What do you get when you cross transparent hair and black hide?

by Geethalakshmi 2010-04-02 10:39:37

What do you get when you cross transparent hair and black hide?


A white polar bear! But, the truth is, there's not much white about these animals. Each polar bear hair is actually made of a clear, hollow keratin tube; light is conducted along each hair and absorbed by the polar bear's black skin. Internal refraction combined with the reflection of the snowflakes make the bear look white. This poses a problem for aquariums and zoological facilities. With no snow around, the fur has a tendency to turn dirty-yellow, black or even blue from chlorine! Scientists in Michigan have come up with a solution: AvPo bears. The name stands for Avatar Polar bears; a new species of biogenetically engineered bears that have actual white pigmentation in their fur. A revolution in the technozoology field, AvPos have identical DNA to real polar bears but lack the neural component of the genome — a brain with actual bear experiences. The avatars will allow the bears to live and behave as their natural bear selves while the public gets to see the animal in its true arctic colors. Currently, 6 AvPo bodies wait to be connected to their real-life bear counterparts. The first-ever AvPo trial run begins at noon today.

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