A Splice of Spider & Goat
The New Splice-It-Up Pet Store?
The car pulls through the busy intersection. It turns onto a quieter street, passes a Wal-Mart and several fast food restaurants and turns into a parking lot. A huge store sits in the back. A large lit up neon sign reads, THE SPLICEY PET STORE.
The car’s brake lights barely blink out just as an eleven year-old boy hops out of the passenger seat. He sprints towards the store.
The boy’s mother gets out, watches the boy, and shakes her head. She yells out, “Tommy, be sure to watch out for cars!”
No cars are coming though. Tommy looks over his shoulder, and calls out, “Ok mom.” Just as he reaches the front the doors whip open. A couple walks out with a six-month old black Labrador on a leash. Tommy freezes and his lower jaw slacks, and his eyes widen. The man leading the dog gives Tommy a nod, and walks past him. Tommy sticks his finger out and lets his hand glide over the soft fur. He watches the dog walk away.
The corners of Tommy’s mouth slowly twitch and it curves into a grin.
The couple stops, taking a moment to spot their car. The dog glances back at Tommy. Its blue eyes stare straight at him. The dog brings up its front paw, which is shaped like a chimpanzee’s hand, and scratches his face.
The couple is walking again and the dog pulls his eyes off Tommy. Tommy doesn’t break his eyes away. His mother reaches him. He looks up at her and points towards the dog telling her, “Mom, we have to have to get one like that!”
His mom observes the dog getting into the car with the couple and frowns, “I thought you said you wanted the Ferret/Persian cat combo?”
You probably believe that a local Pet Splice store is not only bizarre and unlikely, but absurd. However, you may be unaware that genetic engineering that splices together DNA from two species is not just distant futuristic thought-it’s actually here.
The Koreans have managed to genetically engineer glowing cats for crying out loud. We have a pig that shits flowers, not really, but the scientists have managed to genetically modify a pig so it efficiently digests phosphorous.
Most of us know, Dolly, the first cloned sheep from adult cells. You may not have known that the cloning list has been growing. The list includes cloning a wolf, cattle, fruit flies, dog, horse and mice. Why we need more mice is beyond me.
I’m not done. There’s a mule cloned that just as stubborn as the rest. Twin rhesus monkeys were cloned in 2007 by transfer of DNA from adult cells and I hear those guys are scheming on a way to turn us into the Planet of the Apes.
We have cloned cat, dubbed an appropriate name of Copy Cat.
And then we have animals we thought were extinct. Bringing back extinction is called, De-extinction.
The Pyrenean ibex was resurrected. Scientists extracted DNA from an excavated body that had been frozen. They brought the ibex back to life in 2009, but it died seven minutes later, and it was extinct once again.
This of course leads us down the path towards an actual Jurassic Park.
Scientists are working on projects that will bring long extinct species back to us. Just think of the bennies. We can save on gas and live like the Flintstones using our Brontosaurus to haul us into town. But don’t say goodbye to your Volvo just yet. Scientists are focused on projects that will bring back only a select few species and the brontosaurus is not on that list.
One species they are bringing back is the Wooly Mammoth. Apparently, it won’t be a true Wooly Mammoth. They will be splicing ancient mammoth DNA with modern-day elephant cells.
Oh, and wait a moment, there is work on trying to bring back dinosaurs after all. Not a real dinosaur. They’re wanting to use chickens to recreate dinosaurs. That’s right, birds. The goal is to look at bird’s DNA which may contain a genetic memory that could be ‘switched on’ again, resurrecting long-dormant dinosaur traits.
That’s not all.
Researchers have spliced silk spider DNA into a goat. Yes, you heard me right. The silk spider is known to have the strongest web which is used in making bulletproof vests, artificial tendons, bandages, even computer chips and fiber optic cables for surgery. But harvesting enough silk requires tens of thousands of spiders and a lot of waiting time.
When you splice the silk spider DNA into a goat you’re going to get milk and a helping of silk.
All I ask is we just stop right there-and let’s not go any further.
I don’t want to ever look at a goat/ silk spider hybrid. That would be as creepy as seeing a squirrel/ spider hybrid. A critter, I’m sure, that would cause Tommy to either faint away dead in the pet store, or do a 180 and high-tail it out of his local splice pet store in a screaming fit.
Spice Up Your Knowledge with these Splicey News Flash…
Bryce Bentley Summers is a psychologist who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Houston. He’s presently employed at the Dallas Veteran Affairs Medical Center.
Bryce is also the author of the Young Adult Dark Fantasy (Sci-Fi) series AMEN to ROT, a story that pits young people against a sinister force, but also takes a look at learning what your capable of accomplishing when facing impossible challenges. The novel Nyte God will conclude this series and will be available in 2015.
Be on the look out for a ROTVILLE, a Sci-Fi Thriller (Horror) that will be published by DAMNATION BOOKS and be available in 2015. A story about an experiment gone awry, they wanted to create the perfect soldier, but instead, a hero was born…
Also coming soon is FRESH MEAT, a Paranormal (Horror with Multicultural & Gay Themes) and is about a psychopathic’s inner journey from evil to salvation.
Bryce has begun his new series called the Wehr Wolff Series.