The real reason for Japanese scientific whaling research

I teach English to foreign doctors and nurses, many of whom are Japanese. Yesterday the word “blubber” came up in a reading passage. I pointed out that only marine mammals, such as whales, have blubber, particularly under their skins.

Shortly after, the topic of obesity came up, and the conversation drifted to sumo wrestlers. I enquired of the Japanese doctors whether sumo wrestlers died prematurely of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Another doctor (Colombian), volunteered that sumo wrestlers have very little intra-abdominal fat. Their fat is mostly subcutaneous, hence they don’t have as greatly increased risk factors as one would imagine.

“Aha!” I exclaimed. “Maybe Japanese scientists have been transplanting whale genes into sumo wrestlers!”

I did a little bit of research last night, and it transpires that Chinese scientists have, indeed, fused rabbit cells with human eggs to produce half rabbit, half human embryos.

It follows, doesn’t it, that half human, half whale sumo wrestlers can’t be far away? And not far behind that, of course will be the new Disney / Pixar movie, “Finding Sumo”.

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