Craig Venter, best known for his work on the Human Genome Project, has announced the results of his lab's work on genome transplantation methods that allows for the transformation of one type of bacteria into another, dictated by the transplanted chromosome. In other words, one species becomes another. In speaking of this achievement to Edge, Venter said: "This is a major advance in the field of synthetic genomics. We now know we can create a synthetic organism. It's not a question of 'if', or 'how', but 'when', and in this regard, think weeks and months, not years." I'll take an artificial manatee with hoover attachment and a couple of David Duchovnys. [GT]
Using pressure-sensitive ink and printed speakers, new "talking paper" is essentially an interactive billboard. "When you approach the billboard and put your hand on a postcard that shows a picture of a beach, you can hear a very brief description of that beach," suggests project lead Mikael Gulliksson. The electronics are sandwiched between a heavy-duty cardboard backing and the decorative front layer, so it's not precisely the flimsy thin stuff we think of as paper, but we could soon see pop star posters which whisper sweet nothings to us in our sleep. [GT]
This may look like a regular 4 stone cat on a leash but it's actually the Cat Of Tomorrow! The Ashera is a blend of the Asian Leopard cat, African Serval and an unnamed domestic breed (probably "alley"). It will grow to be 13-15 kilos. Lifestyle Pets also claims to be developing a tiny dog which I guess can be fed to the cat. My cat Lacerda weighs over 10 kilos, and what did he cost? Nothing, he just showed up in the kitchen one day. Feel free to drop by any I'll see if I can turn up any of his brothers. But if you want your cat high tech, it'll be $22,000 - or $28,000 if you want to raise it from a kitten. Plus $1500 shipping. [GT]
Hitachi has unveiled a portable brain scanner, which measures your grey cells' activity when worn over the course of a day. At least, I think they have: the photo sparks suspicions it may be a late April Fool illustrated with some archive Virtual Reality headset promo shots from the 1980s.