The Human Genre Project

Bonny Dundee

From The Kirkwall Review of Books Volume II Number 4, March 2069

By John Sannox

There Are Crowns To Be Broke: How a Country Destroyed Itself in a Bid to Conquer Death by Ian Brunskill, James Fergusson and Robert White

McGill University Press, hb 743pp, C$585

Jute, jam and journalism were the chief products of Dundee until the identification by David Lane, in 1979, of TP53. The subsequent research undertaken by him and Peter Hall during the 1990s on p53, the simple protein which springs into action when the DNA of any cell breaks down, led to a clutch of firms working on a vaccine to boost the power of that single gene on the short arm of Chromosome 17.

Thirty years after Lane and Hall’s breakthrough, the Jag became Dundee’s chief industry. It was not until several years after the synthesis of human sperm in 2009 that it became clear that an inoculation which promoted apoptosis against 94 per cent of cancers was viable, after Kavanagh provided the primary scientific breakthrough.

This book examines the way in which a vaccine for avoiding cancer caused a breakdown in civil order which led to even greater loss of life that the diseases it intended to cure. The authors are damning in their criticism of the way in which this research was immediately reclassified under the British Security Act of 2011 (especially since the legality of that measure was already questionable, having been passed by a Government which was, in the same legislation, extending its mandate to rule under what had been designed as Emergency anti-terrorist legislation).

Politically, it seemed at first a brilliant tactic. Promising to tackle worldwide recession, terrorism and – potentially – death by cancer, the Government delayed a General Election by ten years (extended by Executive Order by five more in 2021).

What the authors examine chiefly is the way in which this medical advance was administered, after the first clinical trials in Scotland (mainly at Glasgow’s Royal Infirmary, where terminal lung cancer patients were to be found in abundance, and who responded quickly to the Glasgow team’s vaccine, nGooglev TP53.

The authors are, too, highly critical of fact that the Queen had been taking doses of the vaccine from the early 2030s, despite the fact that the innoculation became available to the general population only in 2042.

Scotland’s insistence that all its citizens be immunised, while (on the basis of intellectual copyright law) restricting its wider distribution, led to a widely litigious population. By 2035, civil structures had completely broken down. Everyone was old, and yet they all demanded not to die. Several original case studies launched privacy protection suits on their own DNA. In the end, as we now know, the unimmunised majority stormed the universities and destroyed most of the work on nGooglev TP53.

The subsequent dispersal of random nuclear and biochemical devices has been laid at the door of both Monarchists and Republicans. Given the fact that investigation is impossible since the New Clearances, the authors wisely avoid taking sides.

The writers of this survey do a reasonable job of convincing us that the northern sections of the British Isles, despite the radiation risks, may once again be worth examining, and that resettlement may even be possible at some point in the next century or so. But they may have less cause for optimism in supposing that their main interest, the obituary page, will return in their lifetimes, long though we can now expect them to be.

John Sannox