PROPS & DISSES: Map this genome: HHHH

By on July 9, 2013


Bridget Gwilliam with her steer and show stick. (Courtesy)

Bridget Gwilliam with her steer and show stick. (Courtesy)

Map this genome: HHHH    PROP

The world’s most “perfect” baby to date was born on May 31. Scientists made sure of it. The five-pound, five-ounce girl was produced using revolutionary IVF technology known as Early Embryo Viability Assessment – a procedure that utilizes time-lapse photography of the developing embryo. Two weeks before that, Connor Levy became the nation’s first IVF-born baby using next-generation sequencing, a screening method that reads every letter of the human genome, virtually ensuring a flawless newborn.

Look, you don’t need to design the perfect child. You need to try to raise one. It’s still possible to make a perfect kid the old-fashioned way: empty bottle of wine on the floor, nylons hanging from the ceiling fan and rumpled sheets. You can even go ahead and read all the books and follow all the latest prenatal care advice. Play your womb bundle soothing Chopin and stay away from soy products. Knock yourself out. My mom smoked like a chimney while she carried me and I’m still walking this big blue marble after a half-century.

But fostering the “perfect” child starts when you leave the delivery room and one of the best things you can do for your offspring around here is get him or her into the 4H program as soon as you can. Amanda Zamudio runs the county extension program that will instill in your child all the wholesome values we (should) cherish in life. Animal husbandry, quilting, clogging, and archery may not exactly comprise the modern day skill set, but 4H kids turn into the most grounded adults around.

It’s not about the ag stuff, really. You don’t have to be a ranch kid. You can learn a surprising amount of humility shoveling the feces of another living creature that counts on you for its well-being. When the kids compete at county fair, like they will on July 21, they will find out not everyone gets a ribbon in life. They will learn to win humbly and lose gracefully. They will help each other even in competition and acquire traits like self-determination, confidence, leadership and citizenship.

The eight-year-old who pulls on her muck boots to head out in the icy black of a 5:30 morning to feed her steers isn’t learning about the digestive system of the cow. She is learning about herself.

Knock on wood: Wyo economy ‘lumbering’ toward recovery    PROP

Demand for lumber is trending upward and the state of Wyoming is looking to capitalize on the market recovery. The previously shuttered Saratoga Forest Management mill has reopened, hiring 80 employees and an additional 30 loggers, bringing in timber from Medicine Bow National Forest. Industry experts at University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research predict Wyoming’s lumber production could double from 2012, a steady improvement since the market bottomed with a 50-year low in 2009.

Wyoming lost 45 percent of its forest products industry jobs from 2005 to 2009. However, thanks mainly to the pine beetle invasion, slight advancement was realized in 2010 through 2012. BBER research indicates short-term improvement can be expected in 2013, with additional significant gains in 2014 and beyond “as U.S. home building recovers and global demand increases.”

It’s not much. The timber industry is barely a blip in the state’s economic radar – far behind the biggies like mining, tourism, and agriculture – but the improved outlook is something positive to look forward to. It will help diversify Wyoming industry, which is far too dependent on fossil fuels and any uptick in building signals economic recovery. When people feel a little better about the economy, they buy a second car. When they feel a lot better they buy or build a house.

 Concert promoters lure visitors   PROP

A record crowd gathered at the base of Snow King for Independence Day. An estimated 16,000 were on hand to see the Young Dubliners, Old Crow Medicine Show and take in the firecrackers.

The buzz seemed to be all about area concerts. With Widespread Panic at the ‘Ghee, Slightly Stoopid in Victor, and Grand Teton Music Festival’s lineup, including weekend shows featuring young hotshot solo cellist Alisa Weilerstein, music packed ‘em in last week. We’re no Woodstock yet, but concerts are a big draw this season.


About Jake Nichols

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