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What is Next Nature?

With our attempts to cultivate nature, humankind causes the rising of a next nature, which is wild and unpredictable as ever. Wild systems, genetic surprises, autonomous machinery and splendidly beautiful black flowers. Nature changes along with us.

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Manufactured Animals

belgian blue bull Image: Brown Swiss
Making Man’s best Friend even Better

From the moment humans and wolves first decided to play nice with one another, humans have been directing the development of other animals. After 30,000 years, we have tiny chihuahuas, angora rabbits puffed like pompoms, and Belgian blue cattle with ‘double-muscling.’

Our best friends are just as carefully designed as the latest piece of technology. There’s no doubt that we will bring whole ecosystems of manufactured animals into the world. Where selective breeding stops, genetic modification begins. Next nature will be overrun with next animals.

The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill

The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill

In the Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill, Banksy's animals have a strange afterlife as consumer products.

Inventing an Extinct Horse

Along with the Heck cattle and Scottish Highlanders, another reconstructed species roams the Dutch dunes. The sturdy Konik horse, also known as the Polish primitive, is the result of an attempt to ‘breed back’ the tarpan, an extinct subspecies of wild horse.

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Call it a Konik, Heck or Hegardt, the modern tarpan is still, fundamentally, a fake.

— Allison Guy

GloFish

GloFish

A tropical fish that fluoresces bright red is set to become the first genetically modified pet to go on sale in the US. Alan Blake and colleagues at Yorktown Technologies LP say the GloFish will be available from January 2004.

The little zebra fish were originally developed by researchers in Singapore to signal the presence of water pollutants by changing colour. “These fish were bred to help fight environmental pollution,” Blake said. “They were bred to fluoresce in the presence of toxins.”

Living Life Support

Designer Revital Cohen imagines a future where life-support machines are replaced with life-support animals. In this scenario, a transgenic lamb is allowed to frolic in the fields by day.  By night, the lamb is hooked up to a renal patient to filter his blood. The artist presents a mutually beneficial relationship: the human lives as a parasite, and the lamb lives to be a medical device, not Easter dinner. While it’s an alien vision, it may be more humane than killing animals, engineered or not, for their spare parts.

Living Life Support
Dyed chicks are the ultimate in disposable life: who wants them after they've turned into a regular chicken? Dyed chicks are the ultimate in disposable life: who wants them after they've turned into a regular chicken?

Forefather Ox cloned to revive delicious Steak

Delicious retro-future meat from Japan. Food technology in the overdrive.

Japanese researchers successfully cloned what is believed to have been the forefather ox of Gifu Prefecture’s delicious ‘Hidagyu’ beef. The successful cloning of the ox, which died in 1993 and was preserved by freezing, could help to revive cattle with higher quality meat.

According to the officials, Gifu Prefecture’s livestock research center and Kinki University in Osaka Prefecture have successfully developed cloning technology using testicular nuclei from oxen and unfertilized egg cells from cows. They first succeeded in creating a cloned ox in November 2007. Of the four cloned oxen created so far, three are alive, the officials said.

The original ox, named Yasufuku-go, is referred to as ‘the father of Hidagyu’ and is said to have been the progenitor of 30 percent or more of Japanese black cattle. About 150 cows with a direct blood connection to the ox have been born nationwide.”

Next we start cloning dinosaurs to provide our kids with some delicious hypernatural dinoburgers?

Via: Breibart.com. See also: The tissue engineered Meat of Tomorrow, Some kids don’t like chicken. Thanks Tinkebell.

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Engineering Mosquitoes into Flying Vaccinators

Scientists have developed a mosquito that spreads vaccine instead of disease. The researchers, led by molecular geneticist Shigeto Yoshida of Jichi Medical University in Tochigi Japan, transformed mosquitoes into vaccine-carrying syringes by genetically engineering the insects to express the vaccine for leishmaniasis – a parasitic disease transmitted by the sandfly – in their saliva. According to their article in Insect Molecular Biology, mice bitten by these mosquitoes produced antibodies against the parasite.

“Following bites, protective immune responses are induced, just like a conventional vaccination but with no pain and no cost,” said lead researcher Shigeto Yoshida in a press release from the journal. “What’s more continuous exposure to bites will maintain high levels of protective …

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Birdfeeders spit Blackcaps in two species

Until now, most people have likely regarded bird-feeders as merely a pleasant addition to their gardens. But scientists have now discovered that bird-feeders in the UK are actually having a serious long term impact on bird life – they’ve found that the feeders have brought about the first evolutionary step in the creation of a brand new species.

Historically, European Blackcap birds migrate to Spain to spend their winters, where they feed on fruit and berries. While in the past the …

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