to make Genetically Modified chickens to fight cancer
By Patricia Reaney
LONDON, 6 Dec 2000 (Reuters) - The Scottish scientists who created Dolly, the world's first cloned mammal, announced a deal on Wednesday with U.S. biotech company Viragen Inc (NYSE:VRA - news) to breed chicken that produce life-saving drugs in their eggs.
Dr Helen Sang, of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute said the deal will combine the nuclear transfer technology used to make Dolly with Viragen's expertise in developing anti-cancer proteins.
"The essence of this project is to create chickens which produce eggs containing new drugs to treat many serious diseases, including cancer," Sang said in a statement.
Roslin scientists are already developing cows, sheep, goats and rabbits to provide proteins for drugs in their milk but birds provide a cheaper, faster and virtually unlimited production process through laying eggs.
"This collaborative effort is being undertaken to enable the production of a wide variety of drugs in greater volume and at a fraction of the cost when compared to conventional manufacturing methods," explained Gerald Smith of Florida-based Viragen.
Soothing Video Treat Could Egg On Chickens
The Times (from England), p.10 Thursday September 8 1994 edition:
Poultry farmers could have more productive hens if they installed video screens showing chickens being stroked. Studies indicate that hens that are deprived of human contact are likely to be more anxious and prone to poor egg-laying and growth.
Dr Bryan Jones, of the Roslin Institute in Midlothian (Scotland), said yesterday that tests showed that picking up and stroking a chicken improved its mental health. However, it was not feasible for the farmer to handle every chicken in today's huge commercial flocks, he said, [duhh!] and further tests showed that for a chicken to watch another one being stroked had the same effect.
The scientists believe that poultry farmers should visit hen houses more frequently and stroke some of the hens in sight of other birds.
Screening a video of a chicken being stroked might have a similar soothing effect. Dr Jones said there was evidence that chickens would respond to projected or televised images.
[So next Christmas, will a VCR and Big Screen TV be on our chickens' Wish List?]
Turkey Shoots Hunter!
A Potosi, Mo., man who was showing off a turkey he thought he'd killed was shot in the leg when the wounded bird thrashed about in his car trunk and triggered a loaded shotgun.
"Apparently, the turkeys are fighting back," said county Sheriff Ron Skiles.
To make matters worse, it turned out that Larry Lands, around 40, and his son, Larry Jr., 16, were hunting a week before the start of the Missouri turkey season and will be fined, the sheriff said.
According to the Associated Press, the accident occurred after Lands shot the turkey and put it in his car with the loaded shotgun. They drove to a neighbor's house to show off the bird.
As the son pulled the turkey from the trunk it began struggling and one of its claws touched the trigger, the sheriff said. The shot went through the side panel of the car and into the elder Lands' leg. Lands was in satisfactory condition in a local hospital. Potosi is 50 miles southwest of St. Louis.
The Chicken Cannon (aka: Rooster Booster)
The chicken gun (also known as the chicken cannon, turkey gun, or rooster booster) has been around since 1972. It's used for the "chicken ingestion test," one of a series of stress tests required by the Federal Aviation Administration before a new jet engine design can be certified. The tests take place in a concrete building large enough to enclose an entire jet engine. With the engine operating at full speed, the cannon uses compressed air to shoot chicken carcasses into the turbine at 180 mph. (The Air Force is known to launch its poultry projectiles at 400 mph into F-16 canopies.)
[There are a lot of variations on this story that are just Urban Legends, but the above is true.]
Hollywood Freeway Chickens
Claim: The Hollywood Freeway in Los Angeles, California, is the permanent home to a brood of chickens.
Origins: The famed "freeway chickens" of Los Angeles are a reality, although how they came to be part of the roadside ambiance of the Hollywood Freeway is still disputed. According to widely-believed lore, a poultry truck overturned near the Vineland Avenue exit in 1969, sending hundreds of suddenly-freed chickens scurrying for safety. Some of the birds went to the Great Chicken Bucket in the Sky when their run for freedom abruptly ended under the wheels of passing automobiles, but enough survived the perilous dash to form a permanent colony of chickens living on the edge of one of the busiest freeways in America. So how the chickens came to roost where they do is in dispute. That they're there, however is not -- the Freeway Chickens are still part of the Hollywood scene despite attempts at various times to head them up and move them out. In the late 1970s, the Department of Animal Regulation was prevailed upon to round up the fowls near the Vineland Avenue off-ramp. Nearly one hundred of the critters were shipped to a ranch in Simi Valley, where they pecked out the rest of their existence. However, at least a few members of the colony eluded capture and have continued to do what comes natural to hens and roosters.