Stories tagged hybrids

Jul
03
2008

Can you spot the nightmare?: There he is!
Can you spot the nightmare?: There he is!Courtesy FasterDix
Okay. Now I know what you’re thinking: “Every scene in Willow is frightening. Each scene is, in fact, somehow the most frightening scene. Will all of that become real too?”

Don’t worry, my doves, don’t worry.

You won’t be pursued through the forest by horrible pig dogs.

You won’t be puked on by a magic baby.

Your ethnicity won’t be slandered by drunks and soldiers.

You will not be captured and molested by hideous little rat men.

Monkeylike trolls will not chase you through derelict castles.

You won’t have to watch one of those awful trolls turn inside out and morph into a dragon. And you will not have to fight that dragon.

A shirtless Val Kilmer will not threaten you.

There will not be epic battles, nor attempted baby sacrifices.

You will not be stabbed by a man with a skull mask and an unspeakable caveman face.

A metal brazier will not chase you around a lightning-lit tower.

No wands will be brandished at you.

The town loudmouth will not belittle you in front of your family.

So, all in all, there’s relatively little to be concerned about. That said, there is one more most frightening scene to consider.

Do you remember when the army of Madmartigan and Airk Thaughbaer first laid siege to the fortress of Nockmark? Before Willow was able to fully control the powers of Cherlindrea’s wand and return Fin Raziel to her human, albeit greatly aged, form? You’ll recall that as soon as Airk, Madmartigan and Sorsha confront Bavmorda at the gates of Nockmark, the evil enchantress turns the whole of the attacking army into pigs. Once they were pigs things don’t seem so bad, but the process of turning into pigs was horrible to watch. There were hoof-hands everywhere, and emerging piggy snouts, and tusks, and oinking, and everybody looked really sweaty. It was very frightening to see, and it’s happening in our own plane of existence: human-pig hybrids have been given the go-ahead in England.

Careful examination of the story clearly indicates that half human, half pig creatures like those in Willow are neither the intent here, nor are they actually possible from these experiments. But I tend to believe what I imagine is the case more than what I’m old is the case.

If you do want to waste your time with what you’re told, however, listen up:
The aim of this research is in no way to create a weird pig man. Or a weird man pig. The goal is actually to put human DNA from skin cells into a pig egg that has had its chromosomes removed, and then let it develop into an embryo. In fact, the scientists involved are attempting to create an embryo with no animal DNA left in it at all (kind of ironic, I suppose).

There’s more to it, of course, but the idea is this: the human DNA put into the eggs will be DNA taken from people with a genetic heart disease. As the scientists observe the transformation from egg to embryo, they hope to better understand the molecular mechanics of the disease. That information could then be used to create better treatments for people living with related heart conditions. None of the “hybrids” will develop past the very first stages of being an embryo (basically a featureless sphere of cells).

Or, if you’re into letting your gut and imagination do your critical thinking for you…prepare yourself for Island of Doctor Moreau Earth.

Sep
09
2007


In your dreams pal: A normal human can't keep up the facade. (photo by hanhutton on flickr.com)
I’m not sure… Half man, half spider would probably be okay, as long as you didn’t end up with a bunch more legs. Half man, half fly clearly didn’t work out. Half man, half dolphin might work. Half man, half wolf would have to be cool, plus I hunt rabbits that way already.

What? Oh, sorry, I was just thinking about something. Say, did any of you hear the news out of England? The UK government has approved the creation of human-animal hybrids.

It’s about time.

Why do I say this? Well, I’ll sum it up in two points:
1) How many octopus-like suckers have I got on my arms? Zero.
2) How long have I wanted octopus-like suckers on my arms? Forever.

British scientists are quick to point out, though, that they won’t be creating viable creatures, only embryos, and, furthermore, only a very small amount of animal DNA will be present in the embryo. Human DNA would be transferred to an animal egg (of, say, a rabbit or a cow) that had already had most of the genetic material removed. The hybrids would be allowed to grow to only a very early stage, just long enough to study the development of the stem cells.

Or so they say. This slideshow has recently been leaked onto the Internet, and it offers some pretty compelling (and, just a warning, possibly upsetting) evidence to the contrary:

So now you’ve seen the future. What do you think? Are those gentlemen-dogs better off?

Ligers generated a lot of interest in a previous blog entry. Recently, a DNA test confirmed the first documented case of a hybrid grizzly-polar bear in the wild in Canada's Northwest Territories. Read more about it here.