Having three parents apparently makes you really ugly!

Cute in a Gollum-tribble-Willem Dafoe kind of way.

Cute in a Gollum-tribble-Willem Dafoe kind of way.

The big news coming out of the scientific community today is that scientists have successfully created macaque monkeys from the DNA of three individual monkeys.  Here’s the scientific way of saying that (BTW – the story comes from The Guardian.  That’s why the spelling’s all wonky):

The team of scientists from the Oregon National Primate Research Centre in effect swapped the mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) from the macaque monkey mother’s egg for the mDNA of a donor egg. Reconstructed eggs were then fertilised with the father’s sperm and the healthy offspring were born. Tests showed that no mDNA from the mother’s egg had been transferred.

This development could eradicate diseases in future generations of humans.  Those jerks get all the cool stuff.  Here’s the thing, those monkeys are ugly.  They’ve got three separate strands of DNA they’re working with.  They couldn’t find one Brad Pitt or Megan Fox gene in the entire bunch?  The hair, the eyes, the wrinkles; It looks like Gollum, a tribble, and Willem Dafoe were the three parents.

In a related story, Dafoe most likely wants to beat the crap out of me should we ever meet.  So, I’ve got that going for me.

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This is not a monkey!

One thing that has been driving me crazy ever since the chimp attack in Connecticut is that too many people have been referring to it as a “monkey attack.”  Chimps are not monkeys.  This is a monkey: 

Im a monkey!

"I'm a monkey!"


This is not a monkey:

Do not call me a monkey!

"Do not call me a monkey!"

Why does it make a difference?  Because I listened to the 911 call, and the operator kept on saying “a monkey is attacking a woman.”  Imagine being a cop and you get a call that a monkey is attacking a woman.  That doesn’t strike quite the sense of urgency that saying “an ape is attacking a woman” does.  Everyone immediately pictures a large primate when you use the word ape.  I’m not saying the 911 operator is at fault here, on the contrary I think he did as good a job as one can expect in this situation, but from here on out, let’s require that all our emergency response personnel refer to chimp attacks as “ape” attacks. 

Don’t look at me like that.  More attacks are coming.  Didn’t you see Planet of the Apes?  It’s inevitable.