Texas Scientists achieved 20 minutes of invisibility
August 23, 2000 10:54 AM   Subscribe

Texas Scientists achieved 20 minutes of invisibility on 10 mm of skin of a rat. I know this is a great advance in medicine and all that stuff, but what concerns me is this may be also a new generation of spies, terrorists and thieves...or am I just paranoid?
posted by neo (16 comments total)
I wouldn't worry. I imagine terrorists, thieves and spies will be using nanotechnology long before drug induced invisibility becomes a safe and effective means of accomplishing their tasks. But then again, that's pretty bad too.
posted by Nyarlathotep at 11:26 AM on August 23, 2000

the rat and hamster skin was turned transparent with injections of glycerol, a colorless, syrupy liquid that absorbs water. . . Thus far, the transparency extends only a couple of millimeters deep..
I highly doubt anybody would inject every tissue in their body with glycerol in order to be transparent even if it were possible.
'Hold still while we insert this needle into your eye, Mr. Bond . . . '
posted by iceberg273 at 11:27 AM on August 23, 2000

Bah, forget the spying, I want a transparent rat.

posted by cCranium at 11:31 AM on August 23, 2000

Wait! Transparent rats could be a great tool for terrorists and spies . . .
'Unless our brothers in the struggle for freedom are released, we will release 5 million transparent rats into suburban shopping malls across the free world.'
(This would also make an absolutely horrible summer blockbuster).
posted by iceberg273 at 11:41 AM on August 23, 2000

I was thinking "transparent skinned rat" actually, not completely transparent.

If I wanted a completely transparent rat, I'd just hook a motor up to one of those rodent excercise wheels.
posted by cCranium at 11:53 AM on August 23, 2000

Alas, if only a transparent skinned rat had been available online for less than $30 in May. That would have been cool. And cCranium might have had his wish (since Mr. Bushnell coincidently works at Invisible City Productions).

posted by iceberg273 at 12:10 PM on August 23, 2000

Why have a mouse with your translucent iMac, when you can have a translucent iRat!
posted by tremendo at 12:22 PM on August 23, 2000

can this stuff work on plastic? I mean, imagine, invisible stuff.
posted by tiaka at 12:44 PM on August 23, 2000

yeah, it's called saran wrap
posted by taylor at 12:57 PM on August 23, 2000

Hmm..... My hamster was killed by my cat a few years ago... maybe a transparent rat is exactly what I need if I ever consider another small pet. Personally, I'd like a transparent monkey to hurl transparent monkey crap at my landlord... but that's just me.

Perhaps if we had a transparent small Cuban boy.... hmm.......
posted by elf_baby at 1:05 PM on August 23, 2000

the military industrial black project crew probably has this stuff more then figured out
posted by matucana at 1:18 PM on August 23, 2000

blah - you guys aren't getting it - working on plastic? It didn't make the rat "invisible" it made the rats skin trasnparent.... and i wonder how opaque it really was.... clear plasitc would pretty much be transparent, but there will always be lights.... glare.... phong?
posted by Satapher at 3:00 PM on August 23, 2000

Kind of a Saran Rat, then.
posted by rodii at 3:30 PM on August 23, 2000

Not new spies and terrorists, just spies and terrorists where you can easily see what they had for lunch.
posted by quonsar at 3:56 PM on August 23, 2000

Oh No! What a terror! laff
posted by Satapher at 4:37 PM on August 23, 2000

first off, simply going out into the sunshine would probably be an almost sure ticket to getting cancer, as it is our epithelia on our lips, and other sensitive areas, including lungs, etc are extremely sensitive to radio active compounds and other sources of radiation--which is why the miniscule radioactivity of smoke contributes to the carcinogenicity of cigarettes.....it would be a one-time thing, unless they solve all cancer and cell mutation problems with the genome mapped and all who knows. 
and then think about how various nerve and other biochemical reactions actually rely on photo excitation--that would be all out of whack, it would be an excruciating experience i imagine.
posted by greyscale at 7:15 PM on August 23, 2000

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