Quotes and thoughts for the day

Carol Dee

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Pulsegleaner

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I know we MOSTLY do quotes in this thread, but it DOES cover thoughts as well, so here goes.

Something interesting occurred to me a few night ago. It concerns the old movie The Fly (either version).

I realized that the scientist was doomed to have something like that happen to him even if the fly HADN'T gotten into the machine. The flaw in the machine seems to be that, if two organisms are in it in the same time, their DNA gets mixed.

Fine, but what the writers forgot is that a human being is ALREADY a mass of different organisms, as is pretty much any other form of life. Our bodies are TEEMING with cells that aren't ours, from the bacteria in our gut to the mites in our eyebrows. In fact, there are more bacteria cells in a human body than actual HUMAN cells. And they ALL have their own set of DNA. So, once you went in, you'd get scrambled anyway.

Even if you could somehow purge yourself of all foreign organisms (a really bad idea, as a lot of those are vital for keeping you alive and healthy), your body still has TWO sets of DNA; the one in your cell nuclei and the one in your mitochondria (plants have three, since chloroplasts also have their own DNA). The machine is INHERENTLY unusable.
 

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I know we MOSTLY do quotes in this thread, but it DOES cover thoughts as well, so here goes.

Something interesting occurred to me a few night ago. It concerns the old movie The Fly (either version).

I realized that the scientist was doomed to have something like that happen to him even if the fly HADN'T gotten into the machine. The flaw in the machine seems to be that, if two organisms are in it in the same time, their DNA gets mixed.

Fine, but what the writers forgot is that a human being is ALREADY a mass of different organisms, as is pretty much any other form of life. Our bodies are TEEMING with cells that aren't ours, from the bacteria in our gut to the mites in our eyebrows. In fact, there are more bacteria cells in a human body than actual HUMAN cells. And they ALL have their own set of DNA. So, once you went in, you'd get scrambled anyway.

Even if you could somehow purge yourself of all foreign organisms (a really bad idea, as a lot of those are vital for keeping you alive and healthy), your body still has TWO sets of DNA; the one in your cell nuclei and the one in your mitochondria (plants have three, since chloroplasts also have their own DNA). The machine is INHERENTLY unusable.

true, it would not only have to know what cell was where but where each molecule was at, otherwise it would probable scramble your memories and upset many other processes.

both mitochondria and chloroplasts are great examples of ancient bacteria/organisms that were at one time living independently but they were somehow incorporated into other cells (and in the case of mitochondria the cells have somewhat lost some functions that have been taken over by the cell they inhabit - i'm not sure about chloroplasts).
 

Pulsegleaner

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true, it would not only have to know what cell was where but where each molecule was at, otherwise it would probable scramble your memories and upset many other processes.
And if it COULD do that, it would presumably also be able to notice when DNA that did NOT belong to something in a human (like an errant fly) was present, and either separate it out or refuse to continue.

both mitochondria and chloroplasts are great examples of ancient bacteria/organisms that were at one time living independently but they were somehow incorporated into other cells (and in the case of mitochondria the cells have somewhat lost some functions that have been taken over by the cell they inhabit - i'm not sure about chloroplasts).
Or why I made the Doom virus in my story fatal to mitochondria rather than any particular cells. Making something that kills mitochondria is probably about as close as you can get to something capable of wiping out ALL life on Earth (since, even if a few mitochondria were able to be resistant, they wouldn't be enough to provide enough food to the cells they reside in to keep them from dying (and taking them with them) before they could replicate up to usable levels again. Same thing on the next level with cells to organisms. Basically, if it's even only 80-90% fatal to mitochondria (and my Doom virus is 99.99993%) it's 100% fatal to organisms. All you'd have left is viruses and whatever bacteria don't have mitochondria.
 

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