My plan for a better future with 8 arms and legs

Davy-Jones-from-Pirates-of-the-CaribbeanMy new fitness plan is to inject octopus genes into my bloodstream

A recent article published by the University of Chicago suggests that it may be possible to cross my genes with those of an octopus and come out with some really great abilities and effects.

Don’t try to tell me this isn’t possible. The article states: “With a few notable exceptions, the octopus basically has a normal invertebrate genome that’s just been completely rearranged, like it’s been put into a blender and mixed,” said Caroline Albertin, co-lead author and graduate student in Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago. “This leads to genes being placed in new genomic environments with different regulatory elements, and was a completely unexpected finding.”

That means (if my science is correct) you can pick and choose the attributes you want to steal from the octopus and use them in your human genome. In other words, you can become as octopussy as you want.

LegsFor example, the article states: “The octopus genome is enriched in transposons, also known as “jumping genes,” which can rearrange themselves on the genome.” This is great news! I’d love to get me some “jumping genes!” That means I could go back and compete in the steeplechase and never get my feet wet.

Plus, octopuses rock in other ways as well. “Octopuses, along with squids, cuttlefish and nautiluses, are cephalopods—a class of predatory molluscs with an evolutionary history spanning more than 500 million years (long before plants moved onto land). Inhabiting every ocean at almost every depth, they possess unique adaptations such as prehensile arms lined with chemosensory suckers, the ability to regenerate complex limbs, vertebrate-like eyes and a sophisticated camouflage system. With large, highly developed brains, cephalopods are the most intelligent invertebrate and have demonstrated elaborate problem-solving and learning behaviors.”

You can clearly see why I want to become part octopus. It’s not an entirely new concept I know. That creepy Davey Jones dude in the Pirates of the Caribbean had the whole octopus scene down pretty well. But his only priority was sucking people down to the bottom of the ocean to become his death ship slaves. That seems a little mean. I promise I’d be way more positive than that.

OctopusVulgarisFor instance, I could be an awesome massage therapist if I grew about six more arms outfitted with suckers. Think of the work I could do on tired and sore athletes! It would be no problem to massage both IT bands at once. And with those suckers I could pull on tensions in the fascia like no one’s business. Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?

Yes, being part octopus would be great. It might be tricky if I grew another set of legs, I admit. Some days it’s hard enough to move the ones I already have. But think about the possibilities for a typical 10K or marathon? You could wear out one pair of legs and keep another set fresh and ready for the second half of the race.

Even better, for triathlons you could grow yet another set of legs (six in all) and use one pair for the swim leg, another for cycling and hit the road with a fresh pair of legs for any run distance triathlon you wanted to try.

Spare me any conservative lectures about how this octopus thing is a liberal scheme to take over the world. That’s already happened. you see. Scientists think octopuses may already be aliens in our midst. “The octopus appears to be utterly different from all other Octopus2animals, even other molluscs, with its eight prehensile arms, its large brain and its clever problem-solving capabilities,” said co-senior author Clifton Ragsdale, associate professor in Neurobiology and Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago. “The late British zoologist Martin Wells said the octopus is an alien. In this sense, then, our paper describes the first sequenced genome from an alien.”

“The first whole genome analysis of an octopus reveals unique features that likely played a role in the evolution of traits such as large complex nervous systems and adaptive camouflage,” the article states.

Complex nervous systems and adaptive camouflage could be great use in all walks of life. It might improve your emotional intelligence at work, for example. And if that didn’t work, you could always camouflage yourself to disappear next to the office copier.

Well, I’ll let you know how it all comes out. This is just so exciting I think I just peed myself. Or is that ink? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. Be ready for the new OctoMe. I predict it will catch on, once we get past the idea that genome sequencing is just for suckers.

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About Christopher Cudworth

Christopher Cudworth is a content producer, writer and blogger with more than 25 years’ experience in B2B and B2C marketing, journalism, public relations and social media. Connect with Christopher on Twitter: @gofast and blogs at werunandride.com, therightkindofpride.com and at 3CCreativemarketing.com. Online portfolio: http://www.behance.net/christophercudworth
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One Response to My plan for a better future with 8 arms and legs

  1. OmniRunner says:

    Didn’t an octopus predict the winner of the last Men’s World Cup?

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