Would you be willing to use a living animal as a respirator or dialysis…

Designers Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen use both real and fictional biotechnology to explore the connection between the natural and the man-made, and invite questions about the impact of biotechnology. One of their projects, Life Support, imagines a world in which dogs and sheep take the role of life-saving medical… » 2/23/13 8:00am 2/23/13 8:00am

Sheep born with upside-down head does not want your sympathy

No, he only wants to dine upon this delicious pasture. Meet Terry the sheep. He lives in the United Kingdom and was born with his head screwed on backward. Despite his flip-flopped dome, Terry is in good health and goes about his sheep business as usual. It's unclear what caused Terry's condition, but one thing is… » 10/03/12 3:15pm 10/03/12 3:15pm

Blame sheep for screwing up tree-ring dating

Dating objects based on tree rings — dendrochronology if you want to get technical — requires a fairly advanced understanding of how the environment interacts with the trees in order to be accurate. It's fairly common for scientists to make inferences about ancient climate based on the condition of tree rings at… » 7/29/11 12:33pm 7/29/11 12:33pm

Animals who live fast and die young could be the key to human life…

Humans age very slowly, but the older we get, the more likely death gets. Not every animal follows that pattern though - some species live for only very short periods, but their age doesn't actually seem to affect when they die. Figuring out why these animals age the way they do could help us understand why humans… » 2/15/11 1:53pm 2/15/11 1:53pm

Scientists are using sheep to decontaminate TNT-tainted land

A team of scientists is feeding TNT to a flock of sheep. A. Morrie Craig, a veterinary scientist at Oregon State University, has found that the cud-chewing mammals can efficiently clean up explosives-contaminated soil, of which there are 1.3 million tons throughout the U.S. TNT and other explosives from military… » 2/13/11 7:30am 2/13/11 7:30am

Sheep Dialysis Machine: Are Pets the Medical Devices of the Future?

Using animals to grow human body parts has been done, but how about using a live sheep for dialysis? The idea comes from one design student Revital Cohen. The project she's calling "Life Support" seeks to use a sheep whose genome has been spliced with a human to produce human blood. The transgenic sheep then becomes… » 7/08/08 10:09am 7/08/08 10:09am