In case you’re behind on your genetic engineering updates, scientists isolated the gene that causes big-bottomed sheep. This, they say, will help their ongoing quest to solve the genetic disorder that predestines some of us to waddle around life with oversized end zones.
Scientists celebrate this like it’s good news.
It’s not. It’s too late for us. We are stuck with all the body parts that centuries of disproportional ancestors installed on us.
A good chunk of those ancestors frolicked through time when big was beautiful. They didn’t know any better. They counted it as a favor to endow us with a long line of big butts.
But not us. Oh no. It’s for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
And what will they, with their genetically perfect body parts, do in return? They’ll flicker through the family video albums and yell, “Wow! It looks like Grandma’s smuggling a couple dancing hogs under there! Yikes! I think one just slapped a headlock on the other!”
Sometimes I wonder if science can develop anything that would be useful to us without a time machine.
All science can give us is rear-view mirrors because most of us don’t even realize what’s going on back there.
We’ve gotten used to the paunch up front because we can see that. It may not be pretty, but hey, I’m sure that’s also the fault of fat ancestors and not the cheeseburgers at the drive-through window.
But the other day wandering through a store, I caught sight of myself in a security monitor and it startled me. The camera was over my shoulder.
I couldn’t remember having called in that many reinforcements to fortify the rear guard. But I must have, because there they were, taking up a considerable amount of the screen space.
Why didn’t science know about this gene disorder before?
This latest marvel of the genetic world blossomed after 10 years of studying the behinds of sheep, according to a report in USA Today. Scientists figured out that the wide-loaded ones shared a breakdown in a gene called callipyge, which is Greek for – are you ready for this – “beautiful buttocks.”
Normally, this gene shuts down fat cells and turns energy into muscle. When it doesn’t work, airline attendants make Mr. Ram buy two tickets to fly.
To be fair, scientists do have a good cause in mind. They figure that by tracking down the big butt genes, eventually they can trace where the breakdowns occur and fix it. Not for us, of course, but for those ungrateful great-grandchildren of ours.
Let us hope that science also will obliterate a number of other destructive genes, like the one that cause people to shout on cell phones in restaurants. Or how about the gene that causes drivers to cut you off on the interstate?
In this wonderful, new world, telemarketers no longer would interrupt supper to try to sell you siding because the gene that causes phone sales would be erased.
And possibly – and I might be pushing it here, but just dream with me a moment – possibly science even could eradicate the gene that causes significant others to spend so much time in the shoe department! It may be too late for me, but maybe my great-grandson-to-be will have improved quality of life by being able to spend more time in the electronics department, as it should be. Ah, bliss!
When this all happens, we can fall asleep contentedly at night counting little lambs wagging shapely tails. And we’ll owe it all to a big-bottomed ram.