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Here There Be Dragons 115

Posted by Zonk
from the omg-unicorns dept.
ThisNukes4u writes "The Economist reports that scientists in California are coming closer to creating real-life mythical animals. Basically, they re-create the natural selection process through a computer simulation and then clone the resulting set of DNA in a donor animal." From the article: "Each computer starts with a search image (dragon, unicorn, gryphon, etc), and the genome of the real animal most closely resembling it (a lizard for the dragon, a horse for the unicorn and, most taxingly, the spliced genomes of a lion and an eagle for the gryphon). The virtual genomes of these real animals are then tweaked by random electronic mutations. When they have matured, the virtual adults most closely resembling the targets are picked and cross-bred, while the others are culled."
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Here There Be Dragons

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  • Re:I Like Pickles!!! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PapayaSF (721268) on Saturday April 01, 2006 @02:59AM (#15040715) Journal
    Then you'll love the mysterious pickled dragon [smh.com.au].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 01, 2006 @03:02AM (#15040729)
    From http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm? story_id=348179 [economist.com] :
    The firm's first product is a goldfish that is genuinely gold, not the shade of orange that currently passes for that colour in ichthyological circles. To create this animal required two things. The first was the introduction of a gene for a genetically modified version of haemoglobin which Paolo Fril, GeneDupe's boss, has dubbed haemaurin. The second was the introduction of a gene for a synthetic enzyme that he calls aurinase.

    Unlike haemoglobin, which has an atom of iron at its centre, haemaurin contains an atom of gold. The haemaurin circulates in the fish's blood until it reaches the skin. There, it is degraded by the aurinase, and metallic gold is deposited in the animal's pigment cells. (This also opens up a lucrative sideline for GeneDupe, since its so-called RealGold fish must be fed with a special fish food that contains traces of the metal.)
    aurinase = "you're an ass," I think, but what's the joke with haemaurin? And while we're at it, what about "San Melito"? And "Paolo Fril"? Are these in-jokes? I don't get it.

    Yes, I'm the type of person who needs every joke patiently explained.

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