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The ethics of animal aesthetics

From toygers to GloFish This author says harm to the animals and risk to the environment are more important factors than means the of modifying an animal's appearance. So "docking" the tail of a horse or dog is worse than making a GMO pet. Surprise, genetically modified GloFish are already on sale in pet stores. (Previously.)
posted by Lorem Ipsum Wilder on Jul 30, 2014 - 26 comments

“Why in the world would someone be doing this with a rabbit?”

You've heard of dog and horse shows, but are you familiar with rabbit shows?  Rabbit Fever is a coming-of-age story that follows six competitors as they strive to win the top title at the National American Rabbit Convention - an event that draws more than 20,000 rabbits in one building, the largest mass of rabbits in the world. While adult members of the rabbit habit compete for BEST IN SHOW, the teenage enthusiasts quest for an even more coveted honor in the rabbit community - Rabbit King and Queen!
posted by Room 641-A on Apr 24, 2014 - 16 comments

plant sex in silico

Monsanto Is Going Organic in a Quest for the Perfect Veggie - "The lettuce, peppers, and broccoli—plus a melon and an onion, with a watermelon soon to follow—aren't genetically modified at all. Monsanto created all these veggies using good old-fashioned crossbreeding, the same technology that farmers have been using to optimize crops for millennia. That doesn't mean they are low tech, exactly. Stark's division is drawing on Monsanto's accumulated scientific know-how to create vegetables that have all the advantages of genetically modified organisms without any of the Frankenfoods ick factor." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 8, 2014 - 52 comments

What 100 years of dog breeding looks like

Just how much have dog breeds changed in the past hundred years? A lot (and for the worst). [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Dec 3, 2013 - 178 comments

Vallhund: The little cattle dog of the Vikings

The Swedish Vallhund is an ancient dog, believed to have been brought to Sweden with the Vikings and used as an all-purpose farm dog, cattle herder, and pest controller. It was close to extinction by the mid-twentieth century, when a Swedish Count and a school teacher worked together to revive the breed from one male with only one testicle and three female dogs. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 26, 2012 - 29 comments

The Perfect Milk Machine

The Perfect Milk Machine: How Big Data Transformed the Dairy Industry
posted by Joe in Australia on May 1, 2012 - 38 comments

Get a load of these cuties

Design Decoded, a new blog on Smithsonian.com, kicks off with a seven part series on the century-long process behind creating and marketing the perfect citrus. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 17, 2012 - 10 comments

cheeseburger cheeseburger do it again

What we do is what we do. The brand new DEVO video takes the crowd-sourcing/focus-grouping element of their album Something For Everybody to the music video world. It's a 360-degree video where the user can control the camera. (For the lazy among us, there's also a "random" button that moves from shot to shot.) The link also includes a brief interview with DEVO co-founder/video co-director Gerald V. Casale.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me on Apr 19, 2011 - 15 comments

as devoted as dogs, as independent as cats, the domesticated silver fox!

The silver fox, domesticated over 40 generations by the late Siberian scientist Dmitri Belayev. Belayev and his students started this experiment in 1959 by selecting specifically for human-friendly behaviors. More on the observed differences between domesticated and wild foxes in the original paper that appeared in American Scientist Early Canid Domestication: The Farm-Fox Experiment (pdf). [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on Jun 21, 2010 - 63 comments

'Alien scene' of tadpoles' feast

"Mountain chickens have very peculiar breeding habits" "Alien-like" scenes of tadpoles feasting on eggs emerging from their mother have been caught on camera. The footage marks the success of a captive breeding programme for the critically endangered mountain chicken frog, one of the world's largest frogs. (BBC) Not for the easily squicked.
posted by longsleeves on Aug 11, 2009 - 31 comments

Fishy miscegenation

More cuckoo than cuckoos: mate two salmon, get a... trout! Just give the parents a sperm transplant. And the sperm stem cells work in females too:
...Injecting the male cells into female salmon sometimes worked, too, prompting five female salmon to ovulate trout eggs.... The stem cells were still primitive enough to switch gears from sperm-producers to egg-producers when they wound up inside female organs....

posted by orthogonality on Sep 15, 2007 - 10 comments

studious

Stallion breeding device (youtube). A look inside the barn behind the grandstands.
posted by four panels on Oct 23, 2006 - 15 comments

Human Junk

Engineering Perfect Americans Were your immigrant ancestors considered genetically predisposed to become criminals? Were your mixed-ethnic ancestors thought to be polluting the nation's 'germ-plasm'? The Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement presents a well-put-together online exhibit/walkthrough of this disturbing vein in American history.
posted by Miko on Jan 31, 2006 - 7 comments

It's a Puggle!!!

How do you make a pug more adorable? It's a trick question, you can't. But if you DO enjoy the odd bit of miscegenation in your puppy's bloodline, apparently pugs & beagles make a nice mix.
posted by jonson on Nov 3, 2005 - 52 comments

Cautionary Tales of Indiscriminate Breeding

The Flawed Dog-O-Matic, a Friday Flash piffle that 'morphs' dog breeds, shamelessly promoting Berkeley "Bloom County" Breathed's new book and Humane Society pet adoption (in that order). Everybody go "Aw-w-w-w-w."
posted by wendell on Nov 14, 2003 - 3 comments

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement "Phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth's biosphere to return to good health. Crowded conditions and resource shortages will improve as we become less dense." More inside...
posted by Irontom on May 30, 2002 - 21 comments

In case you thought you have already heard every crazy idea in the world, an Israeli geneticist has bred a featherless chicken. This changes everything.
posted by adampsyche on May 20, 2002 - 23 comments

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