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Metagenomics

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nifoc

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« on: <07-12-11/0957:08> »
OOC: Just banged this together due to boredom...hope you enjoy.
If you notice any discrepancies from established canon, please inform me so that I might make it fit better. /OOC

Excerpt from a lecture by prof. John Soderberg (phd. genetics, phd theoretical thaumaturgy) at MIT&T, oct 21 2071.

“…in fact I contend that the determining factor in racial differences between metatypes is likely wholly magical in nature.  Given that my audience today is mostly laypersons when it concerns genetics, I will briefly summarize the taxonomy of genomics in order to provide greater appreciation of this material. Genomics studies and tries to map the entirety of an organisms hereditary information, the genome. Individual organisms sharing the same genome, and therefore being capable of producing fertile offspring, is considered a species, while physical traits that are largely cosmetic gives rise to ethnic groups or race. At least this was true, until we were exposed to the first cases of UGE.
The UGE event provided us with people that were both capable of interbreeding without limitation with each other, despite having genetic differences that were, to say the least, remarkable. The biggest difference being that the metatraits exhibited is an all-or-nothing package, this also holds true within the given metatypes. There are no half-elves, half-orks, elves with vestigial troll horns or any other combination one expects to see from mixed breeding. As the genes that govern these traits, all of which have been identified, activate either as a group, or not at all, there must be some other factor defining what metatype an individual will belong to. Combined with the fact that these changes seemed to coincide with a rise in the ambient mana levels worldwide, a case can easily be made that these events coincide. Correlation does not equal causation however, and it was not until the SURGE that additional evidence that support this theory surfaced.
During what is now called the “Year of the Comet”, ambient mana levels spiked in many places at various times globally. This resulted in what is now colloquially called “Changelings” as well as the first metavariant of the human metatype. Despite the normalization of mana levels, these traits have not receded, and these traits have been proven to be hereditary, though to what degree is yet unknown. This is clear evidence that magic is a necessary element in activating a metatype.
Further evidence comes from the field of genetic therapy, or genetech as the media call it. So far genetic therapy have been able to “trigger” nearly every metatrait individually, if memory serves the longevity of the elven metatype seem to still elude scientists, but that may be just a matter of time, or they need to take the magical nature of these metatraits into consideration. Genetic therapy has, however, failed to activate these traits as a whole, i.e. changing the metatype of an individual. I contend that the scientific community need to fund research into how magic interacts with the medical and biological fields. So far, magic has been largely relegated to testing if old, “alternative”, medicinal traditions may work. Unfortunately, this has so far only proven that these practices are a useful focus for a magician, not how magic can interact with and enhance our understanding of the principles that govern our existence.
This is not a question of race-bending, as has been suggested by Anti-metahuman groups, or an effort to “cure” metahumanity, as has been suggested by metahuman advocacy groups. It is merely an expansion of knowledge, a pushing of the boundaries of metahuman science, in order to prepare us for whatever else this age of magic has in store for us.”
« Last Edit: <07-12-11/1116:36> by nifoc »

Wolfboy

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« Reply #1 on: <07-12-11/1817:39> »
interesting, begs of questions to be asked by the group that he is lecturing
May god grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the firepower to make the difference.

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nifoc

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« Reply #2 on: <07-13-11/0611:30> »
I banged this together partly as a joke, partly as encouragement for a friends who is putting the final touches to his doctoral thesis in genomics/evolutionary genetics, the professor uses a version of his name for instance. Considering how little time I spent on it, I'm content with the results.

Never thought about following up on this but here goes: I had imagined the students listening were primarily students of thaumaturgy, so feel free posting questions that such students would ask, and I'll try to contact Prof. Soderberg (i.e. make up answers that sound plausible).

JimJungle

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« Reply #3 on: <07-21-11/1842:55> »
Funny that you bring this up... This happened to our group of runners, Genetech Alterations from contact with a Wild Mage. Not all of us liked the changes...