fear stinks
November 8, 2007 7:50 AM   Subscribe

A mouse has been genetically engineered to no longer fear cats. Surely this is now only a matter of time.

There's plenty of research into the capacity to smell fear.
And even stuff on the fear of smell.
But less on what fear actually smells like.

Some researchers working on the link between smell and emotions.
posted by leibniz (29 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Next, they will genetically engineer a child who does not fear spankings, and the whole world will collapse.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:51 AM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


As long as they still fear people, I'm good.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:53 AM on November 8, 2007


Impressive! Next a simple protozoan like Toxoplasma gondii will figure out how to do this. Oh.
posted by OmieWise at 7:54 AM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


The relation between fear and smell has also stimulated artistic exploration.
posted by leibniz at 7:58 AM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


OmieWise beat me too it. But I'm wondering if the mechanisms in the article above and Toxoplasmosis are the same.
posted by Weebot at 8:04 AM on November 8, 2007


Mighty Mouse dead? End cats!
posted by Wolfdog at 8:04 AM on November 8, 2007


they will genetically engineer a child who does not fear spankings, and the whole world will collapse.

They have already bred an entire generation of parents who fear spankings, so I don't see much of an issue here.

Also, welcome back from the 50's.
posted by GuyZero at 8:04 AM on November 8, 2007


The cats now have the mice exactly where they want them.
posted by drezdn at 8:09 AM on November 8, 2007


I am a product of the University of Minnesota Spankological Protocol.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:10 AM on November 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


It's always the same with these bloody mice experiments. One week it's mice engineered to be able to drink their own body weight in real ale and put on no fat. The next it's mice whose genes have been tweaked to give them a cock as long as a limb and George Clooney levels of attraction to the other sex.

When will this research ever flow through to humans, that's what I want to know? These anti-vivisectionists have got it the wrong way round if you ask me.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:15 AM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


When will this research ever flow through to humans, that's what I want to know?

The mice bred without eyes or that compulsively chew their own limbs off don't make for very good news. I think once they get the roulette factor out of it you'll get the superior humans being bred. And then in 1996 we exile them aboard SS Botany Bay.
posted by GuyZero at 8:31 AM on November 8, 2007


KHAAAAAAAAN!!
posted by OldReliable at 8:46 AM on November 8, 2007


All those years building better mousetraps and now somebody went and built a better mouse.
posted by jonmc at 8:49 AM on November 8, 2007


My mice have skin like fine Corinthian leather.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:53 AM on November 8, 2007


Perhaps this fear-conquering gene will open up hitherto undreamed of avenues of voluntary inter-species breeding and biodiversity will flourish as lion mates with lamb, tiger with tortoise, and me with a leopard. Rrowr!
posted by breezeway at 8:57 AM on November 8, 2007


Sorry, Roger. You tiger now.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:06 AM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sorry. You roger tiger now.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:07 AM on November 8, 2007


why not just infect them with toxoplasma gondii and make the mice actually attracted to cats?
posted by Dr. Twist at 9:23 AM on November 8, 2007


I'm sure the researchers will be getting a call from the Pentagon soon.
posted by hellbient at 9:27 AM on November 8, 2007


The relation between fear and smell has also stimulated artistic exploration.
posted by Mocata at 9:36 AM on November 8, 2007


These mice are so unafraid, when they see a cat, they laugh out loud.
posted by breezeway at 9:40 AM on November 8, 2007


Huh? Mice can become completely unafraid of danger quite on their own, if my last apartment's sample size was any indication. Bold little fuckers.
posted by agregoli at 9:40 AM on November 8, 2007


A mouse has been genetically engineered to no longer fear cats.

Did they splice in Suicidal Gene or the Run You Stupid Fricking Mouse Gene?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:27 AM on November 8, 2007


I saw this on Cracked.com. It was their 5 ways zombies could attack or something lame like that. It's a parasite that can control the mice so they can get into the cats. Sort of like resident evil 4's plot.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 11:00 AM on November 8, 2007


I find it more interesting that certain smells are hard wired to invoke fear. I knew that were odors that animals found offensive, but I was unaware that there were ones that caused outright terror.

Interesting.1

1: where 'interesting' means, 'How can I use this new-found knowledge inappropriately?'
posted by quin at 11:29 AM on November 8, 2007


I haven't read the links but, like, this all kind of like makes me think of this totally crazy parasite, like, worm or something that can totally control a rat's brain so that the rat is like, totally, not afraid of cats anymore.

Does like Anyone know what I'm talking about?
posted by From Bklyn at 11:35 AM on November 8, 2007


just to be clear, none of the original links has anything to do with toxoplasmosis. It's about emotions people!
posted by leibniz at 12:10 PM on November 8, 2007


you mean, like, I've gotta like... sorry. nice post, I really like the Mighty Mouse, nice ripost, as it were to the article.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:21 PM on November 8, 2007


Now that this thread has ended, I would just like to note that I am glad that my very first FPP to metafilter has been reasonably well received.
posted by leibniz at 7:04 AM on November 10, 2007


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