Dr Julian Cook's science laboratory

The scientific world is a buzz with news of all the exciting things we’re going to do to the human body in the coming decade. Imagine you could have the eyes of a chameleon grafted onto your face and were able to swivel them independently of each other. You’d finally have achieved that ‘Lloyd Webber’ effect you’d always desired, except sexier – and you’d add a whole new dimension to otherwise pointless workouts at the gym.

Procedures like this sound rather complicated but in fact it’s pretty easy to understand if you can just remember the timeless lads’ night staple Cocktail starring an impossibly youthful Tom Cruise. In this film, Tom has to select from an intimidating array of exotic liqueurs in order to mix up the perfect tipple so that he may summon the attention of his female friend. It really is an emotional rollercoaster but it’s not a far cry from what we guys at The Institute’s Human Tissue Technologies lab are doing with your body parts.

Let’s say that Tom no longer wants to rustle up a delicious French Martini but a functioning human kidney. Instead of a dash of Chambord and a twist of lemon, he instead squirts living human cells into his little vessel, which is not so much a cocktail shaker as a gelatinous kidney shaped mould. And after it’s all been prepared, he doesn’t so much present the fabulous concoction to his alcoholic lady friend for approval, but implant it directly into her body where it immediately sets about filtering her urine.

And it’s not just kidneys: we have already achieved hearts, arteries and various other ingenious conceptions in our labs. In fact, the next time you’re at the movies, take a closer look at Angelina Jolie’s veiny forearms and you’ll immediately recognise a precise route map of the breathtaking Cote d’Azur region of France – something which she didn’t request upon her vein replacement consultation but I’m sure she is now grateful for when she makes her annual road trip to the Cannes Film Festival.

Undeniably, it’s wonderful news for all of us, but in particular for the Dancing on Ice star, Heather Mills who at some point this decade, may be able to grow herself a new leg for skating and lashing out with. In fact, advances may be such that scientists could graft almost anything onto Heather’s stump – at her consultation I might recommend a glamorous rotating mirror ball or perhaps a Kindle because they really are marvellous.

Dr Julian Cook is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Studies



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Power-thinking, with Dr Morris O'Connor

Don’t worry about the bad things you’ve done.

If you’re freaking out because you’ve stolen some electrical goods from a shop, ruined a family event by taking too much cocaine or uploaded some naked pictures of your cheating ex-wife to the internet, don’t feel bad. Guilt is a negative emotion you don’t want. We are all part of One Supreme Mind, one ‘energy’. If you don’t believe me just look at your hand. It looks solid, but put that thing under a microscope and you’ll see it’s just a mass of energy. Remember that.  

I used to have a dog. A very special fun loving Springer Spaniel called Chloe. Chloe was kind, obedient and absolutely stunning. Alsatians would stop dead in the street; even cats would let themselves get caught, just to be close to her. The guys at the golf course called her ‘Claudia Sniffer’ and it worked. It was a classic play-on-words joke based on her looks, a world-renowned supermodel and Chloe’s intuitive nasal reflexes.    

One day I walked into the lounge to see a beam of sunlight pouring through the window and Chloe, wearing nothing but fur soaking up the warm golden rays. She looked so content sprawled out on the rug that I had to join her. We lay nose to muzzle in the delicious balmy haze. She was 32 in dog years, loved walks, Baileys and watching the Masters – the perfect woman, with the addition of a tail and two extra legs.

Chloe reached out a paw to my hand as if to say: ‘Give us a scratch you successful bastard’  I started scratching her tummy, our eyes locked and suddenly my playful strokes turned into something more. Before I knew it Chloe and I were locked in a man dog clinch. Without opposable thumbs I thought there was no way she could she could undress me, but she managed to rip off my chinos and was working on my second Ralph Lauren sock when literally and metaphorically I got cold feet. This was sick and twisted, plus I knew she would never be accepted as my plus one at international business dinners.

The next day I parked outside a retail center, opened the passenger door and threw a stick into BHS. Chloe dutifully chased after it and I sped off never to see her again.

I could have felt guilty about that for a while, but I realised negative thought will only attract negative thought. The Universe essentially emerges from thought to produce all this matter around us. If we are the source of the Universe why, as such an important person, should I feel bad about abandoning a dog in a clothing store?

Dr Morris O’Connor is the best selling author of I Don’t Think I Did: One Simple Step to Ignoring All the Bad Stuff You Do.