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Prehensile Hair

Genetic engineering sur la tete
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With recent leaps in gentic engineering it can't be long before scientist begin throwing genes from the animal kingdon into the human melting pot.

If scientists could isolate, say, a coral gene, and apply it to our hair follicles we could start using our hair for a number of purposes.

No longer would you have to waste an arm or hand holding the phone, you could hold an umbrella above your head with it when it rained, you could signal your intentions whilst riding a bike etc.

Spidergoat, Jun 08 2001


       two words: hair cut. ouch.
mihali, Jun 08 2001

       That's three words mihali.   

       OK. I'm stumped. A coral gene added to the hair follicle leads to prehensile head adornment? Um.... how? Is coral prehensile? Don't we need muscle action to grasp? Am I just falling into a troll trap? And what are these snakes doing on my head?
globaltourniquet, Jun 09 2001

       No muscles in the hair fibers, so they can't move themselves; and they're not very stiff so it's not much good moving them with scalp muscles. Like Medusa, you have to grow a headful of serpents. Or tentacles on your head--or how about squid hands? Nah...
Dog Ed, Jun 09 2001

       'Troll' is mostly a Usenet term, but is applied to places like this as well. It means someone who says something stupid to get a rise out of people. Like going into <frex> alt.support.lesbian and saying that 'All you -really- need is a good f$*@ from a -real- man!'.   

       <Not saying this is what's going on here, just supplying the definition.>
StarChaser, Jun 09 2001

       It's an ugly hairy little monster that lives under a bridge.
globaltourniquet, Jun 09 2001

       It's easy, and you don't even need genetics. Just use telekenisis. Hone your skills until you can mentally command each piece of hair to move and do your bidding (yes, no more raising your hand at the auctioneer, just have your hair stand on end). Then the muscle/lack of muscle becomes a non-issue.
PotatoStew, Jun 10 2001

       I like to think of my children as talented but I'm pretty sure that they couldn't build minaturised animatronic head-snakes. On the other hand, maybe that's why its always so hard to get a comb through their hair in the mornings...
gravelpit, Jun 11 2001

       My hair seems to have a mind of it's own and yet I can never do anything with it. I don't think I really need prehensile hair because it's kind of...creepy. And while playing the piano would be easier, I like my thumbs just fine. And, yeah! Trolls...they live under the bridges right?
ichinichi, Jun 12 2001

       A Google search brings up a lot of links for prehensile hair, so I reckon this is quite redundant. Steve Degroof was right; most are in a superhero context, though there have been a few interesting ideas here that they might have missed. Especially the first annotation.
Spidergoat, Jun 12 2001

       I think someone did already post a similar idea. Try a HB search for "medusa."   

       I think hair is dead so that it can insulate our heads from stuff without inducing pain and, of course, without dieing. If they became prehensile, they'd probably hurt and die a lot in cold conditions, and eventually your hair would grow it's own hair, and the cycle would repeat itself. Now that i think about it, that might be kinda cool.   

       Prehensileness (prehensility?) doesn't necessarily entail independent sentience. Although I think it would require a lot of the brain to be used for motor skills if you wanted to independently contol each strand of hair. And I suppose there is always the problem of alien hair syndrome.   

       It would be interesting to see if people in high-stress jobs get workers comp and disability pay when they start going bald.   

       PS: Altering hair to make it prehensile will be pretty kinky no matter how refined genetic engineering becomes, if it's put to the use you're suggesting.
nick_n_uit, Jun 12 2001

       Wouldn't it be simpler to grow an extra hand on the top of your head? Much less motor control required and possibly bakeable (though weird looking and it would make your head a bit heavy).
DrBob, Jun 13 2001

       or something from Spy Kids...
globaltourniquet, Jun 13 2001

       hey, I'm an artist, I could do that. ^-^
dragonette, Aug 10 2001


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