Excerpts from
The Transgenic Chronicles
1995
MEXICO CITY President Salinas Gottari announced today that the final trade barriers between the US and Mexico would fall this week with the handing over of the state's ineffective and outmoded socialized medical system to Shield International. S hield International, incorporated in the US as Blue Cross-Blue Shield, now controls the medical systems of 17 Caribbean and Latin American Countries, but a spokesman today announced that the Mexican purchase was by far the largest that the Shield had mad e, and it offered an exceptional investment opportunity for investors in the US and elsewhere.

1996
WASHINGTON D.C. In a landmark decision today, the Supreme Court declared that any illness for which the patient had a genetic propensity was legally a pre-existing condition and was thus exempt from insurance. The ramifications of this decision for insurance holders have not been fully explored, but simultaneous with the decision, stock values for the three major corporations marketing genetic testing equipment quadrupled in value.

BOSTON Somewhat behind schedule, the Human Genome project celebrated its completion today and announcements were made of three new bioengineering corporations which would take advantage of this development. John Morris, the president of Perfect Baby Inc. and until recently a head researcher on the Genome Project announced that PBI would begin immediately to offer 'fetal correction procedures' in utero, and added that there was already a waiting list at their new facility in the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

1997
BOISE IDAHO Anti-vivisectionist lobbyists today celebrated a victory. State court justices handed down a decision that transgenic pigs which include human genetic material must be accorded civil rights in strict proportion to their percentage of human genetic material. Thus Idaho's voting population doubled today, as most of its 2 million swine population possess 10% human genes, so every 10 pigs have one vote in the state legislature. Some concern has been expressed that this will very likely lead to the presence of at least one pig in the state house.

WASHINGTON D.C. Advances in transplant technology now allow for indefinite support of donated transplant organs by the use of a human 'host.' Living organs in sealed tanks are connected to the blood supply of the host via a network of feeds from a bypass implanted in the carotid artery in the neck. Depleted blood is fed back to a major neck vein. Although the 'host' must be treated with a wide range of immuno-suppressive drugs and is immobile, these people can lead relatively normal lives, thanks to specially designed interactive computer systems. A single host can support as many as 7 kidneys, 5 livers, 6 hearts, and sundry smaller organs.

1998
BRUSSELS Scientists today announced that a synthetic gene which could counter AIDS had been tested in monkeys. The gene encodes cellular material to construct a custom antibody, Stripte-ase, which attacks the HIV virus. The scientists stated th at the gene would not be released for human use until intellectual copyright was granted for the antibody. This is problematic for the world medical patents court, for although patenting of synthetic genes is commonplace, the product of those genes (in t his case the antibody Stripte-ase) is a product of the host cell, which is the property of its owner. Independent commentators foresee a lengthy court battle which will hold up the release of the gene for some time.

CHICAGO Despite the influx of capital from the complete privatization of all US health services and dividends feeding into the system from overseas operations, it was revealed today that health insurance for the average family of four now costs $ 30K. This has left 60% of the US population without any kind of health care. Charity organizations not yet under the Shield note that infant mortality is up to 16% among this group, and age expectancy is down. Most common causes of death (apart from AI DS) include tuberculosis in the north and gastro-enteritis in the south.

CAIRO AIDS continues to ravage the African population, with numbers down to 40% of 1985 population statistics. This reduction in numbers has led to the virtual collapse of several African States. The International Red Cross, now fully funded by Shield International, has said that it has been unable to offer adequate assistance due to disagreements between the remaining African States over who has legislative control of the nations without effective government. The states in question include Ug anda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Angola, and the Congo. The Shield has established an innovative health insurance plan for third world nations, whose citizens cannot afford the cost of health care. Contractual agreements place certain of the insured orga ns 'on call' if needed. The insured must donate if requested, or insurance is curtailed. On-call organs include only those which are not necessary to survival, such as eye, kidney, liver and lung (one of each), ears (2), fingers (5), hair follicles (all ) and various other items.

BOISE IDAHO Mince Fats, a transgenic pig, has succeeded in winning a seat in the Idaho senate. In his first speech (through a computer interpreter) he proposed that the terms 'pig' and 'swine' were discriminatory, and should be replaced with the more neutral 'porcine.' He also proposed that all school textbooks should be produced in porcine dialects, and that young porcines gain admittance to state schools.

BALTIMORE MD Shares in privatised detention centers have been dropping over the past 6 months due to the introduction of the Endo-stat implant, a surgically implanted device which many states are favoring over detention, due to cost. Endo-stat con trols and monitors hormone production from pituitary, thyroid and other glands, limiting activity, excitability and rage, among other parameters, and has been found to sucessfully control emotionally disturbed and deviant criminals.