as you don't use your acetylene torch to cut your hair, science should acknowledge the possibility of doing certain things, but respecfully not put them into practise.


[ Parent ]
The sky is falling!!! (3.50 / 4) (#26)
by coffee17 on Mon Jul 02, 2001 at 10:21:21 AM EST

They go out and decimate the bird/rodent/lizard populations because they're so adept at hunting, due to their great eyesight. With these mid-level omnivores removed from the ecosystem, their natural predators populations dive due to lack of food, insects are running rampant, eating human food crops etc ad naseum. That'd be worst case,

No one is talking about releasing these animals into the wild. Even the writeup said that the animals would be sterilized (that means females won't be having kittens and males won't be knocking Fluffy up) before being shipped to the owners (if for no other reason the owner might breed them and sell for $750 instead of $1000). This means that even if some people's cats get loose, run away, or abandoned that while they might do some damage as individuals, they won't be breeding and thus will be unlikely to do any serious damage. 20 sterilized rabbits, heck even 10000 sterilized rabbits would have been nothing more than a nuisance. The only real nuisances which have been cause by interrupting the food chain is caused by the rapid build up of a breeding population.

Plus, give it a few hundred years, I'm sure that some natural predator will eventually start munching rabbits and things will get back under control. Not all "problems" have to be solved in your lifetime. The plastics of your keyboard are possibly more of an offense to "earth" than a cat which I'm not allergic too. Now how about you either give a legitimate complaint; or bring your scaremongering to slashdot where people will unquestioningly accept or disagree with you.

Now I just have to wait for them to start selling rats which I'm not allergic too... while $1000 for a rat might be a bit steep, I'd possibly go as high as $100 per rat for three of the little girls.


-coffee


[ Parent ]

might try reading my comment first (3.25 / 4) (#27)
by raaymoose on Mon Jul 02, 2001 at 08:39:07 PM EST

If you'd bothered to read what I had written, instead of just skimming it, you'd realise I wasn't talking about the cats mentioned in this article, but rather a hypothetical animal brought up in my comment's parent post. I also made it quite clear I was being extreme.

Next time read it before you respond.
Thank you.


[ Parent ]
I read it (3.00 / 3) (#32)
by coffee17 on Tue Jul 03, 2001 at 11:41:44 AM EST

What, you mean the third eye isn't a natural effect of removing the info to make the protein that I'm (mildly) allergic too? Awww, suddenly I don't want one. Yes, your post was an example of why we should go hog wild with superfluous experimentation as the one you were replying to, but one of the things that he was pointing out was looking for valid complaints.

Yes, he might not have cared about releasing three eyed cats, but do you think any company is going to be releasing (IPH (insert pet here) into the wild, much less unsterilized and into the wild? Actually the former might happen, if nothing else to see what role it might play in the wild, but the latter is unlikely to happen, as if they release non-sterilized pets/plants/whatever it will cut into their profits.

Which is a mixed blessing. Sure, it's crappy that the monsato company releases sterilized seeds so that farmers always have to pay more, but on the same hand we don't have these seeds spreading in the wild and if 10 years down the line we find that there are significant effects we simply have to stop creating new seeds.

If you'd have read my post, you'd see that my point was that a non-breeding population altho it might be a nuisance, it only becomes a continuing nuisance, or a real problem, if the population can breed. And to re-iterate, a breeding patented species is unethical in the only ethics which business adheres to, and that is the ethics of profit. I suppose you might have valid concerns if some dot coms were making the pets (it's a new paradigm).

-coffee


[ Parent ]

We are already gene-engineering pets (3.80 / 5) (#12)
by Carnage4Life on Sun Jul 01, 2001 at 04:53:09 PM EST

Other than that, cats are animals too, not our playthings. I'm not totally against using animals in research as long as guidelines regarding their treatment are followed, however, manipulating an animals genetic structure, which we're barely qualified to do to begin with, for this purpose is just selfish.

Humans have been manipulating the genetic makeup of cats and dogs for centuries. Do you really think that the various breeds of cats and dogs are all naturally occuring?



[ Parent ]
selective breeding (3.75 / 4) (#13)
by raaymoose on Sun Jul 01, 2001 at 04:58:40 PM EST

Yes, we have been indirectly manipulating for a very long time. However, selective breeding uses natural mutations in genes to achieve its ends, which has an inherant failsafe mechanism, if the mutation is too extreme, the animal won't survive to be successfully reproduce. Humans merely pointing two 'desirably' mutated animals to each other and saying "go mate" is quite different than going into the DNA and wanking about.


[ Parent ]
So (4.00 / 6) (#14)
by trhurler on Sun Jul 01, 2001 at 05:03:41 PM EST

What is the difference between this protein not existing in a cat because of a random mutation and us removing it? Either the cat will live, or it won't. Either it will be able to interbreed with other cats, or it won't. You can argue that this mutation has not randomly occurred, but that is no argument that it can't, or that if all these possible horrors await us, at least some of them shouldn't have happened yet. This is the biggest weak spot in the skeptical argument: nature has varied genes in absolutely random ways for millenia, and we're being careful and deliberate about our changes; if anything, we should be doing better than random.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
it's not a mutation (4.50 / 6) (#17)
by raaymoose on Sun Jul 01, 2001 at 05:23:00 PM EST

This is deliberately removing an entire gene, or a group of genes and replacing them. This is not what happens in mutations, I don't care to explain them in their entirety, but I do have a convieniant link for those interested.

(Note it's not very detailed, but graphic and brief, to the point, which I want to illustrate)
Mutation Types

You're undoubtably intelligent enough to figure out the difference between a mutation and replacing an entire gene with another, or replacing an entire group.


[ Parent ]
Deletion and insertion = mutation categories (4.25 / 4) (#21)
by cafeman on Sun Jul 01, 2001 at 11:03:07 PM EST

Maybe I'm missing something pretty core here, but according to the link you posted, isn't what you just said a valid mutation? ie:

This is deliberately removing an entire gene, or a group of genes and replacing them.

My understanding (based on your link) is that this is a combination of a deletion and an insertion. Using your link as a reference, I can't see the difference between what you propose the researchers are going to do and a random mutation - except one is random, one is deliberate.

So, what's the difference between removing the genes associated with allergies and a mutation?



--------------------
"No Silicon heaven? But where would all the calculators go?"


[ Parent ]
mutations happen at the nucleotide level (4.75 / 4) (#22)
by raaymoose on Sun Jul 01, 2001 at 11:29:11 PM EST

It's the forest for the trees really. The gene is the forest, the nucleotide sequences are the trees that are subject to mutations. Mutatations happen to a gene. If you read the posted article, it says that they want to isolate and replace the gene(s) responsible for producing the protein in question. Not change part of the sequence that makes up the gene, replace it. This of course begs the question replace it/them with what?

Mutations never delete an entire gene then replace it with another; it is true with the deletion type that sometimes an entire gene will be destroyed, in which case, the resulting organism is usually unviable, if it even survives to birth or hatching.


[ Parent ]
Selective breeding vs. genetic engineering (4.00 / 7) (#18)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sun Jul 01, 2001 at 07:22:05 PM EST

Humans have been manipulating the genetic makeup of cats and dogs for centuries. Do you really think that the various breeds of cats and dogs are all naturally occuring?

Ah, once again, the good old "we have been doing genetic engineering for thousands of years", which bioengineering companies have been pushing with billions of dollars in order to obscure precisely the differences. By that logic, any organism that has ever influenced any other organism's reproductive choice is a genetic engineer.

There are two main things that differentiate selective breeding from genetic engineering:

  1. technology;
  2. economics.
On the technological front, genetic engineers have made unprecedented changes to organisms by inserting material that in nature would have been extremely unlikely to get there. On the economic front, genetic engineering requires quite advanced equipment and knowledge, and is done in a centralized fashion by powerful economic institutions which distribute their products all over the globe, while selective breeding has been very skillfully done for ages by ordinary farmers.

If you ignore socioeconomic contexts, and think merely about technology, you might come to the conclusion that the risks that the genetic engineer faces are of the same kind as the selective breeder faces-- after all, if you have two animals and breed them, you never *really* know what the combination of genes will turn out to be, and it could always turn out to be a very bad effect on society. The greater power afforded by genetic is a double-edged source-- on the one hand it increases the possibility of creating an organism that will hurt society, but on the other it works under more controlled circumstances than selective breeding.

However, compare a global economy where a few profit-driven companies compete to develop and market new organisms in as large a volume as possible, to individual farmers experimenting with local organisms for small markets. The problems with genetic engineering are not just the risk that the technology represents, but on the one hand the economic and social institutions that threaten to make the accicents have consequences all over the globe; on the other, the disempowerment of farmers-- a few big companies end up making a lot of decisions for them.

Aaargh I can finish this post. Gotta go.

--em
[ Parent ]

Farmers vs. Large Corporations (4.66 / 3) (#23)
by Carnage4Life on Mon Jul 02, 2001 at 12:28:19 AM EST

The problems with genetic engineering are not just the risk that the technology represents, but on the one hand the economic and social institutions that threaten to make the accicents have consequences all over the globe; on the other, the disempowerment of farmers-- a few big companies end up making a lot of decisions for them.

Basically you seem agree that there is little difference except that selective breeding is done primarily by farmers (which is not 100% true in the context of pet breeding which is what we were originally discussing) while direct genetic manipulation is going to be the purvey of large corporations with all the attendant dangers that come with large corporations.

I agree completely with you with regards to large corporations meddling in genetic engineering especially after watching the Monsanto corporation. On the other hand, the original comment I was responding to expressed an opinion which smacks of irrational fear mongering with regards to genetic manipulation. As I stated originally we already are manipulating the genes of pets for frivolous reasons and causing these animals harm (Dachsunds suffer from leg trouble due to their legs being too small for their bodies, other dogs suffer from similar ailments due to their genetic makeup), acting like doing it in a lab is somehow different or unnatural is the incorrect approach to take.

Genetic engineering is here to stay and will probably provide a large amount of benefit to humanity in both the near and far term. The problem will be making sure that the corporations in control do not abuse their power in their eternal search for profits above all else.

[ Parent ]
Genetic engineering vs. selective breeding (4.40 / 5) (#24)
by sigwinch on Mon Jul 02, 2001 at 03:20:21 AM EST

Basically you seem agree that there is little difference except that selective breeding is done primarily by farmers (which is not 100% true in the context of pet breeding which is what we were originally discussing) while direct genetic manipulation is going to be the purvey of large corporations with all the attendant dangers that come with large corporations.
No, that's not the important part of what he said. A few large corporations may be leading the industry, but that is irrelevant. Genetic engineering is neither intrinsically expensive nor particularly difficult, and it's getting cheaper and easier at a fast pace.

As he said "genetic engineers have made unprecedented changes to organisms by inserting material that in nature would have been extremely unlikely to get there." Conventional breeding mostly just modulates existing traits. Occassionally genes are brought in from closely related species. Mutations affect only a few base pairs and usually have negligible effects.

Contrast this with genetic engineering, which can introduce genes that are totally unrelated to the organism. For example, in the 'BT maize', maize (kingdom plantae) was given a gene from a bacterium (bacillus thurigensis, kingdom monera)! That sort of transfer is essentially impossible in nature, at least in the higher multicellular organisms. About the only spontaneous way to get a foreign gene into the germ line of a higher organism is by breeding with a related species. Genetic engineering can also introduce wholly synthetic genes into an organism.

Genetic engineering is more dangerous because the likelihood of drastic unexpected consequences is much higher than for selective breeding. E.g., if you cross wheat and rye, you don't get any new compounds in new places, you just get a slightly different combination of existing compounds in the same old places. (In fact, wheat + rye = triticale, a valuable plant which combines the yield of wheat with the hardiness of rye.) In the case of BT maize, you are putting potentially megatons of a powerful toxin in places where it has never been before. If BT maize turns out to poison the environment, it will do so on a spectacular scale. In fact, if it turns out to be poison for people *and* it got loose in the 'wild', it would be a disaster for the whole human race (about the only thing worse would be the equivalent for rice).

[spoiler alert] For an exploration of the dangers of genetic engineering, read Zodiac, a novel by Neal Stephenson. It's about a chemical company that develops bacteria that synthesize chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons (PCBs, whatever). This is a Stephenson book, so of course the bacteria run amok in the world. The tech gimmick is cool and it's very entertaining.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

Explanation of rating (4.00 / 3) (#25)
by PresJPolk on Mon Jul 02, 2001 at 05:16:23 AM EST

A technology can be used in many different ways. The socioeconomics of corporations may be interesting, but they seem pretty offtopic to this.

Also, it shouldn't matter *who* makes an argument. Either the facts and reasoning based on them are correct, or they're not. Whether some organization with ulterior motives makes an argument has no impact on whether the argument is valid.

[ Parent ]
Research vs. mass production (4.66 / 3) (#29)
by Weezul on Mon Jul 02, 2001 at 11:26:51 PM EST

Actually, we should feal like we can "prance off and do whatever *researc* we want," but we should not just be allowed to "prance off and start mass producing or selling any g.e. life forms" until we understand the sitution, i.e. FDA or EPA approval. The only real problem is the lack of restrictions of taking g.e. product to market or replacing natural species with them.

Example: We are not going to have g.e. strains of poplar trees repopulating all our national forests. We will have the logging industry replant with their own monoculture g.e. poplar trees to turn our forests into a tree farm (killing off all the animals which depend on non-poplars (most) in the process).

Really, there is a very simple guide for reading about the g.e. contraversy: Why dose the person objection to g.e. products and research. Normally, the lunatics will not have a very specific objection and may object to basic research on principle ("We should not be messing with nature"). Conversly, the rational people objection to g.e. research and product will have specific researched objections based on specifically enviromental, political, or economic: "The logging industries will replace all out trees with a monoculture crop," "The pesdicide for the g.e. corn will be worse for the enviroment then any pesdicide that farmers currently use," "Monsnato is giving away it's terminator gene corn to third world countries to kill off their native crop," "All the g.e. researchers are producing patents for companies," etc.

Personally, I find it silly that anyone can fail to tell the diffrence between the lunatic and rational objections to g.e. Still, I suppose we don't have the EPA and FDA involved enough with g.e. products, so it seems like our ellected officials can not tell the diffrence.

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini
[ Parent ]
Want one... (4.00 / 2) (#31)
by catseye on Tue Jul 03, 2001 at 09:56:53 AM EST

I'm looking forward to it... I hope that they find that removing the protein causes no real damage. It might be part of a defense mechanism against a predator that no longer exists, for all we know.

If the allergy-free cats are healthy and don't have some weird personality quirks from too much inbreeding or removal of the gene, I'll be standing in line waiting to get one. I'm highly allergic to cats, and only became so at age 30.

I really don't see much difference between this and selective breeding, except for the level of technology involved.

[ Parent ]

I'd get one... (4.50 / 2) (#33)
by beergut on Tue Jul 03, 2001 at 01:39:21 PM EST

... and name him "Gene."

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Nonallergenic Felines (4.00 / 4) (#28)
by Hubris Boy on Mon Jul 02, 2001 at 10:42:56 PM EST

Goodness. Genetic engineering? This seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to just to have a pet that won't make you sneeze.

If these people are dead set on having a cat, a nice Bonsai Kitten would probably be a better choice!



"Three generations of imbeciles are enough." -Oliver Wendell Holmes
meow meow meow cat cat cat -- speaking of allergic (5.00 / 2) (#34)
by squishybumblebee on Tue Jul 03, 2001 at 02:21:38 PM EST

There are plenty of other examples of how people avoid, but not exclude things they are allergic to.

You see products all over the stores that are labelled with big letters that they don't contain this or that. Then you're thinking, what's in this milk if it's not dairy? I thought that was the definition of dairy--having to do with milk. Whatever.

So, real world example of why a winge.. non-allergen catwould be useful. You want a cat, but all of your friends are allergic. Rather than install a shower outside your door and use it before leaving, you could just buy a tailored cat with a "distinctive" meow that smells like roses and doesn't cause canc.. people to sneeze.

Perhaps if we converted (heh, converted) all the cats in the world to the improved model, we'd be a completely emotionless soci.. we'd be able to pick up cats off the street and love them without having to worry about strange diseases that they might contain being product of the great genetic blender.

Perhaps we could make the little fuzzy kitties stay kitten all their lives. They would shed their fur in their extrement and grow healthy eating our non-recyclables. Nuclear? Everyone would need one of these little critters. Community power supplys are outdated when we have nuclear kittens.

I suppose what I'm getting at is that we're talking about morality. But then, who's moral anymore, anyway? Breakfast cereals. Heavily died carbonated sugar water. Heavily died carbonated fake sugar water. Starving people in other countries. Damn, they're out of my favorite flavor sports bar.

Perhaps what we really need is a kitten that runs off batteries and has a power button on its head. Our special cats are better than normal cats. Look, consumer, you are in control....

----------

Someday we'll all realize that we are the automatons that overthew the emotional beings which created us.

Patented Pets? | 36 comments (31 topical, 5 editorial, 1 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest © 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!