Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cool Technology of the Week

Thanks to Wes Rishel for this suggestion.

I'm a vegan, so I find this product questionable, but it does illustrate an interesting technology - using the genome to create customized products.

RayFish will genetically engineer a stingray to express colors and patterns of your own design and will then create a shoes from stingray leather.

Not just build to order but breed to order. The 10 month lead time may limit the market size.

Per Wes:

"I wonder if they can be genetically bred to include logos in the hide? You should be able to get a GREAT discount for volume!

If this is true and the genetic engineering can be automated what else could we breed to order? The ultimate dinner party, serving fish bred with a unique flavor just for one single meal? Takes a year to prepare dinner, but your friends will be impressed.

Tell your daughter she needs to plan her wedding a year in advance so the entrée can be bred to order. Perhaps the cycle time for breeding vegan entrée ingredients is shorter?"

It's a brave new world when our supply chain includes breeding products to order.

Morally objectionable, but fascinating nonetheless.


Bernz said...

I do think it's a step closer to having animal parts (as opposed to the whole animal) built in a lab. Showing an economic reason for doing this (meat consumption is probably a better one than shoes, but who am I to judge) makes a competitive industry. Sales will be through the roof when they can do this without harming animals. It'll create new ideas on fashion and consumption. It's a good thing all around. They're getting there.

And those are some snazzy shoes.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if we can morally oppose this given our agri-business's fascination with creating more with less. Sure, this appears entirely decadent and unnecessary, but is there not hope here that the science behind this can help feed the millions who are poor and hungry across the globe? Here in America, our 'conventional' agriculture is a petri-dish of tinkering, genetic modification and other questionable tactics that are trying to drive the costs of vegetables and fruits down. Sure, you can choose organic (and should), but the luxury of choice is exactly that, a luxury.

As much as I would not purchase or consume (knowingly) modified food, there is a reason that we can still support the efforts of many to resolve the food crisis on our planet, as it is the most embarrassing thing we will need to explain to the aliens when they show up :)

Lyle Schofield said...

Dear Scientists:

You do realize cancer needs curing, don't you?

Given the research it took to figure something out like this I would have hoped that brain power would have done something better than vanity luxury items.