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Personalised Cat

Ever wanted a pet that really says something about you?
(+8, -8)
  [vote for,

The genetic basis for fur colour in cats is well known (see link).

A sample of skin cells is taken from a cat fetus and gene splicing techniques are used to replace the genes responsible for pigmentation. This creates a series of cell lines each of which will grow fur of a different colour.

As the fetus develops, the recoloured cells are implanted into its skin at carefully chosen locations based on the pixels of an image file. The cells begin to divide as normal, eventually becoming patches of fur of the desired colour.

Finally the fetus is reimplanted into its mother's womb and allowed to grow as normal, eventually resulting in a healthy adult cat patterned according to your image of choice.

The resolution and colour gamut of this technique will both be crude compared to the method described in "Why Paint Cats?" (link) but this idea offers the potential for a permanent design at far less risk to the animal's health.

If successful, this approach could be extended to other mammals. It could prove particularly valuable in farming for producing individually bar-coded sheep and cattle.

Wrongfellow, May 11 2008

Cat Colour Genetics http://www.fanciers...color-genetics.html
[Wrongfellow, May 11 2008]

Why Paint Cats? http://web.archive....w.whypaintcats.com/
[Wrongfellow, May 11 2008]

why cats paint http://www.freddie-...guide/wcpaint.shtml
[po, May 12 2008]

for [marklar] they exist - called Toygers http://www.toygerbreed.com/
[xandram, May 12 2008]


       I once tried for a Barking Zebra Rat here... it didn't last long, but I am still convinced of its possibilities.
xenzag, May 11 2008

       Now a cat that glowed in the dark, like those piglets they GM'd not too long ago, would really be something to freak out the neighbors.   

       Heeeeeere Ghosty.   

       so wrong.
po, May 11 2008

       Wrong is my middle name! Well, er, first name.   

       As for glowing in the dark, I'm not sure today's genetic technology is capable of expressing arbitrary proteins such as GFP half way down the length of a hair.
Wrongfellow, May 11 2008

       Also, GFP will not make an animal glow in the dark. The clue is in the name: green fluorescent protein. It will shine under UV light, but not glow itself. For that you need a luciferin/luciferase system.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 11 2008

       // far less risk to the animal's health // Hmm assuming it survives till birth I would imagine there's still a larger than normal possibility of malignancy.   

       Still, that wouldn't stop me ordering a mini tiger. [+]   

       Can't you print genes using something similar to an inkjet printer? If so, you could create a graft sheet that can then be applied to create a complex pattern.
marklar, May 12 2008

       I had a parrot. He said lots of things about me.
Noexit, May 12 2008

       #include <EOSSACR.H>   

       [-] for any pro-cat idea.
8th of 7, May 12 2008

       There could be much more elegant ways of personalizing. Pigmentation is brought about via a vast toolkit of genetic switches. By knocking out different varieties of switches at the onset of development, you could produce anything from zebra cats to fractal cats. At the very least this would simplify the process, as all this fetus transport isn't good for baby.
daseva, May 12 2008

       Are they black stripes on white zebras or white stripes on black zebras?   

       Great idea! If you combine that with the medical practice of inserting genes to cause the production of insulin, or some other bio-med product, you could have a label saying what the animal was producing growing on it’s side. [+]
Ozone, May 12 2008

       //knocking out different varieties of switches at the onset of development// Would it really be feasible to create arbitrary images like this?
Wrongfellow, May 12 2008

       Presumably, one should gain access to most pigmentation patterns in the animal kingdom, and perhaps beyond if there remains untrodden territory from natural selection (which there probably is). But, completely arbitrary? No. No amount of genetic manipulation on the zygote will result in your maiden name spelled across your cat's ass upon maturity. I could be wrong, been wrong before.
daseva, May 12 2008

       I'm a Tabby. A big Freakin' Tabby with big - well, you know what - their are Ladies here   

       My fur is my fur and get your stroopid genetal hands off it. Right?
The Kat, May 12 2008

       Am I the only one with horrifying visions of cows grazing in a field next to a busy highway, thier broad flanks emblazoned with advertisements? This would be particularly disturbing should the farmer secure a contract with, say, Burger King.
Alterother, May 15 2008

       Since the products of Burger King, McDonalds and the like contain only trace quantities of actual meat, and that often by accident, it wouldn't be that disturbing ...
8th of 7, May 15 2008

       //[-] for any pro-cat idea.// But [po] and [The Kat] seem to think this is really an anti-cat idea, so would you re-consider your vote on that basis?
pertinax, May 15 2008

       I already have a perfect cat. He's big and orange, never scratches the girls, and kills the hell out of mice. His natural pattern is part of his sleek coolness, and his vertical darker orange stripes make him look even bigger than he is.   

       He's got big white paws that spread his weight out when he jumps up to be petted, and sharp, curved claws that click on the floor when he walks.   

       We really don't need a cat to be anything else.
nomocrow, May 15 2008

       // We really don't need a cat to be anything else //   

       Except dead.   

       // re-consider your vote //   

       Yes. We will review the relevant comments and if necessary adjust our vote.
8th of 7, May 15 2008

       Not all people who hate cats are stupid. But most stupid people hate cats. Most people who hate cats are stupid, for that matter.   

       In any case, there is a strong correlation between stupidity and hating cats. And between hating cats and insecurity, for that matter. And general dickheadedness.
nomocrow, May 16 2008

       Oh oh... Can I hate cats too??   

       I had somebody challenge me to a drag race once and my answer was, "Sure. I have the rope, do you have a cat?"
Ozone, May 16 2008

       // do you have a cat //   

       Not at this moment, but we can get you one.... don't go away ...... back in a minute .....   

       // Not all people who hate cats are stupid. But most stupid people hate cats. Most people who hate cats are stupid //   

       Your statements are probably correct, but if you will forgive a descent into sophistry, the logic contained therein is flawed.   

       1. Define "stupid"   

       50% of the population are of below average intelligence (presuming a normal distribution).   

       "Most stupid people hate cats".   

       A lot of clever people hate cats too. Therefore we can conclude that the majorioty of the population, of whatver IQ, hate cats.   

       "Most people who hate cats are stupid"   

       This implies that people of lower intelligence are more likely to hate cats. No problem, as long as they are in the majority; this ensures, in a democratic system, a large popular vote for the "We all hate cats" party.   

       Ocne we are elected to power, we will use our legally obtained democratic mandate to suspend all democratic institutions, and focus all resources on putting all cats to death by fire and the sword. Swords dipped in paraffin gel will be issued to all stupid people along with a box of matches, a picture of a cat printed with "JKnow your Enemy", and a label on the hilt which indicates in pictograms to "hold this end".   

       Alternatively, we offer cats the opportunity to be repatiriated to their country of origin, by our hypersonic "cat cannon".
8th of 7, May 16 2008

       I would have made it a universal affirmative, but I was trying to be nice.
nomocrow, May 16 2008

       //repatiriated// says it all really! - he's a sad drunk who cannot spell and cannot see beauty in nature. so sad!   

       <throws a rose in his general direction and hopes a thorn causes much blood loss>
po, May 16 2008


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