MATRIX IS REAL
Scots boffins claimed today to have built a matrix
for a worm colony. Echoing the plot of the hit movie The Matrix,
each worm is constantly sedated and receives electrical stimuli
to the brain, which makes it think it is burrowing or feeding or
"doing normal worm stuff".
"We located the parts of the worm brain which deal with pleasure
and recreation," said team leader Jackie Porter. "By manipulating
their neural networks, each worm thinks it is free and burrowing
around in the soil". Unlike the evil overlords in the Keanu
Reeves film, Porter and his team have no plans to use the worm colony
as an energy source.
Said Porter, "We don't believe the worms are actively looking
for a special worm who is "the One", but I guess you never
know. We've painted a few of them black and put tiny sunglasses
on them, but really that's just for a laugh."
Porter dismissed the criticisms. "We have no plans for world
domination. And there is nothing in the Bible about building a matrix-style
alternative reality for worms. Even if there was, it'd be a bit rich
for the religious to get huffy, given that they're forever banging
on about how things will be better when we are dead." Colleague
Sandy Jones agreed. "My sister used to go out with a philosopher
- so don't even start me on all that."
Porter is no stranger to controversy, having last year produced a
GM monkey that could weave webs like a spider. The horror monkey died
in Porter's laboratory after escaping from its cage and attacking
an octopus which knew judo.
The science team, based at Glasgow University, receive central funding
of £1M a year and are said to be at the cutting edge of "blue
sky" research in neural networks and genetic codeware. Church
leaders and animal rights groups have united to condemn the experiments.
Cardinal Keith O' Brien described the worm matrix as an offence
to morality, while Del Tavender of Animal Aware called on the government
to stop funding such work, citing fears for future applications
of the technology. He told wreckered, "The world is under threat
from maverick science. Today the worm - tomorrow the unemployed."