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Japan scientists develop fearless mice
Associated Press ^ | 12-13-07 | KAORI HITOMI

Posted on 12/13/2007 6:02:32 PM PST by Pharmboy


In this undated photo released by Tokyo University's
Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry Graduate
School of Science, a genetically modified mouse
approaches a cat in Tokyo. Using genetic engineering,
scientists at Tokyo University say they have
successfully switched off the rodents' instinct to
cower at the smell or presence of cats, showing that
fear is genetically hardwired and not leaned through
experience, as commonly believed. (AP Photo/Ko
and Reiko Kobayakawa, Tokyo University Department of
Biophysics and Biochemistry Graduate School of Science, HO)

Cat and mouse may never be the same. Japanese scientists say they've used genetic engineering to create mice that show no fear of felines, a development that may shed new light on mammal behavior and the nature of fear itself.

Scientists at Tokyo University say they were able to successfully switch off a mouse's instinct to cower at the smell or presence of cats — showing that fear is genetically hardwired and not learned through experience, as commonly believed.

"Mice are naturally terrified of cats, and usually panic or flee at the smell of one. But mice with certain nasal cells removed through genetic engineering didn't display any fear," said research team leader Ko Kobayakawa.

In his experiment, the genetically altered mice approached cats, even snuggled up to them and played with them. Kobayakawa said he chose domesticated cats that were docile and thus less likely to pounce.

Kobayakawa said his findings, published in the science magazine Nature last month, should help researchers shed further light on how the brain processes information about the outside world.

Kim Dae-soo, a neural genetics professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Seoul, who was not involved in the research, said Kobayakawa's research could explain further what fear is, and how to control it.

"People have thought mice are fearful of cats because cats prey on them, but that's not the case," Kim said.

"If we follow the pathway of related signals in the brain, I think we could discover what kind of networks in the brain are important for controlling fear."

___

Associated Press Writer Jae-soon Chang in Seoul contributed to this report.


TOPICS: Pets/Animals; Science
KEYWORDS: animaltesting; behavior; brains; genes; genetics; wiredin
Love that picture...
1 posted on 12/13/2007 6:02:34 PM PST by Pharmboy
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To: Pharmboy

Kamikaze mice.


2 posted on 12/13/2007 6:04:53 PM PST by Brilliant
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To: Pharmboy
showing that
fear is genetically hardwired and not leaned through
experience, as commonly believed.

 

lol....ya.....it couldn't possibly be a combination of both.

Freakin' retards.

3 posted on 12/13/2007 6:05:28 PM PST by Psycho_Bunny (Islam is the E-Ticket ride at Nutsberry Farm)
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To: Brilliant

LOL!


4 posted on 12/13/2007 6:05:39 PM PST by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they have to)
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To: Pharmboy

Man this is going to make cats lazy. Dinner serves itself! I don’t think though that these mice have much of an evolutionary future


5 posted on 12/13/2007 6:05:54 PM PST by saganite
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To: Pharmboy

These are normally what you call cat food.


6 posted on 12/13/2007 6:06:35 PM PST by Hawk1976 (747 superliners crashed into the WTC on 9/11, Steny Hoyer told me so on 8/7/07.)
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To: Pharmboy

And here I always thought the fearless mouse was invented by two Americans, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera.

7 posted on 12/13/2007 6:06:39 PM PST by Cagey (Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.......Thoreau)
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To: Pharmboy

Capt. Obvious here...

‘Cause the cats ate all the ones that had that same “genetic problem” over the last few thousand years...


8 posted on 12/13/2007 6:06:47 PM PST by xcamel (FDT/2008)
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To: Psycho_Bunny

Well sure, everything is a combo of both, but it’s a heck of a lot harder to train a mouse to look a cat in the eye like that than change his genes to get that effect.


9 posted on 12/13/2007 6:07:26 PM PST by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they have to)
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To: Pharmboy

10 posted on 12/13/2007 6:08:12 PM PST by Fitzcarraldo
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To: Pharmboy

I know but that’s not what the sentence stated. The statement was absolute.


11 posted on 12/13/2007 6:08:25 PM PST by Psycho_Bunny (Islam is the E-Ticket ride at Nutsberry Farm)
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To: Pharmboy

12 posted on 12/13/2007 6:09:30 PM PST by mwyounce
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To: Pharmboy

13 posted on 12/13/2007 6:11:00 PM PST by Reaganesque (Charter Member of the Romney FR Resistance)
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To: Brilliant

Where can I buy some?My cats would love to find some of them under the tree Christmas morning.


14 posted on 12/13/2007 6:11:02 PM PST by Farmer Dean (168 grains of instant conflict resolution)
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To: Pharmboy

Ok who is going to post the exploding mouse gif where it says BANZAI!!!


15 posted on 12/13/2007 6:11:32 PM PST by Xenophon450 (They say it's lonely at the top, then I am as lonely as can be.)
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To: Pharmboy

Fearless Japanese mice. There is a certain irony there...


16 posted on 12/13/2007 6:12:02 PM PST by motor_racer (Open war is upon you, whether you would risk it or not.)
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To: Pharmboy; blam

bump & a ping


17 posted on 12/13/2007 6:12:08 PM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: Pharmboy

i can eats 1 no tail guy snak k?

18 posted on 12/13/2007 6:13:37 PM PST by steveo (Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.)
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To: Pharmboy

If rhinos eat these mice, will it make them conservatives?


19 posted on 12/13/2007 6:14:22 PM PST by ansel12 (“Sanctuary Mansion? The savings help me to become leader of the anti-illegal worker war. Romney 08)
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To: Pharmboy

So in other words, they developed stupid mice.


20 posted on 12/13/2007 6:14:41 PM PST by Irish Rose (Will work for chocolate.)
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To: Pharmboy

Great. So what’s next? Engineering humans to be unafraid of danger? We have fear for a REASON—to warn us when danger is coming that helps as a protection from it. Science like this always leads to something worse.


21 posted on 12/13/2007 6:16:20 PM PST by G8 Diplomat (Creatures are divided into 6 kingdoms: Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Monera, Protista, & Saudi Arabia)
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To: Pharmboy

Y’know, there’s a reason why God hardwired mice to be afraid of cats. I don’t see this (and my mice friends can back me up on this) as a beneficial gene alteration from the mices’ point of view.


22 posted on 12/13/2007 6:18:00 PM PST by Secret Agent Man
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To: Pharmboy

It is only a matter of time before they put these fearless mice in giant robot warriors.


23 posted on 12/13/2007 6:18:47 PM PST by usmcobra (I sing Karaoke the way it was meant to be sung, drunk, badly and in Japanese)
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To: Pharmboy
Scientists at Tokyo University say they were able to successfully switch off a mouse's instinct to cower at the smell or presence of cats

That'll be a quick way to extinction for the mice if they all get that genetic manipulation. If they were to do the same for rats, New Yorkers could then easily get rid of a big problem. And PETA will have a new animal on their extinction list.

And, Al-Qaeda will have an animal which they could then easily strap belts of explosives around their waists and send them on the way to America.
24 posted on 12/13/2007 6:20:43 PM PST by adorno
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To: Pharmboy
To lose fear of a natural enemy is not a break through. It’s happened before ... they just didn't get the chance to breed.
25 posted on 12/13/2007 6:23:35 PM PST by do the dhue (They've got us surrounded again. The poor bastards. General Creighton Abrams)
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To: Pharmboy

Years ago I read a small article on one of the back pages of the New York Times. It was about a new disease doctors in New York were seeing that seemed to suppress the immune system. It was seen mainly in male patients and was considered contagious.

I remember getting a chill when I read that brief article. I get the same feeling now.


26 posted on 12/13/2007 6:23:55 PM PST by ladyjane
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To: saganite
I don’t think though that these mice have much of an evolutionary future.

Dang, ain't that the truth.

27 posted on 12/13/2007 6:24:30 PM PST by Luke Skyfreeper
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To: adorno
And, Al-Qaeda will have an animal which they could then easily strap belts of explosives around their waists and send them on the way to America.

They do already....themselves.

I was thinking how this could potentially be used in warfare...an army of genetically-engineered 'fearless' troops facing bullet fire and IEDs without an ounce of fear?? That'll make them stupid--they'll get too close to an IED or something because they're not afraid of it and get themselves killed. And from the terrorists side, the number of suicide bombers would increase since they all have 'no fear' of getting blown up. We have the fear instinct for a reason. To react to danger and protect ourselves. I can't imagine what kind of nightmarish world it would be if we weren't afraid of anything...everyone's genes tampered with to make them 'perfect' and fearless....scary times in the future if this continues.
28 posted on 12/13/2007 6:24:53 PM PST by G8 Diplomat (Creatures are divided into 6 kingdoms: Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Monera, Protista, & Saudi Arabia)
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To: Irish Rose

LOL

perfect


29 posted on 12/13/2007 6:25:10 PM PST by do the dhue (They've got us surrounded again. The poor bastards. General Creighton Abrams)
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To: G8 Diplomat
Well, they're not trying to improve the species, only to test the hypothesis that fear is hard-wired.
30 posted on 12/13/2007 6:27:38 PM PST by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they have to)
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To: Pharmboy

If these mice weren’t afraid of jumping off a cliff would they do it?


31 posted on 12/13/2007 6:27:57 PM PST by G8 Diplomat (Creatures are divided into 6 kingdoms: Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Monera, Protista, & Saudi Arabia)
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To: Pharmboy

For now. But I wouldn’t be surprised if someone comes along and takes the next step later.


32 posted on 12/13/2007 6:30:57 PM PST by G8 Diplomat (Creatures are divided into 6 kingdoms: Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Monera, Protista, & Saudi Arabia)
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To: Luke Skyfreeper; saganite
RIght on time, though.

How else would the glow in the dark cats have a chance?


33 posted on 12/13/2007 6:30:58 PM PST by BenLurkin
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To: Pharmboy

What ever they gave the mice, they need to give it to the terrorist who hide behind woman and children.


34 posted on 12/13/2007 6:47:36 PM PST by do the dhue (They've got us surrounded again. The poor bastards. General Creighton Abrams)
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To: Irish Rose

35 posted on 12/13/2007 6:53:33 PM PST by Daffynition (The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.)
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To: Pharmboy; SW6906
Marine Corps DI’s perfected this years ago! Having never been through bootcamp, I can’t say with certainty, but I think it has nothing to do with altering genes.

Namsman (Proud Marine dad of Cpl. Namsman Jr.)

36 posted on 12/13/2007 7:45:16 PM PST by namsman
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To: Pharmboy; Coyoteman
Put this together with glow-in-the-dark cats, and we have some SERIOUS favoritism (speciesism?) going on here.

Coyote, has this shown up on the other siteTM yet?

I think the mice will soon qualify for Darwin Awards--they will be the ones "volunteered" to put the bell on the kitty.

Not much survival value there, eh?

Cheers!

37 posted on 12/13/2007 8:04:30 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Pharmboy

And what if mice are not afraid of humans. Do they craw on you in your sleep then?


38 posted on 12/13/2007 8:49:44 PM PST by Revel
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To: Pharmboy

what’s the big deal? Johnny Walker has been making people fearless for decades!


39 posted on 12/14/2007 6:57:20 AM PST by camle (keep an open mind and someone will fill it full of something for you)
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