The transparent mouse – clearly a silly idea?
And so now we have the see-through mouse. And before all you computer users jump at me and say you already use the see-through mouse on a daily basis, let me hasten to add: we are speaking of real mice, with heart, lungs, and all those other wonderful body parts in place.
Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have developed transparent mice, and the question that asks itself, quite naturally is, why?
What’s wrong with the ones we have now, the ones that scurry about, creating havoc? Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door, said Emerson. Something must have been lost in translation because we’ve built a better mouse while traps have remained the way they have been for years.
The argument scientists make is that this is the first step towards doing the same for human beings because their basic biology is similar to ours. One presumes, therefore, that mice have hangovers after a party, fall in love with movie stars and the male of the species gets lost regularly because they refuse to ask for directions.
But can you imagine the confusion when the technology is finally used on human beings? Beauty is only skin deep, we were taught at school. Now here’s a chance to have a sensational pancreas or an alimentary canal to die for. You see the connection? The fashion industry will now turn its attention inwards, with offers of better-looking lungs, more colourful livers and so on.
Lady Gaga will give up wearing those strange things she does and will decide to… the imagination boggles. The red carpet interviews at the Oscars will see the journalist ask a star not who created her dress, but who painted her kidneys. After all, if everybody can see your pancreas, then there is some responsibility for making it look good.
There is another problem, especially in the case of mice. Whatever the
After all, if everyone can see your pancreas, then there’s a responsibility to make it look good
magic formula or gel scientists use to make the outer skin transparent so we can peep inside, there is the danger of overdoing it. Supposing the formula calls for 100 units of the mixture, and the scientist accidentally (or deliberately, let’s prepare for the worst) applies 1,000 units instead; there is a very real possibility that he might create the world’s first invisible mouse.
That’s all these rodents need. Invisibility – in a world where they create enough damage while being visible. The only good mouse is a dead one is an old dictum. Let me rephrase that. The only good transparent mouse is a dead one.