A laboratory at the University of Osaka running an ongoing study on evolution has revealed that they've produced a genetically engineered mouse that tweets like a bird. They've produced more than 100 of them actually, as well as a mouse with short limbs and one with a tail like a dachshund. It's all part of a larger study into how genetic mutations drive evolutions and diverse outcomes that can come about as a result of miscopying DNA.
The researchers didn't engineer the mouse to tweet, though there was some genetic tinkering that led to the singing mouse's arrival. The lab created the mouse as part of its "Evolved Mouse Project," which genetically modifies mice to be prone to miscopying DNA. From there, the outcomes are left to chance as the team has cross-bred the mutation prone mice for generations.
According to the lead researcher at the lab, they were checking their newborn mice one at a time and one day came across a mouse that was singing just like a bird – a point that is significant beyond being both weird and interesting. Scientists already know that birds don't sing haphazardly, but in a way that is governed by a set of linguistic rules that form strings of sounds. In other words it's ordered noise, much like human speech.
The team now hopes their tweeting mice will lend insight on how human language evolved over history. Mice, after all, are much closer to humans in terms of biology and brain, and by seeing how they chirp in the company of other mice and when placed in certain situations, they might learn how human linguistics came to be as well as how they were shared among groups.
Finally, now I can get my very own mutant rat to teach me and my friends kung fu!
That is freaky, but cool!
I can see it now: in five years' time, we'll all be bowing down to the Twit Mouse.
-IMP ;) :)
The dog says moo! The sheep says ooh ooh ee ah ooh! The chicken says Take us to your leader General Kernel (KFC guy)!
Why not create a rat which can spread plague by just pissing...what type stupidity is this "A rat which tweets".13 monkeys scenario will definitely happen if these fools continue playing with animals like this.
why, mr. Anderson, why, why do you persist?
Because I Choose To...
@FrogOutOfaWell actually i think you mean 12 monkeys... anyways very interesting stuff.
I thought the squeaky wheel and water-bottle sounds at night were annoying enough... now our pet mice makes bird noises? Oh boy!
I'd like to see a video of this tweeting mouse...
@B.V. - Enjoy!
@Popsci - Thank you so much for the comment CAPTCHA spam reliever! Great improvement.
This reminds me of the Hunger Games, The Mockingjays that were mutated to record human sounds. I can't wait to see where this goes.
GET TO DA CHOPPA!
The tweeting genes should have come to the bird through the dinosaur or reptilian path. So when did they get into the mammal genome? That seems to me to be a more interesting question because they must have transferred before there were birds.
"From there, the outcomes are left to chance" - So how many mutations do humans share with mice?
WOW. Its shocking that now mice are also start tweeting.
Mice always could 'tweet' it is only that humans can't hear them due to the pitch. A mouses voice is normally almost supersonic. Here is a recording of a mouse that has been brought down several octaves so that humans can hear it:
Also, if anyone has ever owned mice, when they get an upper respiratory infection they sound *exactly* like these 'mutant' mice!
If I were to guess, all they have done is made a mouse that has a VERY deep voice, allowing humans to hear them without any special equipment.
Still cool, but not anything that special.