Mouse Loves Rice isn't really a well-known song in the English-speaking west, but it's been huge throughout east Asia since it first hit the net in 2004. The music video (here in English) covers all the big timeless truths about life: beauty, the nature of love, sacrifice, and human-mouse transformation. [more inside]
How do you build a mouse Utopia? In 1972, John B. Calhoun detailed the specifications of his Mortality-Inhibiting Environment for Mice: a practical utopia built in the laboratory. . . . To its members, the mouse civilization of Universe 25 must have seemed prosperous indeed. But its downfall was already certain—not just stagnation, but total and inevitable destruction.
Less than two weeks after a controversial paper came to light advocating the pre-natal treatment of some female fetuses with a hormone to make their behavior more stereotypically female (previously discussed here) comes news of actual animal research on causing the opposite inclination. By knocking out the fucose mutarotase gene, scientists in South Korea have apparently created "Lesbian mice" who prefer other female mice and who resist the attempts of male mice to mate with them. Article abstract, and coverage by The Telegraph.
Why should I and noble Lords trust the Executive to deal with mice when they cannot deal with the economy?
Earlier this month, there was an entertaining debate in the House of Lords about pest control in the Palace of Westminister, where the Lords meet. via kottke.org [more inside]
It's Thursday evening in the 21st century and I still don't have a jetpack. And now mice can hover. It's unfair.
Somewhere on Earth, in a laboratory, a mouse is levitating. Science is awesome.
Brainbow. Using some very cool genetic tricks, Harvard scientists have found a way to make transgenic mice that express various mixtures of different coloured fluorescent proteins in their neurons. The result, individual brain cells with up to 90 distinct colours. Not surprisingly, this visually impressive work is in this month's issue of Nature.
Hacking the Senses: The brain is far more plastic than we commonly realize. Presenting new 'senses' via the old inputs works extremely well, to the point that long-term volunteers are a little lost without their new abilities to feel magnetic north or absolute orientation. Tasting direction; feeling pictures. Fascinating stuff. In a loosely related article, genetically modified mice are able to see the full color range visible to humans, even though the last natural mouse able to see this way died out a hundred million years ago. Add the new sensors, and the brain reconfigures. [via]
I'm embarassed for my mice to have to say this but ... Their testicles are HUGE, like almost as big as their heads. Good thing for humanity too, as mice testicles may provide a source of stem cells free of the usual ethical considerations.They may also hold the solutions to transplant rejection and infertility. Is there anything those fuzzy globes can't do?
Making art out of a Microsoft mouse. Tails of the City is a rather cool project that entails using a Microsoft mouse as the canvas. You can bid on the works if you so desire - but just check out the fine details! [k10k]
Ebola is for wimps! Some Australian scientists were trying to come up with a mouse contraceptive vaccine, for use in pest control. And they succeeded. Unfortunately, the virus they created works by killing mice before they can breed, and killing them very very well. Oh, and it's extremely vaccine-resistant: 100% death without vaccine, 50% with. And any kid with a Li'l Johnny Gene Engineering Kit could conceivably make a human version. Anyone got some smallpox virus laying around?