Thursday, June 15, 2006

DNA is cool

Stumbled upon this report about a DNA database which will help reunite families which have been separated because of wars like the one in El Salvador. It's pretty amazing to think that an adopted child, now an adult might be able to find a lost sibling or possibly even a parent.

I think of the evening I stopped by work to pick up some essays only to find one of the custodians (I'll call him Al) watching a movie on the television in my classroom. He was watching a film depicting young Central American youths marching through the rain in a rainforest. Al was crying, and he at first seemed taken aback that I had come upon him. But he soon told me to watch with him.

"That was me," he said, pointing to the children.

He is Salvadorian. He had been one of the children brutalized by the conflict. He had been on the children forced to brutalize others...or face death.

How amazing that somebody with a mind of numbers and symbols--a scientist--saw the potential of the double-helix, to see a tool not to cure disease or solve a crime but to unite two people. Maybe not as earth-shattering as curing cancer. Just to know that the man or woman sitting with you, watching a film, pointing at the screen, telling you everything...just to know that he's your brother.


Post a Comment

<< Home