Scientists have announced an amazing breakthrough for sufferers of dyslexia: a gene for better spelling. For decades a cure for so-called ‘word-blindness’ has eluded the best brains in the business, but now research into fish genes is beginning to pay off. Fish, it appears, are better spellers than people – or at least, they can be taught to become better spellers. Nine out of ten fish, when shown the letters F I S H, pointed to another of their number in the tank. Cleverer species, such as pike and guppy, were even able to recognise the letters GHOTI as spelling out the sounds ‘fish’ (gh as in rough, o as in women, sh as in – well, fish). If trials continue to be successful, the government is considering introducing the gene into foodstuffs as a cheaper alternative to gene therapy. There are even hopes that the scheme could be extended to the learning of other languages: if fish could be taught to translate, then Douglas Adams’ idea of the Babel fish, which fits into your ear and translates other languages for you, may no longer be science fiction:
Following on from yesterday’s post about MEN, I decided in the interests of fairness to interview my son about the issue:
Me: Do you feel marginalised and discriminated against in any way because you are male?
Dan: When I go past groups of older women. they look at me as if I’m going to do something bad.
Me: Ok. Are there any other ways in which men and boys might not be treated fairly?
Dan: You get judged more. People think you’re more likely to misbehave.
And I asked Mark:
Mark: Yes but it’s really complicated. If you want to do, say, babysitting or childminding or working in nurseries, you tend to get treated with suspicion as if you are a paedophile.
Me: Anything else?
Mark: Not really.
So there you have it. In this family that’s what the men and boys and the women who love them, think.