the coming cuteularity (chimeric monkey pups gonna make ya go awwwwwww)

Posted by on January 16th, 2012

The Guardian informs us that:

The world’s first monkeys to be created from the embryos of several individuals have been born at a US research centre.

Scientists at the Oregon National Primate Research Centre produced the animals, known as chimeras, by sticking together between three and six rhesus monkey embryos in the early stages of their development.

Three animals were born at the laboratory, a singleton and twins, and were said to be healthy, with no apparent birth defects following the controversial technique.

 
And are clearly part of a program of weaponized cuteness, prototype post-primate super-soldiers, dropped behind enemy lines, able to reduce the hardest veteran into mushiness with a single blink.

Just take a look:

http://www.vimeo.com/34523980

via The Chairman


necomimi: the headband with brainwave controlled movable ears

Posted by on May 5th, 2011
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From WIRED UK:

Japanese company Neurowear is creating a range of fashion itemsthat are operated using brainwaves, including a pair of moveable cat ears.

The cat ear product, called “necomimi” is a novelty hair band that is worn in the normal way but features sensors that pick up on brain signals and convert them into visible actions — in this case by wiggling the cat ears.

The ears twitch through a range of different positions, which correspond to different brain activity. So when you concentrate, the ears point upwards and when you relax the ears flop down and forwards. The result is a kick-ass pair of ears that will make everyone at the furry convention / fancy dress party jealous.

Keep reading..


Suwappu: part-physical, part-digital toys

Posted by on April 5th, 2011

I’ll just let BERGLondon do most of the talking for this one:

Dentsu London are developing an original product called Suwappu. Suwappu are woodland creatures that swap pants, toys that come to life in augmented reality. BERG have been brought in as consultant inventors, and we’ve made this film. Have a look!

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This is where it starts to get interesting:

We wanted to picture a toy world that was part-physical, part-digital and that acts as a platform for media. We imagine toys developing as connected products, pulling from and leaking into familiar media like Twitter and Youtube. Toys already have a long and tenuous relationship with media, as film or television tie-ins and merchandise. It hasn’t been an easy relationship. AR seems like a very apt way of giving cheap, small, non-interactive plastic objects an identity and set of behaviours in new and existing media worlds.

Then it gets really interesting, quoting directly from BERG’s Jack Schulze:

In the film, one of the characters makes a reference to dreams. I love the idea that the toys in their physical form, dream their animated televised adventures in video. When they awake, into their plastic prisons, they half remember the super rendered full motion freedoms and adventures from the world of TV.

For me, this marks an entry into the territory explored in the anime Dennō Coil. But it’s a little Tachikoma that I’d like to see running around my desk, giving me messages, through AR magics.


Prosthetic feet makes this a cyborg kitty cat

Posted by on July 11th, 2010

The Internet loves cats, we all know that. So the Internet will be pleased to learn that when this napping kitty cat got it’s legs chopped off by a combine harvester, while it was lying in the sun, a local vet made sure it could get back on it’s feet.

More now, from BBC News:

The prosthetic pegs, called intraosseous transcutaneous amputation prosthetics (Itaps) were developed by a team from University College London led by Professor Gordon Blunn, who is head of UCL’s Centre for Biomedical Engineering.

Professor Blunn and his team have worked in partnership with Mr Fitzpatrick to develop these weight-bearing implants, combining engineering mechanics with biology.

Mr Fitzpatrick explained: “The real revolution with Oscar is [that] we have put a piece of metal and a flange into which skin grows into an extremely tight bone.”

“We have managed to get the bone and skin to grow into the implant and we have developed an ‘exoprosthesis’ that allows this implant to work as a see-saw on the bottom of an animal’s limbs to give him effectively normal gait.”

As this clip from The Bionic Vet shows, science is all about looks of glee, surgical hi-fives and, of course, duct tape:

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via Next Nature

Previously:


Nomura’s Jellyfish

Posted by on August 5th, 2009

Soon to be invading Japan, again. Via nationalgeographic.com.


Blue Rats Move Again After Food-Dye Injection

Posted by on July 28th, 2009

Fifteen minutes after researchers intentionally paralyzed this rat by dropping a weight on its back, they injected the rodent with Brilliant Blue G dye, a derivative of common food coloring Blue Number One. The dye reduced inflammation of the spinal cord, which allowed the rats to take clumsy steps—but not walk—within weeks, a new study says.

In both rats and people, secondary inflammation following spinal cord trauma causes more lasting damage than the initial injury: Swelling sparks a small “stroke,” which stops blood flow and eventually kills off the surrounding tissue.

Other than blue skin and eyes, “we can find no clinical effect on the rat,” said Maiken Nedergaard, a neuroscientist at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York.

Six weeks after injecting the blue dye, the research team killed and dissected the treated rat to inspect its spinal cord …. —though not entirely without regrets. “It was so cute, that rat,” study co-author Nedergaard said.

The team was surprised to find that the spinal cord was still blue—the rat’s skin and eyes had returned to normal after one week.

With a blue complexion as the only side effect, the substance may someday be the first major intervention available for people with spinal cord trauma, Nedergaard said.

“The problem is we don’t have any treatment now,” she said, adding that steroids are currently the most common medication used to help spinal-trauma patients. “That was really what prompted the search. … As far as I can see, every patient can receive the blue food dye, because there’s no downside.”

Link and photo via nationalgeographic.com.


not functional…yet

Posted by on June 3rd, 2009

It’s a cat. With wings!

Okay, so they’re just bone growths. And they don’t flap. Nor can the cat fly. But look at it! Mutant kitty!

Irrational exuberance on my part aside, it seems no one knows how this cat, who was born normal, grew these bone ‘wings’. It’s just one of those awesome mutations that happen every now and then that makes so so happy that nature makes ‘mistakes’.

I, for one, welcome our new winged kitty overlords.

Article and more pictures here.

Edit: There is more than one!