Whose DNA Is It Anyway?

June 30, 2000

Earlier this week it was announced that the Human Genome Project was complete and had mapped human DNA. Then it was announced that the project was almost complete, and had mapped 90% of human DNA. Then it was announced that this was really just a rough draft, and it will be years before it’s really complete, or, as they put it in technical jargon, "finished". And in a final development to the story, the people originally hired to do the publicity for the human genome project are now standing on a streetcorner holding signs that say, "Will do PR work for food."

Scientists also say that when the project is finished, it will serve humankind, but not deprive us of the mystery and wonder which keeps poets busy. Scientists, of course, always bring up poets to give a human dimension to their projects. Poets respond with silence, probably because they don’t receive large research grants that would allow them to hire even incompetent publicity people. Among other expected benefits of the project, scientists hope to identify the genes that cause men to leave the toilet seat up, women to buy so many shoes, and people to think hackneyed jokes about the sexes are actually funny.

Meanwhile grade school teachers are concerned that they’ll have to start teaching their students DNA sequencing, since this is about as useful for students’ futures as making collages of the four food groups. The biggest concern among teachers is that the equipment costs will be prohibitive. The biggest concern among students is that DNA templates don’t have nearly the same humor value as frog gonads.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


If you receive an e-mail entitled "Badtimes," delete it immediately. Do not open it. Apparently this one is pretty nasty. It will not only erase everything on your hard drive, but it will also delete anything on disks within 20 feet of your computer.

It demagnetizes the stripes on ALL of your credit cards. It reprograms your ATM access code, screws up the tracking on your VCR and uses subspace field harmonics to scratch any CD’s you attempt to play.

It will re-calibrate your refrigerator’s coolness settings so all your ice cream melts and your milk curdles. It will program your phone auto dial to call only your mother-in-law’s number.

This virus will mix antifreeze into your fish tank. It will drink all your beer.(For God’s sake, people, are you listening?!?!)

It will leave dirty socks on the coffee table when you are expecting company.

It will replace your shampoo with Nair and your Nair with Rogaine, all while dating your current boy/girlfriend behind your back and billing their hotel rendezvous to your Visa card. It will cause you to run with scissors and throw things in a way that is only fun until someone loses an eye.

It will rewrite your backup files, changing all your active verbs to passive tense and incorporating undetectable misspellings which grossly change the interpretations of key sentences.

If the "Badtimes" message is opened in a Windows95/98 environment, it will leave the toilet seat up and leave your hair dryer plugged in dangerously close to a full bathtub. It will not only remove the forbidden tags from your mattresses and pillows, it will also refill your skim milk with whole milk.

**WARN AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN.**

In case you are a blonde, this IS A JOKE.

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