Are You a Man or a Mouse?

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Researchers in California have created mice with human brain cells. Early, unconfirmed reports suggest that the animals are forming "mouse clubs," speaking in a falsetto, and consorting with half-dressed ducks.

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  1. are they evil ducks?

    wearing assless chaps?
    and how do you think they got the AFLAC duck?)

    but who else can hans and franz rib?

    and grin to mention of the “yuck factor”.

  2. Nicodemus?

    feh.

    I, for one, welcome our human-brain augmented, overly muscular mousy overlords.

  3. ?The worry is if you humanize them too much you cross certain boundaries,? said David Magnus, director of the Stanford Medical Center for Biomedical Ethics.

    Go ahead. Cross certain boundaries. Make my day.

  4. Will mice become human enough to file wrongful death suits against trap manufacturers?

  5. only if said traps go off randomly, you trap schill.

    🙂

    and when a lawyer gets to you, it’s “yessir” mkay?

    ptttttffff…

  6. How do you become a bioethicist anyway? I get the feeling these jokers would object to antibiotics and vaccines back in the day. Happily our ancestors had the wisdom not to have any bioethicists back then.

  7. “Will mice become human enough to file wrongful death suits against trap manufacturers?”

    Only if you use a corn-syrup based sweet in the trap.

  8. Do you guys moonlight as gag writers for the Tonight Show?

  9. “How do you become a bioethicist anyway?”

    Probably the same way one becomes a county electrical inspector. Enough basic knowledge to bluster your way through and interview, but not so much that you could, you know, actually get a real job in the field.

  10. 100,000 cells? Gotta make ’em more human than a week old embryo.

  11. This sounds like it could be an interesting challenge.

    U.S. Association of Cats

  12. Becoming a bioethicist is a lot like become an “official titty inspector,” except instead of declaring it on a hat or t-shirt, you do it on a business card or resume. With both, success is all in how you sell it.

    This will all change as schools are begining to devote classes and graduate programs to the subject to standardize and legitimize it. Soon to be released, “Girls Gone Ethically Wild”

  13. “How do you become a bioethicist anyway?”

    I think it involves being a bluenose who uses the term “dehumanizing” way too much.

  14. How do you become a bioethicist anyway?

    Probably helps if you have a strong sense of your own nautural moral superiority and an uncontollable desire to tell others what to do.

  15. “Gee, Brain, what are we going to do tonight?

    The same thing we do everynight, Pinky. TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!”

    Couldn’t resist, sorry.

  16. chthus,
    If girls were “gone ethically,” they’d be wild by definition, wouldn’t they?

  17. Huh? After posting I read Akira’s comment and tried to post the following:

    Damn it, Akira beat me to a better answer… 🙂

    But my post was denied with the following message:

    “In an effort to curb malicious comment posting by abusive users, I’ve enabled a feature that requires a weblog commenter to wait a short amount of time before being able to post again. Please try to post your comment again in a short while. Thanks for your patience.”

    How long has this rule been in effect, and who was the inspiration?

  18. Ruthless,

    Not necessarily, as in,”I used to know this real kinky girl ’til she gone all ethically on me and joined a convent.”

  19. They’ll only be truly human when they form herds and attack the different among them as well as other herds.

  20. They’ll only be truly human when they form herds and attack the different among them as well as other herds.

    That seems to imply that middle-schoolers are human, and I’m not sure that position is supported by the evidence.

  21. chthus,
    Yeah, I guess I meant, “gone, ethically.”

  22. Nicodemus?

    Curse you, Mediageek, for beating me to the NIMH reference!

  23. Actually, the bioethics journals are really quite interesting, if a bit wonky. It’s been a while since I worked in the field, but as I recall all of the bioethicists were knowledgeable scientists, just like the editors at Nature. I can’t really fault a person for not wanting to work in a lab for the rest of their life.

  24. consorting with half-dressed ducks.

    Sorry to go off topic, but does anyone else wonder why Donald, who didn’t wear pants, would cover up his crotch when he lost his shirt?

  25. “They’ll only be truly human when they form herds and attack the different among them as well as other herds.”

    If this is all it takes, they’ve already made it. Watch a mouse colony sometime, from incestuous offspring canibalism to homosexual gangrape, it’s like watching the Susan Smith guest appearance on Oz.

  26. That seems to imply that middle-schoolers are human, and I’m not sure that position is supported by the evidence.

    The terrifying thing is that middle schoolers are an example of human nature at it’s most basic.

  27. From the article:

    “But the brain poses an additional level of concern because some envision nightmare scenarios in which a human mind might be trapped in an animal head.”

    Who are these “some,” and where can I get my hands on any novels they may have authored?

  28. Nobody’s made a good Hitchiker’s Guide joke yet.
    (shaking his head…)

  29. Jeff: I thought about titling the post “I know nothing of these early sixties sitcoms of which you speak,” but that was a little obscure even for me

  30. ahhhh, very good. veeerrrrrryyyy good.

    i was thinking more of lilly tomlin from “9 to 5” (has it been 25 years already???)

    “what are you? a man or a mouse. i mean, a woman or a wouse”

    and Jesse: there’s no such thing as “too obscure”. go for it! it makes getting the joke all the sweeter 🙂

  31. Now that I think of it, this reminds me of Xenomouse. Keeping in mind I don’t know what I’m talking about (humanities/law degrees), this sort of thing is probably going to cure cancer. If the bioethicists can be distracted by shiny things or something.

    http://www.abgenix.com/AntibodyDiscovery/?view=Technology

    see also

    http://www.abgenix.com/ProductDevelopment/?view=ABX-EGF

  32. “does anyone else wonder why Donald, who didn’t wear pants, would cover up his crotch when he lost his shirt?”

    David,
    For the same reason Wile E. Coyote pauses several seconds before falling and falling…

  33. But are any of the mice megalomaniacs bent on world domination?

    And did they use the Acme gene splicer for this experiment?

  34. Damn, Eric Mattingly beat me to it!

  35. The mice from Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere would be too obscure. But that’s a book about a TRUE underground economy.

  36. Mice are not little people.

    They are now….

  37. Are you a man-mouse or a mouse-man?

  38. Did anyone else find this line of the article especially funny:

    “Still, the work adds to the growing ethical concerns of mixing human and animal cells when it comes to stem cell and cloning research. After all, mice are 97.5 percent genetically identical to humans.”

    Yipes! Now that they’ve combined human intelligence with the breeding capacity of mice, these creatures will be the dominant species on this planet in our lifetime!

  39. Able to guilt trip the researchers into providing a guarunteed cheese subsidy.

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