I came across the LiveJournal page of Chris (corourke)
, on which he ponders the reality of the Santa Rosa Institute of Advanced Genetics
. Upon checking it out, the site had me confused for a while also. At first glance it appears to be a legitimate biotech company with two products in development: Genuflex (an anti-aging drug), and Envigor (a drug that decreases the need for sleep). So far, so good. I know there really are companies developing products like this. But then if you do a google search for the 'Santa Rosa Institute' links to the Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency
start coming up. The FVZA rails against the Santa Rosa Institute, denouncing it as a front for vampire research. For instance, here's the FVZA's take on Envigor
Recently, the Santa Rosa Institute has been pushing Envigor, a drug designed to help people stay alert when working overnight shifts. Study results trumpeted in an Institute press release suggest that Envigor helps people stay awake and alert all night, with no apparent side effects. Of course, the Institute left out one minor detail: ENVIGOR IS MADE FROM VAMPIRE BLOOD.
Obviously the FVZA is a joke, but the question is: is the Santa Rosa Institute also a joke? Is it a fake site created by the FVZA, or is it a real company that just happens to have become a target for the FVZA's satire? For a moment I was inclined to think the SRI might be real, because a further search uncovered real-looking press releases
from the SRI on other sites
. But then I noticed something: a hidden vampire reference on the SRI site. If you click on the 'Home' link, a link to the FVZA Museum
surreptitiously appears in the right-hand corner. It's easy to miss. So it appears that the Santa Rosa Institute is
a fake site created by the FVZA. Though it's definitely a fairly elaborate fake.