neuro degenerative

On Prompto’s Bar Codes

Disclaimer: I am a scientist. (Neurochem)I know this doesn’t work in real life applications, but I thought it was interesting to see anyways.

So I threw this numbers into GenBank – NIH genetic sequence database just for fun because I was drunk one day. They are associated with some pretty interesting DNA sequences.

The bottom number there is part of a retrovirus.  An ENV protein specifically.  It would trigger a conformational change, allowing for binding of the fusion protein. So what does that mean fro Prompto? Well,  retroviral vectors are the most widely used delivery vehicles to integration genes into chromosomes of affected cells. So he’s a “knock in” animal for sequences that would allow him to change. For fantasy purposes, we could say he’s He’s been genetically programed to mutate.

This 01987 – that’s a fun one. It’s swine IL-alpha. I work with ILs on a daily basis and they are used as markers for “something gone wrong.” For instance, if I take a tissue from a stressed animal vs a nonstressed animal, the stressed animal will have produced more IL-alpha. It is the marker various immune responses and and hematopoiesis (The production of all types of blood cells). This cytokine is released in  response to cell injury, and thus induces apoptosis. (cell death) That is to say, he’s durable. He can regenerate blood cells, including his immune system white blood cells, to ward of disease and infection. Then he has the ability to kill off and clear out the “bad cells” faster too. It’s even been implicated in protection from gamma radiation (meteor anyone?) But this is not without consequence. Its a marker for inflammation, neuro-degenerative diseases, and diabetes. So, he’s sturdy, but he’s also set up for a lot of problems later. Implication? He’s not made to live long. He’s made of pig and virus parts because he’s disposable.

And the best bit? NH. He’s non human. He’s a non human primate. Therefore he wouldn’t be afforded personhood.

Edit: Feel like I should say too that he’s properly coded. As in you put non-human primate codes on their outer wrist so it’s scannable when they grip the bars. He should have had a chip implanted at that age which should be in his right bicep. Maybe it rejected and he covered it with that bandana?

wyrd66  asked:

I have a question for you based on one I just answered: How do pallanophs age? What are the physical differences between an elderly 'noph and one in their prime? (If you don't want to answer pallanoph questions right now, you can pretend I asked about aequis instead!)

I didn’t want to answer this ask before I got back to my keyboard and my scanner, so here we go!

Pallanophs have a tendency to age in ways humans might find familiar: the first thing you’ll notice in an aging ‘noph is grey hairs popping up in the eyebrows and around the muzzle once they hit 40. Before long, they may take on a more grizzled appearance as the melanin/pheomelanin production in their coats slows down. Hairs become more brittle and breakage occurs: long manes and feathering along limbs and tails will shorten and appear frayed. In individuals with feathering on their legs, it may break down entirely as they reach extreme old age (80+ years.) Thin spots in their coats may become bare (elbows, wrists, ankles, etc.) Full on balding doesn’t occur, of course, but elderly ‘nophs find bear and moose pelts to be a blessing when comfort is needed. (throw in some toggle closures made of bone and sinew and you’ve got an easy garment for those arthritic bones!)

Speaking of arthritis: pallanophs are big animals, and they are hardly immune to joint pain as their cartilage begins to break down. Aching joints are noticeable for most ‘nophs beginning in their 50′s and 60′s, and by 70 years of age most pallanophs have long since retired from an active lifestyle. Muscle wasting has often set in by this time, and pallanophs acquire an angular and slack silhouette, with a sloping spine, raised scapula, and pelvic landmarks standing out in stark contrast. Waistlines sag, tails droop, and ankles flatten. Joints appear knobby and swollen, and feet tend to be curled in painful positions. Claws often won’t retract, and dewclaws tend to drag/wear on the ground. In addition to cartilage wear and arthritis, collagen and facial cartilage (nose, ears) will droop and sag slightly.

Here are some very old ‘nophs, 80+ years of age. Poultices for arthritic joints are widespread, and individuals usually try to make their own before succumbing to the assistance of others during their final years. 

Senses may also decline: the first is usually sense of smell/taste, followed by hearing and occasionally, sight. These aren’t inevitable, but are common symptoms of aging. In more unfortunate cases, memory loss/ neuro-degenerative diseases may occur. For the most part, however, pallanophs keep their sharp wits and memories until death.

(I need to consider this for Aequis too, but for now we’ll keep this comparatively short and about pallanophs for a change!)

‘Platinum’ genome takes on disease

Geneticists have a dirty little secret. More than a decade after the official completion of the Human Genome Project, and despite the publication of multiple updates, the sequence still has hundreds of gaps — many in regions linked to disease. Now, several research efforts are closing in on a truly complete human genome sequence, called the platinum genome.

“It’s like mapping Europe and somebody says, ‘Oh, there’s Norway. I really don’t want to have to do the fjords’,” says Ewan Birney, a computational biologist at the European Bioinformatics Institute near Cambridge, UK, who was involved in the Human Genome Project. “Now somebody’s in there and mapping the fjords.”

The efforts, which rely on the DNA from peculiar cellular growths, are uncovering DNA sequences not found in the official human genome sequence that have potential links to conditions such as autism and the neuro-degenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

In 2000, then US President Bill Clinton joined leading scientists to unveil a draft human genome. Three years later, the project was declared finished. But there were caveats: that human ‘reference’ genome was more than 99% complete, but researchers could not get to 100% because of method limitations.

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