I, for one, welcome our new damned dirty rodent-monkey-hybrid nuts-on-the-back overlords

Mice produce sperm from monkeys:
Mice have been used to produce viable monkey sperm using tissue transplanted from the testes of macaques. The latest procedure involves transplanting a tiny amount of testicular tissue from an immature rhesus macaque monkey under the skin of a lab mouse. After seven months, the testes grafts on the backs of the mice were seen to produce viable sperm. Grafting immature testis tissue appears to work because the host mouse had been castrated, Dobrinski says.
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12 Responses:

  1. caitlinburke says:

    Scientists get really upset when people talk of genetic engineering as if it cannot help but lead us to horrifying crimes against nature, and then they do experiments like this. They really have to, I don't know, get their stories straight or something.

    • 33mhz says:

      How is this a crime against nature? The first thing that sprung into my head was that, if they can generalize this to other species, it would make it a lot easier to bring up pregnancy rates in endangered species (like pandas in captivity) via artificial insemination.

      • caitlinburke says:

        Cher has said that she feels no need to defend -- or conceal -- her plastic surgery. I believe her remark was something along the lines of "If I want to put my tits on my back, it's nobody's business my own." I applaud her.

        I am not sure, however, that there's any good justification for putting monkey nuts on a mouse's back. I'd like to point out, too, that millions of years of evolution has yielded countless animals, such as monkeys and mice, with concealed or protectable organs for production of gametes. Nuts on the back, in other words, are not a good idea.

        I get that this is a lab experiment, and that it's very unlikely that I will ever confront a mouse with monkey nuts on its back in my kitchen. HOWEVER, it's an experiment that just plain sounds gross. If scientists don't want people like me (and I work in the genetics space and am pretty darn hard to squick as long as the subject isn't eyes) to recoil in horror, they might consider structuring their experiments in a way that doesn't make them sound quite so much like new-millennium Drs Frankenstein.

        • jwz says:

          Frankly, nuts on the front aren't such a grand idea either (and I have nuts, so I speak with some authority on this matter.) I'd say that nuts anywhere but deep inside bony armor are contraindicated.

          • caitlinburke says:

            Not, mind you, that I can speak with much experience on this matter. (My own ovaries are so delightfully internal that I can only infer their existence.) I have made an effort to read widely in this area, however.

            Roy Blount discusses this very issue in an essay about "balls" (noting, among other things, that the Greek orchi- [testicle] also gives us the word "orchid," which may be why women display orchid corsages so proudly on evening dresses, also called "ball gowns").

            He further notes that balls are the one external organ that most men would prefer to have as an internal organ. He remarks specifically, I might add, that the back of the neck is an especially inauspicious location for balls.

          • beowabbit says:

            Mind if I add this excellent observation to my .sig quotes file?

        • 33mhz says:

          I really don't know why this would make anyone (especially someone in the genetics "space") gross out. It would be one thing if they took a pair of nuts off a monkey, stripped them out of the scrotum and grafted one behind each of the mouse's ears to look like lumpy meat pigtails. I got the impression that it was much less Mars Attacks than all that. From the article, it sounded like that this was a small tissue sample getting nutrients from a host of a different species and doing what that specialized tissue does: produce sperm. Oh no, tissue can continue to function when transplanted. Quick, gather the villagers and get the torches.

  2. marm0t says:

    holy shit that's gross.

  3. baconmonkey says:

    great, so now the legends of people shoving hamsters up their asses for fun are going to expand to the reality of female monkeys shoving mice up their poon to get preggers.
    poor little male monkeys, made useless by the relentless progress of science.
    no wonder our simian brethren have gone fucking crazy