Stories tagged dog

May
18
2008

Sorry, Boss: I count five fingers, and zero teeth. You're out.
Sorry, Boss: I count five fingers, and zero teeth. You're out.Courtesy ConstantNow
Where have I been for the past few months? Seriously, where? Have I not been sitting in a cube, mainlining the hot, sticky, electrical ecstasy that is the Internet? I’m pretty sure that’s where I’ve been—I’ve got the track marks to prove it. But then how the hell did I miss this?

Um, I don’t know who got this Internet, or from where, but let me say this: it’s weak. Someone must be cutting my Internet with television or, god forbid, radio. All this time I think I’m on the vibrating edge of the hottest new pseudo-science, when I’m actually—metaphorically—stuck in a damn cave, banging out Morse code on my own head with a rock. Ugh, I feel dirty.

Anyway, if I hadn’t spent so much time thinking that lolcats were so remarkable, I might have noticed a certain awesome story back in February. It seems that a few months ago a family minivan was attacked in the night. Not just attacked—I can, and have, attacked many minivans, and I don’t try to get on the news for it—but chewed up; “The whole front half of our van is chewed up. There are bite marks right through the front grill. Both sides of the van above the wheel wells were bitten and the metal is bent like a piece of paper,” said the vehicle’s upset owner.

And who, or what, committed this heinous act of, um, vandalism? Do I even need to ask? No—we’ll say the question was rhetorical, because it was obviously the Lizard Man of Lee frickn’ County who done it.

Y’all know about the Lizard Man? You don’t, but you should, so sit right down on the cryptocouch and buckle up. That’s right—the cryptocouch has seatbelts now. Why? For safety. You’ll need them.

The Lizard Man is a relatively new cryptid, first showing his scaly face in the summer of 1988 in swampy Lee County, South Carolina. Local 17-year-old, Christopher Davis, claims to have encountered the creature driving home from work at about 2 AM. Young Davis, said to be as honest as the day is long, had stopped beside the road to change a blown out tire. Just as he was finishing up, he heard a thumping sound approaching from behind. He turned around to see a bizarre creature running towards him. Christopher, sensibly, attempted to escape in the car, but the creature leapt on to the roof and latched on. Christopher was only eventually able to lose the beast by accelerating and swerving to shake it from the car. Yowza.

Described as bipedal, approximately seven feet tall, and well-built (okaay), with scaly green skin, glowing eyes, and clawed, three-fingered hands, the creature severely damaged Davis’s side rear-view mirror, and left scratches in the roof of his car.

In the month that followed, there were a few reports of lizard creature sightings, and several cars parked near the swamps were found to have unusual scratches and bite marks. By the end of the summer, however, Lizard Man mania had largely died down, the creature apparently having returned to its swampy home…

Until February, 2008! The Lizard Man was up to his old tricks again (biting cars), but this time he left some blood on the scene. Should have known better, L-Ma—science loves blood. Well, the cleverboots of Lee County thought to have that blood DNA tested, and the results are in: the Lizard Man is… a dog.

Yeah, just like our latest chupacabra, this particular incident can be chalked up to man’s best friend. Why our best friend was chewing on a minivan has yet to be explained. Must have been a pretty bitey pooch, though—check out the video. You might also notice some leading evidence from the footage that the original story failed to mention: along with the attack on the minivan, the family’s morning paper had been shredded, and the box that the cat slept in was all torn up. Well… lizards do hate the news, and men simply cannot abide a comfortable cat. It all adds up to one thing: Lizard Man. As far as I’m concerned, the jury’s still out on this one. What if the lizard man had just eaten a dog before he molested the van? Or perhaps he coerced a dog into it.

All right, you can unbuckle now.

Apr
10
2007

Let me be your little dog till your big dog comes: Science unlocks the genetic secrets of dog size.
Let me be your little dog till your big dog comes: Science unlocks the genetic secrets of dog size.Courtesy Rollinho

Every dog on the planet, from the tiniest Chihuahua to the largest Great Dane, is a member of the same species. Yet they vary in size tremendously – more so than any other mammal. Scientists have finally figured out why.

A researcher at the University of Utah has discovered a tiny piece of DNA in the dog genome that shuts off the production of growth hormones. It affects a gene called IGF-1, which also exists in humans. For us, it not only regulates growth, but also plays a role in cancer and some bone disease. Learning how this gene works in dogs can be a first step towards treating these diseases in humans.

Aug
05
2005

On Wednesday, a group of scientists from Seoul National University unveiled a black and white Afghan hound named Snuppy that is genetically identical to its three-year-old "father."

Snuppy is the result of a process that involved transferring 1,095 canine embryos into 123 surrogate mothers. Only three successful pregnancies occurred. One foetus miscarried but two others were delivered; Snuppy was born on April 24 and his "brother" died from pneumonia after 22 days.

Snuppy is the latest in a series of animal cloning attempts since Dolly, the sheep cloned in 1997. Researchers have since cloned mice, cats, goats, pigs, mules, horses and deer. Dogs, however, are the most challenging of all mammals to clone, because it's difficult to acquire mature eggs. Snuppy's success makes many scientists believe that they have most of the key techniques necessary to clone humans.

The response to Snuppy? Anti-cloning activists are pushing even harder for a worldwide ban on human cloning. "Because this again shows that reproductive cloning is unsafe and inefficient, we call for a worldwide ban on human reproductive cloning, which is also unethical," says Gerald Schatten, at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Others feel optimistic that Snuppy's creation brings medicine one step closer to finding breakthrough treatments for currently-incurable human diseases. "Bring me human eggs, the necessary social consensus and legal permission and I can get you your replica within a year," said Park Se-Pill, a senior researcher of Maria Biotech and a top cloning expert.

Many diseases, for example, like diabetes, cancer, heart ailments, and problems in hips and joints, are similar in dogs and humans.