genetic data

HH/40k Lore Question

Question for those out there who write/draw/hobby/play/etc lady Astartes: I was wondering what your lore method of inclusion was? I’m doing up some fluff for Project Branwen and was looking for a timeline that would work best. So far I’ve got three methods, but feel free to contribute your own canon here:

1. AFTER ISTVAAN V (Specific to my Raven Guard HH fluff idea): Following the Dropsite Massacre, Corax took the survivors to Terra, where the Emperor provided him with the genetic data from the Primarch Project. With the scope of information on the Astartes Induction Process greatly expanded, Corax and his surviving apothecaries (And that one Magos Biologis) were able to unlock the process for both biological sexes. Corax saw no reason to deny himself an entire pool of potential recruits when trying to rebuild his legion for the fight against The Warmaster, and recruiting began immediately. The project was named for its’ first successful aspirant, Branwen (See great art by @sisterofsilence HERE).
(Note: This information could have potentially been stolen by the Alpha Legion or shared with the other Dropsite Massacre Survivors, allowing for its use to be expanded to all legions in time).

2. GREAT CRUSADE: In order to fill the demand of Astartes needed for the Great Crusade (And perhaps at the suggestion of a certain Sigilite), The Emperor did SCIENCE THINGS to further developed the Induction Process to include women.

3. IT’S JUST THERE: It’s always been a thing since the creation of the Astartes Project - why deny your army the inductees simply because NOT MAN?

4. OTHER: Post Heresy? Cursed Founding? Fabius Bile (Fabulous Bill) Genetic Experiments? 

Thoughts? I’d like to hear your takes on this.

Sewage Bacteria Reveal Cities' Obesity Rates

by Brian Owens, Inside Science

Sampling the waste in a city’s sewage system can be a good way to study the microbes that live in the population’s guts – and could even offer a way to monitor public health issues such as obesity, according to new research.

The community of microbes that live in a person’s gut, known as the microbiome, is intricately tied to that person’s health. The microbiome can influence, and be influenced by, a range of characteristics such as weight, disease, diet, exercise, mood and much more. But it can be difficult to draw large-scale conclusions about what constitutes a “healthy gut” because of the financial and privacy implications of sampling large enough numbers of people.

So a team of researchers led by Sandra McLellan at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Mitchell Sogin at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, set out to test whether they would be able to spot human microbes lurking in the soupy mix of municipal sewage systems, and thus sample entire cities at once.

Keep reading

A new bill would allow employers to see your genetic information — unless you pay a fine
If HR 1313 passes, it’s not inconceivable that your employer could include questions about your family medical history or demand your personal genetic data through a wellness program — or impose a surcharge on your health insurance. Obamacare’s wellness programs invaded people’s privacy. A new bill is quietly making its way through Congress that could bring the US a little closer to a Gattaca-like future in which employers could discriminate against their employees based on their genes and risk of disease. Read more

I suspect we do not appreciate enough the fact that we are enjoying a phase in history where the most powerful societies on Earth hold the ethical position “actually, genocide is wrong, let’s not do that”.

World history is crammed full of peoples — Arabs, Aztecs, Bantus, Chinese, Egyptians, Hittites, Israelites, Inuits, Mongols, Persians, Russians, Turks… really pretty much anyone who has staked a claim on an empire’s worth of territory across the world at some point + then some (and you can bet there have also been tons of prehistorical cases that we just have not yet teased out of the genetic and archeological data) — who were one day served an opening and took it to become a rampaging murderhorde. The evidence generally really seems to be that humanity’s default approach to having enemies at their mercy is roughly “kill all the men, rape all the women, sell all the children to slavery”. (The default among people who have lived long enough to make it to our history books, at least.)

But, you know, in this day and age we’ve got this little deal called the Geneva Conventions, and this thing called Declaration of Human Rights, and a couple other similar articles in favor of general peace and civility instead.

Actually getting people around the world on board with all this still remains a work in progress though, as e.g. various people in Cambodia or Darfur or Rwanda or Syria or Yugoslavia have demonstrated within living memory (or for that matter, the Germans & the Japanese not too long ago either).

And we really should not be too complacent in the belief that this project is nothing more than a question of time… Dehumanization is a very natural reaction to disagreement, one that takes extensive social technology to keep in check.

A radically immanent intensive body is an assemblage of forces, or flows, intensities and passions that solidify – in space – and consolidate – in time – within the singular configuration commonly known as an ‘individual’ (or rather: di-vidual) self. This intensive and dynamic entity does not coincide with the enumeration of inner rationalist laws, nor is it merely the unfolding of genetic data and information encrypted in the material structure of the embodied self. It is rather a portion of forces that is stable enough – spatio-temporally speaking – to sustain and to undergo constant fluxes of transformation. On all three scores, it is the body’s degrees and levels of affectivity that determine the modes of differentiation. Joyful or positive passions and the transcendence of reactive affects are the desirable mode, as I argued earlier. Positivity is in-built into this programme through the idea of thresholds of sustainability. Thus, an ethically empowering option increases one’s potentia and creates joyful energy in the process. The conditions which can encourage such a quest are not only historical, but also relational: they have to do with cultivating and facilitating productive encounters, which sustain processes of self-transformation or self- fashioning in the direction of affirming positivity.
—  Rosi Braidotti, “The Ethics of Becoming-Imperceptible,” Deleuze and Philosophy, ed. Boundas, p. 136-37
vimeo

Flexible Muscle-Based Locomotion for Bipedal Creatures

from John Goatstream, Thomas Geijtenbeek, Michiel van de Panne, Frank van der Steppen

We present a muscle-based control method for simulated bipeds in which both the muscle routing and control parameters are optimized. This yields a generic locomotion control method that supports a variety of bipedal creatures. All actuation forces are the result of 3D simulated muscles, and a model of neural delay is included for all feedback paths. As a result, our controllers generate torque patterns that incorporate biomechanical constraints. The synthesized controllers find different gaits based on target speed, can cope with uneven terrain and external perturbations, and can steer to target directions.

Every year, scientists are learning more and more about the human microbiome, the collection of microorganisms and bacteria that live in and on our bodies. But what about our “macrobiomes” – the microorganism communities that live in our environments? In this SciCafe, geneticist Chris Mason talks about his desire to get the gene sequence of every thing and place he sees, and the ways in which we can use the information we get from our bodies as well as our environments.

Download this podcast

Learn more about Chris Mason’s research in the Wall Street Journal story, Big Data and Bacteria: Mapping the New York Subway’s DNA

Made with SoundCloud

Penguins Can’t Taste Fish, Says New Study

Penguins may love devouring fish, but it turns out they might not be able to taste them.

While analyzing the genetic data of five penguins, each of a different species, researchers at the University of Michigan discovered that all the birds were missing three of the five basic taste genes. “Based on genetic data, penguins are believed to have sour and salty tastes, but have lost sweet, umami, and bitter tastes,” researcher Jianzhi Zhang told the BBC, adding that the birds likely lost these taste genes when they evolved millions of years ago.

Zhang said that penguins may be unique in this deficiency. He told the HuffPost that “no other bird is known to have lost three tastes. As far as we know, most birds have both umami and bitter taste receptor genes.” Most, however, cannot taste sweetness.

Continue Reading.