Monday, 24 December 2007

Scientists create Fearless Mouse

By tweaking genes to disable certain functions of the olfactory bulb (the area of the brain that receives information about smells directly from olfactory receptors in the nose) researchers have used genetic engineering to create a “fearless” mouse that does not try to flee when it smells cats, foxes and other predators.

The research indicates that behavior in the mammalian brain is determined both by instincts coded into the genes and by “associative circuitry” that allows responses to be learned through the environment.
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This recent discovery reminded me of a movie I watched ages ago in which humans were genetically engineered to show no signs of failure and mercy and hence serve as lethal weapons in war. Lets hope that the discovery is not misused.


mOi said...

Hopefully ... but the fear is necessary for the survival.

Going against nature, IMHO, cannot be fruitful ...!

Syra said...

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing..imagine a happy mouse hopping away not fearing the cat and ik dum say POUNCE, and the mouse in cat's tummy :p

I assume the purpose of the research was not to create fearless mice but to indicate that that behavior in the mammalian brain is determined both by instincts coded into the genes learned through the environment.

khany said...

i watched a television show many years a go that featured a person who was born without the sense of temperature or even pain. at first thought it seemed absolutely amazing. kind of like 'superman'! the guy could act macho and take a blow of any intensity without wincing. and he could stand exposed in the freezing winter without any mental strain.

but then you realize that these people are still as vulnerable to the heat and injury as the rest of us. this person may catch fire and never feel an itch before he is consumed. he may get a concussion and never register the need for seeking medical help before it is too late.

pain, fear, anxiety, stress, etc. have all acquired negative connotations. in fact they are all friendly emotions and reactions of the body trying to alert us to real urgency/danger and the need to fix a problem. too many of us try to treat the symptoms rather than deal with the underlying problems..

Syra said...

*correction on my comment
both by instincts coded into the genes AND learned through the environment
a very valid point made by khany (Y).
There is a blessing behind every natural thing Allah has created for us. It's for us to ponder and realize.

ISK said...

The mouse is fearless and the Cat is lacking the instinct. Its a bidirectional issue b/w cats and mice so creating a fearless mouse wont do any good unless and until they create cats which don't eat mice(or may be herbivore cats)

Syra said...

doing that will eventually upset the ecosystem.