Mosquito-Repelling Genes Now Available Over-the-Counter

June 4, 2037
RACINE–Consumer chemical and health maintenance giant SC Johnson unveiled today a new gene-therapeutic version of its classic Off insect repellant. In place of the conventional topical or ingestible repellant, the new Off includes genes enabling the skin to produce a natural insect repellent of its own. “This is a real breakthrough,” notes company spokeswoman Linda Oat. “For all practical purposes this is a completely passive insect protection solution. Once you’ve had the Off treatment you’ll never have to worry about pests again; you’ll never have to remember to apply a topical again.”

Though many of the details concerning the new Off remain trade secrets, public filings by the company indicate that the treatment inserts proprietary ‘human-variant Bt’ genes based upon the venerable Bt anti-pest and anti-fungal genes widely incorporated in resistant crops. “The new Off is based on Bt,” explains Oat, “but the Off genes have been extensively evolved and adapted to produce a repellant very like traditional Off. This required not just modification of the skin, but also some tweaking of the renal and digestive systems in order to ensure that raw materials for the repellant were available in adequate supplies.”

The Off genes are delivered by a series of ingestible, color-coded tablets taken over a 72-hour period. Each tablet contains a mix of viro- and nano-mechanical delivery vehicles that bind to specialized receptor sites on target cells in order to spread the Off genes throughout the skin and other key systems. Within two weeks, the sweat and oil glands begin to produce repellant sufficient to ward off an array of pests, including mosquitoes, midges, gnats, ants, roaches, bees, flies, horseflies, and burrowing starlink weevils.

“Pests are no longer just annoyances,” notes Oat. “The increasing frequency of large-scale mosquito blooms, and a number of recent starlink weevil outbreaks, make it clear that pests are serious health risks. That’s why we’ve approached the redesign of Off with the best that medical technology has to offer.”

Though results of fast-track FDA approval are not yet available, environmental and consumer health groups are quick to point to disclaimers included with the new Off as an indicator of possible risks. “This is another example of chemical companies replacing public oversight with their own inadequate disclosure schemes,” exclaims ChemFree founder Donald Wrap. “The fine print on these disclaimers is very revealing, even though it often isn’t effective in protecting consumers. The label for the new Off, for instance, warns users not to ‘exercise near an open flame.’ What does that mean, really? What kind of risks are involved? We just don’t know.”

Critics also raise questions about the subscription price model announced for Off. Users will be able to purchase the initial treatment series for a nominal fee, but the Off genes include a special protein-based expiration lock that requires ingestion of special ‘subscription-renewing’ tablets sold separately in 7-day, 30-day, and year-long durations. “Is anywhere safe from IP licenses of this sort?” demands fair use activist Jill Terribly. “These companies won’t be happy until I have to pay a licensing fee for breathing and shitting!”

The new Off is scheduled for availability in drug and discount stores by the end of the month. Johnson plans to offer the repellant in three versions initially: unscented, CK One, and Lemon-Fresh Pledge.

Consumer Capitalism Defective, U.S. Issues Recall

Dec. 14, 2050
WASHINGTON DC–The U.S. National Intellectual Property Trust today issued a formal recall of all licenses issued under its patents covering consumerism, consumer capitalism, and consumer federalism. Responding to questions concerning the timing of the recall, Trust spokesman Franklin Dolte noted that “we at the Trust have decided to take aggressive and proactive measures to address several independent but uncorroborated reports of side effects associated with some of our more widely licensed proprietary ideologies. Experts are examining the processes in question and we anticipate returning consumerism to full use in good order. But our customers and their citizens are our first concern and so we’re taking steps now to initiate a recall just to be on the safe side.”

Among the first of the controversial ‘social process’ or ‘ideology’ patents issued under rules promulgated by the WIPO six years ago, the U.S. patent on consumerism and related “democratic social and cultural processes” has been among the most lucrative patents in the U.S. portfolio. Licensees include some 1822 local, provincial, and national sovereignties, the majority of which hold site licenses paying royalties tied to domestic and local GDP, with the remainder holding seat licenses billed on a sliding scale with discounts for ‘temporary’ seats assigned to non-resident aliens and escaped or furloughed penitentiarents.

Recently the U.S. Trust has sought to expand the market for its consumerism patents by pursuing the private-sector. The Trust’s Dolte explains: “This technology sells itself. The real task before us is not to convince multi-nationals to make use of our proprietary ideologies, but just to negotiate the terms under which they will pay for the property they are already using.”[p]
Long-time rumors of defects in consumer capitalism, including accelerating income disparities and “environmentally negative externalities” lead the U.S. Trust to compile a 1200 page disclaimer issued and exhaustively counter-signed by each of its licensees. “Diarrhea,” “mouth-breathing,” and “TV” are among the more than 100,000 disclosed potential side-effects. Absent from the disclaimer, however, is the risk of an increase in what social scientists have come to call “atomic nesting.”

“Atomic nesting is directly related to dramatic increases in the production and availability of household appliances,” explains MIT Professor Emeritus Ricky Spongue. “All of those appliances need places to live. In order to maximize their habitat, they entice individuals to set up solitary households. The result is that more and more people live alone, and that is not necessarily a desirable social outcome.”

Responding to questions linking the recall to reported increases in atomic nesting in licensee communities, Trust spokesman Dolte declined specific comment. “This is a general recall to examine any and all safety issues,” he noted. “Our license agreements provide for recalls of this sort. Licensees are free to revert to pre-consumer ideologies and social structures until we’ve reaffirmed that consumerism is safe for our customers and their citizens.”

Julia Robertz’ Bowel Obstructed by Reusable Kraft Single

Nov. 3, 2045
HOLLYWOOD–Anonymous, inside sources at the Los Angeles County Medical Center confirmed this morning that celebrity clone Julia Robertz has been admitted and is receiving treatment for a “severe, septic bowel obstruction due to excess and/or abusive ingestion of reusable food products.” Spokespeople for Ms. Robertz’ studio, Buena Vista Pictures, have reported since Monday that Robertz was suffering from dehydration and acute exhaustion after long hours on the set of her new film “My Bezt Friend’z Wedding.” “Julia has been working very hard for a break like ‘Bezt Friend,'” explained her agent, Freddie Lore. “She’s been living in the shadow of her dam, and this was going to be her chance to show the public what she can do on her own. She’s been giving it all she’s got and she just overdid it a bit.”

Robertz, among the first generation of studio-raised stars, overcame a troubled childhood and tumultuous adolescence only to be passed over for parts in favor of her more experienced and still youthful dam. “Unlike Clint or Meryl Ztreep, Julia still had to compete with her Oscar(TM)-winning ‘parent,'” explained Lore. “She did everything the studio said. She worked hard for the ‘younger, wilder, out-of-control’ thing they said would help distinguish her from the other Julia. And it finally was starting to pay off. But now it looks to be picking up a sort of tragic spin.”

According to close friends, “cheesing,” or “krafting,” was among the activities the studio encouraged Robertz to pursue. The controversial practice, popular among actresses and models, restricts practitioners’ diets to nutrient-rechargable, reusable foods, particularly slices of Kraft American Cheese. “We’re noticing an alarming trend with respect to ‘cheesing,'” explains prominent Malibu nutritionist Dr. Kelly Gesamt. “I’ve seen several patients recently who have eaten only Reusable Singles for weeks at a time. And often, in order to completely satisfy their appetites, they are eating them in bulk.”

The Singles, made of an absorbent, nutrient-selective self-assembling smart polymer known as “Mylkar,” are marketed as a nutritionally complete non-caloric “snack supplement.” The Singles come pre-soaked in a bath of key nutrients and flavoring agents and the Mylkar, vapor-deposited in a complex lattice structure, has the appearance, texture, and bite-chew coefficient of traditional cheese food. “Our Reusable Singles are a great appetite satisfier as well as being nutritionally valuable,” notes Kraft spokesman Henri LeGliche. “They simulate fully the experience of traditional ingestion without the caloric complications and are the perfect complement to a healthy, weight-reducing diet.”

Once expelled from the body, the Mylkar lattice quickly reforms the original Single, which can then be washed, recharged with nutrients, and reused. “Reusability was an important design goal for us,” notes LeGliche. “Given the relatively high materials costs involved in the Mylkar manufacturing process, we felt that re-usability was important in order to keep the Singles at an accessible, mass-market price-point.”

Friends indicate that Robertz engaged in ‘deep cheesing,’ both for its cachet and to compete with Ms. Roberts. “Julia thought, and I guess the studio did too, that she could compete with the other Julia in terms of being thinner, having a better body. I guess she wasn’t really thinking about the risks.”

Though medical details about her condition remain unavailable, experts speculate that Robertz consumed dozens of Singles that then prematurely reformed in her digestive tract, causing a life-threatening obstruction. Dr. Gesamt explains: “It’s just like what’s happened lately here with the plumbing in Malibu. People here just flush the Singles because they can afford to. At some point enough of them are around that they start to reassemble into these mega-Single blockages in the system and you have to call out the public works guys to clear out the lines. The same thing could just as easily happen in the human digestive tract when people eat too much of this stuff.”

Sources inside L.A. County Medical Center describe Robertz’ condition as “touch and go.”

Diesel-Powered Artificial Heart Packs Punch

Sept. 7, 2006
DETROIT–In a paper released early Monday researchers from Carnegie-Mellon University and the Ford Motor Company announced successful prototype testing of a promising new artificial heart powered by a diesel-fueled internal combustion engine. “We’re pleased with the new results and are in the process of selecting patients for trial implantation,” notes Leslie Waiste, head of the research team responsible for designing the new heart. “This is quite a breakthrough in both power and durability. This heart is ram tough.”

The heart, nicknamed the “Model H,” consists of a compact 4-cylinder, 4-stroke compression-ignition engine driving a 4-chambered Teflon-coated bellows. The high-power, high-efficiency engine is fed by a close-proximity high-density fuel reservoir, and exhaust is expelled through a set of muffled, micro-articulated stacks designed to emerge discretely from just behind each of the ears. The engine is refueled through a dime-sized nozzle mounted just below the clavicle by means of a handy finger-pump-driven siphon.

“By making use of miniaturized combustion technologies, we’ve overcome the need for bulky external battery packs,” explains Waiste. “The H is the first truly entirely internal artificial heart solution. It also enjoys a significant acceleration and load-bearing advantage over traditional electric solutions. In fact, at idle and under light loads, the H has enough excess horsepower to drive a supplemental AC generator powering an armpit-mounted 110v AC single-plug outlet. Patients will be able to power their own blow-dryers and portable stereos right off of the H.”

Though greeted enthusiastically by the medical community and facing a five-fold over-subscription to planned trials, the Ford heart has been the subject of much criticism in the environmental community. “This ‘heart’ is yet another attempt by the oil giants and their cronies to find a market for petro-products that gets around international emissions controls,” exclaims Frieda Gillenfour, director of the Center for Biolocomotion. “We saw the same thing for years with lawn mowers: small, extremely dirty engines that, for a time, flew below regulatory radar. Now they’re disguising their smog-belchers as medical devices, hooking patients on petroleum for life. This heart is truly evil.”

“It is true that the diesel technology behind the heart is not particularly clean burning,” admits Ford Press Liaison Burt Spunk. “But that was a design trade-off made in favor of the health of patients. The greater power of diesel combustion means that patients will be able to enjoy a completely active lifestyle. And we are looking into alternative fuels, including a tobacco-burning version where the exhaust is repurposed through a hookah pipe fed by the stack behind the ear. Phillip Morris is looking at this with us, and once we can solve the ash-waste problem, maybe with a sort of chest-mounted emptiable tray or something, we’ll be off and running.”

Sources at Ford indicate the company anticipates marketing approval for the heart by early next spring. At launch plans call for the heart to be offered with 0% financing and a 5-year, 50,000 mile power-train warranty. Price and option details are not yet available.