Chlorophyll by Phillip Galloway

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The K'tar had long theorized that life must exist elsewhere, although initially they struggled with the concept of life elsewhere that left its world of origin. The First Contact had been amazing to most people in that the K'tar were non-violent and extremely forthcoming with exchanges of a cultural nature. It had generally been assumed that highly intelligent aliens would be as suspicious and belligerent as humanity generally was. The K'tari reacted with universal amusement whenever this was mentioned. They were long lived compared to human beings, with very slow reproductive rates, and pointed out that they had diluted out their aggressive genes many generations ago. The people of the United Worlds were impressed, and spent the next half-century learning about the K'tari society.
K'tari geneticists had a field day. Over the last several thousand years they had successfully manipulated and spliced the K'tari genome in all ways possible in order to correct their medical and sociological problems, such that K'tari genetic developments immediately prior to Contact were mainly in the area of cosmetics to change or enhance appearance. The arrival of humanity ignited K'tari scientific curiosity and one of the earliest exchanges was of genetic material. Human scientists oohed and aahed over similarities and differences in the genetic codes. K'tari scientists went to work. In less than a decade they had inserted human genes into plant cells and supposedly eliminated the problems of rejection. They even produced color variations that complemented the various hues of human skin. Of course this was all under laboratory conditions in tissue culture baths. The biggest stumbling block turned out to be the way in which the K'tar informed Mankind of their accomplishments.
The K'tar had presented their research to humanity as a gift after sixty-five years of Contact. Humanity, despite the peaceful nature of the aliens, predictably overreacted. Most people refused to believe that something so valuable could be given away so freely. A wave of religious xenophobia pulsed through the United Worlds after editorials questioning K'tari motives for ‘forcing humanity to become less than human' appeared in the vidsheets. The K'tar were surprised but not particularly offended by the human reaction. They suspected it was some cultural issue they had not been aware of, and finally, having determined that human beings had too much pride to accept the gift outright, opened negotiations.
Earth's problems tended to be reproduced to varying degrees on all of its colony worlds, including droughts, famines, and the rich and powerful taking the lion's share of everything. The prospect of finally solving the problem of providing enough food for the human population was eventually enough for the vast majority of citizens of the United Worlds to calm down and consider the far-reaching benefits for everyone, with a little encouragement from the UWFP's Bureau of Propaganda. Even the groups promoting human purity were swayed with the argument that this new development would allow humanity to multiply and conquer still more of the galaxy.

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