Soap-Pooping Pigeons

GeoBeatsNews reports on an experimental London-based project to feed pigeons a special diet that'll make them poop soap. That way, instead of dirtying the city as they fly around, they'll clean it.

The video makes it sound like this is an official government-sponsored project. But as far as I can tell, it's an art project called "Pigeon D'Or" by Cohen Van Balen. That is, it's probably not really happening. Van Balen offers this description of the project:

With the help of biochemist James Chappell, we have used synthetic biology to design and create a bacteria that can modify the metabolism of pigeons. To achieve this, we have created a new biobrick, or standard biological part, that when added to the genetic information of the bacteria, creates lipase. We have also used a biobrick that lowers the ph. The result is a biological device that produces a kind of window-soap. We have built this device in the bacteria Lactobacillus, which is a bacteria that naturally occurs in the digestive tract. So when feeding this bacteria to a pigeon, it should produce and defecate biological soap.
     Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 22, 2013
     Category: Animals | Art | Baths, Showers and Other Cleansing Methods | Excrement

I suggested that "novel solution" to my home town almost 50 years ago when they decided to use shotguns to rid the city of pigeons.

My suggestion was to use cracked corn soaked in booze, scoop the birds up, and collect the state bounty. But, 10 guys from the 'city gun club' got to stand around the city park and blast away at them.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 01/22/13 at 09:02 AM
Flying rats - they go everywhere and poo on everything.

On my last visit to Paris I went out to the Arc de Triomphe after the renovations were finished. After the crews cleaned the Arc, a coating was applied to the stonework that incorporates little sharp needles of titanium. Its purpose is to keep the pigeons from roosting. It works! No more birdie bombs from above.
Posted by KDP on 01/22/13 at 10:42 AM
As I've said before, Pigeon/Squab is YUMMY!! :coolsmile:
Just don't call it SQUAB around the kids, Tell them it's a small chicken!
Posted by Tyrusguy on 01/22/13 at 01:37 PM
Oh Ty you are such a carnivore!

I sense a great horror film here! The biological tampering makes vicious, toxic, zombie birds. They attack everyone, and, their poop is like acid on skin! 'Zombie Squab Monsters' Cool huh??
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 01/22/13 at 07:50 PM
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