Unicornomics and Sailbear Labs present Unicorn-Art-Mix art show/book release/charity fundraiser on 8.12.11!

How to Make a Unicorn

Theoretically, do you think it would be possible to design/create a unicorn?

Specifically I’m interested in what techniques you would consider best to use (genes and DNA, breeding etc.), and what animal would be used as a ‘starting template’.

I ask this because generally animals with antlers/horns (deer, gazelle..) are even-toed ungulates, so this would suggest that maybe a unicorn, if it were to exist, would be too, and so would probably have cloven hooves? (i.e. it wouldn’t be the conventional ‘horse with a horn’)

However, rhinos are odd-toed ungulates, as are horses, and rhino horns are composed entirely of keratin, in a similar way that horse hooves are made of keratinised material (correct me if I’m wrong anywhere, please!) so I’m wondering if unicorns -would- be odd-toed ungulates after all?

 

Gosh where to start! The “simplest” way of doing this is to identify (preferably) one gene that codes for a long thin horn in a species similar to a horse and then use transgenesis to insert that gene into the horse genome to generate a unicorn-like animal.

Problems with that little fantasy:-

1. As far as I know the genes that code for a horn are largely unknown
2. It almost certainly wouldn’t be one gene but a whole cascade that would need to be expressed at the right time and right level to “make” a horn
3. transgenesis in horses has not been described and even if it was possible using standard and existing technologies it would be impossible to alter or insert so many new genes to make a horn.
4. Even if one could do the above it is possible that the genes from one species would not do exactly the same in another.

All of the above caveats aside - don’t try this at home!

 

I have heard of two-horned animals (deer, for example) being born with a single medial horn as a birth defect. However, I think these are usually caused by teratogenic factors rather than genetic mutations. So, while it may not be possible to breed unicorns, you could generate one by manipulating the embryonic development of a two-horned animal.

 

Comparatively, it’s not too difficult to create a unicorn the way Brent describes, by removing one horn bud from an embryonic two-horned animal and shifting the remaining one towards the center. It has been done a number of times. But so far no one knows how to create one that will breed that way.

One of the biggest issues is that it is not just the genes you need to understand, but the timing of development, which makes a huge difference in how structures grow and develop. We just don’t know enough about the genetics and developmental timing of horns to do this yet. But it is at least theoretically possible.

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How do you create a unicorn? Sure, we love science, but we prefer the answer, “A twinkle in the eye and a candlelit dessert.”

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Fat Unicorn Party!
      via theuniblog.evilspacerobot.com
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This is what happens after a cupcake overdose.
Check out the Uniblog link above to see more examples of the growing [adorable] obesity problem within the unicorn community.
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Fat Unicorn Party!

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This is what happens after a cupcake overdose.

Check out the Uniblog link above to see more examples of the growing [adorable] obesity problem within the unicorn community.

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FBI Releases Surprise Info on Their Investigation Methods

With respect to psychic issue, Simon said the FBI does not use psychics in their investigations because “there is no such thing as psychics.”

“We also don’t use unicorns in our investigations. Psychics are fraud, they are liars, they are thieves. Most of them step into this situation trying to take advantage of the family for money,” he said.

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If the FBI doesn’t use unicorns in their investigations, we’ve been sparkling up the wrong tree! Anyone have the number for the CIA’s Alternative Investigation Methods Department?

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Another Addition to the Unicorn Bicycle Collection

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Technically, this is a Pegacorn tricycle, but we’re allowing it into the uni-cycle club. Artist Karina Nathan, the creator of the vehicle above, is using Kickstarter to raise funds to allow her and her papier-mache pet to set out on a journey to promote New Orleans cultural awareness. Want more info? Click the picture above!

Now, who’s going to have the conversation with the Pegacorn that having wings should render wheels unnecessary?

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The Worst Use of the Phrase “A Total Win”

Our wild card for the evening was the unicorn fish ($15.95). Neither of us had tried it before, and this dish was a total win. A gravy-like florentine sauce added bold flavor to a mild fish, of which I couldn’t get enough.

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And with one review, this restaurant critic has made an enemy of unicorns and fish alike.

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If you thought “Inception” already had mind-bending special effects…

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Christopher Nolan’s 2010 blockbuster gets stamped with cutie marks and crowned with an alicorn in this mash-up of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and Inception.

Since the ponies already live in a world of clouds, rainbows, and flying unicorns, perhaps that means a journey into their dreams would feature them sitting at a desktop PC typing in Excel and drinking coffee from 9am-5pm.

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We’re posting this for the unicorn, not Annoying Orange or the Nyan Cat

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The internet meme that is the meowing Nyan Cat has finally met the internet sensation that is the abrasive Annoying Orange. A marriage made in Heaven it is not, but it does have a unicorn and a rainbow. So we’ll call it a common-law relationship formed in Purgatory.

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Unicorn Bicycle Bonanza! A tribute to bikes shaped like unicorns

Unicorn bikes are popping up like hives on an over-excitable four-year-old three days before Christmas.  Here are some of the best “uni-cycles” the internet has to offer these days, thanks to such depots of whimsy as geekologie.com and todaysbigthing.com.

 

The Real Origins of Batman’s Costume
      

via cartoonistgroup.com
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Thank you, Bizarro, for this rare peak into the history of Gotham’s beloved hero. If only he had chosen the other path…
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The Real Origins of Batman’s Costume

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Thank you, Bizarro, for this rare peak into the history of Gotham’s beloved hero. If only he had chosen the other path…

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