Mad Scientists Create 2 New Freak Animals

Meet the “Monster Ants” & the “666666 Monkeys”:

Two creepy news snips (from Roger Oakland’s “Understand The Times” Weekly News In Review for 1/8-15/12) re freak animals the Devil’s Mad Scientists have created. These guys love “playing God,” don’t they?

January 6 – Welcome to a brave new world: Genetic scientists create freakish man-made monster ants with huge heads and jaws
Artical: Cloning And Genetic Engineering

nir252a.gifNightmarish ‘supersoldier’ ants with huge heads and jawshave been created by activating ancient genes. Scientists believe the monster ants may be a genetic throwback to an ancestor that lived millions of years ago.Scientists say they can create the supersoldiers at will by dabbing normal ant larvae with a special hormone – the larvae then develop into supersoldiers rather than normal soldier or worker ants.

Scientists showed that ordinary ants of the species Pheidole morrisi contain all the genetic ‘tools’ needed to turn them into supersoldiers – they just need a hormonal push.

Authors Dr Rajendhran Rajakumar, from McGill University, Canada, and colleagues wrote: ‘We uncovered an ancestral development potential to produce a novel supersoldier subcaste that has been retained throughout a hyperdiverse ant genus that evolved 35 to 60 million years ago.’

The results suggest that holding on to ancestral development toolkits may play an important role in evolving new physical traits, say the researchers.

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January 6 – Meet the ‘chimeric’ monkeys made from the cells of SIX different animals
Artical: Cloning And Genetic Engineering

nir252b.gifThey may look like any other baby monkeys, but these two are scientific breakthroughs. Roku and Hex are the world’s first chimeric monkeys – created with genetic material from six ‘parents’. But their birth has caused an ethical storm, with critics accusing scientists of disregarding the welfare of the animals.Named after the fire-breathing creature in Greek mythology composed of parts of multiple animals, chimeras are organisms made up of cells from two or more genetically distinct sources.

Twins Roku and Hex, whose respective names come from the Japanese and Greek for ‘six’, have been created with genetic material from six monkeys.

Researchers from Oregon Health and Science University in the U.S. extracted cells from six macaque embryos and combined them into a single embryo in a laboratory before implanting it into a surrogate mother monkey. However, to reach this stage,dozens more embryos were experimented on, and some surrogate pregnancies were aborted.

While most animals only contain cells in which the genetic material from their two parents has mixed together, the chimeric monkeys’ bodies contain six different types of cell – holding distinct DNA from each biological parent. Although many mice and some rabbits, rats and farm animals have been born this way, no one has created chimeric monkeys before.

The researchers say that Roku and Hex are healthy and that their birth opens up ‘enormous’ possibilities for science because of monkeys’ intelligence and close biological links to humans. They say the technique could help us learn more about IVF and contraception, and growing human organs from scratch.

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