Ever wondered what future geologists will find in the Earth crust of the 20th century? Surely nuclear waste, plastic, but also a lot of fossilized chicken bones. The Pink Chicken Project wants to genetically modify chickens with pink bones and feathers in order to mark our geological age, the Anthropocene, and leave a message to the next ones to come - whoever they might be.
We are in the Antrophocene epoch, in which human actions shapes the ecosystem and geology of the planet. What we produce and consume leaves its trace in the Earth's crust. With around 60 billion chickens killed every year, the world's most famous bird literally goes into history.
A team of designers and engineers now wants to use a gene modification tool to alter all chickens DNA to mark the state of our environment pink. The initial idea is to use the relatively cheap and accessible technique, CRISPR, to completley modify the chickens genomes in just 12 to 19 generations. In the case of a broiler with a lifespan of six weeks, an entire species could be changed in just a few years. In this scenario we would soon see pink in every single chicken bone.