Delivery room personnel trumpeted their shock early this week when an Oregon woman gave birth to a quadruple set of hairy hybrids in a Seattle, Washington hospital.
Monica Mammoth, Klamath Falls, has apparently become the first mother of a genetically engineered cross between the prehistoric wooly mammoth and Homo sapiens. Delivered by cesarean section shortly after 2 a.m. in Finnish Medical Center, the newborn — three males and a female — were reported to be healthy and nearly ready to begin foraging this afternoon.
“It’s genetically impossible,” declared Dr. Morokat Sirindhorn, the OB-GYN who made the delivery. “Damn it, I’m a doctor, not a veterinarian.”
Through the glass of the hospital nursery, four tiny trunks waved in Sirindhorn’s direction, in seeming mock salute of his medical consternation.
The hospital administration had no official comment on the births, other than to confirm the condition of the infants. Unofficially, hospital staff have speculated that the humanoid calves may be the result of a mix-up at an international biological technology facility in Thailand.
According to an inside hospital source, Mammoth’s pregnancy had been accomplished through the use of Follistim and in vitro fertilization. Follistim is a drug which stimulates human egg production through the use of genetically-engineered hamster cells. The Thai lab was commissioned to process frozen mammoth sperm recovered earlier this year by scientists in Siberia in a continuing, though inexplicable, effort to retro-breed the extinct pachyderm.
Data bases accidentally merged in a computer transfer coupled with understandable name confusion sent the revitalized wooly mammoth sperm to Seattle instead of its intended destination, the Irkutsk Scientific Centre of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science. Consequently, the sperm of a 30,000-year-old wooly mammoth bull was added to the petri dish containing Mammoth’s ova in Finnish Medical Center. After 18 hours of incubation, four embryos were transferred to Mammoth.
Mammoth, 38, thereafter refused to allow physicians to perform any of the standard procedures normally employed to evaluate the status of her pregnancy, including amniocentesis and ultrasound readings. She and her husband, Merlin, 43, had been attempting to have children for 13 years. She had told friends and relatives that she planned to carry this pregnancy through to term under any circumstances and that she wanted “to be surprised” when the babies were delivered.
The Mammoths had some indications, however, that their expected bundles of joy might be out of the ordinary. Mrs. Mammoth reportedly experienced an inordinate craving for fruits, leafy vegetables and tubers during the course of her 22-month pregnancy. She had also registered an unusually high weight gain, packing on more than 200 pounds.”
Adapted from Truth Is An Amusing Concept
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