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Real or Fake: Grow Your Own Sneakers from Genetically Engineered Stingrays?

by Hazel Chua

Now here’s one for the books, and not in a very good way. Rayfish, a Thailand-based shoe company, is claiming that you can “grow your own sneakers” – or rather, the raw material that’s used to make your sneakers using – get this – genetically-engineered stingrays.

RayfishRayfish claims that they were able to develop a process where they can “bio-customize” living stingrays. A library of available colors and patterns let you customize the look of a living stingray whose hide will eventually be used to make your shoes. Each pair of Rayfish sneakers will cost around $1,800(USD).

Although the technology that Rayfish claims it has is possible, it’s highly unlikely that this is the real thing. (And even if it is, would you want it to be?)

David Edwards, a professor of Bioengineering at Harvard University, commented: “one suspects [Rayfish is] playing with genetics, if they are doing anything at all, and claiming an understanding they don’t possess.”

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if this is real or not. Regardless, though, I don’t see what’s wrong with plain old rubber shoes made the traditional (and more humane) way.

[via FastCo via Dvice]




Comments (1):

  1. graham says:

    I don’t see how growing a stingray to full adult-hood is somehow less humane than killing a year old calf for leather. Bio-engineering, if this is real, is probably less cruel than the processes that gave you every single thing you’re wearing.

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