Evolution is a gradual change, spanning millions of years...usually.

There are plenty of creatures we've watched maturing and evolving in the last few generations since we started recording our memories. Elephants are half as likely to be born with tusks than they were when we first started recording things about Elephants. In Croatia, a breed of lizard has changed so much in the last 30 years that it might even be its own breed now, switching from carnivore to omnivore among other huge characteristic changes. Other reptiles, skinks in particular, are starting to keep their eggs in their bellies til they're born. Live birth is something we haven't seen in reptiles since we started writing things down about reptiles. But the ongoing, visible evolution that's most interesting to me? The Microgadus tomcod. It's a fish that lives in the Hudson River in America, and has dropped six base pairs on its receptor gene. That means that it's impervious to the toxins in its water. The tomcod took about 20 generations to develop this trait, but because their life span is much shorter than a human's (no more than four years), it only took about 30 years.

If a fish can develop an immunity to chemical toxins, then perhaps with a little guidance, so can humans. So, if this parasite is something constructed by humans, using chemicals found on Earth, we should be able to single out the gene immune humans share (or don't) and find a way to duplicate that in other people. Or at least give those immune high incentives to breed, and the non-immune high incentives refrain from having children. My only concern is that 20 generations of tomcod is only 30 years, whereas 30 years is only one human generation. It could take hundreds of years for us to immunize ourselves through breeding alone, if it even works at all, and by then, who knows what PTA might look like and be capable of?

Either way, the breeding thing isn't a bad idea, and it provides us with a long-term plan, something that will at least aid future humans. So I was writing up a report and a request for implementation by my bosses at home, because I was feeling under the weather so I had decided to work from home. Belle came in with the girl she had recently been hanging out with, Imena. The look on her face when she saw me took me a little off guard. She looked embarrassed, then angry, and she started almost yelling at me.
"DAHLIA! I thought you were supposed to be at work? Why are you... here?"
"Well, I wasn't feeling well, so I stayed home. I had a good idea, so I was writing a memo to a few people I thought might be able to help. What are you doing here? I thought you were going to be watching movies with Imena today?" I responded.
"Yeah, well, the movie's over. So we came back here to... hang out." Belle looked down and her face flushed. What is she so worried about? I wondered.
"So, is everything okay? You seem a little upset, Belle. You guys are perfectly welcome to hang out here, I'll just finish up this memo, then go lie down some more. Like I said, I'm not feeling very well," I offered.
Belle let out the worst teen-sigh I think I've ever heard, but she conceded to the compromise with a long, regretful, "Yeah..."

I guess I have to get used to the fact that she's growing up, and her personality is evolving, too. Into something I don't really understand and can't really predict. Hopefully she still likes me by next week...

No comments:

Post a Comment