Sunday, January 29, 2006

Too Much Time on Their Hands Department

Japanese Scientists Identify Ear Wax Gene

Earwax may not play a prominent part in human history but at least a small role for it has now been found by a team of Japanese researchers. Earwax comes in two types, wet and dry. The wet form predominates in Africa and Europe and the dry form among East Asians, while populations of Southern and Central Asia are roughly half and half. By comparing the DNA of Japanese with each type, the researchers were able to identify the gene that controls which type a person has, they report in the Monday issue of Nature Genetics.

They write that earwax type and armpit odor are correlated, since populations with dry earwax tend to sweat less and have little or no body odor, whereas the wet earwax populations sweat more and so may have greater body odor.

This could open up a whole Pandora's box of discrimination and harassment:

1. Children devising new ways to torment each other - "oh yeah? your momma has wet ear wax!".

2. New rifts between parents and daughters - "you cannot marry that wet ear wax boy...he's not our kind. What kind of children would you have? Semi-moist ear wax kids?"

3. "Oh no, a wet ear wax family is moving next door. There goes the neighborhood."

4. Illegal immigrants would become known as "wet wax".

5. People with wet ear wax might be forced to sit in the back of the bus, drink from separate fountains or be forced to live in separate housing "earmarked" for them.

No matter what their differences are, the dry and wet ear wax people have one thing in common:

They both hate the hairy ear people.

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