The proposed business merger between Kayne West and biotechnology company PPL Therapeutics came to a grinding halt Tuesday, when the first of a brood of cloned guinea pigs were found to have a nearly 90% mortality rate. Of the original 86 live births from a synthetic womb, a full 77 were found to possibly be suicidal.
While initially confused by the trend, science has found an explanation to the phenomenon, although a confusing and disturbing one.
The facility where the cloned animals were to be housed had been equipped with watering systems made of hypoallergenic, germ and virus resistant and highly reflective polished steel cages. According to lab personnel, the guinea pigs were found in groups of three or four a day, drowned in the watering troughs they shared. At first, lab management states, they were confused. Further investigation using low-light cameras revealed that the animals were, in fact, voluntarily placing their heads in the trough and staying underwater, apparently only surviving if they passed out and fell over before brain death set in.
Several attempts to alter the water with mood suppressants had failed, and the facility was beginning to lose hope on solving this puzzle. Finally, in an act of mercy, one employee removed one of the suicidal animals, which is strictly against lab policy. Planning to give it a happy home in it’s final days, the nameless employee placed it in an unused fish tank. Providing it with a plastic bowl of water and some fresh hay daily, the employee was amazed to find that the guinea pig was dry and alert every morning, in contrast to the wet and stunned symptoms they had all displayed daily. Upon alerting facility staff to the find, experimentation started and quickly found the source of the lemming-like behavior.
“We were able to narrow the issue down to one of housing,” stated a lab PR agent. “In the facility’s case, we have water troughs with highly reflective surfaces on the bottom, which allow the rodents to gaze at their own reflection. They were failing to come up for air and had shown an alarming tendency towards self-destruction. Upon covering the trough bottoms with non-reflective surfaces, the remaining specimens lost all interest in death, and enjoyed their nice hay and snuggles.”
“We know now that playing God with Kayne West’s genetic material may have been too bold a step for us. There are powerful drives in his genes, chief amongst which is the desire to stare at one’s reflection to the point of ignoring all pain and disorientation.”
The research company has refused to issue comment on the proposed cross of a lobster with Lindsey Lohan to create a lifeform prone to voluntarily throwing itself into a pot of boiling water.