synthetic organisms

Confession:  I don’t think the ‘Starchild’ Intelligence that controlled the Reapers was actually a true AI. Any True AI, capable of going beyond its programming and learning, would have realized the gaping absurdities in the way it was trying to ‘solve’ the problem of Synthetic and Organic conflict. Honestly, the intelligence strikes me as a malfunctioning (if advanced) VI stuck in an endlessly recursive loop.

Glowing Plants Controversial (Nature)

Among the many projects attracting crowd-sourced funding on the Kickstarter website this week are a premium Kobe beef jerky, a keyboard instrument called a wheelharp and a small leafy plant that will be made to glow in the dark using synthetic-biology techniques.

The Glowing Plant project, which ends its fund-raising campaign on 7 June, seeks to engineer the thale cress Arabidopsis thaliana to emit weak, green-blue light by endowing it with genetic circuitry from fireflies. If the non-commercial project succeeds, thousands of supporters will receive seeds to plant the hardy weed wherever they wish.

The US government has no problem with this prospect, yet some experts and industry watchers are jittery. They fear that distributing the plants could set a precedent for unsupervised releases of synthetic organisms, and might foster a negative public perception of synthetic biology — an emerging experimental discipline that involves genetically engineering organisms to do useful tasks.

A glow-in-the-dark tobacco plant was first engineered by scientists in the 1980s.


Fandom: Overwatch
Pairing; Genyatta (established, post Overwatch Recall)
Rating: G/PG
Summary: A long overnight mission in King’s Row leaves Genji and Zenyatta with just enough time to seek one another’s company.

A little bit of self indulgence writing, and a notable lack of genyatta cuddling when taking a dive into the tag–I’m here to fix that! Also a bit of a writing exercise for me, I’m out of practice; enjoy, nonetheless! there’s pg butt touches, it was a request and i dont shrink from a challenge

It had been an achingly long night.

Overwatch’s latest over-night mission had stretched from the last moments of dusk to the early moments of dawn, a live wire of tension drawn over their communicators as stocked payloads shuffled in and out of the city in the dead of night. 

Zenyatta’s patience was infinite, the work long worth the wait–he could never lose patience in an effort to safely relocate his damaged brothers and sisters outside King’s Row. 

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Sometimes I think about Miranda Lawson finding a second family in the crew of the Normandy SR-2 and my heart hurts.

I think about her getting an eccentric uncle in Mordin, who’ll sometimes overshare and give really embarrassing advice when being asked about relationships and sex. 

I think about her getting a cool aunt in Samara that she looks up to and who teaches her ways to use her biotics more efficiently. Who might even have taught her how to Reave while on the run after the Collector Base was dealt with.

I think about her getting an easily excitable little brother in Grunt, who keeps running into the thick of everything and screams in delight as he crushes his enemies underneath his feet. Sometimes I imagine her having to apply medi-gel on his wounds after a particularly tough fight with his grumbling acquiesce.

I think about her getting a somewhat tempestuous sibling rivalry with Jack, competing with each other about who’s the stronger biotic by trying to one up each other on who can make the bigger biotic explosion. (Look, I know biotic explosions weren’t as big a thing in the second game, but I really like this idea okay? Let me live.

I think about her getting a brother in Garrus, the two of them sitting down and sharing stories about leading a fire team in dangerous situations and getting them all out alive. Sometimes they’ll talk shop about ways to apply Overload on the field, on synthetic and organic enemies alike.

I think about her getting a cousin in Tali, talking about whether it’s better to turn Geth against their own, or just destroy them outright. And whether they should be destroyed fast or hacked to turn against their own before getting rid of the platform. Maybe she’d ask Tali how the drive core is and inadvertently end up listening to Tali wax on about what a beautiful thing Cerberus made it in the recreation of the SR-1.

I think about her making her own rounds in the ship, talking to each and every crew member that she deems needs her attention and slowly gaining their respect, if not trust. She takes her position as Shepard’s XO seriously, and that kind of dedication can’t be dismissed so easily when she makes a point of fulfilling what she considers her role in the crew. Even when half of them still distrust her, with one having made her animosity very clear by way of a chair biotically thrown at her face.

Even with that, the crew still treated her better than her real family had. She may not say it out loud, but I’m sure she considers them her found family and closer than her own blood.

anonymous asked:

Be completely and brutally honest: if a student wants to get into a Chem major but isn't really good at math, are they doomed and should probably look for a different major?

Ok, honesty time: It doesn’t really matter. At all. It probably kind of depends on the field you go into, but you’ll learn whatever specialized math you need for that field when you’re actually in it, anyways. In college you should focus on getting the basic concepts and skills, and grades you need for anything after college.

I SUCKED at math. Seriously sucked. I only took 3 years in high school (algebra 1, geometry, algebra 2). No precalc. No calc. Nothing even remotely CLOSE to advanced. In college I did similarly, skipped out on math my first year (I was petrified since I was SO bad in high school) and then only took calc 1 and 2 and then the algebra based physics classes (I was scared of calc based). I’d say I’ve done pretty well for myself in chemistry so far, though I am organic/synthetic chem. 

I’d say don’t sweat it, if you want to do something and you love it, go for it. You’ll learn as you go and you’ll get good at the things you’re supposed to be good at. 

turians  asked:

which instagram filter did u end up going with :3c

ok like. i went back and replayed the ending sequence twice so i could see all of them, and i have conflicting opinions?

for synthesis, the idea of shepard making the decision to change everyone’s DNA and bodies against their will for the ‘betterment’ of the galaxy bugs me. i feel like it goes against everything shepard (or at least my shepard) would believe in. the right to make choices and decide what to do with your own life. i mean, she literally fought so that organics and synthetics could keep living, because she saw being sentient as something that made people worth saving, organic or otherwise.

as for control, i’m….. torn. on one hand, its portrayed as the most moral decision, and some masochistic part of me LOVES the endings where shepard sacrifices herself just to save everyone in every way she can. the tragic hero/martyr part of her character is part of the reason i cry so much over her, and it seems… fitting for her to die. sad, but fitting.  

BUT, there’s also some things about the control ending that bug me. i know the starchild promises that she’ll be able to control the reapers, but where’s the security? and leaving the reapers alive to roam the galaxy seems…. odd to me. they terrorized and mowed down races, and now they’re chill and we should trust them? these giant death machines? I MEAN, they literally tricked the illusive man with promises of power, why not try and do the same to shepard, even if she is choosing the power for different reasons?

and lastly, shepard’s entire character was based around the fact she was just one person. and now she’s giving up her ‘humanity’ and her last shot at rest to watch over the entire galaxy? that’s just… so sad to me. 

finally, destroy. i equally love and hate it. on one hand, shepard (usually) lives, and the reapers are finally wiped out for good. but, even if the “all your synthetic friends will die” was just a last-ditch attempt at self-preservation by the starchild, there’s still the fact that shepard chose it. i can’t see her ever forgiving herself for that. i can see her picking it, but i can also see her tearing herself up over it. 

if it was true and she wakes up to find EDI and the geth destroyed/non-functioning, can you imagine her apologizing to joker? she was so tired, she just wanted it to be over, she just wanted to go home, and that cost joker the person he loved most. but even if they are okay and the starchild is lying, she still has to live with the fact that she chose to kill them. 

don’t get me wrong, i love destroy because she can finally be free, but i worry about what other things she might end up saddled with after the fact. it hurts me because what if she lived when all she wanted to do was die and take her guilt to the grave with her? 

TL;DR: destroy. my canon ending is destroy, even tho it kills me. 

anonymous asked:

idk i didn't have a problem with sam. edi in me1 and me2 defiantly had less of a personality than in me3 so there is hope he will progress and grow if they continue the series. i also felt like sam shouldn't have TOO much of an distinctive personality because some people might end up not liking them when that would be literally the worst thing because sam is stuck with you.

I think it’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.

I definitely feel Bioware’s pain with personalities. Any time they take a risk and make a character that’s “unlikeable” the fandom rages  (see reactions to Sera & Vivienne as a recent example). But avoiding it also causes problems - at least to me. Because SAM’s personality is so undefined, the other characters treat him like a tool instead of a comrade. Which would be fine if he was a VI interface but the game explicitly says that he’s an AI. There’s a side quest that attempts to develop SAM and Ryder’s relationship, but it falls flat because Ryder (again) just treats SAM like a useful tool. In the narrative SAM functions like a higher-powered version of SIRI. Which I wouldn’t have a problem with if that’s all he were supposed to be, but the game tells us that he isn’t.

And with regards to the original trilogy - I think the lack of development for EDI and Legion mirrored how the games handled organic/synthetic conflicts. In ME1 synthetics are strictly in the enemy territory, with little moral gray room. It isn’t until the second game when Shepard (and we as players) start to see the potential in synthetics as more than just monsters and as beings capable of complex thoughts and feelings. That’s also when we are introduced to more sympathetic AI characters. This isn’t the case in Andromeda because SAM is introduced and widely accepted right out of the gate.

I just really care about robots ok.

"The Anderson Rose" - Kurt/Blaine (Masterpost)

Summary: In the mountains of what was once the Northeastern United States of America, the descendants of a band of refugees who had escaped New York City at the end of a great World War are beginning to thrive after almost a thousand years of struggle. Relying on a combination of bits and pieces of advanced technology salvaged from the remains of great cities, as well as the still-pristine forest that they now call home, the people of Westerville are determined to rebuild a world in which peace, love, and cooperation mean more than victory, greed, and wealth.

Blaine Anderson is heir to the ruling seat of Westerville and, from birth, has been destined for an arranged marriage—he must father an heir in order to ensure the line of succession. When it becomes clear to his parents that his affections lie with his own sex, they make it their mission to find him a suitable—and potentially happy—match with a carrier who can return his interest.

Kurt Hummel is the son of Burt Hummel, Westerville’s most well-known engineer. Though he has grown up far from the Andersons’ manor in a small village to the north, his family has worked with the Andersons for generations, providing them with transportation vehicles, engines, machines, research, and repair work of all kinds. After the tragedy of losing his wife, Burt takes it upon himself to explain to Kurt that, since his birth, he has been sought after by the Andersons as a potential future husband for their son, because he is a carrier.

This is the story of Kurt and Blaine’s betrothal, courtship, and how they start their family, but it is first and foremost the story of how a young boy from a small village grows into leadership, marriage, and parenthood at the same time as he grows into manhood, and how he discovers himself along the way.

Posting information: Completed 07/24/2014.

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“The ideas set out regarding the Commune are open to the interpretation that it is a matter of replacing the current form of State with a more restricted form, to wit, the Commune. We seek the elimination of every form of State, general or restricted, and the Commune is, as far as we are concerned, only the synthetic expression of the organic form of free human associations.”
- Statement from the 1880 congress of the Jura Federation

The functions as verbs

Si: I relate// connect// associate// appreciate

Se: I experience// notice// engage// create

Ti: I analyze// dissect// store// synthetize// comprenhend

Te: I organize// express// plan// optimize// direct

Fi: I believe// feel// validate// am

Fe: I accomodate// empathize// understand// harmonize

Ni: I lucubrate// envision// predict// unite

Ne: I explore// innovate// brainstorm// diversify

anonymous asked:

I see you post a lot about classics and chemistry; are you double majoring? Or just doing one as a major?

I’m actually a Molecular and Cellular Biology major, with a Microbiology double major. I ended up loving organic chemistry so much when I took it, though, that I took 2 more Organic/Biochem classes (Mechanistic and Synthetic Organic Chemistry / Biochemistry of Nucleic Acids) so I could get a Chemistry minor… because I Love organic but I abjectly refuse to take another semester of math so the chem and biochem majors were Out

AS for classics I took one class about the Roman empire for a required humanities class and promptly fell in love… because I’m practically done w/ my other 2 majors (just need 2 more classes) I added Classics as a third major… although this means i will have to speedrun Latin this summer so that should be fun. My scholarship pays for 4 years no matter what, so why not? 

So far it’s been a great decision every Classics class I’ve taken has been incredible and a really good balance to the science classes….plus, i think there’s something to be said for studying the humanities as a person aiming to go into scientific research. IMO STEM educations and thus the scientific community suffer when we blatantly ignore everything that isn’t us- there’s a diversity of perspective and a refinement of writing/analytical skills that comes from studying history and literature and language that I think could be so applicable and beneficial to my scientific career!! or at least, that’s how i’m going to justify this incredibly self indulgent decision to grad schools lmao



First day of my OJT as a chemist at the Synthetic Organic Chemistry Research Laboratory of UP Diliman. It was fun because I just did my thesis and I just cleaned my workplace that I last visited way back April.

The Crucible: An Analysis of Mass Effect 3′s controversial ending *SPOILERS*

First, a quick disclaimer. I am writing this as a huge fan of the Mass Effect trilogy. It is one of my all-time favorite gaming franchises, up there with the Bioshock trilogy, the Myst trilogy and the Arkham series. I will always defend it.

That being said, I am more than aware of the controversy surrounding the ending of Mass Effect 3. And I agree, it does have its issues. The Catalyst is a massive info-dump. The ending is rather poorly-paced and confusing, not to mention executed in such a way that it’s very anticlimactic. But at the same time, I see what Bioware was going for with the ending, and it’s a brilliant concept and an all-around fitting conclusion to the trilogy. Allow me to explain.

To begin with, I’d like to pose the question: Who is the protagonist (Commander Shepard, whom I will be referring to with “they/them” pronouns for the purposes of this post) fighting in the trilogy? The first answer to come to your mind will probably be rather obvious: The Reapers, duh. Shepard spends the first two games trying to convince people to heed their warnings that the Reapers—an ancient race of giant sentient machines that have wiped out every known galactic civilization to date—are coming back, and that they will have to fight them. In the third game, the Reapers finally attack, and Shepard has to fight them. The Reapers have to be the antagonists, right? 

Wrong. If you examine the games more closely, it becomes apparent that the Reapers aren’t really the antagonists—they’re a plot device, a threat that drives the narrative but never THE threat that Shepard is directly facing. In the first Mass Effect, Shepard is in conflict with rogue Spectre operative Saren Arterius and his allies—the powerful Asari leader Matriarch Benezia and their army of Geth. The Reaper known as Sovereign is present in this game, and is definitely a part of the threat, but it is never the threat—Shepard never directly fights Sovereign, only Saren and his followers. In Mass Effect 2, Shepard allies with the pro-human militant faction known as Cerberus to take down the “Collectors”—a mysterious race of technologically-advanced aliens who have been abducting entire human colonies. It’s later revealed that the Collectors are essentially what remains of the Protheans, who were the last species to be wiped out by the Reapers. Although the Collectors are essentially under the Reapers’ control, they are not Reapers themselves—again, in ME2, the Reapers are a plot device, a threat that looms on the horizon, but not the threat itself. And in Mass Effect 3, although the Reapers have invaded, Shepard spends the majority of the game in conflict not with the Reapers, but with the primary antagonists of Mass Effect 3—The Illusive Man, and Cerberus, which have both become corrupted by Reaper influence. Even the final confrontation before Shepard reaches the Crucible is not with the Reapers at all, but with The Illusive Man. In all 3 plotlines, Shepard is fighting against agents of the Reapers, but not the Reapers themselves. The Reapers aren’t really the antagonists of the trilogy—they are the force which drives the conflict, but they are not the conflict itself. 

With that point accepted, let’s move on to discussing the ending itself, and how—thematically—it was a perfect conclusion to the trilogy.

At the very end of the trilogy, Shepard arrives at the Crucible—a massive energy weapon with the power to change the very fabric of the galaxy—and is faced with the ultimate decision: how should the Crucible be used? On the left-hand path is a console that will allow Shepard to take control of the Reapers, at the cost of their own physical existence. They will live on as the mind of the Reapers, but will no longer exist physically—so, technically, they will die, but they will end the Reapers’ threat permanently, and gain sole and absolute control over the Reapers. This is known as the “blue path” or the “Control ending”. The middle path leads to the Crucible’s energy source—if Shepard adds their own energy to the Crucible’s (sacrificing their own life in the process), then organic and synthetic life will be merged, combined into “a new framework” where man and machine are one and the same. This is called the “green path” or the “Synthesis ending”. And then, on the right-hand path is the power conduit that will allow Shepard to activate the Crucible and permanently destroy the Reapers and all other synthetic life, destroying the Reapers but at a terrible cost—in the best-case scenario, EDI and the remaining Geth will also be destroyed by the blast; in the worst-case scenario, Shepard and the Normandy crew will all die and Earth will be destroyed, but the Reapers will also be gone. This is known as the “red path” or the “Destroy ending.” 

I’ve explained the ending and listed the antagonists of each game. Each antagonist is, in one way or another, an agent of the Reapers. But it goes further than that—each of them tried, in their own way, to neutralize the threat posed by the Reapers—and each failed.

Saren Arterius encountered Sovereign and became convinced that the Reapers could never be defeated or neutralized—they would win, no matter what. He decided that the only way for the galaxy to be saved was for all organic life forms to submit to the Reapers and give them what they wanted. He himself allowed the Reapers to “modify” him with synthetic implants. He tried to merge organic and synthetic life via submission to the Reapers, and failed—he didn’t account for the fact that his form of synthesis would lead to a loss of free will, and that the idea of sacrificing free will for survival would be met with heavy resistance.

Saren himself walked the “Green path” and, given the power to do so, would have chosen the “synthesis” ending—an effective end to all conflict between organic and synthetic life forms.

The Protheans tried to fight the Reapers, but wound up being overwhelmed and destroyed from within. Fifty thousand years later, the Collectors were all that remained of the defeated Protheans—devoid of free will and self-control, existing only as puppets to the Reapers’ will. They tried to defeat the Reapers with brute force, but didn’t fully understand their enemy, and were not strong enough to fully overpower them. 

When the Collectors were still the Protheans, they walked the “Red path” and, given the power to do so, would have chosen the “Destroy” ending—a short-term and perhaps inelegant solution which was not without sacrifice, but that would have ended the Reapers’ threat to organics once and for all. 

The Illusive Man tried to understand the Reapers so that he could find a way to control them. He was consistent in his philosophy—from the very beginning—that taking control of an enemy was better than defeating them. He was determined to wield their power himself, at any cost—and became so obsessed with the idea of controlling the Reapers that he failed to realize that he’d already become indoctrinated, and was already being controlled by them. He only realized at the very end that he’d caused just as much harm to humanity as the Reapers had in his shortsightedness and lust for power, and ended up taking his own life. 

He walked the “Blue path” and, given the power to do so, would have chosen the “Control” ending.

All 3 tried to end the Reapers’ threat in their own ways. All 3 failed and wound up at odds with Shepard. In the end, the decision that Shepard is facing isn’t “should the Reapers continue to exist?” but: “Which of my enemies was right?” 

Shepard is given the sole power to realize one fallen enemy’s vision. They can fulfill Saren’s mission by merging organic and synthetic life, and ending all conflict between the two forever. They can fulfill the Protheans’ mission by destroying the Reapers, permanently extinguishing the Reapers’ threat. Or they can take control of the Reapers personally, turning the Reapers from a threat to all life in the galaxy to humanity’s strongest asset. 

No matter what, the ending will involve sacrifice. Even in the best outcomes, the Control and Synthesis endings result in Shepard’s death, and the Destroy ending results in the destruction of both EDI and the Geth. 

This is also why Shepard alone is given the power to make the decision of what should be done: Shepard alone has faced all 3 enemies, seen the destruction of the Protheans, spoken to two Reapers (Sovereign and Harbinger) and come to understand what the full consequences of any one of those three options will be. Shepard is a hybrid of man and machine (the synthetic implants added to them by Cerberus during the Lazarus Project) who knows what’s at stake and understands that no matter what choice is made, it will be a sacrifice. 

While I agree that the ending’s execution fell flat (it was rushed and anticlimactic) I will defend the concept. It was an effective conclusion to the trilogy, both thematically and story-wise, and a brilliant concept. 


Here are the skulls of the Pale Man from the movie Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo Del Toro has the best creatures!!); the Hybrid from the video game series Resistance: The Fall of Man; the Banshee from the video game Mass Effect 3 (hell yeah, I went there! a creature both synthetic and organic? Glorious!); Green Martian from the movie John Carter; The Lizard from the movie The Amazing Spider-Man; Yoda, a character from the movies of the Star Wars saga and a Human skull, for comparison.

This was, hands down, the part where I had the most fun while doing my Dissertation. Heads were always the most different parts from creature to creature so it was a challenge :D

My dissertation consisted in the creation of a possible anatomy for 6 humanoid creatures from games and/or movies. For that hypothetical anatomy, I did many studies where I analysed the skin (integument), the bones of the skeleton, the muscles, the skull and sometimes hands/feet if necessary for better understanding.
All of these studies have, as basis, the comparison with the human anatomy.
I also never changed anything about the skin of the characters (aka how we know they look like), I based the anatomy in the cues I had from the skin and what I knew of human anatomy, making it as real and as ‘in working order’ as I could.

[all Yoda’s drawings]

anonymous asked:

Hello, INTJ here. Have you ever felt like the songs you listened to had to be more on the non-mainstream side? My songs are very dear to me, and if they are very popular, I feel as though the bond I've created with those tunes mean nothing. I tend to feel attached to songs - don't know about any psychological explanation to that - and I don't think of it as special if everyone knows about it. It makes me feel emotionally exposed to anyone who's listened to it. Does anyone else feel this way?


Like… oh em gee… I only listen to progressive industrial metal sounds while sipping on my fair trade coffe (yes coffe for all you non-m’gentlesirs out there) grown by disabled POC little people from the steppes of Mount Kilimanjaro and wearing free range synthetic scarves made of organic gerbil fur because I’m sooooooooo speshul and niche and non-mainstream 

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