Frankensteins Cat

Frankensteins Cat

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For my family—humans and canines alike


Title Page Copyright Notice Dedication

Introduction 1. Go Fish 2. Got Milk? 3. Double Trouble 4. Nine Lives 5. Sentient Sensors 6. Pin the Tail on the Dolphin 7. Robo Revolution 8. Beauty in the Beasts

Notes Acknowledgments Index Also by Emily Anthes A Note About the Author Copyright


In China, the world’s manufacturing powerhouse, a new industry is taking shape: the mass production of mutant mice. Peek into the 45,000 mouse cages at Shanghai’s Fudan University and you’ll see a growing collection of misfits. By randomly disabling the rodents’ genes, the scientists here are churning out hundreds of odd animals, assembly-line style. They have created mice studded with skin tumors and mice that grow tusks. There’s a mouse with male-pattern baldness, hair everywhere save for a lonely bare spot on its head. Some of the mice have strange behavioral quirks—they endlessly bury marbles, for instance, or make only left turns. One strain ages at warp speed. Another can’t feel pain. While some of the rodents have obvious abnormalities, others reveal their secrets over time. One variety appears normal on the outside, with thick white fur and healthy pink ears and noses. But the animals are klutzes. They are clumsy and spectacularly uncoordinated. They fail miserably when researchers put them through their paces at a special rodent boot camp. In one test, the mice are tasked with standing on top of a rotating rod for as long as they can manage, the rodent equivalent of a logrolling challenge. It’s not an easy undertaking, but normal mice eventually find...

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