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My genetic engineering wish list

I’m as happy as the next guy to see people dressed up like corncobs, but that hasn’t convinced me of the perils of biotech engineering.

I know those costumed protesters were sincere, but I can’t help but cheer for the possibility of tweaking certain traits in food and people.

Just look around. Don’t tell me there aren’t several things, and people, you’d like to have tweaked just a wee bit.

Bioengineering critics have a twofold concern, it seems. On one hand,  they are trying to prevent the future creation of test tube supermen. They clearly have not been to a graduation ceremony lately.

I have strong suspicions about those half-dozen kids who stood up for every single award category, had a 6.8 grade point average, held an office, reached Eagle Scout, played in the marching band, starred in the school play, had perfect skin and were on at least two sports teams. That can’t be natural.

But if they can accomplish that, maybe we could actually engineer a spouse who remembers birthdays, and while we are at it, alter that gene that keeps them from rinsing hair from the sink.

With a little research, I bet we could get a store employee who would remember what they have in stock and know where to find it.

If they can insert a daffodil gene into rice, they can surely insert a friendly, helpful disposition into that store sales clerk.

And speaking of dispositions, let’s just pluck out that attitude gene that kicks in at puberty. Surely there is a gracious, grateful, cooperative gene we could slip in there.

Along with the vitamin A they engineer to saves children’s vision, could we find something that makes the child see a mess before they step over it?

Would it be possible to isolate the gene that makes me wince at a sink of dirty dishes? How about the one that knows when it’s time to clean up the dog mess in the backyard?

Oh, don’t forget the gene that gives me the extraordinary ability to not only notice when the milk carton is empty but remember to replace it with the same brand.

I want and will pay dearly to have these all spliced into my husband and children.

Backing up just a hair, we could engineer out a toddler’s need to wake up at 5 a.m. full of energy and joie de vivre. Swap that gene out for the sleep-until-noon teenage lethargy and we might have a real winner.

Just think. An infant who lets you sleep in and a teenager who thinks vacuuming is fun. Heck, I’d even like the one that would make me enjoy housework.

My mom had it, but it didn’t make the jump to my DNA strand.

If they can add protein to a tomato, can’t we manage a hot fudge sauce that contains my MDR of vitamins and minerals and burns its own fat?

If these biotechnical engineers really cared about world peace, they would find a way for women to metabolize chocolate faster than they can eat it.

Come on, guys. You’re just not trying.

Jean Gillette is a journalist and freelance writer stuck with her original set of genes.

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