Learn Something New Everyday

17 Aug

While watching the horror show Weird, True and Freaky: Mutants 1 AND 2 today, I learned that there is gene named Sonic Hedgehog. Sounds cute but look what it does to cows:

And pigs:


And cats.

Ok I kinda want one of these.

I’d call him “PinkEye.”

And as a bonus of my searching through google to find pictures for this post I now present:

Where does the poop go?!

73 Responses to “Learn Something New Everyday”

  1. Brad August 17, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

    HOLY CRAP DUDE!!! That is messed up!! It looks like someone tried to cross a bat and a pig, and ended up with Batpig!! The cyclops kitten is freaky too, but I’ve seen that somewhere before. Those poor animals. 😦

    But are we sure those weren’t mutated remnants from the DHARMA Initiative????

  2. Janet August 17, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    Wow. Maybe that’s where they got ‘cyclops’ from? I never knew that Jorge. Thanks for the education!

  3. Comedic Author with Rat Training Tendencies August 18, 2010 at 12:21 am #

    Okay After seeing this, all I can think of is that movie Human Caterpillar. If you haven’t seen it, but have a reason to REALLY be disturbed… sit some friends down, grab a barf bag, and enjoy. Especially that question of where does the poop go… Yikes indeed… OH- saw a movie you did the other day on cable- you were a mean S.O.B. in it, and I couldn’t stop wondering, “Sure but what did he bake after this?”

    • Marykae August 18, 2010 at 9:17 am #

      Human Centipede. I totally thought of that too, oh my.

      I also thought of that video “poop back and forth forever.”

      Poor guys.

      • Gracie August 20, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

        Nooo, don’t watch it. I read an article on it and that alone scarred me. That kind of cruelty (even if it is just a movie) should be boycotted. Disgusting.

      • Melinda August 30, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

        I’m with Gracie–just reading about it was enough to give me nightmares and wish that brain bleach existed. I refused to even watch the trailer, so no way would I ever see the movie.

        That last pig looked like a malformed monkey. The cats with two faces were cute, but that one-eyed kitten was creepy. Maybe as it got older and grew fur it was less so.

  4. LSE August 18, 2010 at 1:23 am #

    Aww, those poor babies, these always make me a bit sad. I hope those who made it got a nice life, despite being handed a bum set of genes!

  5. Claudia August 18, 2010 at 1:48 am #

    Whoa! I didn’t know about this. Not sure I wanted to know but have to admit I want those poor little kitties. They are cute!
    This is just weird though and I think I need more coffee to be able to absorb it all!!!
    Oh good God THE POOP………….
    Love you Jorge!

  6. Anfield Fox August 18, 2010 at 1:52 am #

    Just go tell Locke and he’ll kill it.

  7. Jules August 18, 2010 at 3:23 am #

    Ok. I’m a little scared now. Those are a little bothersome.

  8. Heather August 18, 2010 at 4:27 am #

    I think I am going to have nightmares. I feel sorry for the poor animals, but yikes!

  9. Lisa August 18, 2010 at 4:52 am #

    Dude, those are CRAZY pictures~~

  10. Line August 18, 2010 at 5:08 am #

    That’s really bad, poor animals 😦

    The last 2 pics remind me of a cartoon called CatDog…

  11. Char M August 18, 2010 at 5:28 am #

    Those are some crazy critters, lol.

  12. dave! August 18, 2010 at 5:42 am #

    I doubt pictures are as widely available, but mutations in SHH do some terrible things to humans as well, since as you can see, it’s important in brain, face, and limb development.

    Also, on the funny side, they found something that inhibits the SHH pathway and called it ‘Robotnikinin.’

  13. Pei August 18, 2010 at 5:45 am #

    For the last two pics, I thought that used Photoshop make it ..

  14. melzie August 18, 2010 at 5:59 am #

    creepy, but train-wreckishly cool 🙂 xoxo melzie

  15. Lysh August 18, 2010 at 6:56 am #

    The little piggy is kind of cute! I love the cyclops monkey, too. But that is really weird. I don’t even know what that two mouth-ed thing is…an elephant? And why Sonic Hedgehog? I don’t recall Sonic ever having two heads. Interesting!

  16. Talonvaki August 18, 2010 at 6:58 am #

    Oh! The two-faced adult cat is FrankenLouie. He’s at least 2 years old now. I remember seeing photos of him in 2008, and he was an adult then. If I remember correctly, he’s owned by a vet tech.

    The one-eyed kitten is Cyclopes. He didn’t live 😦

    Interestingly, both Frankenlouie and Cy are Ragdoll cats…wonder if there’s some mutation in that breed?

  17. Sars August 18, 2010 at 7:07 am #

    Awww, cutebutalittlesad. I have a soft spot for deformities.

  18. Bethany August 18, 2010 at 8:18 am #

    Isn’t it neat? I’m a biology Ph.D student (and huge fan of yours and LOST) and I’ve been studying genes like this in beetles. 🙂

  19. Adam August 18, 2010 at 8:19 am #

    Scientists recently discovered a gene that inhibits Sonic Hedgehog. They called it Robotnikinin. And I am not making this up: http://www.lifescientist.com.au/article/273516/robotnikinin_takes_sonic_hedgehog_/

  20. Mary August 18, 2010 at 8:44 am #

    I think it’s gross but my son will love this. Thanks for the idea for mother-son bonding time.

  21. JustMeInOrangeCounty August 18, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    I suspect the cyclops kitty is Photoshopped. (Jeez, I hope so!). I am fostering a mother cat with kittens right now. She gave birth here (major National Geographic stuff…..) so I’ve watched them grow from minute one. I’m going to say that kitty in the picture is maybe 7 days old and their eyes do not open until about 14. So I’m really hoping that’s Photoshopped.

    Have you seen the Tree Man or any of the fetus in fetu stuff on Discovery Health?? Holy crap… There is some scary stuff out there!

    • seven August 18, 2010 at 10:14 am #

      dude, the rules of kitten development go out the window when mutations are afoot. it’s real.

    • Kae August 18, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

      Yeah…as far as I know, that’s not photoshopped…the kitten really was deformed. However, I believe that it was either stillborn or died shortly after birth; the defect was too severe. I always found that gene interesting…in animals, it creates two faces (or one really smooshed one), whereas in humans having two faces usually means an incomplete split identical twins.

    • empressonclinton August 18, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

      The cyclops kitty, sadly, is not Photoshopped. It was a true story that made the rounds of the Internet in early 2006:


  22. pamelalovescharlie August 18, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    Eeeeewwwwww…I’m glad my fur-babies only have one face/head per body. I wonder how long they can live…poor little things…notice they were all young….no adult animals…guess maybe they don’t survive very long. Do you think with two heads they are smarter 😉 or just idiots like CatDog?

  23. Kim August 18, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    Oh man, that’s terrible. 😦

  24. seven August 18, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    yeah, i love it when scientists openly display their nerd side. (it’s called that because it’s a little spiky ball.)

    it actually does do some stuff more useful than giving animals additional heads, but that’s way more fun, right?

  25. dr mum August 18, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    Baked anything recently?

  26. Erin August 18, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    I was hoping I’d never, ever see that cyclops kitten picture again. Thanks Jorge!

  27. Mel August 18, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    That photo is real and unfortunately (or fortunately for them) none of these animals likely lived for very long

  28. jackie August 18, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    that’s sad..wonder what kinds of freaks will be coming out of the ocean because of the oil spill.????

  29. llisa August 18, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    I’d like to vomit now
    (you know just somewhere there are human experiments like this too… Yikes!)

  30. Djen August 18, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    I wonder how many of those lived very long?

    I seem to remember the cyclops kitten from the news a while back…

  31. Tricia August 18, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    I thought the cyclops was a monkey.

  32. gwinchy August 18, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    The cyclops piglet is scary but at the same time it breaks my heart…aaawww poor piggy piggy.

  33. James Hernandez August 18, 2010 at 12:31 pm #


    I think it’s also known as the Buckeye gene. Nothing but freaks in Columbus Ohio.

  34. jennY August 18, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    i like “pinkeye” and i just forward some of these pics around to my co workers….

  35. Jessica August 18, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    “Pink EYE”?!?!?!….I just peed a little!

  36. Pequeña Saltamontes August 18, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

    And it also occurs in humans.

    Just today in the morning I saw on TV a girl with two faces.

  37. Robyn August 18, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    This post reminds me of the Yeasayer music video for Madder Red that I saw yesterday featuring Kristen Bell, sad and scary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO1y1wJduCo&feature=player_embedded

  38. Jeanie August 18, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    Those last two remind me of CatDog. I never understood why the cat half still liked litter boxes and the dog half loved fire hydrants.

  39. Erin August 18, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    Yikes indeed!! That third pig picture seriously freaked me out. Though I must say that two-headed turtle is adorable…

  40. Ann MacKay August 18, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    It breaks my heart. ouch

  41. AnnR August 18, 2010 at 4:47 pm #

    Dude… You really do need to return to the “island”.

  42. sassynach August 18, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

    I am scarred. Scarred for life. Poor little animals. 😦

  43. Patty August 18, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    “Oh, holy crap!!!” is what my brain registered at those pix! Are you sure they’re real? Have you checked Snopes?

  44. Carl August 18, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    The Mt. Angel Abbey in Oregon has a museum that holds several stuffed specimens of Cows and maybe some Goats born with two heads. The monks keep some strange things in that place.

  45. April August 19, 2010 at 5:10 am #

    Wow…Where DOES the poop go?!?!?! ugh

  46. ninawestervelt August 19, 2010 at 8:30 am #

    I saw this two-headed teddy bear and thought of you:

  47. Lorie August 19, 2010 at 8:32 am #

    When I was a kid and loved Dr. Dolittle and the Pushmi-pullyu I never wondered about poop. Growing up is messy.

  48. Tena Lynn August 19, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    Oh, those photos are just too sad. Breaks my heart~~I wanna take them all home and take care of them. Ouch. 😦

  49. Debby August 19, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    OMG. I may never sleep again.

  50. Debby August 19, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    Also – the term Hedgehog seemed familiar so I asked a friend who is involved in cancer research if I had heard it from her and she said:

    debby, I’m so sorry you found that, and yes.

    The deal is: the hedgehog pathway is not supposed to be activated in adults (animals, fruit flies, people). It’s only supposed be active in embryos. In embryos, it helps to sort out binary right/left differentiation. If it’s mistakenly activated in adults, it helps tumors to survive, thrive and grow.

    So, you give a hedgehog pathway inhibitor to a cancer patient, it turns off the mechanism driving the cancer, the cancer shrinks or arrests, all is awesome. You give the same drug to a healthy pregnant animal? ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE. You get the stuff in those pictures. Needless to say, when and if this launches there will be nine hundred billion safeguards in place to prevent pregnancies in the patients, although a lot of them aren’t going to be of childbearing age anyway.

  51. debby's friend August 19, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    Hi all. Just to clarify, before anyone gets all Big Bad Biotech: The pregnant animals that had these babies had very likely eaten a plant containing a naturally occurring compound (cyclopamine) that inhibits the hedgehog pathway. BY ACCIDENT.

    The several experimental anti-hedgehog cancer drugs being developed now are loosely based on cyclopamine, but, just to reassure you all and dial down the horror factor, nobody is churning out two-headed kittens in a lab.

  52. DivaJean August 19, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    If I may paraphrase from the chaos theorist (Jeff Goldblum) from Jurassic Park:

    Poop (life) always finds a way.

  53. Finnikins August 19, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    It’s sad, but the defects do happen in humans too. I have a friend whose daughter was born with it.

  54. Irma August 19, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

    That’s the beauty of Photoshop (I guess??): it can make you nauseous even when you know it’s not real.

    Whoa….and I just now “got” the fact that there are some people who think these things are real. Now I’m REALLY nauseous.

    • Chris August 21, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

      Dude. Did you not read the blog? These were on TV. In motion.
      I saw the show as well. What’s with people commenting as if they know everything without even reading it? They’re real.

  55. Irish Girl August 19, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    Wow. Talk about constipation. On second thought…let’s not…


  56. jackson August 19, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    I wonder why it’s called Sonic Hedgehog . . . Now I’ll have to go google it myself. And while I’m at it, I gotta find out where the poop goes. Hows it going, buddy?

    • seven January 2, 2011 at 5:43 am #

      it’s called sonic hedgehog because it looks like a microscopic sonic the hedgehog.

  57. casinoskunk August 20, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    I am pretty sure i am going to barf. I love Sonic the Hedgehog, now i don’t know anymore.

  58. Ela August 20, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    Goo!! That is seriously disturbing.

  59. Moey August 20, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    How sad/enlightening! Thanks!

  60. Joseph Ajami August 20, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    Yup those are gene mutations for yah.

  61. bluedog1121 August 20, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    Jorge, what are you trying to do to me?

  62. Karen August 21, 2010 at 7:04 am #

    Those pics are REALLY SAAAAADDD!!!!!!

  63. Ann August 22, 2010 at 6:16 pm #


  64. moon August 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    Two part harmony!

    TIA for the nightmares.

  65. Zlad September 22, 2010 at 4:48 am #

    that’s some damn freaky stuff right there!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: