May 17, 2006

Create improved human, win prizes

Source: The Register

Competition–Here’s a challenge for all you Photoshop jockeys: create an improved human for the chance to win Reg t-shirts and goodie bag overflowing, cornucopia style, with the fruits of Vulture Central.

The inspiration for this evolutionary great leap forward comes from our new Odd Body strand, which has proved very popular with you, our beloved readers. Specifically, Dr Stephen Juan recently listed those things which would take us one step closer to biological perfection, viz:

* Shorter stature would provide a lower center of gravity which would perhaps help to prevent falls that often plague the elderly.

* More ribs could help prevent hernias and other problems of holding organs in place more effectively.

* Thicker bones would protect against breakage during falls.

* Knees able to bend backwards would make the bones less likely to grind and deteriorate.

* A forward-tilting upper torso would relieve pressure on the vertebrae, thus lowering the risk of ruptured disks.

* A curved neck with enlarged vertebrae would counterbalance the tilted torso and enable the head to stay up and forward.

* Thicker disks would resist pressure on the back.

* Extra muscles and fat would add weight on the bones, which would help counter the effects of osteoporosis (demineralisation of bones).

* Leg veins with more “check valves” would combat the development of varicose veins.

* Larger hamstrings and tendons would hroelp support the leg and hip, thus reducing the need for knee and hip replacement surgery.

* The optic nerve attached to the back of the retina might stabilise the retina’s connection to the back of the eye, thus helping to prevent retinal detachment.

* A raised trachea would better help food and drink bypass the windpipe and reduce choking.

* An enlarged, mobile outer ear would better collect sound with greater efficiency to compensate for internal ear breakdowns.

* More plentiful and durable hair cells in the ear would help preserve hearing late in life.

Your job, then, is to provide an “our artist’s impression of how we believe Human 2.0™ might look” – of which the best will appear in a prize-packed Reg special.

The deadline for entries is Friday 26 June 5.00pm GMT. We’ll take jpegs, gifs, tiffs or pngs, but please try and keep the individual file sizes below 100k. Email your efforts to us right here. Happy genetic engineering. ®

We don’t know how many prizes there will be – that depends on the quality of entries. Regular readers will know we are always generous with our gifts.

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