Monday, January 19, 2015

Man-Cows! Everybody freak out!

Wait, what? Yes, man-cows! The future is here and it's a little terrifying. Scienceticians at SAb Biotheraputics (none of which are words) have produced a herd of 50 genetically engineered part cow/part human abominations whose blood will be harvested to protect people against Ebola...and sleeping well ever again.
Above: The grim and unsettling future predicted by Chic-fil-A may finally be here.
I'd skip the SAb Biotheraputics company
picnic if I were you. Trust me on this one... 
These cows have been engineered with human immune systems, and when vaccinated against Ebola, will manufacture antibodies that can then be used to treat humans infected with the disease.

"These animals are very unique, as you can imagine."

-Eddie Sullivan, CEO of SAb
Hey Eddie, you know something can't be
very unique, right? It's either unique or it isn't.

Man, there's like nothing we
won't squeeze out of cows.
Doctors have had some success transferring antibodies from the plasma of human Ebola survivors into patients to help them fight the disease. The problem is that you can only draw the plasma once a month and since there's not like thousands of Ebola survivors lining up at the Red Cross for cookies and juice, it's a pretty big gap between donors and patients. Enter the man-cows. The company says they can get 500-1000 treatments worth of human antibodies out of each animal per month.

And if your not ready to buy stock in SAb Biotheraputics just yet, they're also working on using this technique to fight other diseases including hantavirus and MERS. Yup, if might not be long before all kind of diseases are being treated with SAb® brand cures. Hurray for for-profit medical research...
What could possibly go wrong?
For all we know, the test-subjects could
end up as were-cows, which, in itself
wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.
Ok, this is science, so I suppose it's time to tap the breaks. This is still in the 'could' help patients and 'may' be a new treatment for Ebola stage. There's a ways to go before you can just tap a cow and vampire your way to perfect health. Even the human-to-human antibody transfer is, at best, if-y. The problem is that researchers aren't yet sure if it's just the anti-bodies, or things like the human t-cell, which isn't being manufactured by the cows, that fight the disease.

Not pictured: ethical or religious
concerns about eating animals.
But still, science, right? Pretty cool? Well, yeah, assuming it works the way researchers think it will, this technique could save millions of lives even if it is, you know, against the laws of nature or whatever. Don't laugh, plenty of people have completely valid ethical and religious concerns over eating animals, and now we're throwing human genes into them and then harvesting their blood? There's bound to be some serious freak outs over this. Look, I'm not saying shut it down or anything, I mean, I'll take people over cow-monsters any day, but let's just hope everyone keeps their heads and that this pans out.

Hey, remember when George W. Bush warned old people about how animal human hybrids were going to take over if they voted Democrat? Well shit, here we are and now who's laughing?
The answer is us. At him. To this day. Because for real.
But you've got to hand it to him: we do have man-cows now.

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