Chemistry

Chapter 131
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Chapter 131

    Beautiful Genius(5)

    In a room where the situation inside was visible through the glass window.

    Song Boyeong placed green tea on the table for the five professors and stepped back.

    -Bona, can you wear this?

    -Itchy.

    -Well, then. Let’s just start without wearing it for now.

    As Song Boyeong watched the test, Lee Sang-joong spoke up.

    “Who was in charge of Bona before?”

    “That was me.”

    “Oh, Professor Shim.”

    Upon the solemn reply of the man in his fifties, Lee Sang-joong continued to ask.

    “I saw the data, Jeong-woo was digging into chromosome 22, what do you think?”

    “I suspected the function of the hypothalamus too, but it won’t be easy to detect this. The child’s age is a factor, and the measurement method for the hypothalamus sensory signal is inherently subjective. Above all…”

    Professor Shim raised his hand and pointed to the test tools on the table.

    “The child absolutely detests the intelligence test involving those geometric shapes.”

    -I don’t like it!

    Bona threw the toy on the table aside.

    -Tsk, what kind of behavior is this!

    -I said I don’t like it!

    Watching the scene through the glass, Professor Shim sighed.

    “We even tried to involve child psychologists to make it as cooperative as possible, but it was futile. Although Jeong-woo’s analysis from KG Chemistry seems sensible, with the test subject behaving like that… Tsk.”

    As the professors exchanged negative remarks, Song Boyeong, feeling supportive of Jeong-woo, clasped her hands together.

    ‘It’s still tough.’

    With his lips pursed, Jeong-woo sighed as he looked at the child sitting as if she wouldn’t do anything no matter what he asked. Despite analyzing thoroughly, he still couldn’t get the child to take the test.

    ‘I’ll have to do it even if it’s by force. Can’t waste any more time.’

    Feeling like he had no choice but to borrow the molecular perspective for the reaction test, Jeong-woo’s actions quickened. He gathered the dust stars and placed them around the child’s head.

    “Bona.”

    “Yes?”

    “The genetic information we collected last time. I’ve been studying it closely for the past two days. Do you happen to know your level of resistance to malaria? What’s the likelihood of you getting diseases like ALS, MS, or NF?”

    Kim Jeong-hwan looked at Jeong-woo with an incredulous expression. It was a look that said, ‘Why bother asking the child about things they wouldn’t understand.’

    However, Bona’s answer was completely opposite to her uncle’s expectations.

    “Did you also evaluate health risk factors? Then maybe you can even tell me my expected lifespan?”

    “And whether your son will become bald too.”

    “Wow.”

    As they conversed, stimulated by the adult conversation, the dust stars placed around the child’s head reacted.

    “As long as you don’t marry a bald man, your son will be fine.”

    As Jeong-woo discussed his analysis, Bona’s eyes sparkled.

    “Mister, this is really important. Something I can know when I grow up. Can you tell me that too?”

    “What?”

    “Women’s thing. Breast cancer.”

    The dust stars reacted even more strongly to the curiosity expressed by the child’s brain waves. Jeong-woo swallowed a futile sigh but had to answer, so he opened his laptop and searched for the chromosomes.

    “Based solely on genetics, it’s roughly around 12%.”

    “Hey! There are some things you can’t talk about with a kid.”

    Kim Jeong-hwan interjected awkwardly. In response, Bona gave him a stern look.

    “Just stay quiet, uncle. Do you know how much it costs to analyze genetic information like this? You couldn’t afford it even if you worked and paid your whole salary.”

    “What are you talking about?”

    Continuing to stimulate the brain through direct conversation, Jeong-woo subtly gestured to the brainwave measurement device on the table.

    “If we use this while talking, uncle might even be able to predict how tall you’ll grow.”

    “Really?”

    “Yep.”

    The professors were amazed by the scene unfolding behind the glass.

    “Are they cooperating?”

    “Well, what Jeong-woo is talking about, the genetic information… Do you think it’s true?”

    “The ’23 & Me’ group actually sold disease and trait-related information in that manner for high prices. Although most of their business models were shut down due to FDA regulations in the US.”

    “How long has it been since we did that kind of analysis…”

    “Could you give us the data that Jeong-woo provided?”

    “I want it too.”

    With the professors’ admiration, Song Boyeong, who had been feeling uneasy, smiled with relief.

    Three days later.

    Jeong-woo rubbed his stiff neck and looked away from the laptop monitor. It was dawn outside. Even a short nap would help him proceed with today’s meeting with Yoon Cho-won in a decent mental state.

    He pushed his chair back and lay down deeply.

    After narrowing down the range of unique genes in Kim Bona’s first test, the research made significant progress. Although there was still a long way to go, the most encouraging result was the cooperation they achieved.

    ‘Treating them like an adult paid off.’

    What started as an attempt to stimulate intellect became the catalyst for smooth progress in the second and third tests as well.

    ‘I hope to finish Yoon’s part smoothly with this momentum.’

    While he had his trump card ready, its effectiveness remained uncertain. Hoping for the best, Jeong-woo drifted into a two-hour nap.

    How long had he been asleep?

    Jeong-woo’s senses sharpened as someone shook him.

    “Mr. Jeong-woo.”

    Turning his head, he found Song Boyeong staring at him with big eyes.

    “I’m awake, senior.”

    “Aren’t you pushing yourself too hard these days?”

    Seeing her worried expression, Jeong-woo yawned and replied.

    “It just happened. Have you seen Dr. Moon?”

    “If my skills can help, I can stay up with you.”

    “That would be inefficient. External preparation is also important.”

    “I won’t ask you to teach me today, rest well at home after Yoon’s meeting ends.”

    Song Boyeong looked sternly at Jeong-woo, who was working all weekend, then placed a shopping bag on the table.

    “I brought your suit.”

    “Thank you.”

    “By the way, I received a call from the professor on my way to work. They said 20 more people are coming to observe today. In addition to the previous guests, 15 more research faculty members are joining.”

    “Why did the number increase so much?”

    “I’m not sure, but the professors separately requested a lot of data from Bona last time.”

    Seeing Jeong-woo reaching for his laptop with the intention to turn it on, Song Boyeong grabbed his arm.

    “Lunch is over there.”

    “I’m not feeling well right now, so I’ll pass on lunch.”

    “Force yourself to eat. It’s for your own good.”

    At Song Boyeong’s firm command, Jeong-woo chuckled bitterly. Whether it was her providing him with clothes or her attitude, it reminded him of how he might feel if he had a wife.

    Tap, tap, tap.

    Watching the fifteen year old boy sitting quietly, dabbing dots on the canvas, Jeong-woo gestured towards the door. Soon enough, it opened, and Deputy Gong Gyeong-ho and Cho Sung-hwan from KG Industries pushed in a sizable machine.

    “Thank you, Deputy Gong. I thought you wouldn’t lend us the machine easily.”

    “I put in some effort since it was a rare request from Jeong-woo.”

    Deputy Gong chuckled as he spoke.

    “There’s a bunch of people waiting outside seriously, so what project are you working on this time?”

    “If I were to sum it up, it’s a research on analyzing geniuses.”

    “You mean…?”

    “Our friend Cho-won, here.”

    Pointing to Yoon Cho-won, who was diligently drawing, Jeong-woo was about to introduce him when Deputy Gong attempted to greet him. Jeong-woo quickly intervened.

    “We’ll return it by lunch.”

    “Well then. Take your time. “

    Five minutes later after Deputy Gong left.

    Jeong-woo pointed the machine towards Yoon Cho-won, who was showing his drawing saying “hello!” on the canvas.

    “Cho-won, this is an advanced machine that can dot more than a hundred times per second. Would you like to try drawing something quickly?”

    The innocent eyes of Yoon Cho-won, seeing the nano-second laser microprocessing device for the first time, sparkled with curiosity as he observed the intricate mechanism used for precise machining.

    Inside the room beyond the mirror.

    Seeing Yoon Cho-won standing in front of the machine with the pen down, Lee Sang-joong turned his surprised gaze towards him.

    “Wasn’t it Professor An’s team that handled Cho-won before?”

    “Yes.”

    “According to the data provided by Han Jeong-woo, he delved into the D4DR of chromosome 11, so it seems like he’s looking for Cho-won’s talent manifestation in the dopamine receptor.”

    Professor Ahn also commented while scanning through the data.

    “Communication was nearly impossible, so there was no room to consider tests related to neural signals. Even though Cho-won’s situational awareness may be different from ordinary individuals, introducing unfamiliar tools…”

    Thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk!

    A loud noise echoed in the laboratory, interrupting their conversation momentarily.

    -Hey, Cho-won. Feeling good?

    Thunk, thunk, thunk―

    -It was really fast, huh? From now on, I need you to help me with about fifty neurotransmitter tests, okay? Will you help?

    Thunk, thunk, thunk―

    As the boy, who usually took five minutes for regular communication, started responding every five seconds, Professor Ahn fell silent, his mouth hanging open.

    “Goodbye, Cho-won.”

    As Yoon Cho-won, accompanied by his mother, exited after the test, he glanced at Jeong-woo and managed an innocent smile.

    “Fun…”

    “Hmm?”

    “See you again…”

    Jeong-woo waved back with a touched expression at Yoon Cho-won’s rare words, who usually spoke no more than a few sentences a day.

    ‘Thankfully, it ended without any issues. Just the results…’

    Jeong-woo cast his gaze at the 2-meter square steel plate laid on the table. It was filled with numerous dots meticulously marked by Yoon Cho-won, resulting in a complex pattern.

    “Well, it’s not hieroglyphics.”

    Hundreds of drawings that required a magnifying glass to discern. Though the paper was expensive, it was well within the research budget to cover the cost.

    Knowing that subsequent analysis would be based on this, Jeong-woo took out his phone to take pictures.

    Thunk.

    The lab door opened, and Song Boyeong walked in.

    “Mr. Jeong-woo, please wait for a moment. The professors has something to say.”

    “Oh? Please tell them to come in.”

    Upon hearing Jeong-woo’s response, Lee Sang-joong, who was outside, pushed his head in.

    “I was worried it might be a disturbance. Thank you for your hard work, Mr. Han Jeong-woo.”

    Approaching, Lee Sang-joong examined the steel plate on the table with interest.

    “We couldn’t have imagined this method of communication.”

    “After analyzing it, I can somewhat empathize with Cho-won’s thoughts.”

    “Geniuses understand each other, is that the feeling?”

    “I wouldn’t say that.”

    Lee Sang-joong took out a document from his bag and placed it on the table.

    “Are you familiar with the Beijing Genomics Institute?”

    “I’ve been focused on other research, so I’m not familiar with external matters.”

    “The institute recently published the DNA analysis results from hundreds of geniuses within China in Nature Genetics. This is a copy of the paper.”

    “Hundreds?”

    As someone about to embark on the analysis of only the third subject, Jeong-woo couldn’t grasp the magnitude of that number. As he received and skimmed through the paper, Lee Sang-joong continued speaking.

    “As you can see, most of the samples are from individuals with high IQs, typical geniuses.”

    “I see.”

    Jeong-woo, who was reading, paused.

    “Hmm? Do you feel like the results of this paper are vague? The issue of human intellectual ability isn’t determined by a specific gene.”

    “As expected, you noticed right away. The academic community shares a similar view. There’s a greater likelihood that hundreds of genes collectively play a role. That’s why these results haven’t received global recognition yet.”

    Lee Sang-joong cautiously examined Jeong-woo before asking.

    “I understand if this is impertinent, but there’s a symposium hosted by Seoul National University’s Department of Life Sciences next week. Could you possibly attend?”

    “A symposium? What’s the topic?”

    “Your current research, Mr. Han Jeong-woo. Genius genes. That’s why I received an email from a Beijing Genomics Institute representative. Feeling that one person’s argument isn’t enough in this competitive situation…” f𝐫𝗲eweb𝗻o𝐯el.𝚌o𝗺

    “So, they need more opinions. I’ll attend then.”

    Relieved, Lee Sang-joong retrieved an envelope from his pocket and handed it to Jeong-woo.

    “Here’s the invitation. It’s reassuring that you’ll be attending, Mr. Jeong-woo.”

    “Not at all.”

    “Oh, when are you planning to conduct the first analysis for Seo Jung-gu’s initial test?”

    “The scope is broad, so I think it will take about five days for the initial analysis.”

    “Then, I’ll see you then.”

    With a polite nod, Lee Sang-joong left.

    Song Boyeong, who had been quietly listening to the conversation, nudged Jeong-woo’s side.

    “Oh, feeling secure, huh?”

    “It was just a polite remark.”

    “Acting so humble secretly makes you feel good, doesn’t it?”

    “I don’t dislike it.”

    Jeong-woo opened the envelope and was surprised. Song Boyeong gave him a puzzled look. Jeong-woo quietly handed her the invitation.

    “It’s being held at the senior’s backyard.”

    The Conrad Hotel within the International Financial Center.

    As memories of past incidents in the room surfaced, Song Boyeong lowered her head deeply.

    One day later.

    Jeong-woo headed to the research lab for his meeting with Seo Jung-gu. It was essentially the most crucial day. For today, he even made sure to take care of his condition without working overtime yesterday.

    “Seo Jung-gu will arrive in about 20 minutes.”

    Jeong-woo nodded in response to Song Boyeong words and asked.

    “Are you ready to meet him, Senior?”

    “Me? Why?”

    “I’ve got life insurance, so I feel free to proceed with the test without worries. I suddenly have a stomach ache…”

    Jeong-woo chuckled as he saw her eyes widen as if about to pop out, and he pressed the elevator button.

    “Don’t joke. I thought you were really in pain for a second.”

    “We’re all citizens within the boundaries of law and society, is it that scary?”

    “I’m not scared at all?”

    Song Boyeong puffed up her cheeks and shook her head.

    Descending to the 10th floor and entering the Pharmaceutical and Bio Center, Jeong-woo found it noisier than usual. He couldn’t even make it into the laboratory across the hallway as he noticed the crowd gathered outside.

    “Are all these people here for the observation?”

    Professor Lee Sang-joong, who was controlling the crowd, approached Jeong-woo with a bright smile.

    “Jeong-woo.”

    “Professor. Why are there so many people?”

    “Today, graduate students from the Department of Biotechnology who are conducting research are also here. They begged so earnestly after hearing the rumors.”

    “That’s a lot.”

    “Seventy people.”

    “Wow…”

    “Your analytical methods and the intuitive inference process of tracking specific factors have become the main discussion topics among our graduate students lately.”

    Lee Sang-joong turned to the crowd and shouted.

    “This is Jeong-woo. Everyone, treat this as a special lecture and listen attentively.”

    “Understood!”

    Jeong-woo was startled by the thunderous response from the seventy people.

    Presenting in front of Seoul National University graduate students as a graduate of a provincial university’s business administration program was daunting enough, and now the pressure was even greater.

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