Science Focus (issue 26)

waterfall can also appear “frozen” in a photo taken by a high speed camera. “For cats, the same principle holds,” Fardin remarked. “If you are observing a cat on a time longer than its relaxation time, it will be soft and adapt to its container, like a liquid would [5].” Why Is Grumpy Cat So Grumpy? Signalling the end of the weekend, Mondays typically serve as the herald of yet another week filled with classes, tests, and assignments galore; which is why this cat’s displeasure towards Monday seems relatable to us rather than unusual. However, if you were to look up Grumpy Cat memes on the internet, you’d very quickly see what earned her this nickname. With her piercing blue eyes forever narrowed in bemusement and a permanent scowl marring her face, Tardar Sauce, the star of the infamous Grumpy Cat meme, rose to fame as the poster child of grumpiness. Contrary to popular belief, Grumpy Cat’s surly expression is not caused by a morose disposition; rather, it is the direct result of an underbite due to a type of feline dwarfism known as achondroplasia [6]. Mutations in the UDP-glucose 6-dehydrogenase (UGDH) gene were suggested to cause this genetic disease [7, 8], leading to abnormal bone and cartilage development. This condition was speculated to have an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance. Homozygous mutants were not observed, likely because of its lethality at an early embryonic stage [7–9]. Although the resultant physical deformities may seem cute to us, they are also associated with spinal and degenerative joint problems [9], and a shortened lifespan [6]; yet breeders continue to breed cats afflicted with feline dwarfism to 自互聯網誕生以來,貓以層出不窮的方式佔據了我們社 交媒體的探索頁,有時是搞笑影片合輯,有時是窩心感人短 片,但不得不提的是:迷因!迷因文化確保貓受到的讚頌和 崇拜不亞於牠們在古埃及時期受到的膜拜,然而當中有些 迷因卻使我們不禁反思一些有趣小問題: 貓能吃芝士漢堡嗎? 這看似是答案非常 明顯的白痴問題,但你 可能不知道偶爾餵一下 主子吃漢堡包其實是 有益的。作為肉食性動 物,貓能吃不同種類的 肉,所以「簡單」的漢堡 包對貓來說是安全而 受歡迎的食物 [1];之 所以加上「簡單」是因 為有一些「注意事項」 我們不能忽略。 遺憾的是,你的主子並不能吃芝士漢堡(註一)。大眾對 貓的印象可能是認為牠們喜愛喝牛奶,然而牠們在戒奶後 並不能製造乳糖酶分解乳糖,所以成年貓大多是乳糖不耐 的 [1],因此我們不應將芝士和醬料加到給貓吃的漢堡中。 大量進食洋蔥、蒜頭等配料亦會對貓的消化道和紅血球造 成損害,尤其洋蔥中具氧化性的化合物能使血紅蛋白變性, 引致貧血 [1, 2]。 那少許莎樂美辣肉腸可以吧? 如這迷因所示,有主子可能曾因一時口腹之慾而在電 腦前偷偷回覆「可以」,技術上這不能說是錯的。儘管貓可 meet the high demand for unique-looking cats. Take this article as a sign: Adopt, don’t shop! 1 Editor’s note: The phrase “haz cheezburgerz” comes from LOLspeak – the vernacular associated with the LOLcats Internet memes that first became popular in 2007 [10]. LOLspeak embodies what made the LOLcats memes so popular – intentionally misspelled words that phonetically resemble the grammatically correct word (“cheezburger” for cheeseburger) and “purr-fect” puns that play on the fact that a cat is supposedly saying these phrases. 2 Ig Nobel Prize: An award that celebrates scientific research that “first makes people laugh, then think.”