Manufactured Animals

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.

Essay by Allison Guy

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. A forest-dwelling horse with a distinctive silver-gray coat, tarpans once roamed Western Europe through Russia. …

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

Allison Guy

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.




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.…

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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.…

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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.…

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