Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Apparently I missed this very intriguing item in the Harper's Weekly:

Curators at the Museum of Modern Art pulled the incubator plug on a tiny coat made of living mouse stem cells after it grew too fast ...
Excuse me. Come again. A tiny what, made of what?

That's right: a tiny coat made of mouse stem cells. What's so odd about that. Perfectly normal. The only thing abnormal was that the thing was growing, a curator panicked, and now this living coat is no more. The NYT reports:

One of the strangest exhibits at the opening of “Design and the Elastic Mind,” the very strange show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York that explores the territory where design meets science, was a teeny coat made out of living mouse stem cells. The “victimless leather” was kept alive in an incubator with nutrients, unsettlingly alive. Until recently, that is.

Paola Antonelli, a senior curator at the museum, had to kill the coat. “It was growing too much,” she said in an interview from a conference in Belgrade. The cells were multiplying so fast that the incubator was beginning to clog. Also, a sleeve was falling off. So after checking with the coat’s creators, a group known as SymbioticA, at the School of Anatomy & Human Biology at the University of Western Australia in Perth, she had the nutrients to the cells stopped.
It's just weird. Via Kendra, who loves all things teeny.

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