• Question: Can pokemon be real with enough SIENCE

    Asked by Chezman to Kevin on 23 Apr 2016.
    • Photo: Kevin Baker

      Kevin Baker answered on 23 Apr 2016:

      It really saddens me to say this, but no. Genetic engineering is a scientific tool that helps you take genes from one animal and put them into another. Genes are genetic material carried by all animals, bacteria, and viruses. These genes determine your hair color, height, and other characteristics. If you wanted to have a brown furred mouse with blue eyes and a long tail, you can make the mouse using genes from other animals. Say you used an eye color gene from a guinea pig, a brown fur gene from a mouse, and a long tail gene from a rat; you could try to make that mouse. It is like building with LEGOs.

      So now that we have a scientific tool to combine genes, why not make a Pokemon? Let’s use the example of Pikachu, the electric mouse.

      What animals would you use? Probably a mouse, but what about the electricity?

      Why not just genetically engineer a mouse to have the electricity of an electric eel. This is where genetic engineering can not do everything. A mouse and an eel are completely difficult animals with completely different live styles. You could probably move genes from a eel to a mouse, but the genes might not work. Genes do not work on their own, they often needs other genes as well. For example, eels are capable of generating electricity due to a special organ they have. Moving all the genes for that organ to a mouse would not work because it would need other eel gens as well. To go back to the LEGO analogy, it is like trying to build a LEGO set using K’Nex, they are just too different.