genetically engineered organism

Horus Lupercal

The road to Terra is open. The time has come for us to take the war to the Emperor in his most impregnable fastness! We will make immediate preparation for the invasion of Terra and an assault on the Imperial Palace. Make no mistake, and it will be ours, my brothers! This will be no easy task, for the Emperor and his deluded followers will fight hard to prevent us from interfering with his plans for godhood. Doubtless much blood has yet to be spilled, theirs and our own, but the prize is the galaxy itself…Are you with me?"— Warmaster Horus, Master of Istvaan

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Reddit Science AMA on genetically engineering American chestnuts
Hi Reddit! We are a team of scientists at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York, and we’ve been working for 27...

TLDR: This project is using genetic engineering to create American chestnut trees that are blight-resistant so they can restore the species to the wild!  It’s really cool and controversial, and if you have ever had questions about GMOs, how they work and whether you should really fear them or not, you should go ask these guys!

The long version:

About 100 years ago, the American chestnut began to effectively go extinct, thanks to an invasive fungus.  Before then, there were about 4 billion of them, and they made up about ¼ of forests in eastern North America, and they produced loads and loads of nuts that made up a large part of the natural diet of North American wildlife.  It was a huge deal, even though a lot of us who were born since then don’t really notice what a massive change it made to the health of the North American environment.

So this team of scientists has been using genetic engineering to create an American chestnut tree that is resistant to the chestnut blight.

It’s controversial work–it would be the first genetically engineered organism to be deliberately released into the wild–but the team has spent 30 years successfully creating this tree, and now they’re spending the next five years running tests to make sure it’s safe and can earn regulatory approval (assuming the federal situation doesn’t go completely bananas in the near future).  Their argument is that this tree is all but identical to native American chestnuts–the only difference is they’ve extracted a single gene from wheat that confers blight resistance and inserted it into the chestnut trees. 

Yes, that does make this tree technically a GMO.  But GMO is actually a pretty complicated thing, and you don’t get the full story either from Monsanto or from the anti-GMO purists.  These guys work for a public college and are not going to patent their work, and they are willing to talk freely about EXACTLY what the process is and what regulatory approval entails and how this technology can be used in both responsible and dangerously irresponsible ways.

Iconic Characters of Horror Fiction: Gyaos

It’s Gamera day, and while the big turtle has already been featured on ICHF, I felt he needed a tribute regardless.  So let’s talk about the second most important monster in Gamera’s pantheon: his arch enemy Gyaos!

In the Showa Gamera movies (i.e. the ones from the 60′s and 70′s), Gyaos was essentially what you’d get if Dracula was a kaiju. A nocturnal monster, Gyaos lived in a massive cave, preyed directly upon humans, could heal from any wound if given time, and was lured by the scent of blood.  Gyaos was also weakened by sunlight, like many film vampires are.  While Gamera’s other foes were similarly outlandish and strange, something about Gyaos stuck out.  The vampiric monster was just a bit creepier than Gamera’s other foes.  Even though Gyaos wasn’t the only man-eater in the bunch, the way it preyed on humans was a bit more personal than the other monsters.  Combine it with the dark, vampiric imagery conjured by Gyaos’s habitat, behavior, and physiology and you get a kaiju that’s a scary in a very unique way.

This is probably why Gyaos was brought back for the 90′s revival of the Gamera series.  While many of Gyaos’s vampiric qualities were either dialed back or dropped entirely, she remained as vile and vicious a foe as ever.  Gamera: Guardian of the Universe portrayed Gyaos as an explicit cannibal, showing the mangled and partially devoured carcasses of her siblings when humans explored her lair.  The flying monster was also a dedicated maneater, and spends much of the movie’s runtime pursuing humans with an outright malevolent hunger.  There’s something primeval about the terror inspired by the sight of a monstrous flying creature hunting down human beings - especially when that creature is so preposterously large that the act itself couldn’t provide it true sustenance.  Gyaos isn’t a maneater out of necessity, but rather for sport.

The threat of Gyaos is compounded by the fact that she can reproduce asexually, allowing the voracious predator to easily dominate the world if she isn’t stopped.  Sequels would show swarms of juvenile Gyaoses, which prove to be every bit the nightmare you’d expect a flock of man-eating flying reptiles the size of blue whales would be.  The 90′s Gamera movies draw a direct parallel between this aspect of the Gyaos horde and mankind.  Gyaos and her kin are the result of an ancient human civilization’s attempt to genetically engineer a perfect organism.  They succeeded too well, and proved to be so destructive and gluttonous that the same civilization had to make Gamera to wipe them out.  The only reason Gyaoses come back from their near-extinction is that pollution caused by humanity has awoken them from dormancy - they are, essentially, every negative byproduct of humanity’s dominance of the planet.  They’re the monsterfication of overpopulation, insustainable consumption, pollution, and wanton greed and gluttony.  Gyaos are the monsters our dark side aspires to be - and we’re only still around because our good sides can make Gameras to fight them.

With a vile personality and reputation, a variety of substantial thematic bases, and a very dynamic and memorable design, Gyaos is more than iconic enough to serve as Gamera’s arch foe.  There’s a reason this monster has been featured in every Gamera movie series so far - and I for one look forward to being menaced by her again in future films.

anonymous asked:

I'm questioning my gender and seek you're guidance cause you seem nice and cool and knowledgeable. I used to think I was genderfluid but now I think I'm a demigirl. Help me, person who possibly knows what they're talking about, you're my only hope

I’m sorry, but in cases like these, I’m not the best person to ask.

YOU are!

You know who has the best understanding of yourself, your experiences, your gender and what you want? 

You JUST told me how you feel. 

I used to think I was genderfluid but now I think I’m a demigirl.

COOL! Then that’s the best assessment of the current situation. Just from these details, I cannot give you anything that would be anything better than me just taking a random stab in the dark and saying “YOU’RE A GIRAFFE!”

(You’re not a giraffe, I think. It’s just an example.)

My biggest pieces of advice would be the following, and they rely on you more than anything else:

1. You don’t have a deadline to understand yourself by. Take Your time. Take your entire life if you want.

2. Not understanding and confusion are NOT failure. They are normal, natural states of being. Questioning yourself and your identity is healthy.

3. Take yourself and your identity a little less seriously. They are helpful and they may be important, but they should not rule your life or cause you so much stress you want to puke. 

If stuck, remind yourself: I’m a multicellular organism genetically engineered over millennia to breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide in order to appease my tree overlords. I do not have to be perfect. I just have to exist and remember that all this other cool stuff is coincidentally happening at the same time as I am being alive. 

Headcanon on Momma Cry's Overwatch backstory

“Momma” CR9-8489 is an artificial construct - a genetically engineered, lab-grown organism. Illegally lab-grown, for some very sick people. While she didn’t much like her fate, she had grown resigned to it and her inability to fight it. That is, until the wall exploded. Overwatch came down on the facility like a thunderbolt, destroying all constructs before they could grow to full intelligence, offering mercy to those too broken to be helped, and saving all those they could. “Momma” was one of the ones to be saved. After the excessive amounts of hormones were flushed from her system, she was given freedom. She chose to stay with Overwatch. Following in Mercy’s footsteps, she took up biotically enhanced claws and other tools, offering help to all those in need. When Overwatch ended, she was emotionally devastated, but refused to cease what she viewed as “her duty.” Now that 76 is slowly rebuilding, she has come to his side, willing to bring her fight to the public eye once again.

Despite how heroic she tries to be, the hormone treatments from her past can come up occasionally, inducing some rather strange behaviors. She sometimes slips her hormones into her biotic needles, sticking other heroes with them. Many an embarrassing one-night stand has resulted from this. Strangely, her favorite targets are a pair of men (“Junkrat” and “Roadhog”) both claiming to be straight; stranger still, they seem to enjoy it.

I had to do some more sketches of her, I cannot believe you wrote all this im screaming. That last part I lost my shit omfg

Here’s the original Support Momma post and Geekos ability descriptions, this kid is creative af  


Voracious Worm Evolves to Eat Biotech Corn Engineered to Kill It

One of agricultural biotechnology’s great success stories may become a cautionary tale of how short-sighted mismanagement can squander the benefits of genetic modification.

After years of predicting it would happen — and after years of having their suggestions largely ignored by companies, farmers and regulators — scientists have documented the rapid evolution of corn rootworms that are resistant to Bt corn.”

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