Towards a Pink Future

Visits to this site have jumped recently. This elephant pic seems to be playing an out-sized role in the jump.

Elephant whitened tusks before pink

The dolled-up, Photoshop’d version is making the rounds on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.

Pink Elephant Tusks courtesy PhotoShop

One day, I hope that the pink will be real – if significantly paler. (Elephants don’t see reds well, so pink may be a good choice.)

This site doesn’t have the answer. The intent is to make the idea plausible enough to intrigue the right people to explore it.

Please comment with suggestions. Please link to this site. If you can’t research it, you can still help. Please forward the site to someone you know of who might look into it.

Like who?

The choice of stain to use is the biggest hurdle, so send it to someone you know who develops non-toxic dyes at a food company. Or that hair color chemist you met who works at L’Oreal.

Or the neighbor who stains bone samples for research (histotechnologist).

Or your brother’s cosmetic dentist who – for something different – might like to figure out how to stain teeth pink rather bleach them white.

Or that nice ivory conservator who might open up about what stains she’s never been able to remove.

Sure, staining tusks is a fringe idea, but I wonder about it because our current anti-poaching strategies are problematic. I go into this at All We Do For the Elephants . . . Exactly. The piece on MIKE (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants) might be the best introduction to the issues.

Ectopic bone formation induced by sonoporation

Some snapshots (@ 5 microns) of ectopic bone formation, using 2 different staining techniques. Were the stains injected into a person or into a specimen after extraction? Could the dyes be made indelible? Could the staining be scaled up for something the size of a tusk. (fyi, BF = bone formation, BM = bone marrow, M = muscle.) source

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