Friday, April 01, 2005

Deadly Body Odor

Yet another example of misuse of technology -- the Genetically Altered Scent project.

Researchers discovered a way to modify the DNA of a common bacterium so that the waste it produces has a pleasing scent. The idea was to introduce this strain of bacterium into the armpit regions of test subjects, who would be required to forgo deodorants, antiperspirants and anti-bacterial soap for a ten day period. At the end of the study, the subjects would don a cotton pad under each armpit and perform some light exercise. The pads (along with pads from a control group) would be sniffed by another group of participants who would designate each pad as either "pleasing" or "disagreeable."

If the study was successful, Genetically Altered Scent, or GAS, would usher in a new line of designer fragrances.

Unfortunately, the study had to be halted due to a complication. About thirty percent of the participants who hosted the modified bacteria developed a severe rash. A few of these actually had to be hospitalized and undergo intravenous antibiotic therapy. Apparently one of the modified genes turned the bacterium into an aggressive organism, similar to deadly flesh-eating varieties. Luckily no one died or suffered permanent damage.

2 comments:

Luddite Geek said...

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Tirsden Frozenrayn said...

*shudders* Yeah, if you really wanna go places, try tackling stem cell research. That's a little hot even for me, but then my Dad's working on a masters in bioethics so I hear a lot about such things.

I personally wonder about those new women-attracting deoderants (or at least, the commercials want you to think that's what will happen). Like Axe and I forget the other one. Sounds... questionable...