My Genetic Engineering Wishlist


II’m as happy as anyone to see people dressed up as corncobs, but that didn’t convince me of the dangers of biotech engineering.

I know those costumed protesters were sincere, but I can’t help but encourage the possibility of altering certain traits of food and people.

Look around. Don’t tell me there aren’t several things, and folks, you wish you had tweaked just a little bit.

Critics of bioengineering have a dual concern, it seems. Firstly, they try to prevent the future creation of test-tube supermen. They clearly haven’t attended a graduation ceremony lately.

I have strong suspicions about those half dozen kids who stood up for every award class, had a 6.8 GPA, held office, reached Eagle Scout, played in the marching band, starred in the school play, had flawless skin, and played on at least two sports teams. It cannot be natural.

But if they can accomplish that, we might be able to conceive a spouse who remembers birthdays, and while we’re at it, tweak that gene that keeps them from rinsing their hair out of the sink.

With a little research, I bet we could find 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, surely they can insert a friendly and helpful disposition into that store clerk.

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

Besides the vitamin A they designed to save children’s vision, could we find something that would make 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 full of dirty dishes? How about the one who knows when it’s time to clean up the dog’s mess in the yard?

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

I want and will pay dearly to have all of this integrated into my husband and my children.

With just one hair, we could conceive of a toddler’s need to wake up at 5 a.m. full of energy and zest for life. Swap that gene for the lethargy of teenagers who sleep until noon and we might have a real winner.

Just think. A baby who lets you sleep and a teenager who thinks vacuuming is fun. Heck, I would even like one that would make me love housework.

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

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

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

Come on guys. You just don’t try.

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


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