Topic Actions

Topic Search

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests

Genies!

Join us in talking discussing all things Honor, including (but not limited to) tactics, favorite characters, and book discussions.
Re: Genies!
Post by JohnRoth   » Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:43 pm

JohnRoth
Admiral

Posts: 2438
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:54 am
Location: Centreville, VA, USA

biochem wrote:I wonder how much non-human DNA Manpower has experimented with. If I were to go looking for the best heavy metal tolerance for example, I would look at extremophiles (microbes evolved for heavy metal environments). Translation is an enormous problem. Genes from microbes wouldn't necessarily function in the same manner in higher species. And then there is the problem with side effects, what exactly would genes from a single celled organism do in multicelled species? There are 1000s of different cell types in a human, would they function the same in all of them? At least being from earth they have the same basic biochemistry, if manpower really wanted to get creative they could mix alien and human DNA. I'd be very surprised if they haven't experimented with at least some of the above, after all in their minds that's in part what slaves are for.


Let's say you've got a vintage American automobile, say a 1950 Studebaker, and you've also got a vintage light plane from the same era, and you want to make a flying car.

How far do you think you'd get? :twisted:

The point I'm trying to make here is that vertebrate biology is hugely complex; it's the most complex thing we've ever dealt with by several orders of magnitude.

Gregor Mendel was incredibly lucky. The number of traits where there is a simple correlation between a gene or two and a useful trait is very small. Even when you do have traits where there is a reasonably good correlation, they need a good chunk of the rest of the genome as background to function at all.

The idea that you can simply copy some DNA from somewhere to get a useful trait is naive almost to the point of absurdity. Unfortunately, most people's understanding of biochemistry, genetics, genomics and similar related issues is remarkably poor, leading to much frustration in the research community.
Top
Re: Genies!
Post by saber964   » Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:35 pm

saber964
Admiral

Posts: 2362
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:41 pm
Location: Spokane WA USA

Borealis wrote:There actually is a mention of what Biochem is describing, though I don't recall exactly where. There is a mention that Mesa had managed to actually acquire a treecat in an effort to study it's telempathic abilities in order to determine if that trait could be inserted into humans. (Don't let Mesa figure our what you can do Honor, or they may try that experiment again...) However, the 'cat died shortly after capture, though they still had enough cells to allow them to clone it.


They didn't clone it, but they still have tissue samples and any research IIRC is haphazard and going nowhere.
Top
Re: Genies!
Post by SYED   » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:00 am

SYED
Rear Admiral

Posts: 1345
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:03 pm

I just had a funny idea that in the future the tree cats will they themselves explore their own geteics so to share with their frends their mind songs?
Top
Re: Genies!
Post by Northstar   » Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:19 pm

Northstar
Rear Admiral

Posts: 1126
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:50 pm
Location: Wisconsin, USA

JohnRoth wrote:
biochem wrote:I wonder how much non-human DNA Manpower has experimented with. If I were to go looking for the best heavy metal tolerance for example, I would look at extremophiles (microbes evolved for heavy metal environments). Translation is an enormous problem. Genes from microbes wouldn't necessarily function in the same manner in higher species. And then there is the problem with side effects, what exactly would genes from a single celled organism do in multicelled species? There are 1000s of different cell types in a human, would they function the same in all of them? At least being from earth they have the same basic biochemistry, if manpower really wanted to get creative they could mix alien and human DNA. I'd be very surprised if they haven't experimented with at least some of the above, after all in their minds that's in part what slaves are for.


Let's say you've got a vintage American automobile, say a 1950 Studebaker, and you've also got a vintage light plane from the same era, and you want to make a flying car.

How far do you think you'd get? :twisted:

The point I'm trying to make here is that vertebrate biology is hugely complex; it's the most complex thing we've ever dealt with by several orders of magnitude.

Gregor Mendel was incredibly lucky. The number of traits where there is a simple correlation between a gene or two and a useful trait is very small. Even when you do have traits where there is a reasonably good correlation, they need a good chunk of the rest of the genome as background to function at all.

The idea that you can simply copy some DNA from somewhere to get a useful trait is naive almost to the point of absurdity. Unfortunately, most people's understanding of biochemistry, genetics, genomics and similar related issues is remarkably poor, leading to much frustration in the research community.


Bold by moi. :twisted:

I do not think anyone here actually suggested that in such a crude manner. Scientists may look at both themselves and the media for any general level of ignorance. Try and find anything -- easily available and well done -- written between the usual kindergarten level media gorp and science papers in gibberish.

But insinuating biochem, or anyone else here, is some sort of idiot beneath your contempt for speculating on a fun forum for a set of scifi novels is... not well done.

Meanwhile there are such things as glow in the dark mice and plants due to gene tinkering so... could we dial back the disdain a tad, please? Thank you.

What is going on in this thread is simple fun and often intentionally whimsical speculation, not doctoral dissertations written by party poopers. :D

Northstar now pours herself a nice shot and relaxes. :mrgreen:
Top
Re: Genies!
Post by kenl511   » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:47 pm

kenl511
Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 353
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:01 am

runsforcelery wrote:
One reason that it did is that Duckk knows I was accused of anti-Semitism in a letter to Baen shortly after HotQ came out precisely because the letter-writer reasoned that I had deliberately implied that the Mesans were Jews, based on the name of their planet and their excision of the New Testament. The real reason for the planet name, of course, was to demonstrate how religious fanatics (of any stripe, though I admit it's a tad hard to find a religious fanatic Methodist . . . except where our casserole recipes are concerned, perhaps :lol:) can pervert and steal from the histories of any other religion, as well as their own. And, of course, however terrible we think the Honorverse Masadans are, they don't see it that way.

I trust that my readers at large --- as well as everyone who knows me personally --- realizes just how ridiculous that charge actually was, but I suspect Duckk's a bit protective of me.


If I may throw in little story on the PC off topic here.....

I have Cerebral Palsy (CP), this occasionally necessitated spending time in therapy facilities and around others with similar handicaps. In 8th grade, I was in a hospital cafeteria having lunch with a girl (surprise, 8th grade boys pursuing girls.) and we fell into the patter of the handicapped. In it, we were using the word "normal" clearly as an "other specific" term. A woman at the next table turned around and told us

"There is absolutely nothing wrong with either of you, You are both as normal as anyone else. Don't think of yourselves as anything but normal!"

My table mate and looked at this woman as two teenagers would under such situations. "What planet are you from?"
We both had CP and had a very clear idea of how far from the "norm" for our peer group we were.

The girl I was with responded first. "Excuse me, this was a private conversation. And what makes you think we meant anything positive about being 'normal'? There are none so blind as those who have eyes and do not see, and none so deaf as those with and do not hear. That is part of 'normal' is for us."

The woman turned an interesting shade of red, and turned around to her table. The girl smiled at me as she leaned across the table and added, "I have wanted to say that to someone telling I can be 'normal' for months, since I thought of it."

Political correctness is Orwellian Newspeak! 1984 brought to you by the well intended!
Top
Re: Genies!
Post by JohnRoth   » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:42 pm

JohnRoth
Admiral

Posts: 2438
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:54 am
Location: Centreville, VA, USA

NOTE - restructured to avoid embedding limits
biochem wrote:I wonder how much non-human DNA Manpower has experimented with. If I were to go looking for the best heavy metal tolerance for example, I would look at extremophiles (microbes evolved for heavy metal environments). Translation is an enormous problem. Genes from microbes wouldn't necessarily function in the same manner in higher species. And then there is the problem with side effects, what exactly would genes from a single celled organism do in multicelled species? There are 1000s of different cell types in a human, would they function the same in all of them? At least being from earth they have the same basic biochemistry, if manpower really wanted to get creative they could mix alien and human DNA. I'd be very surprised if they haven't experimented with at least some of the above, after all in their minds that's in part what slaves are for.


JohnRoth wrote:

Let's say you've got a vintage American automobile, say a 1950 Studebaker, and you've also got a vintage light plane from the same era, and you want to make a flying car.

How far do you think you'd get? :twisted:

The point I'm trying to make here is that vertebrate biology is hugely complex; it's the most complex thing we've ever dealt with by several orders of magnitude.

Gregor Mendel was incredibly lucky. The number of traits where there is a simple correlation between a gene or two and a useful trait is very small. Even when you do have traits where there is a reasonably good correlation, they need a good chunk of the rest of the genome as background to function at all.

The idea that you can simply copy some DNA from somewhere to get a useful trait is naive almost to the point of absurdity. Unfortunately, most people's understanding of biochemistry, genetics, genomics and similar related issues is remarkably poor, leading to much frustration in the research community.


Northstar wrote:
Bold by moi. :twisted:

I do not think anyone here actually suggested that in such a crude manner.


If you look back at the conversation in this and other threads on the subject, yes, people have suggested this in exactly that manner.

Northstar wrote:Scientists may look at both themselves and the media for any general level of ignorance. Try and find anything -- easily available and well done -- written between the usual kindergarten level media gorp and science papers in gibberish.


I presume you're assuming that it doesn't exist. It does exist, and it's rather easy to find if you actually want to. Not everyone gets their biochemistry from the Daily Mail.

This is a science-fiction forum. Quite a few of us take off the gloves when it comes to physics, why should we do any different with biology?

Of course, one should expect to spend a certain amount of time learning - as a dude named Aristotle is supposed to have said to another dude named Alexander (later called the Great): Sire, there is no royal road to knowledge.

Northstar wrote:But insinuating biochem, or anyone else here, is some sort of idiot beneath your contempt for speculating on a fun forum for a set of scifi novels is... not well done.

Meanwhile there are such things as glow in the dark mice and plants due to gene tinkering so... could we dial back the disdain a tad, please? Thank you.

What is going on in this thread is simple fun and often intentionally whimsical speculation, not doctoral dissertations written by party poopers. :D

Northstar now pours herself a nice shot and relaxes. :mrgreen:


Calling someone out for insulting a third party who is a competent adult who you aren't in a guardian relationship with is not well done. Especially when you have no idea if they're actually insulted.

In fact, there is a phrase for it: pretension of smugly arrogant moral superiority.

If someone feels insulted, they are the ones who should speak up and say so. Or not, as their preference goes.
Top
Re: Genies!
Post by Northstar   » Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:27 pm

Northstar
Rear Admiral

Posts: 1126
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:50 pm
Location: Wisconsin, USA

JohnRoth wrote:
If someone feels insulted, they are the ones who should speak up and say so. Or not, as their preference goes.


Why should anyone feel the need to be like that on any subject? Especially in such an ick manner? I have personally appreciated it, at various times, when someone else on this forum has spoken up for me. Obviously your mileage varies. So noted.

This is supposed to be fun, not a mean spirited combat zone.

Have I lost my cool on occasion here? Sure. And been called on it. And apologized. Publicly.

Graciousness is not a weakness.
Top
Re: Genies!
Post by Amaroq   » Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:43 pm

Amaroq
Captain of the List

Posts: 523
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:39 pm
Location: Princess Anne, Maryland

TheGlyphstone wrote:
Direwolf18 wrote:RFC raises a really interesting point. The Mesan alignments goals, in an abstract sense, the improvement of the human race aren't necessarily wrong. Beowulf believes in genetic modification to the point of survival and not a millimeter further. They are almost terrified of pushing the envelope of human development.

The MA says why can't everyone be super smart/super athletic/etc. One of their biggest goals that they made no progress in is telepathy, one of the reasons the great treecat reveal annoys them so much. They wan't to force evolution's hand, and push it even harder, condensing several millennium of change down into a single generation or two. Even today we routinely genetically modify crops to push yields and disease resistance to unprecedented levels.

If there wasn't the whole genetic slavery thing, and the conquering the known universe thing, I would probably be a lot more sympathetic to the MA then I would Beowulf.


This is one of the reasons I've always been a lot more sympathetic to Leonard Detweiler himself than to his descendants. We don't know a whole lot about him, but based on that, he seemed to be a lot less 'evil' than the current MA and its leaders, since his motives were exactly that sort of 'uplift everybody' rather than the 'uplift the most worthy, who are most worthy because they have been uplifted' attitude the Alignment has.

Unless a big infodump about LD is forthcoming in Cauldron, maybe RFC can help us out here? How far away from Leonard's original intentions/vision has the Alignment drifted over the centuries? Was he just as much a genetic supremacist as Albrect+Co., and I'm just buying too much into Jack McBryde's rose-tinted glasses?


Jack McBryde had some thoughts pertinent to these points in ToF:

Deep at the heart of him, he knew, he was still committed to the Detweiler vision he'd assimilated as a youngster. He still believed the galaxy-wide rejection of the notion of genetically uplifting the entire human race to become all that it could have been was deeply, fundamentally, and tragically wrong. It rejected so much, turned its back on so many possibilities, doomed so many people to be so much less than they might have been. He believed that, with every fiber of his being.

But, he admitted to himself now, letting himself truly face it for the first time, what you don't believe anymore is that we have the right to force those who disagree with us to submit to our vision of their future. That's too much for you now, isn't it, Jack? And it's what the Board did to Francesca—and Herlander—that made it that way.

No, that wasn't entirely fair, he thought. It wasn't just the tragedy of the Simões family. It was a lot of things, including the realization of how many billions of people the Alignment's strategy was inevitably going to kill along the way—the "collateral damage" the Alignment's master strategy was prepared to accept.

And it's the fact that you've finally realized that you, personally, are going to be directly responsible for bringing about those deaths, he thought despairingly.


It's one of those cases where everything is colored multiple shades of gray and there is no clear right and wrong. The MAlign is more going on the principle of "the end justifies the means" and seeing as how the majority of people in the galaxy are going to get screwed over by those "means" it has the potential to be terrifying.
*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*
In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Goodwill.
Top

Return to Honorverse