Meet the Mutants – the latest Government effort to defeat Climate Change

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Guest essay by Eric Worrall

It would be wrong to think that the governments of the world are solely focussed on reducing CO2. Just in case the Paris conference fails to deliver, our selfless government scientists are spending your money, exploring a diverse range of strange mutant varieties of every day farm animals, to ensure world stays fed in the midst of soaring temperatures.

The latest focus is the Dwarf Cow.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald;

… the solution to the problem is simple and small, livestock experts argue: heat-tolerant dwarf cows.

A team of researchers from Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University and the state government’s Animal Husbandry Department are now promoting a switch to Vechur and Kasargod cattle, two local varieties known for being easy to raise, resistant to diseases and – most important – better at tolerating high temperatures than the more popular crossbred cattle.

“High-yielding crossbreed varieties of cattle can faint or even die during hot and humid summer days,” said E.M. Muhammed, an expert on animal breeding and genetics at the university. “Our natural breeds can better withstand the effects of climate change.”

Dwarf cows, on the other hand, appeared to carry a “thermometer gene” that allowed them to better tolerate high temperatures, researchers said.

Dwarf cows were already gaining popularity among some farmers because they consumed less food and water than conventional cattle varieties, the experts said. Small-scale farmers needed only one or two dwarf cows to meet the milk needs of their households, they said.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/the-heattolerant-dwarf-cow-may-help-india-adjust-to-climate-change-20150630-gi103g.html

The Dwarf cow will no doubt find a place in the cattle yard, next to the Featherless Chicken, another government science favourite.

According to New Scientist;

Featherless chickens could be the future of mass poultry farming in warmer countries, says an Israeli geneticist who has created a bare-skinned “prototype”.

The new chicken would be lower in calories, faster-growing, environmentally friendly, and more likely to survive in warmer conditions, claims Avigdor Cahaner of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He created his red-skinned chicken by selectively crossing a breed with a naturally bare neck with a regular broiler chicken.

But critics say past experience with feather-free chickens resulting from random genetic mutation shows they suffer more than normal birds. Males have been unable to mate, because they cannot flap their wings, and “naked” chickens of both sexes are more susceptible to parasites, mosquito attacks and sunburn.

“Featherless birds would also be very susceptible to any temperature variations – especially as young birds,” says Tom Acamovic, of the Scottish Agricultural College in Ayr.

The chicken is “disgusting”, says Joyce D’Silva of Compassion in World Farming. “It’s a prime example of sick science and the suggestion that it would be an improvement for developing countries is obscene.”

Read more: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2307-featherless-chicken-creates-a-flap.html

These tentative steps are nothing compared to the efforts of Palaeontologist Jack Horner, to do a full conversion on modern Chicken breeds, to revert them back to ancient forms.

A genome does not evolve in a tidy fashion. Old genes are not always discarded when they fall out of use. For example, there may be a whole host of genes that direct the growth and movement of a dinosaur’s arm and fingers. If another gene evolved to fuse some of those bones into a wing during embryonic development, many of those arm-and-finger genes would be pushed to the sidelines. But the potential for a dinosaur arm could still be there. If you can identify the newer gene that causes bone fusion and disrupt its expression, those sidelined genes may suddenly start producing arms.

Horner posits that three primary engineering tasks will lead him from a conventional chicken to something resembling a miniature velociraptor (a small predator that became famous in “Jurassic Park”): creation of a long tail; the development of a toothed, beakless head; and the fashioning of arms with fingers and claws instead of wings.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/paleontologist-jack-horner-is-hard-at-work-trying-to-turn-a-chicken-into-a-dinosaur/2014/11/10/cb35e46e-4e59-11e4-babe-e91da079cb8a_story.html

Perhaps Horner has missed a bet – if he had framed his grant application as an effort to produce heat tolerant chickens, chickens fully adapted to +4c Cretaceous conditions, we’d probably all have little pet dinosaurs by now.

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130 thoughts on “Meet the Mutants – the latest Government effort to defeat Climate Change

  1. Precious……..HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA,
    Can’t stop laughing….
    Dwarf Cows and Featherless Chickens
    Thanks for posting this article – made my day

  2. Oh dear God. Please can someone genetically engineer zero emissions climate scientists so we don’t have to put up with all this poop.

    • I recommend adapting by wearing a pair of sturdy leather boots and carrying a shovel. It’s what I do whenever I visit an oil refinery or coal fired power plant… Well, actually, I supervise those carrying the shovels. Wouldn’t want to get my hands dirty after all. /sarc

    • “zero emissions climate scientists”?
      Whoa, that could mean tens of billions of dollars each year being spent on something useful, the greenies in government would never tolerate that.

  3. Lets see – most ranchers are still breeding their cows to calve in February when it is 20 to 30 below C. I understand why, but somehow I don’t imagine most ranchers worry much about a couple of degrees. Now rain, that’s another matter … Sheesh.

  4. Then there is the three legged free range chickens bred around Pincher Creek, Alberta for KFC – extra drumstick. Trouble is, they are so fast we’ve never been able to catch one … 😉

      • But the big breakthrough still had to be the development, for the Fridays Restaurant chain appetizer menu, of chickens with those huge all white meat boneless fingers.
        Compared to breeding a chicken with six inch long fingers, all the rest of those projects are amateur hour.
        They are now working to develop a chicken with the layer of breading instead of skin.

  5. Sorry, but to combine “revert” and “back” in the same sentence is an egregious tautology, no matter that it’s a favoured combination of commentators everywhere.

  6. I’m not certain but paleontology may be one of the “disciplines” to influence the new tendency in science to “model” reality. I don’t know if it has ever occurred to any one else that there is an awful lot of prehistoric theory built on pretty scant evidence when it comes to even number of specimens and time between them.

  7. I wonder if Brahman cattles, commonly found in hot and semi arid conditions in Australia OutBack will be able to take the higher rainfall and Humidity, with all the grass growing expotentially higher and better they’ll probably spend more time producing marbled meat……..

    • You nailed it.
      From http://www.brahman.org/about/benefits-of-brahman/:
      “The Brahman F-1 (first generation hybrid with European cattle) is also very popular because these cattle display many important characteristics of their Brahman parent, such as drought resistance, heat tolerance, disease and parasite resistance and increased longevity.”

  8. Like the square hogs in “Space Truckers”.
    The Japanese grew square watermelons years ago, they could pack more melons in a smaller carco area that way. They just put square plastic forms around the melons while they grew.

      • The funniest thing about the spaghetti harvest documentary was that it was once broadcast on South African TV as a serious item. The mention of the last two weeks in March should have been the give away!
        Cheers

      • A similar item was broadcast in NZ in the late 60’s but it was about the threatened macaroni harvest. Apparently (please forgive my failing memory) it was because insecticides such as DDT were killing off the insect larvae that drilled the hole through the middle.

  9. Under Stalin a scientist was planning to cross radishes and cabbages, and get a red, fat, delicious root and a fat, scrumptious cabbage top. He did succeed in crossing the plants, and wound up with something with the root of a cabbage and leaves of a radish. Wound up in Siberia, as I recall.
    Scientists need to be careful, when they mess about with the Left, and that includes climate scientists.

    • G. D. Karpechenko was murdered in 1941.
      In recent decades, more useful hybrids of radishes and cabbages, ie not just new species but genera, have been developed.
      Various estimates of the proportion of plant species which evolved as a result of hybridization and polyploidy exist, but they range from 30 to 70% just for the latter.

      • My cartoon loses its humor when it is associated with a real man’s name. Karpechenko was an associate of Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov, who got in trouble because he had the nerve to criticize the politically correct bozo, Lysenko. Vavilov was arrested August 6, 1940, and Karpechenko in October. They were sentenced to die the following July; and on July 28, 1941 Karpechenko was executed. Vavilov was “pardoned” and his sentence reduced to 20 years, but prison was such that he starved to death in 1943,
        The insanity of this situation is that Stalin was still destroying his nation’s most brilliant minds even after Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa on June 21, 1941, with the intent of basically destroying ALL Russian minds. Even insaner is the fact Lysenko glides through this monstrous madness, with an army of 3 million clashing with an army of 3 million, purring like a cat in the cream. It was a calamity so horrible that to truly fathom it would create an anguish that would kill you, and therefore I defend myself with humor and by turning things into a cartoon. Forgive me.
        But I will stand by my final paragraph, “Scientists need to be careful, when they mess about with the Left, and that includes climate scientists.”

  10. There is a certain portion of the population of industrialized nations which has an overwhelming need for security. For those, the word “change” means facing their own mortality. They will always be with us, they will always be in a state of panic over any events which mark the passage of time; and they’ll bust a hame trying to hold back progress.

  11. Looks to me tht the government is staffed by people with ‘dwarf brains’

    • Well you get what you pay for. Government jobs for scientists acts as a filter, where the less intelligent work for the government and the more intelligent go work for private industry. You end up with a society where the less intelligent scientists are the ones making the regulations that hinder the work of the more talented private industry scientists. And ultimately you end up with the situation that we currently have in society, junk science rules.
      https://www.ida.org/~/media/Corporate/Files/Publications/STPIPubs/ida-d-4740.pdf

  12. Ah, if only Diogenes had lived in modern times he’d have had no need to pluck a chicken to screw over Plato’s definition of a human. (At least we still have those “broad, flat nails” to distinguish us.

  13. “the solution to the problem is simple and small, livestock experts argue: heat-tolerant dwarf cows.”
    Plagiarism!
    This is an idea taken from the Miami Vice episode titled “Cows of October” where a scam artist is trying to sell bull semen that will produce dwarf cows for third world countries. It was a scam on the episode and it is probably a scam now.

  14. If they’re gonna miniaturize cattle,they better get to work on miniaturizing Coyotes and other predators, too.
    Better yet, forget the whole thing.

  15. If any of these ideas can fill a niche and can be used to meet demand and create wealth, then go for it. Hair brained ideas in the real world either fall apart or make something out of nothing, all the time. These ideas aren’t part of the real world, but are coming from academia, so if past is prologue, their chances of viability are slim without further rifling through the pockets of taxpayers.

    • Or some Government useless idiot decides to pick it as “the” right answer, and subsidizes it, with our money. And it turns out to be as useless as the bureaucrat.

    • Government incentivized science is absolutely the problem. That’s how we end up with higher food prices so that we can burn engine-damaging ethanol as a fuel and higher energy prices so that we can construct bird chopping wind mills. Some politician may decide that, for the sake of the planet, we must subsidize miniature cows, you really can’t put it past them.

  16. Well, us humans should also get on the bandwagon of this genetic improvement program.
    With increasing temperatures, there will surely be more poolside cocktail and BBQ parties. As anyone who has ever attended such an event knows, it is physically impossible to manage a plate of food, a glass of wine and a fork with which to eat the food all at the same time. Clearly we need three arms.
    This design oversight on the part of the Intelligent Designer will compromise the conversational, and thus reproductive success, of future generations living under the scourge of almost daily pool parties in the warming world.
    In fact, you might be interested in joining my class action lawsuit against the Almighty for this blatant and damaging design defect in the human species.

  17. Animal engineering has such a long successful history.
    Bulldogs who can no longer birth their big-headed pups.
    Toy white poodles that are now dumb as a post.
    Animal skin and eye cancer because we don’t like dark colored animals (how stupid is that!).
    Inbred diseases because we want the perfect example of a species.
    Honey bees that aren’t so sweet because we want more honey.
    Tasteless strawberries and peaches because we don’t want bruised ones shipped from far away places.
    The list goes on.

    • Pam, I hate to tell you this but strawberries and peaches are not animals.
      I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. Best wishes to a cool one.

    • Fifty years ago, before suburban sprawl wiped out open spaces near our home, my little sister discovered wild strawberries in one of those fields. She dug up a couple and transplanted them to our yard in a sunny patch near the house. Well the berries were only about as large as the end of your little finger, but WOW! the flavor was intense. I’m ruined for the golf balls they now sell by the pint and claim are strawberries; they just don’t seem to have any flavor at all.

    • I wouldn’t recommend it. My older sister bought one for me. I lost two legs and an arm. Nasty.

      • Pet veloceraptors shouldn’t be any more dangereous than the pet wolves, a.k.a. dogs, we keep.
        True , a few people get killed by them each year, (42 in 2014) but most of us are willing to put up with that small risk.

    • >>… a pet Velociraptor…
      There was a sci-fi story about breeding small dinosaurs, because they were much more tasty than chicken. It was predictably called the dino-chicken.

  18. The weather girl blew the forecast again. They called for between 105-109 for today in Sacramento. Here it is 5:42 and the thermometer hasn’t reached 100 yet.
    A piddling 98 degrees. Day after day it’s the same thing. Make a forecast, predicting doom as per the prevailing political position, spectacularly fail, but never revisit the blown call.

  19. I understand that they’re cross breeding normal chickens with chickens that suffer from androgenic alopecia. There’s been some problems since many of the offspring of the androgenic alopecia chicken breeds have been either known to get very depressed or to acquire tattoos and goatees or van dykes. Moreover, diners have been a little put off when served drumsticks where tattooed skulls and ‘f..k you for eating me’ were still visible. And it’s been reported that agents of PETA have invaded these chicken centers with the intent to deliver substantial quantities of Minoxidil which screws up the androgenic alopecia chicken breeding programs.
    In other news, hunger experts (a discipline that most definitely does not include Michelle Obama) have opined that drawf cows will be insufficient to feed people unless we simultaneously breed drawf people for whom the caloric intake of the drawf burgers and drawf steaks and drawf filet mignons produced by drawf cows will be adequate. The drawf calories from the drawf steaks from the drawf cows are otherwise inadequate for larger than drawf people.

    • I saw Blue Oyster Cult with ZZ Top and Johnny and Edgar Winter all on the same bill in early 70’s.
      I’m not sure if Blue Oysters are natural but I’m fairly sure Johnny and Edgar Winter are the result of an experiment gone horribly wrong.

      • I saw the Johnny half of the Winter twins in Toronto, dressed in tight leather top to bottom. He looked the part of a speed freak in both senses of the term. If his music was an experiment, it went horribly right.

  20. Its already been done in Australia as a result of a breeding experiment by NSW Agriculture in the 1990s where they tried to grow the largest cattle by natural selection, they also as a side experiment bred the smallest ones and came up with the “Square Meater”
    They are very popular with the Chinese , I guess because smaller people can handle the cattle easier and they give better meat yield than larger breeds.
    http://squaremeaters.com.au

  21. Eric Worrall says:
    “It would be wrong to think that the governments of the world are solely focussed on reducing CO2.”…………
    ==============
    Wrong is the wrong word, it doesn’t capture the extent of the assumed gullibility of the unwashed masses.

  22. Dwarf cows to handle the futures theorized higher heat?
    In the Old West didn’t they raise longhorns to do that?

    • Couple that with velocichickens and then we’ll really be going back for the future!

  23. “Dwarf cows, on the other hand, appeared to carry a “thermometer gene” that allowed them to better tolerate high temperatures”
    What grotesque nonsense.
    It’s actually fairly simple. If you reduce the volume of an object without changing the basic topology of the object you also increase the ratio of surface area to volume. By increasing surface area relative to volume you make it easier for the object to radiate/conduct away internal heat.
    Smaller mammals do better in hot climates than large mammals. Duh!

      • Elephants developed large thin ears to create enough surface area to radiate away heat. Hippo’s spend most of their time in water, which is a more efficient thermal conductor than air.

  24. Unconfirmed reports that researchers at UC Santa Barbara recently crossed an abalone and a crocodile. Hoping to produce and abadile, they were disappointed to discover they could only come up with a crockabaloney.

    • What do you get when you cross Batman with an Elephant?
      .
      .
      .
      Flatman!
      What do you get when you cross an Elephant with the Alps?
      .
      .
      .
      You get a dead elephant and get whacked over the head with a clue stick. You are supposed do it the other way around dummy!

  25. We’ve heard it before, let’s hear it again.’These Guys are Totally Nuts’. The proposal for Dwarf Cows and Featherless Chickens makes the six-legged Chicken proposal look sensible..

  26. Who ever successfully crosses a dwarf cow with a featherless chicken will rule the universe.

  27. I just had some 4 inch long ‘chicken fingers’ at my local Asian restaurant. I really want to see these chickens. They are so meaty. yumm!

  28. I wonder how many mutant micro-bovines and featherless creatures evolved since the end of the most recent glaciation. Allow me this fanciful flight of imagination – the number shall be none. In the greatest and most recent event of substantial global warming not a single canary shed so much as a feather-creating genome. Cattle are the size they are today because that is the size the provides the greatest return. If a different size is deemed economical that shall drive the size. Such is the fate on bovines who have no say in their genetics because the are not allow to breed at random.
    I’d appreciate it if someone can provide the name of a climate scientist known to have a functional brain. There is little to suggest such a thing exists.

  29. Marvelous mirth … thanks to all for the hilarious lineup of witticisms, especial Juan Slayton and Matts. Laugh! I haven’t laughed so hard since Aunt Mable got her left tit caught in the mangle.

  30. Smaller cows that need less food to produce the same amount of milk… that seems like a good idea to me.

  31. It would be wrong to think that the governments of the world are solely focused on reducing CO2. Just in case the Paris conference fails to deliver, our selfless government scientists are spending your money, exploring a diverse range of strange mutant varieties of every day farm animals, to ensure world stays fed in the midst of soaring temperatures. ~ Eric Worrall

    It came to me overnight that the worst fate of all would be to knock your English soccer team out of the World Cup with an own goal. I am so sad for that poor girl.
    But the second most terrible thing is to see money, time, talent, and other resources spent trying to mitigate a 2C rise in temperatures. Especially since there will most likely be a reduction in average temperatures rather than a rise in temperatures.
    Has anyone noticed that mankind might well be near the end of this interglacial period. Wisconsin might will be under ice again someday soon. (can Milwaukee’s roads handle that?)
    And besides that, the Scottish Sceptic has an interesting post on the “Haseler gap”. Well worth your time to read that short post. (should be run here perhaps)
    http://scottishsceptic.co.uk/2015/07/02/the-haseler-gap-imminent-global-plummeting-temperatures-in-next-2000-years/

  32. We have already downsized cattle by 50%.
    They were domesticated from the wild Auroch.
    The Auroch were wild cattle that lived in Europe, Asia and North Africa. They are featured in every cave art painting and probably formed the main part of our diet for the past 1.8 million years or so (or at least related earlier evolutionary species).
    Twice as big cattle roaming the great plains and deserts during the ice ages when there was very little trees and no nuts, fruit, vegetables or roots. All there was to eat was grass-grazing herbivores. And one of them tasted like beef and was twice as big as today’s modern cattle so a single kill could feed a stone age tribe for weeks.
    Humans hunted them into extinction and/or only left the domesticated kind around eventually. The last wild Auroch lived into the early 1600s and they were domesticated as early as 9,000 years ago.
    The domesticated version is 50% of the size probably to make them easier to handle and/or it came along with the breeding selection for tameness.
    Size comparison illustration.
    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/d0/23/4c/d0234c17e2e712e6c7a497a488e9fc46.jpg

  33. there are plenty of heat tolerant cattle
    featherless chickens is really dumb. They will do fine with shade and water in high heat. A featherless chicken would be half charbroiled on a hot sunny day.
    Okay, how about breeding chickens with a basil or rosemary plant.

  34. This is officially the fumiest thread evah, IMO. 🙂 I’m bookmarking this for future laughs.

  35. The BBC enviro dept must have missed this one.
    This sort of report is their usual bread & butter
    Bill Illis
    Would like to see the size of sirloin steak you could get off that

  36. On ABC news this morning they said according to the government one third of polar bears will be in imminent danger because of green house gasses by 2025. I consider this good news because based on the track record of global warming predictions the polar bears are safe.

  37. I don’ no nuffin bout that climat stuff. I just come here for the comedy. This whole thread was great, guys. Thanks!

  38. I am waiting for the cubic eggs. The chickens will probably put up a big squack about them.

  39. IIRC there were dwarf Mammoth on the island of Catalina at one time, they call it island dwarfism.
    An area in central Europe that had been a plateau also turned up fossils of dwarf prehistoric animals of many types.
    We are all “Mutants of the Monster”.

  40. “The new chicken would be lower in calories, faster-growing, environmentally friendly, and more likely to survive in warmer conditions, claims Avigdor Cahaner of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. ”
    Oh great and I hope it tastes like crap as well.

  41. Will people buy pet chickens/velociraptors?
    Will chickens exist in the defense pet variety?

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