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    Selkirk Rex - Big Kitten Industry Creates Adorable Abomination Of Nature
    By Hank Campbell | October 31st 2012 01:58 PM | 14 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    In 1987, unthinking, primitive pre-GMO breeders exploited an abandoned shelter cat in Montana, with no one to defend it, for their own nefarious ends when it was discovered that this feline pawn gave birth to a curly-haired kitten. The kitten was then raped by a Persian male and gave birth to a mixture of curly-haired and normal-haired kittens, resulting in a horrible mutation that was now dominant over nature: its presence on even one of the two copies of the gene involved was suddenly sufficient to cause cats to have curly hair. (1)

    And so the slippery slope into Frankenkitten began but breeders threw caution to the wind without considering the consequences. They were not certain this mutation was 100% safe yet because these curly-haired kittens were cute, instead of being euthanized to protect nature, they simply used their profits and lobbied to call it a new breed: the Selkirk Rex

    Now, Big Kitten even makes more money by registering Selkirk Rex breeders(2) throughout the world, and their cats are popular among the gullible public who assumes they are safe, but is anyone even thinking about the consequences of the mutation?  Shouldn't there be a law against this sort of Weird Science?  At least a warning label?


    Researchers are looking into it but these are the same biologists who have declared modern food and medicine safe and raw sprouts and milk dangerous, so we know they can't be trusted. They have termed this mutation SADRE, or Selkirk Autosomal Dominant REx, and say it likely happened 8 or 9 generations ago.  25 years, and scientists are just now looking into this abomination of nature.


    Serina Filler from the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna , cuddles a dangerous genetic mutation. Credit: Vetmeduni Vienna/Filler

    We are in danger. If vampires existed and reproduced at the rate of these kittens, all of humanity would have been dead within 3 years, yet Big Kitten continues to insist they are safe without any proof. They don't even care which Selkirk Rex cats are homozygous (carry two copies of the mutation) or heterozygous (with one mutated and one normal copy of the gene) they just sell whatever their marketing groups tells them people will buy, because these evil corporations only care about making money.  Oh, heterozygous cats have shorter ears, a more rounded head and a fully curled coat? Let's have a special on those!

    Sure, they claim this cat breeding is closely controlled, but there is no spot checking by government officials.  It's not like they are organic farmers, so we can't just trust them with no oversight.  Worse, they are genetically polluting the entire world by mating Selkirk Rex cats with Persians, Exotic Shorthairs, British Shorthairs and British Longhairs, you name it.  Anything to make a buck.


    Biologists claim this breeding with other cats is not to create a Frankenkitten Army so corporations can control cat purchases and drive out Organic Cat but rather to maintain a "healthy level of genetic diversity."

    Yeah, right. What's next? Vaccines don't cause autism?

    Citation (this part is real): Serina Filler, Hasan Alhaddad, Barbara Gandolfi, Jennifer D. Kurushima, Alejandro Cortes, Christine Veit, Leslie A. Lyons and Gottfried Brem, 'Selkirk Rex: Morphological and Genetic Characterization of a New Cat Breed', Journal of Heredity DOI: 10.1093/jhered/ess039

    NOTES:

    (1) I tried to write this the way Grist.org writes about everything in science. How did I do?

    (2) Despite creating an entire industry, no money or recognition is given to the descendants of that prototype. Maybe they should have named her Henrietta Lacks Rex.

    Comments

    Obviously, the kitten wasn't legitimately raped. Just think of the suffering your readers would have been spared if she had been.

    Hank
    Yeah, yeah, the victim was begging for it.  Misogynist.
    You sounded like PETA/HSUS on PMS. Most people who call for govt. intervention also cry when the govt. does intervene. If I'm reading your blurb right then the cat gave birth to a "natural" kitten with an odd gene. In case you are unaware, this is how breeders create new breeds. I saw no words from you that said the breeders interfered with nature by introducing a gene modification. People have been exploiting such natural mutations for thousands of years. While I'd normally adhere to the "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" philosophy, I'm making a rare exception in your case. Without any exceptions, including humans, natural mutations are a fact of life. With out natural mutation this world wouldn't have advanced above the bacterial stage. If you're going to report on something, report on it and keep your personal preferances out of the words.

    Hank
     With out natural mutation this world wouldn't have advanced above the bacterial stage. 
    You are absolutely correct.  But you probably should have read beyond the first paragraph.
    Thank you for your reply, however I did read beyond the first paragraph. While not all mutations are viable or even desirable, that doesn't make them "Frankenkitten". ( FYI Frankenstein was the person who assembled his monster, not the monster. ) Your statement of " . . . abomination of nature." shows the depths of your mistrust of things outside of "normal" view of the world that you adhere to. While it is within the purview of possibility that the cats are the first step into the darkness of the world ending, it's more likely that they have a simple mutation that has appeared in other animals without any major problems.
    Besides, I personally like the expression on the cats face in the photo. An expression that, to me, says "Just leave me alone."

    Hank
    NOTES: (1) I tried to write this the way Grist.org writes about everything in science. How did I do?
    Apparently I did it too well. Happy Halloween.
    This guy is so serious he can't see that this was satirical, sometimes folks should just take a deep breath, relax and digest for a few moments.....

    Blessings of Samhain to you also. I've enjoyed this, thank you for a good conversation.

    rholley
    So instead of Meg & Mog we now have a Megamog!


    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Its nice to know that genetic engineers are limiting themselves to individual point mutations. After all, if they were transferring whole genes around, your analogy of the Selkirk Rex falls a little short, doesn't it.

    After all, Dr. Dawkins' "selfish gene" theory suggests that genes have their own determination to reproduce and succeed. As such he suggests that genes are more like organisms than like individual point mutations.

    The transferring of whole genes between species is more like moving species around on the globe than it is like point mutations floating through a population. If so, then GMO carries similarities to invasive species.

    Invasive species, of course, are no big deal, after all "Invasive species, according to some estimates, cost the global economy $1.4 trillion a year—$138 billion in the U.S. alone ... Those estimates would increase dramatically if we had monetary values for all aspects of nature" http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/conservation/issues/small...

    So lets think about the validity of this statement:
    > Most species introduced into an alternate environment don't invade because they are not compatible with the new environment.
    > The species that do cause trouble, however, sometimes cause a whole lot of trouble.
    > Organisms are intentionally genetically modified to allow them to tolerate broader environmental conditions (drought resistance, cold resistance, shade tolerance -- must I go on.)
    > An organism that suddenly has significantly more ability to survive in a new environment will seek to populate that new environment, and becomes an invasive species.

    Your point is made. I have no trouble with GMO that is limited to point mutations.

    Hilarity - of course. Consider more of this sort of Big Pet global domination by checking out the book and related materials (youtube, facething, ...) I point out the book I Hate Your Pet because, while this is all tongue in cheek, that book really digs in to the underlying outrage of a greedy, massive industry making a mockery of weak humans to pad their bottom line.
    Hank
    Crackpot email I got over this article, showing that toxoplasmosis is alive and well in just as many crazy cat ladies as statistics show:
    I didn't realize that The Onion actually had a Science division. Your articles are as full of truth as those wonderful Onion articles. So, you must be a Tea-Party, fundamentalist, conservative Republican. They don't believe in the truth either, and make up their own facts (including bible and constitution readings) to suit their own purposes (certainly not being a true American or a true Christian).

    Your article was truly full of crap and shouldn't have been included in something called "Science". I think a better name for your site is "Anti-Science" or maybe "It Ain't Real Science.
    4 adjectives to insult me and then insulting both the Bible and the Constitution, only to tell me I am not a true American for writing this piece? I don't even know what a true Christian is, but if this goofball I just made Internet famous is one, I want to be the opposite.

    Maybe she's an editor at Grist.org. This comment rant makes more sense then.
    I used no adjectives. Are you going to make fun of me, too?

    Hank
    You didn't actually leave a meaningful comment so I can't determine if you lack reading comprehension the same way the email commenter lacked it.  Do you lack reading comprehension and do you frame everything you happen not to like through a prism of intolerance and bigotry?  If so, I will make fun of you.