Science
HOW TO – Make “Permakittens”

permakitten25.jpg

Dylan’s chemistry related site is my favorite blog on the web, in a week or so it will be gone, but until then he keeps cranking out awesome posts, like this one on making permanent kittens… – “Right now I’ve got research proposals on my mind, and I really wanted to package this idea in the form of an RP, but it’s not going to work out. So I’ll just put it out there and maybe someone could make it happen. One word: Permakittens. Everybody loves kittens. The only thing wrong with them is that they turn into cats. So we’ll make genetically modified cats that never get big. I’ve bounced this off a couple of honest-to-goodness biologists who assured me it is 100% doable and even gave me some tips.”Link.

Also check out:

  • My stirplate goes up to eleven – Link.
  • Fun with nair – Link.

Somewhat related, US hypoallergenic cats go on sale – Link.

18 thoughts on “HOW TO – Make “Permakittens”

  1. I’ve already got a runt female grey tabby. She’s two years old, weighs in a around 4 pounds and is probably half the size of a normal full-grown cat.

  2. This reminds me of a science fiction short story involving a similar idea. A scientist had genetically altered some cats that would never grow up. They remained at a the kitten stage in their development forever.

    The was also the stage in their development where they were learning the fastest. So by extending this stage forever, they essentially learned enough to become as smart as humans.

    Ordinary cats seem to just tolerate humans. What would a kitten with human intelligence do?

  3. A friend and I discussed this years ago, but with puppies. The thing that makes kittens and puppies cute is the awkwardness of learning. “Bonsai Puppies” we decided would be horrible since an adult would be trapped in a body with its parts out of proportion.

  4. I’ve always thought a good way of saving the elephant from extinction would be to “bonsai” it and sell them as pets. They’d be fantastic.

    Although it obviuously wouldn’t be the original genetic makeup it would save them. Sorta.

    Other animals that would benefit from being smaller:
    Giraffes
    Whales
    Bison

    Mind you, this only for the same reason that giant budgies and butterflies would be great.

  5. @Speedwolf: Hmmm, have you read Jurassic Park by any chance? In the book (didn’t make it into the movie), John Hammond (the CEO of the Park’s parent company, InGen) takes a GM miniature elephant around to investor meetings in the beginning as a proof-of-concept. If I remember correctly, it was like a foot tall and cute–but was often sick and had an unpleasantly rodentine personality.

    ::Sigh:: It would be adorable though!

  6. Aren’t the domesticated cats we know of today already a “bonsai” version of what originally existed in nature?

    In another millennium, we’ll be pining for permakittens that you’d have to keep in a tube farm like a hamster.

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