: Bioengineered Human-Animal Hybrid Pets
This may be a bit of old news, but I’d never seen it before, and if you haven’t, either, I suspect this will impress you as much as it did me.
GenPets are bioengineered human/animal hybrids which come in plastic packaging in suspended animation. Once you buy one you get to “activate” them and let them loose. About the Pets from the site:
The Genpets?are Pre-Packaged, Bioengineered pets implemented today!
That? right, Genpets are not toys or robots. They are living, breathing genetic animals.
We use a process called “Zygote Micro Injection” which is quickly becoming a favourable method to combine DNA, or to insert certain proteins from different species. Most notably it was used in 1997 to splice mice with bioluminescent jellyfish (link) and has since been used to create glowing rabbits, pigs, fish, and monkeys (link). Since then, human DNA has been injected into rabbits, chimpanzees, spider DNA into sheep, and now, Genpets have arrived!
We? Ive gone one step further by packaging the Genpets?Putting into plastic packages unlike any other. Each Genpet? Each package has a fully functional heart rate monitor and Fresh Strip to better gauge the state of each pet while it lies in its hibernation state.
Yes, the whole project is an art-hoax by Canadian sculptor Adam Brandejs, who explains the project here.
Im not against bioengineering, Im simply hesitant towards where and how and by whom the technology will be used. That? Is what this sculpture sums up. Read on if you
In the end, research follows funding and many times funding leads out of commercial profit. Thus Genpets takes a step back to examine trends in the pet craze and ponder where a new technology like Biotech might take it (there are already companies such as Allerca though selling bioengineered pets in reality, or Glofish in Asia).
Genpets also echoes current situations. While the pets in plastic disturbs many, how is this much different from a pet store? Glass versus plastic is not a huge change, but taken in a different context causes a reaction. Perhaps a more critical step is to look into the basis for Genpets.
I think it’s important to take a critical look at both sides of an issue before coming to any sort of conclusion. Bioengineering could lead to medical breakthroughs that save lives, but will it? Genpets is more of a critique of corporate ethics than anything else.