SATIRE/Rosie Sorenson

Designer Schemes: The Genie is Out of the Bottle

Good news! Or not, depending on your particular ethical/moral/paranoiac point of view.

Molecular biologists at the Oregon Health and Science University have succeeded in using the new CRISPR technology to eliminate from an embryo a dangerous mutation that causes a genetic heart condition. CRISPR, the acronym for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat, is a biological scissors capable of snipping out a targeted gene from a DNA sequence. By using this tool, the Oregon scientists triumphed in repairing the mutation to produce apparently healthy embryos. Although US law forbids the development of these embryos into babies, scientists believe that by permanently altering their germline, the mutation would never again be passed onto future generations.

Imagine — a brave new world without cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, cardiomyopathy or other genetically-driven diseases. There is, of course, a not unreasonable fear that this technology will be used to develop “designer” babies. Can’t be helped. The genie is out of the bottle.

Rumor has it that scientists in an undisclosed Scandinavian country have taken this research one step further. Concerned about Trump’s impact on the future of the planet, an enterprising young reporter from this unidentified country surreptitiously plucked a stray hair from one of Donald Trump’s sleeves during a stop in France on his overseas tour. The reporter carefully bagged and tagged it and smuggled it out to his country’s genetics research lab. What the scientists discovered during the sequencing of Trump’s DNA both excited and horrified them: the presence of a rare and formidable gene, which they named the TGene, or ASS#71. They determined it to be responsible for the following characteristics:

1. A fierce predilection for seducing people into supporting him, bound to an equally feverish, perverted inclination for destroying those very people, one tweet at a time.

2. Intense mirror gazing of the sort that would put the Evil Queen from Snow White to shame: “Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” Up until recently, The Donald’s Mirror has always replied, “Why you, Sir.” But in the past few months the Mirror has been adding a caveat: “Why you, Sir, but you should take note that Bobby Three Sticks (the nickname for Robert Mueller III) is a very close second and is gaining on you every day.”

3. Passionate contempt for the half of the human race that stood between him and the Senate’s passage of a ruinous health care bill. “Those damn women, bleeding from wherever . . .”

4. The ability to create his own bizarro world and command others to dwell in it. The chief operating principle in his freaky bubble orbit is persuasion by lies, the more outlandish the better. Obama tapped the wires in Trump Tower. The Director of the Boy Scouts called to thank me for my speech. I’m the greatest person ever.

The Scandinavian scientists are not satisfied with merely identifying ASS#71. They are now conducting research on rats at a secure location with the aim of designing a delivery system for the CRISPR tool to be inserted into Trump without his awareness, perhaps by means of absorbing it through coated paper, by pinprick injection, or by dissolving it in his drink. The goal is to make sure it rapidly streams to the ASS#71 gene and destroys it. Forever gone.

Think of a world without Trump being Trump.

Snip, snip.

Rosie Sorenson is a humor writer in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can contact her at:

From The Progressive Populist, September 15, 2017

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