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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Genetic Inheritance

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. Checking his phone notifications, PETER pauses.

  5. PETER (V.O.): Here's an interesting question from a Quoran: Which of your relative's lifespan is most likely to predict how long you'll live?

  6. Pausing.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've read something about the X-chromosomes and the Y-chromosomes...I believe I look and smile like my Mom.

  8. Pausing.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It's a scientific question after all.

  10. Peter surfs the web.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My DNAs have 50% of my Dad's genes and 50% of my Mom's genes.

  12. Thinking.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Nature's design is really amazing. So fair.

  14. Act 2


  16. Reading.

  17. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But male genes are more aggressive, and therefore they're more prominent.

  18. Reading.

  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And the sex of a future baby depends on the father as he has both the X-chromosomes and the Y-chromosomes, while the mother only X-chromosomes.

  20. Reading.

  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'm male, as I got both the X-chromosomes and the Y-chromosomes.

  22. Reading.

  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): If a father has more brothers, he's likely to have more sons and vice versa...Interesting.

  24. Thinking.

  25. PETER (V.O.): My Dad had two brothers and one sister. He had four sons and one daughter.

  26. Pausing.

  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Quite right. I should have more sons than daughters then.

  28. Pausing.

  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I stopped at half-and-half. That' s fair, consistent with nature's design.

  30. Reading.

  31. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The genes responsible for intelligence are contained in the X-chromosomes...and therefore I've inherited my intelligence from my Mom?

  32. Pausing.

  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My Mom had only primary school education. My Dad too. They're classmates and married before the age of 20.

  34. Thinking.

  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I think I behave more like my Dad, disciplined and creative.

  36. Reading.

  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Scientifically, it's my Dad's genes that impact on my health.

  38. Recalling.

  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My grandpa lived to the age of 62 with unhealthy habits. My Dad didn't have any unhealthy habits and lived to the age of 80.

  40. Reading.

  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Scientists speculate that in the first 70-80 years of age, lifestyle is the strong determinant of health and lifespan. It's only after the age of 80 and beyond would genetics play a progressively important role.

  42. Pausing.

  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Hong Kong has the highest life expectancy in the world.

  44. Peter surfs the web with his mobile.

  45. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In Hong Kong, the average life expectancy for men is 81.3 years of age and women at 87.3.

  46. Recalling.

  47. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My Dad died at the age of 80 and my Mom is still alive, living beyond 87.3.

  48. Recalling.

  49. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Today is October 5. I first got married on this date in 1979. I didn't intend to have any children, as life was hard.

  50. Sighing.

  51. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But my first wife died untimely, at the age of 36.

  52. Sighing again.

  53. Act 3


  55. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've internalized my late wife in me; and I think nature should be fair to us.

  56. Pausing.

  57. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But that's only wishful, unscientific thinking.

  58. Thinking.

  59. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): To predict how long will I live, I've to follow science.

  60. Reflecting.

  61. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): All factors considered, I predict that I can live to the Hong Kong average ie 81.3 years of age.

  62. Counting fingers.

  63. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): So, that's about 15 years from now. I thank my late Dad and my Mom for giving me life.

  64. Peter types his answers on his phone.

  65. FADE OUT.

  66. THE END

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