A Note on Disparate Genomes

Dear Ms. Alighieri,

I’ve just read and re-read your harrowing account a dozen times.

A curious case, undoubtedly. The nature of certain creatures, what draws them to one another, has always vexed me. The reptilian, avian gargoyle and the vicious, aquatic mermaid. What would draw these environmentally-disparate creatures so close together? The biology alone befuddles the mind, let alone the proper behavioral attraction. Although, I suppose it is not so different from humans. The whole notion of “opposites attracting,” while certainly called into question in the hallowed halls of academia in recent years, is nonetheless a time-acknowledged axiom.

I digress.

Hybrids are not uncommon in other fields. Botanists, arborists especially, frequently breed and cross-breed for specific traits. Sweet corn, for example. Or the delectable apples of Cornell University’s orchards in New York. Of course, the same science goes into the detestable works of “purebred” animals, and all of the horrific maladies that accompany them.

The thought drums up memories of the royal family’s hemophilia. Or polydigitalia. You know, I assume, that many believed Anne Boleyn to have had six fingers?

All bizarre states of the genome. It’s what has drawn me to the work, at least that of the secular, Normal variety. The Abnormal simply showcases the importance of what I do. Being able to locate active alleles in a goldfish has allowed me, for instance, to decrease the expressed traits in a full-blown lycanthrope in the throes of a full harvest moon by 12%. Twelve percent! I’d like to see Dr. Neymar pull that out of his Stanford-educated, West Coast, sand-filled lab coat! It’s those of us who take the field seriously that get that done.

If the doctor in Paris could isolate any “foreign” DNA for me, I’d be more than happy to examine it Stateside.

With that being said, I do mourn the loss of Mr. Callahan, and the rest of the crew. All the same, I am grateful for your safe return, and for the safe return of Iz. The man treated me like his own son for many years, and I …

Well, thank you, Ms. Alighieri–Marka.

Thank you.

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