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“Which, as suspected,” Ford concludes, “is expressed exclusively in saliva glands, in concert with FB-3, to control mucus content.”

He sits back. Around the table, everybody looks for the next report.

“Oh,” says Crewett finally. “I guess that’s it?” Silence. “Then we’re done?”

“The human genome. Decoded and explained,” Bartle says quietly.

“I kind of expected fireworks,” jokes Spitz, but nobody laughs.

“Ceremony’s next week.”

“What’s next?”

“Monkeys, probably.”

“You mean apes.”

“No, actually I meant monkeys.”

“Anybody want to get a beer?” asks Crewett. Most of the other geneticists just shrug. There’s a distinct feeling of determinism in the air.