Maggot Cohabitation

June 19, 2007

maggot-cohabitation.jpg

Recently parliament debated the widespread roll-out of the use of maggots in contemporary hospitals and the National Heatlth Service (NHS). The case for support is amazingly persuasive:

Maggot therapy only takes five days to treat a wound compared with 89 days for traditional methods. The larvae disinfect wounds by killing bacteria, even superbugs like MRSA as they feed on necrotic tissue. They stimulate the regeneration of living tissue and are more precise than human surgeons.

Their use will save the NHS over £30 million.

Yet most patients opt out of this treatment for fear of another organism feeding from their body. The response to maggots is one of recoil and repulsion. What is the origin of this reaction? How will the NHS manage and overcome this problem?
The Race asks us to invest in the symbiotic relationship pre and post treatments. You are encouraged to follow the life cycle of the maggots from larvae to their release as flies, taking your genetic material with them.
Zoobiotic Ltd introduction to maggot therapy

Commensal Bacteria

June 18, 2007

fingernails2.jpgCommensal Bacteria

New manipulations to the human body and changes in bahaviour are designed to develop commensal relationships with bacteria and other microbes, as we have co-evolved with, to enrich the gut microbiota.

Here fingernail growth is engineered to increase the surface area where bacteria can thrive. With our changing relationship with bacteria, the habit of biting nails is encouraged as a means of consumption. Teamed with very specific micro-environments this is a desirable way of consuming dirt and particularly the bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae, to boost health and well-being.

s the Royal College of Art is now underway, over the next few days I will be posting some of the thoughts behind the projects with links to collaborators and sources which I have collected in the works development.

The first piece is called Pet Dander:

pet_dander.jpg

Domestic animals kept in the home may help boost human immune systems by exposing the owner to a wealth of pet dander, which is the dead skin cells, hair and parasites the animal harbours.

However with selective breeding practice and genetic engineering on the horizon we have created a new league of pets like the labradoodle and similar crosses and Allerca cats. These marketed as hypoallergenic lifestyle pets. Due to the unique breeding of these animals they are designed not to expose humans to allergenics like pet hair. Through this practice we have unwitingly stripped our cohabitation with these animals from the health benefits they once had.

With our revised understanding of health, hybrid animals are designed specifically to harbour pet dander, dead skin, hair and pet parasites in order to desensitize and strengthen their human co-habitants immune systems. In this pursuit a mixture of organisms are engineered to create an animal which has a dense coat, perfect for harbouring parasites, sheading its hair and has a natural behaviour to forage and graze, collecting dirt and bacteria as it does. Importantly, the animal just asks to be embraced and petted.

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