Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||When You've Gotta Glow...
an article in the paper about some scientists in Taiwan who had
biogenetically engineered three green pigs that glow in the
dark. Apparently this was big news back in January, but some of
us are a bit slow.
I knew about the glofish that were being sold as neon
glow-in-the-dark pets. However, it seems there are now all sorts
of glowing animals. An artist created a glowing bunny and there
are also glowing mice that have been genetically changed.
Scientists do this by taking genes from jellyfish, which glow
naturally, and inserting them into the fertilized egg of the
animal they are trying to reproduce. Sometimes it works and
sometimes not, but in the case of the pigs, it worked at least
Of course, the way the human mind operates is to instantly jump
to the conclusion that the next thing will be a green
glow-in-the-dark human. We have seen too many mad scientists in
science fiction movies to think otherwise.
If we could engineer babies to glow pink and blue, it might be
more appealing. Of course, I suppose there would always be those
people who think that pink and blue babies are gender biased and
would insist on having a yellow glo-baby instead.
The point of all this genetic engineering is supposed to be the
study of stem cells and disease and the ability to trace a
glowing cell in the body much easier than would be possible
otherwise. Scientists assure us that creation of Franken-babies
is not the goal of their research.
What would be the advantages of glow-in-the-dark babies anyhow?
Mothers would not have to turn on a nightlight for the 2:00
o'clock feeding. As far as adult humans, I can't think of many
advantages. Criminals would have a harder time committing crimes
if they could be easily seen, but police would have a harder
time sneaking up and catching them in the act too.
It is supposed that when two genetically altered green pigs
mate, the offspring will also be green without further human
intervention. But what about when pink and blue adults have
children? Would the offspring be pink if girls and blue if boys
or some weird combination of both that might make them purple?
The trouble with this whole thing is that we really are not sure
what might result.
Probably you think I'm just making an inductive leap here and
biogenetic engineering on humans is not in the future. But
scientists have tried to produce a green monkey already, which
is the animal most genetically similar to man. Maybe the little
green men of science fiction fame are not as far-fetched as they
seem to be.
It is sort of the opposite of the repressed desire of people to
become invisible. Instead people would always be visible, even
at night. It would be hell if we re-engineered nocturnal
creatures that depend on hunting at night to camouflage them
from their prey. However, the cat could no longer run off at
night and refuse to come inside.
If jellyfish or ocean creatures occur in enough different
colors, people might be able to choose designer colors for their
offspring, creating a whole new breed of humans. Imagine a
nightclub full of people all dancing and glowing in different
Other than for novelty and amusement, I can't really see much
point in making a green human. But, if it can be done and the
technology is there, you can be pretty sure that sooner or later
it is going to happen, regardless of complaints about the moral
implications. Fears of a brave new world might become realities.
Pick a favorite color, just in case you need one.
Copyright 2006 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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