Most Explosive Medical News of 2007 Award

Alien Invasion of Humans Proven by Scientistcells_stem_websmaller.jpg

Sigourney Weaver was right

Buried in what Dave Barry calls the “mainstream media,” was an article with this happy-face headline: “Babies protect mothers against breast cancer.” What could be more warm and fuzzy than that?

However, if you, like me, clicked on this article, what you found was something shocking. Scientists have documented that fetal cells invade and permanently set up shop, reproducing inside a woman’s body for decades. How did scientists find these fetal invaders? Well, they looked for male DNA floating in the blood of 60-year-old women who’d had sons.

As a physician, woman, and mother of two children, I can say that there is only one appropriate response to this news story:

You have got to be kidding.

Let’s just say that as I read this article, both my eyes sproinged out on their stalks, my back-end levitated off the chair and exclamation marks appeared over my head.

They’ve known for years that male (read: father) DNA sets up shop permanently in women after pregnancy, and no one said any more than this shocking understatement? Shouldn’t this be blared across headlines nation-wide? Think about it for a second. Who wants the collective genes of your in-laws living inside you? And, is this the real reason couples start to look like each other after years of marriage?

Did any of you women out there know this alien-invader fact when you contemplated the old pregnancy decision? Sure, in the seventh month, when a bored foot was methodically drop-kicking the underside of my eleventh rib, I felt a little invaded. And when it comes to the inside of my belly, I’d rather not feel someone else turning over in the middle of the night. But I thought I agreed to a time-limited rental of…me. Now we’re talking about permanent settlements.

Even more chilling, what if this foreign, paternal DNA doesn’t respect your local autonomy? How far can it go? Could this, in fact, be the real reason why, after a hard mothering evening spent wrestling toddlers in the bath, all you want to do is flop in the recliner, scratch your belly and chug beer?

There can be only one explanation for the blasé’ spin put on this information:

The researchers are men.

I’ve run this idea past all the male-female parent pairs I know. The guys uniformly say, “So?” and the women run around in circles, flapping their hands, and going “eeh, eeh, eeh,” like someone who found something alive in her hair.

So, as a hard-hitting, investigative health journalist (okay, freaked out mom of two children—with my oldest 16, it’s too late to re-think my 1991 birth control), I decided to expose this shocking situation. What follows is the actual interview where I, Doc Gurley, go head-to-head and verbally Mike-Wallace fetal chimera’s preeminent science researcher, V. K. Gadi, M.D., Ph.D. (yes, a man).

[me] “So, how long have you been participating in a nationwide alien invasion cover-up?”

“[laughter] About five years.”

“Wow. That’s…that’s quite a while. Why were you finally forced to let slip some of this information? Was there a lab accident? A breach in security?”

“Uh…a containment issue.”

“Can you describe that any further, or if you tell me, will you have to kill me?”

“[more laughter] I can describe it further. It seems that for a long time these alien invaders have been floating around in women’s bodies. We’ve known this now for some time. We initially thought they were up to no good and causing certain diseases, like autoimmune diseases in the hosts they were attacking. But I reasoned that not all aliens must be bad, there must be some good in some of these aliens. I was searching for what that good could be.”

“So you were taking the E.T. approach?”

“E.T. had some bad partners, but I was looking for the good guys.”

“Obviously, you’re a guy. A woman’s perspective on this whole idea might be something more along the lines of a total freak-out. Did you downplay the importance of your work, nationally, because you didn’t want a mass panic?”

“[laughter] Sure. (pause) Actually, I wanted just the opposite, I wanted a mass celebration. I wanted people to realize that some of these aliens are actually doing some good for us. I wanted that to be the case, and known.”

“Things were pretty consistent on the reporting. I was really impressed—it seems like somebody coordinated a media-wide conspiracy, because otherwise this should be everywhere. Wasn’t that kind of hard for you to pull off?”

“No, I had a lot of help. I had folks on my end, as well as from the media, and from the journal itself, who felt that this should be a message that should get out, so that people knew that some of these aliens are around helping us.”

“Do you have any tips for politicians who are interested in pulling off the same trick, putting their own spin on information that might be a little explosive?”

“I think politicians should try to not hide useful information, especially in fear of panic. Let the public make their own assessments.”

“I could understand that you might not want to discuss it while you’re on the record, but would you like to quote a consulting fee for those who might be interested in contacting you later, under more confidential circumstances, about how you do pull off a media-wide spin?”

“[laughter] I have no personal requirement, but it would be nice if people would contribute to research causes so that we could understand more about these aliens.”

“Even as a highly-trained health professional, some of these fetal chimera things still puzzle me. Like what happens if you have several baby-daddies? Do their different genes duke it out for territory?”

“We don’t know for sure…[edit]. But prior studies in stem cell transplantation, that used fetal cells for curing cancer, have shown that usually one source of fetal cells wins out. So if that’s the case, then it’s possible that all this good is really being carried out by only one source of fetal cells.”

“That leads to my next question. As the most informed person on this topic, probably nation-wide, if you had to bet, would you put your money on a World Wrestling Federation daddy gene, or a Stealth-Ninja daddy gene?”

“I’m gonna go with a stealth ninja-daddy gene.”

“What if, instead of one head-to-head battle, it was three out of four rounds, would that change your pick?”

“No. It’s not a stamina thing.”

“Next, on a more personal note, do you read romance novels?”

“[laughter] Uh…no. I don’t…partake in…that…kind of literature.”

“The women who write them have this recurring theme—that real men don’t just want to have sex, they are driven to impregnant women, because that is the only true way to—and I quote– ‘make her mine.'”

“–Well, that’s interesting—”

“–My question is, did you leak your research to these writers? Yes or no. And if you claim you didn’t—”

“–I didn’t.”

“Are you going to investigate or prosecute anyone in your lab for the leak?”

“I would not.”

“Any other comments on the romance writer’s approach to your research?”

“No, but I actually tend to agree, because I think there’s a biologic basis for some of what’s being said in the animal world…” [lots of information about studies, data, etc. I try to focus, but I can’t help myself, my last question just sort of bursts out–]

“–Can you tell me, doc, how long do I have?”

“[surprised laughter] Well, it depends on how many children you have.”

“Two. But see, what I’m really worried about is, how long do I have before my husband’s genes take over?”

“I think you have lots and lots of time, after all, those genes are helping you. They’re helping you stay, and live longer.”

“So can I at least blame my husband for my chin hair?”

“No comment.” [more laughter—which Dr. Gadi claims was good-hearted, but sounded frankly sinister to me. There was conspicuously no answer to my question about a man’s genes taking over the woman he impregnates…]

Doc Gurley is a Harvard-trained internist physician and former basic science researcher. She’d like to thank Dr. Gadi for being such a good sport. She would say more, but she has to leave—she had a sudden craving for a beer and a burp.

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