Telepresence is cool, but it's currently not very versatile and--at least if you're going the commercial telepresence robot route--pretty expensive. For a princely sum, you can remotely putter around a faraway office or home and communicate with people there via a computer terminal. Outside of that, the technology has yet to break down any serious walls. That is, until software engineer Taylor Veltrop devised a way to brush his cat remotely via a robotic avatar, spearheading what could be the biggest revolution in cat-grooming technology since that kitty brush that you wear like a glove.
Cat of the week, you guys. Cat of the year. Willow, an adorable calico, went missing from her Colorado home five years ago during some construction. In the years since, her family's kids have grown up, and the family moved some ten miles away. But somehow, Willow made her way a whopping 1,800 miles from the Rocky Mountains to the rat-infested streets (for her, that's probably nice) of Manhattan. This improbable story has a happy, techie ending: Willow was implanted with a microchip as a kitten, and was able to be reunited with her family this week.
Genetically modified glow-in-the-dark cats not only make stylish, futuristic pets, but now provide insight into feline AIDS as well. The cats were injected with an antiviral gene from a rhesus macaque monkey that helps them resist feline AIDS, along with one that produces the fluorescent protein GFP.
One of the scientists responsible for cloning Dolly the sheep 15 years ago is developing a new cloning technique that he believes could help save endangered species. The work would initially benefit the Scottish wildcat, a relative of the domestic cat that lives in the woods of the Scottish Highlands. But if it works, it could be a new way to clone several kinds of animals.
"Game for Cats" is an iPad app with a moving image (either a laser dot or a mouse) upon which all housecats are genetically obligated to pounce, repeatedly. It's almost unbearably adorable. But what about the less domesticated felines out there--lions, tigers, caracals, servals, and the housecat-sized Geoffroy's cat? Turns out they'll play with the app as well, even if their paws are iPad-sized to begin with.
When Oscar the cat lost both his hind paws in a farming accident, it was feared he'd have to trundle around in one of those wheeled-cat apparatuses. But Noel Fitzpatrick, a neuro-orthopedic veterinary surgeon in Surrey, pioneered a groundbreaking technique instead, installing weight-bearing bone implants to create a bionic kitty.
DARPA's ardent desire to realize every sci-fi concept ever dreamed of continues with a biologically-inspired computer project which aims for feline brain functionality. But this time it's pinning its hopes on memristor devices which can simulate the behavior of biological synapses in the brain.
Cats may retain an aura of mystery about their smug selves, but that could change with scientists using a supercomputer to simulate the the feline brain. That translates into 144 terabytes of working memory for the digital kitty mind.
Let's take a look at the ingredients in a typical can of cat food: meat by-products, chicken by-product meal, turkey by-product meal, ash, taurine. Nothing too horrible, but in general, these things don't constitute a healthy human diet, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian with the American Dietetic Association. "That said, I'm fully confident that your body can handle kitty chow."