Lay an Egg, Grow an Organ

Feb. 18, 2072
MINNEAPOLIS, MN–Consumer biosciences giant Monsanto Mills today unveiled plans to market a replacement-organ cultivation technology with a novel, consumer-friendly interface modeled on traditional agrarian processes. The as-yet unnamed product embeds organ cultivation in the familiar practice of plant husbandry, and is designed to evoke the warm, nostalgic feelings associated with America’s historic farms. “The real challenge for replacement-organ cultivation isn’t actually growing genetically compatible organs,” explains Monsanto’s VP of Human Development Eunice Freelie. “The real challenge is getting people to adopt organ cultivation as a part of their everyday lives. Our new approach will overcome some of the popular, though undeserved, aversion to organ cultivation.”

The new product, packaged in wood pulp cartons reminiscent of those traditionally used to market food-grade chicken eggs, consists of a series of color-coded, egg-shaped “sample vectors,” each designed to produce a particular organ system: red for kidneys, blue for a liver, pink and yellow for a heart, and ecru for lungs. The eggs are covered in a flexible selectively-absorbent membrane containing a proprietary combination of natural and artificial proteins and growth-factors. Consumers swallow the eggs whole, as many as three at a sitting according to preference. “It’s a bit like downing a large oyster,” explains Freelie. “We considered chewables, but felt that anything that violated the integrity of the eggs would not be consistent with our vision.”

Resisting digestion, the eggs’ absorbent membranes collect an array of samples as they pass through the digestive tract, including cells from the lining of the stomach and small intestines. Exploiting a patented hemo-osmotic process, the complex polymer membranes store imprints of key proteins, enabling the eggs to tailor subsequent organ development to the protenomic phenotype of the individual consumer.

After passing the eggs, consumers plant them in conventional potting soil. Within 7-10 days, the first sprouts appear, and, after 4-6 weeks of cultivation, the plants begin to bear large, egg-shaped fruit. Colored to coordinate with the egg from which it has sprouted, the rind of each fruit also bears tattoo-like marks shaped like the organ with which they are associated. The fruit ripens within days and can be picked once it makes a full, hollow sound when thumped.[p]
The melons each contain a set of organs of the appropriate type: handy, portable, and ready for immediate transplantation. Stored in sawdust, or in a cool, dry place, they can keep for up to 8 weeks.

“This new process has been testing very well in our focus groups,” notes Freelie. “Research had shown us, time and again, that people wanted to have genetically compatible organs available for transplant, but were intimidated by the popular image of weird tanks in a sinister lab. They also didn’t like the idea of giving up control over their own tissue.

“Now we’re addressing those concerns. This is a very user-friendly process. It involves cute eggs, something everybody can relate to. And the laying of eggs, just like a chicken on the farm. Plus growing a beautiful plant. There’s nothing more natural and human than working with the soil. We’re leveraging familiar skills and ideas to drive adoption of a technology everybody wants but few are yet comfortable with. This is a sure winner, and a real triumph for our product design folks.”

Market trials are scheduled to begin late next month, with world-wide product roll-out planned in time for the spring planting season.

Embryos, Stem Cells Vote Bush in Record Numbers

Dec. 12, 2042
WASHINGTON DC–In only the second national election since implementation of new voting rules under the Unborn Voting Rights Act, heavy Republican voting among embryos and active embryonic stem cell lines may have determined the outcome of a presidential election. A special committee formed by the Federal Election Commission to analyze voting in President-elect Bush’s November victory reported Wednesday that embryos and open-source stem cell lines cast nearly 27% of votes in the presidential race. “Our analysis indicates a much greater than expected turn-out among newly-enfranchised single-cell and single-neuron voters,” noted committee chairman Arnold Pusse. “This is a watershed moment in the evolution of the American electorate.”

Discussing the specialized polling equipment designed to predict voting preferences of single neurons and small-cluster embryos, the committee noted that the equipment functioned well within error margins and offered few use or implementation problems at local polling stations. “We were really pleased with the ease-of-deployment of the Microsoft solution,” explains Florida Director of Elections Maryanne Freebie. “Handheld devices enabled scanning of petri-dishes and test-tubes for headcount and DNA-signed voter-roll checks, while simple, self-positioning filament leads allowed us to link voting cells to the full NT-hosted vote-extracting models.”

Though praising the Commission’s rapid deployment of standards-based technical solutions to fulfill its obligations under a new and untested law, the committee acknowledged a number of formal, public complaints about the computer models behind the vote-extraction technology. “By choosing a private-sector vendor like Microsoft, the Commission effectively shielded key parts of the technology from public view,” notes VOTE! executive director Elaine Just. “The computer model is doing a lot of the work, hypothesizing the full mental process involved in voting, sometimes on the basis of a single neuron. We need to know that that model is non-partisan.”

The committee’s conclusion that nearly 89% of single-cell and single-neuron voters supported Ms. Bush has fed speculation that Democrats will mount a legal challenge to the Act and the Commission’s rules. Though not ruling out the possibility of litigation, Terrence Limp, speaking on behalf of the DNC, dismissed rumors of court action as “premature.” “We understand that there may be ideological reasons that embryos tend to vote Republican. We certainly aren’t interested in disenfranchising anyone because of how they vote. But it’s important that we get the technology right.”

Reviewing its findings on embryo voting in the context of declining non-embryonic turn-out, the committee projected dramatically declining average-brain-cell-per-voter counts over the next three election-cycles. “As average voter-neuron counts decrease, we anticipate a greater and greater ideological skew. Single-cell organisms appear to vote Republican in overwhelming numbers.”

Responding to recent charges of embryo voting irregularities, the committee concluded that rumors of concerted efforts among Republicans to “get out” the embryo vote by growing and registering thousands of embryonic clusters in the weeks leading up to the election are “unfounded and unsupported by any available evidence.”

Tom Cruize Kills Himselves, Police Charge

June 16, 2082
LOS ANGELES–Confirming weeks of popular speculation, Los Angeles County District Attorney Barry Chupa formally announced that his office had secured multiple indictments against Tom Cruize for the October murder of two of his isotypes, Thomaz Cruize and Thom Cruize. “This case, understandably, has been the subject of a great deal of public attention,” noted Chupa. “People have been anxious for a resolution, but we wanted to be sure that all our ducks were in a row before we went to the Grand Jury. I feel confident, now, that we will be able to bring Mr. Cruize to justice.”

Cruize, a popular stand-in and stuntman for the beloved elder Cruise, is charged with the stabbing death of the two younger Cruizes just outside the Cruise compound in a posh section of the City of Industry. According to internal police reports, Thomaz and Thom had stepped onto the grounds outside the main gate for a private discussion when Cruize surprised them, stabbing each multiple times about the head and chest. Fleeing the scene, Cruize allegedly reentered the compound by scaling an unmonitored wall at the rear of the property, sneaking back to his quarters unnoticed by other members of the household.

The County’s case rests on a combination of DNA and circumstantial witness testimony pointing to Cruize. A knit cap discarded at the scene reportedly contains hairs genetically matching Cruize, and a glove, saturated with Cruize blood, was discovered by detectives behind the pool house at the rear of the property. Police interview records indicate that the elder Cruise, who had taken up residence in the pool house, was awakened on the night of the murder by loud “thumping” behind the house, near the spot at which the glove was later discovered. “I don’t know. It was kind of a noise like somebody stumbling around back there,” explained Cruise. “I was totally baked, though, and fell right back asleep.”

David Boies, speaking for the Cruize defense, dismissed the County’s case, noting that the “DNA evidence is less than useless. The blood on the glove, the hair in the hat, the miniscule spots of blood on Cruize’s car, those could belong to anybody in the household. Including Cruise himself, they’ve got more than a dozen genetically-identical people living there. They’ve also got no motive. These hints of a love triangle are the desperate and ludicrous musings of a prosecution without a clue.”

Cruize has continued to maintain that the slayings are related to the Cruizes’ ongoing copyright dispute with the Church of Scientology. “Thomaz and Thom were very involved in the case,” explains Cruize. “They were the first of the Cruizes to become clears without the help of the Church. They couldn’t allow that. It was too much of a threat. The police department is lousy with Scientologists. They’re planting evidence and looking to frame me up.”

Papers filed last year by the Church of Scientology in Los Angeles Federal District Court allege that the Cruizes conspired together to exploit their genetic similarity by narco-surgically copying “engram-free” neurological structures from the elder Cruise, a member of one of the Church’s highest orders. The Church maintains that the “clear” structures in Cruise’s brain are protected by Federal copyright and trade secret laws.

Asked about Cruize’s accusations, Scientology spokeswoman Jo Listle responded vehemently: “To imply that the Church is at all involved in these tragic killings is slanderous. Cruize is clearly guilty and trying to scapegoat Scientology, and it simply won’t work.”

Though a trial date has yet to be scheduled, County attorneys expect to begin the process of jury selection within the month.

Scientists Discover, Isolate Limited Liability Person

Aug. 18, 2106
BOSTON–A team of international researchers working at M.I.T.’s Laboratory for High-Velocity Quantum-Economic Phenomena announced Monday the first successful isolation, identification, and tagging of a Limited Liability Person, or “LLP” “We’re quite excited to be the first team to isolate an active LLP in the field,” notes Dr. Hillary Yuan, director of the research team, “And not only have we identified an LLP, but we’ve also tagged him, enabling us to follow his migratory habits and learn much more about what life is like for them.”

Limited Liability People, characterized by their immunity to civil and criminal liability, have been the subject of an increasing amount of scientific scrutiny in recent years. A joint U.S.-E.U. initiative, formed last year to fund inquiry into the nature and existence of LLPs, has called the reportedly explosive growth in LLP population “the number one scientifically addressable threat to world economic stability.” “LLPs are, essentially, invisible to the law,” explains U.S. Congressman Ralph Tool (G-New York), a longtime supporter of publicly-funded LLP research. “They are unaccountable. And, if their numbers are growing, that’s a real, tangible risk to the rule of law and to the democratic process. We need to know who they are and where they come from, and we need to know now.”

The isolation at M.I.T. of an LLP, identified by the team as a Mr. Alfred Dumpling of Boca Raton, Florida, marks an important advance in LLP research. Dr. Yuan explains: “There’s a difficult observational problem at the heart of LLP research. LLP who do not engage in conduct that exposes them to liability look pretty much like you and me. In fact, they can’t be distinguished from non-LLPs until they do something that exposes them to liability. But, once they do something that involves potential liability, they start to disappear. That, in fact, is how they avoid liability. The key is to know how they disappear. Then you can go about catching them.”

Working from a theory that postulates that LLPs result when publicly held individuals with super-high wealth densities merge with others of like or greater density, the M.I.T. team began to look at unexplained nano and quantum economic processes dispersed throughout the wake of such mergers. Piecing together these apparently isolated processes, and linking them to similarly fragmented processes in the “dark market,” the researchers were able to track the transactional movements of hundreds, and eventually thousands, of LLPs. “It was like looking at the footprints of the invisible man,” exclaimed one team member. “Well, more like looking at the footprints left by a rioting mob of invisible men. We could see where LLPns had been, but we couldn’t sort out whose footprints were whose.”

Working with the team, Dr. Yuan devised a technique to isolate one of the LLPs. Drawing on classical techniques for observing neutrinos, the team constructed a large, negative net-worth charity in the path of one of the LLP tracks. “We simply established a non-profit organization and began floating bonds as quickly as possible. When Mr. Dumpling, the LLP, passed through the non-profit, he was caught, momentarily, like light in a super-cooled trap. We had the charity’s ‘boardroom’ covered by high-speed, continuous frame cameras, and caught him there for a fraction of a second, sitting on one of the folding metal chairs. From there it wasn’t difficult to identify him and tag him with a seat on the board which would enable us to track him, since we remained in control of all the other seats.”
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Responding to news of the team’s results, Congressman Tool was careful to point out that M.I.T.’s special Lab had received a generous grant from the U.S.-E.U. initiative. “These are important results,” noted Tool. “For more than a century we’ve suspected that there existed a shadowy world of powerful, wealthy, law-defying individuals. Now we’re getting a glimpse into that world. No longer will they labor in secret and reign with impunity.”