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Our future, our universe, and other weighty topics

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Impregnating Bacteria: A Science Fiction Story

The Impregnating Bacteria: A Science Fiction Story
Do you really expect me to believe you've become pregnant while still being a virgin?” asked Jane's father incredulously.

Jane was a shy studious young woman, a freshman in college. She had no recollection of ever having had sexual relations with a male. She was therefore shocked when she started to develop some of the symptoms of pregnancy. A home pregnancy test had indicated that she was indeed pregnant. Refusing to believe that she was pregnant, Jane went for a test at a doctor's office. The lab confirmed that she was pregnant.

I swear, Dad, I've never had sex with anyone,” said Jane. She racked her mind trying to think of an explanation. She could think of nothing.

Jane then went to a gynecologist, simply asking him to confirm that she was a virgin. After an examination, the gynecologist told her that she was still a virgin.

All over the world, the same thing was happening.

In countries all over the globe, women reported that they were pregnant, even though they had not recently had sex. Many were virgins, and many were women who had had sex before but not in the past month.

Scientists began to investigate this astonishing phenomenon. A group of scientists at the prestigious Center for Integrated Biosciences held a meeting to discuss their findings.

We've discovered what is causing the pregnancies,” said team leader David Dalton. “It's a bacteria.”

A bacteria?” said William Stafford, Dalton's boss. “You've got to be kidding me. You can't get pregnant from a bacteria!”

You can get pregnant from this bacteria,” said Dalton. “The bacteria consists of tiny organisms, each called a bacterium. And each bacterium contains a single sperm cell, a spermatozoon.” 
Dalton showed a schematic diagram of the new bacteria. The diagram showed a single bacterium with a sperm cell inside it.

alien bacteria

The bacteria is being spread by people coughing and sneezing, and by other people breathing in the bacteria,” explained Dalton. “Once a fertile woman breathes it in, the bacteria somehow moves from her respiratory system to her reproductive system. Then, boom, she finds herself pregnant. The sperm cell in the bacterium is delivered to an ovum in the woman, and pregnancy develops.”

I want you to start analyzing the DNA of the sperm cell inside the bacterium,” ordered Stafford. “That may help us figure out where this bacteria came from.”

Once it became public that a bacteria was causing pregnancies, some women chose to have abortions to terminate the unwanted pregnancy. Each of the women who had the abortions mysteriously died soon after having the abortion.

The scientists at the Center for Integrated Biosciences met again to discuss their research.

Why are these people dying from the abortions?” asked Stafford.

We've found that there is some bizarre mechanism so that if you terminate one of these bacteria-created pregnancies, some odd type of toxin is released,” said Dalton. “It's almost as if there was a self-protection mechanism designed to protect the new pregnancies. It's like nothing I've ever seen before.”

What about the DNA of the sperm cell inside each bacterium?” asked Stafford.

That's what really freaked us out,” said Dalton. “The DNA is some type of strange hybrid or mixture. Many of the genes are human. But many other genes are like no genes that have ever been identified in the human genome.”

Do you think this bacteria could have originated from extraterrestrials?” asked Stafford?

That's a distinct possibility,” said Dalton. "Maybe visitors from the stars got a sample of our genetic material, and somehow spliced up our genes with their genes."

After four months of pregnancy, Jane got an ultrasound to check on the health of her developing baby. The result was shocking. The baby looked like a human baby, but the head was unusually large.

A few months later another ultrasound confirmed that the head was unusually large.

That head is so large, it's going to be a problem on the delivery date,” said Jane's doctor. “I don't see how we can do a regular delivery. The baby will get stuck on the way out. We'll have to make a big incision, and do a cesarean section.”

Around the world millions of other women faced the same problem. Many who could not afford cesarean section operations ended up dying in childbirth. But most of the babies had healthy births through cesarean sections.

After giving birth, Jane watched some television in her hospital room.

The first of the mysterious babies have been born around the world,” said the television reporter. “For good or for bad, the regular human race now has to share this planet with a new race of beings. A race that is apparently part human and part extraterrestrial. Is this race man's successor? Only time will tell.”

Jane held her newborn baby in her arms, and sang gently to the child. The baby looked very strange. He had greyish skin, a huge head, yellow eyes, and pointy little ears. But Jane didn't care. It was her baby, and she was going to love the baby no matter how strange he looked.