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193 comments

Pinky and the Brain (5, Funny)

gavinroy (94729) | more than 10 years ago | (#8522262)

It doesnt seem too far fetched now does it? How long until global mouse domination?

Narf.... (5, Funny)

synaptik (125) | more than 10 years ago | (#8522329)

It doesnt seem too far fetched now does it? How long until global mouse domination?

I don't think we have to worry, so long as we don't make rubber pants their size.

Re:Pinky and the Brain (1)

sporty (27564) | more than 10 years ago | (#8522442)

I for one am prepared to take the same countermeasure to thrwart our new mouse overloards!

Re:Pinky and the Brain (1)

Joseff (756472) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523393)

I can imagine two weeks into the project the mice start talking back. Please don't poke me with that again!

Flowers for algernon (-1, Troll)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 10 years ago | (#8522303)

Obligatory reference. Also, I hereby welcome our new Mice Overlords, in Soviet Russia mouse mutates you. 42 blah blah blah.

Now, if we can hear something new for once, like how cool it would be to have super smart mice tying our shoes or something... please begin.

It's not fucking funny, get over it (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8522583)

I for one do not welcome our humorless, witless, jackass slashdot cliche regurgiators. Get over it, you fucking preschooler.

Re:It's not fucking funny, get over it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8522628)

It's just as funny as screaming at people over obligatory-cliche-witless posts anonymous just so you can use 2 colorful metaphors and not risk harming your precious karma. Grow up and get some balls.

While you post anonymously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8522673)

Hypocrite.

Re:While you post anonymously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8522731)

Your mama.

Re:While you post anonymously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8523041)

I guess the fine line between irony and being hypocritical is not defined very well. And continuing in Cliche Slashdot fasion "You suck" or some such.

Someone has to say it. (3, Funny)

smack_attack (171144) | more than 10 years ago | (#8522316)

The result of the experiment? 42.

No, you didn't have to say it... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8522646)

you had to shut the fuck up. But you couldn't even do that right.

Would the skulls get bigger too? (5, Funny)

TheLink (130905) | more than 10 years ago | (#8522365)

Big brains in small skulls might not be such a good idea...

Re:Would the skulls get bigger too? (3, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8522627)

Remember, infant primates (I think it's not just humans) have extremely plastic skulls with distinct pieces that eventually fuse. You're right that over time skulls (and women's pelvises) would need to change to reflect the larger brains, but there is plenty of flexibility to quickly acomodate small, beneficial increases in brain size.

(Glad to see Bruce's career taking off, by the way. I used to work down the hall from him and he's an extremely smart, creative guy and a phenomenally hard worker.)

Re:Would the skulls get bigger too? (1)

Shazow (263582) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523150)

Yes, bones tend to be rather flexible at a younger age. I think we all heard of Bonsai Kittens at this point...

Sooooo, what exactly do women's pelvises have to do with larger brains? ;-)

- shazow

Re:Would the skulls get bigger too? (1)

Spudley (171066) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523329)

Uh... you do know that the bonsai kittens was a hoax... don't you?

Re:Would the skulls get bigger too? (1)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523481)

How about child birth? The head is the widest part of a baby's body.

Re:Would the skulls get bigger too? (2, Insightful)

Ann Coulter (614889) | more than 10 years ago | (#8524699)

But still the increase in skull size can result in increased probability of death for both the infant and the mother during the birthing process. This is one of the main reasons why humans do not have astronomically large craniums. Unless there is a way nature/humans can allow for the growth of larger craniums, we will remain as smart as we are now.

Re:Would the skulls get bigger too? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8525035)

How about no full skull closure, with the "squishy diamond patch" (never squish it! Dumb baby will result!), already an adaptation to allow our skulls to fit through the birth canal, persisting until adulthood, so the brain could keep growing in a vulnerable dome bubble out through it? Would it become possible for such an adaptation to survive and be beneficial (if the environment was sufficiently non-violent, perhaps yes)

Re:Would the skulls get bigger too? (1)

lgbarker (698397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8525210)

but there is plenty of flexibility to quickly acomodate small, beneficial increases in brain size

Many women - my ex included - would probably debate the "extra flexibility" available for the task.

Re:Would the skulls get bigger too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8524140)

Anton's Key, anyone?

[/nerdish-Orson-Scott-Card-reference]

I, for one, welcome our new ACME Lab overlords (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8522371)

..Pinky and The Brain Yes, Pinky and The Brain One is a genius The other's insane. They're laboratory mice Their genes have been spliced They're dinky They're Pinky and The Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain......

Frankie and Benjy (4, Funny)

jon787 (512497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8522375)

"These creatures you call mice, you see, they are not quite as they appear. They are merely the protrusion into our dimension of vast hyperintelligent pandimensional beings. The whole business with the cheese and the squeaking is just a front."
-- Slartibartfast, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

4 comments (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8522378)

I've read four comments and I think we've already covered the breadth and depth of this topic. Next please.

They should name the mouse Marvin (3, Funny)

blamanj (253811) | more than 10 years ago | (#8522425)

Here I am, with the brain the size of human, trapped in the body of a rodent.

I'm sure it would be quite depressing.

(Apologies to DNA.)

Re:They should name the mouse Marvin (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8523750)

Here I am, with the brain the size of human, trapped in the body of a rodent.

"And here I am, with the brain the size of a rodent, trapped in the body of a human." - George W. Bush

They should try the gene on him first!

How about... (2, Funny)

georgewad (154339) | more than 10 years ago | (#8522528)

a beowulf cluster of uber mice

Re:How about... (2, Funny)

Baikala (564096) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523902)

It would be a "beowulf cluster of Abstract Thinking uber mice", if you you allow me to embrace and extend on your post. A was about to ask if some one read the article first, but then I remember, this is slashdot.

Re:How about... (1)

Warhaven (718215) | more than 10 years ago | (#8524627)

Maybe Google's ingenious searching algorithm will be changed from pecking pigeons to mice.

Only 15? (4, Interesting)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 10 years ago | (#8522546)

"Lahn found that the ASPM gene in humans has undergone 15 important mutations since we last shared a common ancestor with chimpanzees, about 5 million years ago."

One would think that the asymmetric laterality associated with language would be one of the important "human" mutations. It's not. Chimps have the same sort of asymmetry as humans in the "language" area of the brain: 'Demonstration of a human-like asymmetry of Wernicke's brain language area homolog in chimpanzee planum temporale.' (Gannon, et al., 1998). I suspect there's going to be far more than 15 mutations required to explain things, going back much, much farther than 5 million years.

Re:Only 15? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8522656)

I suspect there's going to be far more than 15 mutations required to explain things, going back much, much farther than 5 million years.

Absolutely. No one in the field thinks any one gene is even close to the entirety of human-chimp differences.

Re:Only 15? (3, Informative)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 10 years ago | (#8522877)

Many asymmetric functions of the brain could be due to very general mutations:

"Left side, build neurons with branches closer to the nucleus."

"Right side, build neurons with branches further from the nucleus."

Neurons on the left side of your brain are more likely to be linked to nearby neurons than the right side. Neurons on the right side of your brain are more likely to have far away links.

Left brain semantic functions associate words like "warm" and "cold". Right brain language functions associate words like "warm" and "orange" (a warm color).

Er, maybe that's a bad example. I wish I still had access to my college's journal subscriptions.

Anyway. I'm sure there are genes that have given our brains specific asymmetrical capabilities, but my (limited!) understanding of the subject leads me to believe that that most asymmetrical capabilities of the brain are due to a very general difference in neuron branching.

And all this only really makes sense in the 90% of people that are left-brain "dominant". It very nicely explains why we're more dextrous with our right hands.

(Wait... I don't know how this relates to your comment anymore. I'm sorry :)

Maybe far fetched but.. (2, Interesting)

tka (548076) | more than 10 years ago | (#8522570)

..what happens then? Mices learn to think and you kill'em as soon as you get the results?

Re:Maybe far fetched but.. (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 10 years ago | (#8522652)

That's a good question. How far can you experiment manner can you do until you're effectively experimenting upon a thinking being, a sentient being (in the sci-fi sense)? How close can you elevate a species to our thinking capacity before you must treat them as equals and no longer experiment? (The point where they launch an organized rebellion against you (Planet of the Apes) is a bit late.)

Not that I'm against animal experimentation. That's not where I want to take the discussion.

when to stop? (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 10 years ago | (#8522836)

When they start working on a Debigulator, _that's_ when it's time to stop. And crush them. Damned Lutherans.

Re:Maybe far fetched but.. (2, Insightful)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523561)

The mutations in primates produced us (apparently), by increasing brain size. However, primates already had fairly large brains, so a 50% increase (or whatever it is) leads to many extra brain cells. Mice have very small brains to start with, so even if they get 50% bigger they are very unlikely to become anywhere near human intelligence. However, the next logical step is to perform these experiments on chimps and try and repeat evolution. That could cause serious ethical issues.

NIMH has its Secrets (5, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 10 years ago | (#8522582)

Let's just hope the experimental subjects don't look at the writing on their cages and comprehend.

Re:NIMH has its Secrets (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523789)

I was also thinking of NIHM when I read this. Good book, good movie (well translated to the screen, IMO, including the fuzzing over of the science). Wish there was a comparable book to the second movie (which was dreck). I could see a good book sequal out of that. Kinda like ET; excellent sequal in the book.

--
Evan "Genetic engineering, yay!"

Uh oh (3, Funny)

Chester K (145560) | more than 10 years ago | (#8522594)

They plan to insert the gene into mice to 'to see what affect it has on brain development.

Pinky: What are we going to do tonight?

The Brain: Same thing we do every night... try to take over the world!

Might want to look into the 2nd smartest species.. (4, Insightful)

Justin Ames (582967) | more than 10 years ago | (#8522732)

They may want to look at the genetic mutations of dolphins and find out what made them have such a large brain, and be so intelligent that all that they do is swim in the water, eat fish and play around, whereas we build cars and buildings, and start wars.

Re:Might want to look into the 2nd smartest specie (3, Insightful)

b-baggins (610215) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523243)

Or why human midgets can have a brain size smaller than a chimpanzee and still have a genius IQ.

I think brain size is probably the least important determiner of human intelligence.

Re:Might want to look into the 2nd smartest specie (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523666)

They ARE looking at the 2nd smartest species, presuming the smartest species knows enough to swim, eat, and play.

Re:Might want to look into the 2nd smartest specie (5, Informative)

emaveneau (552950) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523983)

They may want to look at the genetic mutations of dolphins and find out what made them have such a large brain, and be so intelligent that all that they do is swim in the water, eat fish and play around, whereas we build cars and buildings, and start wars.
The Swedish scientist Lars Terenius, one of the discoverers of endorphins, may have already answered that question.
He suggested that humans might be the only species on the planet lacking enough chemicals in their brains to keep them happy.

Just as people are tempted to drink and take drugs in search of euphoria, so too might they scale mountains, build skyscrapers or pen theories on the laws of the universe if the sense of accomplishment unleashed euphoria-producing brain chemicals. Lower species, meanwhile, would remain content to huddle in their twigs and bushes generation after generation.

Page 143. Possessing Genius: The true account of the Bizarre Odyssey of Einstein's Brain. Carolyn Abraham, 2001, Penguin. ISBN 014029368X.
Our disposition to be unhappy makes us out compete everything else. Other species are happy and only seek survival.

BTW: Great book. Covers what happened to his brain post autopsy. Full of neuro knowledge and witticisms.

Re:Might want to look into the 2nd smartest specie (2, Insightful)

Ray Radlein (711289) | more than 10 years ago | (#8524783)

Only a Scandanavian scientist would come up with the theory that melancholy gloom and existential despair are what makes humans great.

Re:Might want to look into the 2nd smartest specie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8524809)

That is a real intriguing idea, but rats and monkeys seem more than willing to tweak their dopamine systems given the chance in laboratory experiments.

Re:Might want to look into the 2nd smartest specie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8524945)

Maybe the whole swim, eat and play thing? The "aquatic ape" theory of human evolution makes a lot of sense, and the one thing humans are supremely well adapted for is shoreline life.

Look at the evidence - humans are relatively hairless, have voluntary breath control, a slender, streamlined figure is highly prized, they easily learn to swim at quite a decent speed, have hands capable of extracting food from all sorts of wierd shellfish, and _need_ large amounts of fatty acids such as those found in said shellfish to build their large brains, which, like dolphins, have strong 3d+t processing ability necessary for underwater hunting (though dolphins are obviously better at open water). And humans try to migrate to shoreline destinations to mate!

Once you think about it, the whole "savannah" thing makes less and less sense.

Here's the answer on how to make yourself smarter (1)

PateraSilk (668445) | more than 10 years ago | (#8522847)

Now, is it possible to exercise a gene?

Re:Here's the answer on how to make yourself smart (1)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523600)

Simply? No. If you are reading this, you are too late to improve your intelligence this way. (You're brain has already developed) You could try having smart kids by altering those genes, though.

Well... (0, Redundant)

dbirchall (191839) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523072)

I, for one, welcome our new mouse overlords. -Dan (shocked, shocked! that no one else said that already)

Devil's Advocate here. (-1, Troll)

mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523346)


Frankly, I don't think this is funny in the least.

The purposeful attempt to induce human-like intelligence in a lower species strikes me as one of the more vile and obscene pursuits a man of "science" [whatever that is] could possibly undertake. And, given the record of "scientists" and their truly vile and obscene pursuits throughout the ages, that's saying something.

Frankly, it strikes me as an affront against God.

Re:Devil's Advocate here. (4, Funny)

NickFusion (456530) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523505)

Technically, I think that would make you God's Advocate, which could be an important distinction, for billing purposes.

But yeah, race of hyper-intellegent rodents, not really getting my vote for the Bright Idea 2004 Sweepstakes.

I imagine walking out of the house one day into a giant springloaded trapped baited with porn and the latest ATI card.

Re:Devil's Advocate here. (2, Interesting)

cryptochrome (303529) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523945)

I think it'd make life pretty interesting if humans had some competition once again. Maybe give species other than humans a fighting chance for controlling their own survival. I think certain corporations might think twice about razing that forest for development if they knew they'd be running into a pack of intelligent wolves. Of course, knowing humans they won't react well.

Well, I'm off to go campaign for a constitutional amendment giving all sentient beings the vote.

Re:Devil's Advocate here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8523518)

There is no such thing as lower or higher species. We`re just matter.

Re:Devil's Advocate here. (1)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523631)

They will not reach near human intelligence. Mice start off with too small brains. And don't start trying to bring God into it. No-one will(should) listen to you. (Even /.ers have better things to do than get into that debate)

Re:Devil's Advocate here. (1)

jwilloug (6402) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523689)

If you are the type to believe even human clones don't have souls, then I can see why intelligent animals could pose a problem.

Personally, this line of research makes me all tingly. Anyone can create a human child, it's so easy it happens by accident as often as not, but an entirely new intelligence! That's something to look forward to! The only question now is whether the bioengineers or the computer engineers will get there first.

Re:Devil's Advocate here. (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523867)

... given the record of "scientists" and their truly vile and obscene pursuits throughout the ages ...

Please be specific. Names, dates, places. With an explanation of what makes these incidents vile and obscene. Also please include a short, well-written essay on why you are willing to use the products of such a vile, obscene pursuit in your daily life rather than living in the woods and living on roots and berries.

Re:Devil's Advocate here. (4, Insightful)

egomaniac (105476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523874)

Frankly, I don't think this is funny in the least.

The purposeful attempt to induce human-like intelligence in a lower species strikes me as one of the more vile and obscene pursuits a man of "science" [whatever that is] could possibly undertake. And, given the record of "scientists" and their truly vile and obscene pursuits throughout the ages, that's saying something.

Frankly, it strikes me as an affront against God.


"Affront against God" is one of those meaningless, yet highly emotionally charged, statements that can apply to almost anything.

First: I presume by "God" you are referring to the Christian God. Not everyone is Christian. Chances are that you would be offended if a Hindu person tried to shut down our scientific pursuits by declaring them "an affront against Vishnu", or tried to stop you from eating beef owing to the cow's status as a sacred animal. Why should a non-Christian care whether or not the Christian God is affronted?

Second: How do you know that the Christian God would be affronted in the first place? The Bible, to the best of my knowledge, does not tell us (even indirectly) not to tinker with mouse genes in an attempt to make them smarter. Even if the Bible does contain passages that might be interpreted in this fashion, A) it's a matter of interpretation, and B) modern-day Christians already ignore huge passages of the Bible, so what's one more?

Third: What makes this "vile and obscene"? A statement like that requires some exposition.

Re:Devil's Advocate here. (2, Insightful)

Rick.C (626083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523917)

"If God had wanted men to fly ... we'd all be born as planes." - somebody semi-famous.

"If God wanted mice to be smart, He'd allow us mess with their DNA." - me

"What God wants, God gets. God help us all." - Roger Waters

Frankly.

Re:Devil's Advocate here. (0, Troll)

falsification (644190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523946)

I agree.

It is just another sign of our society's moral decay.

It is time that those of us who care about morality speak out both loudly and often. We must speak truth to power.

This kind of experiment should be banned.

Re:Devil's Advocate here. (1)

BerntB (584621) | more than 10 years ago | (#8524290)

It is just another sign of our society's moral decay.

Thank you, I needed a good laugh.

People on this website think learning and understanding about the world is a morally good thing. Some of us think it's the meaning of Life (not my life -- the existence of life at all).

Even some of us with that attitude are religious.

I guess you're from USA?

The rest of the industrialized world (and the US coasts) thinks of "flyower area" as large suburbs of Teheran.

Sorry for flaming when you made my day, but I want my /. trolling-free and I used my mod points recently... :-)

Take it outside God-boy (3, Insightful)

IWorkForMorons (679120) | more than 10 years ago | (#8524221)

Not trying to troll. But seriously...there is going to be problems between science and God (or certain people's interpretation of what God has "planned") no matter what is done. In the matters of science, religion should take a back seat.

In the early days (and some today), people saw vaccines as tools of the devil because they were not natural or God-given. But vaccines have proven themselves as a strong tool against deadly diseases. And it's due to the doctors who persevered in the face of stronger religious ideals then today. This is another step in medicine, and the benefits that can result from it cannot be overlooked. But if most God-fearing Christians (I assume you're refering to the Christian God) would like to have work like this stopped, because it's an "affront against God". It's not an affront against God. It's science. It's research. It's tinkering with this, seeing the result, and wondering if it can be applied to that. It's trying to benefit that human race. The only thing that can interfere with that is people saying "You shouldn't do that because you might piss off the invisible man in the sky!" Sorry, I don't mean to offend anyone. But that argument has been used too many times to prevent legitimate research. It's being used now to prevent stem-cell research. And that's something that I and many other people are really looking towards, because of certain genetic risks that I and my family are exposed to right now. I'd like to know that, in the event that these risks become reality, someone has worked out all the problems and can treat me. Because as it stands now...if I am ever diagnosed with the same illness as my mother, I would suffer the same fate as her. And that's something I would NEVER want to put my kids through...

Don't fear what the invisible man in the sky *MIGHT* think. If he is up there, chances are you will probably misinterpret his meaning anyways. Just look at the "My God can beat up your God" BS happening in the world right now to see evidence of that. Instead...fear the things you know for sure exist in the world...

I agree somewhat -- ethical considerations (3, Insightful)

cpu_fusion (705735) | more than 10 years ago | (#8524712)

As an individual who is very intrigued by scientific discoveries, my gut instinct is to say "cool! Let's try it out!"

As a Christian who believes in the sanctity of human life while not necessarily the sanctity of mouse life (please understand, I'm not trolling here), this raises concerns for me.

Let me start off by saying that I feel that there is something spiritually unique that comes with our human mind in terms of persistent experience through a long term memory, inter-generational passing of memes through language, and a higher-order basis for desire and suffering.

Once we pass this experience, some may call it a curse or a blessing, (I prefer the latter), on to animals, we are entering a new role of responsibility as a Creator. I think this sort of science is as inevitable as the nuclear bomb, and don't get me wrong -- I'd rather see it in the hands first of (aproaching-)democractic states, but we have to tread cautiously in my opinion.

Consider, where will this take us? Slave animals to fight our wars, clean our toilets, and tickle our fancy? Or a "brotherhood" (sisterhood if you prefer) of species working towards a better world? Probably both, but most likely, in my opinion, the former. As silly as it was, Planet of the Apes did raise some important concerns, as have many other works of science fiction. (Cue Charleton Heston shouting "it's a madhouse!")

I'm not saying that splicing those genes into a mouse is going to produce "human-mice" that we need to hire lawyers for to defend themselves against medical treatment, (although lawyers once again seem poised to score big bucks), but at what threshold do we create something which deserves fundamental human rights? (Cue Picard and Data in that STNG episode.)

Science is moving so fast that our understanding of the larger ethical questions is struggling to keep up. I urge you as you feel excitement about developments like this to look inside your own moral compass, whatever faith or wisdom molded your clay, and look for answers and new questions.

May the Creator guide our hands wisely, and may we please his aesthetic sense.

Re:I agree somewhat -- ethical considerations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8524813)

Seems to me "May the Creator guide our hands
wisely" is a pretty meaningless statement.
I don't see why we shouldn't engineer mice,
whether or not we should, I don't think that
the "teachings" of some self-obsessed
little faggot have much to do with it. (No offense to homosexuals intended).

Re:I agree somewhat -- ethical considerations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8525193)

Stack overflow at: Self-obsessed person insulting other person as self-obssessed.
Error: comment recursion. Stack overflow.

Re:I agree somewhat -- ethical considerations (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8525517)

...we are entering a new role of responsibility as a Creator. ...

...Consider, where will this take us? Slave animals to fight our wars, clean our toilets, and tickle our fancy? ...

Nah. Let's do it right. First we'll make them curious, then punish them for it. Then, after several generations of inbreeding, we'll raze one of their cities to make an example. After that, we'll say to hell with it, and kill all but two of them, but give them some shiny things in return. After few more generations of inbreeding, we'll micromanage their goverments with plauges and killing sprees. Then we'll command them to worship us, and, oh yeah, to not be evil. Finally, we'll give them conflicting accounts of our existance, tell them to kill the nonbelievers, and let them fight it out.

Obligatory Amazon Spam (4, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523350)

Bruce Sterling wrote a very funny story along these lines, called "Our Neural Chernobyl". In his story, the virus used to transport the genes escapes (naturally!), but doesn't actually turn out to be much of a problem for people, except for creating a few navel-gazers. (This goes with a constant theme of Sterling's, that raw intelligence is an overrated commodity.) But the fun begins when the virus jumps to other species. So you get racoons that learn to pick locks, coyotes that organize protection rackets against ranchers, etc. Collected here [amazon.com].

Re:Obligatory Amazon Spam (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 10 years ago | (#8525350)

So I come right out and say I'm posting spam, and people mod me up? Sometimes moderators are a mystery!

I know certain people (1)

vivin (671928) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523519)

I know certain people who never benefited from that mutation. I used to work with them!!

Press Release (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8523638)

Nim Laboratories would like to announce the discover of the "smart gene". In the latest controlled experiments, rats treated with the gene using recombinant techniques has shown the rats' score 1000x better than normal untreated rats.

My lawn needs cutting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8523664)

Anyone know an individual willing to use their telepathic powers to groom other people's lawns?

Frankly... (1)

ReadbackMonkey (92198) | more than 10 years ago | (#8523860)


I look forward to serving our mouse overlords, and want to let them know that I would be excellent at supervising the cheese factories.

Obligatory cartoon reference (1)

xoran99 (745620) | more than 10 years ago | (#8524083)

Brain: Pinky, are you thinking what I'm thinking? Pinky: I think so, Brain, but where are we gonna get rubber pants in our size? ZORF!!

a new race of super-dogs (2, Interesting)

glassesmonkey (684291) | more than 10 years ago | (#8524383)

Why doesn't some of the more contraversial scientists (human-cloning, clone-of-clone cloners, Clone-Aid wackos) take some other mammals (dogs or chimpanzees) and re-create these dozen or so mutations?!

The implication are staggering. Now that people are buying glow-in-the-dark fish I would really think there would be a market for these mutants. I just hope they don't start with mice, rats, or squirrels.

Uh oh (1)

Lord Grey (463613) | more than 10 years ago | (#8524668)

Better keep this guy [slashdot.org] away from the experiments, then. He's already very, very intelligent, as you can tell by reading his article. A bigger brain would result in even more /. submissions.

And we can't have that, now can we?

Japs/Koreans... (1)

floydman (179924) | more than 10 years ago | (#8524757)

eat monkey brains (and its supposed to be a luxurious meal whome few can afford).

I see a new investment...:)

Moral ambiguity and the Secret of Nimh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8524792)

I found it interesting that the moral implications of making smarter animals was just completely disregarded. And in reality, I wouldn't let it stop me as a researcher either. But, c'mon, I really was expecting more comments along the lines of Planet of the Apes and the Secret of Nihm.

I mean, isn't anyone else worried that smart rats will eventually escape, steal electicity, and have to move a cinder block mouse home to the lee of the stone...

Questions I am asking myself (3, Interesting)

cpu_fusion (705735) | more than 10 years ago | (#8524989)

If we splice the genes into a human to give us characteristics of animals, would we call the result a human?

What if we give ourselves hooves? Wings? Erase the capacity for language? At what point do "human rights" cease to apply?

If we splice the genes of a human into an animal, would we call the result a human?

What if we give it human-like limbs, a human heart, or a human mind? At what point do "human rights" begin to apply?

Interesting times are ahead of us my friends, and that can be considered a curse.

(By animal, I'm thinking non-human, and I realize that is a rather debatable definition.)

A much better experiement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8525257)

I think a better experiment would be to do the gene changes on a chimp.

Re:A much better experiement (1)

presearch (214913) | more than 10 years ago | (#8525376)

Don't you think it's too late for Dubya at this point?
Well, anythings worth a try I guess..
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