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The Re-Introduction of HMHVV

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sidslick

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« Reply #15 on: (06:05:26/12-07-17) »
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Though I don't know where it would be lying dormant.  That part's beyond me.

Based on my knowledge of viruses, it would need to be a living host of some sort.  A virus has only a single strand of DNA, where living beings have two strands of DNA - the virus invades individual cells, uses the host's double helix of DNA to self-replicate, multiply and spread to nearby cells thus killing the original host cell.  Once you hit a critical number of damaged or destroyed cells, the host dies or - in the case of HMHVV - converts the host into a new being by fundamentally altering whole sections of the host's DNA (which is essentially modern day gene therapy in the real world).

Viruses have a lifespan outside of a living organism's body usually measured in minutes. If it requires other factors such as the mana level to replicate itself, then the virus would probably be transferred in a dormant state through the usual routes - blood/fluids, shared items, contaminated food/water, animals or through the birth process.

Of course, with the usual routes of delivery come the usual means of prevention/treatment; destroying carriers, destroying intermediate hosts, education on transmission, pre-exposure drugs for high risk roles (CDC researchers, etc) and retroviral drugs for immediate post exposure treatment.
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lokii

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« Reply #16 on: (15:41:44/12-13-17) »
Based on my knowledge of viruses, it would need to be a living host of some sort.  A virus has only a single strand of DNA, where living beings have two strands of DNA

As a retrovirus HMHVV should be an RNA virus, when a DNA copy of the virus integrates into the cellular genome the corresponding opposite strand will be synthesised to form double-stranded DNA.

I would say the transformation of the host body doesn't actually fit with retrovirus biology, because these viruses do not carry a lot of information. So where does all the complexity come from? I assume HMHVV is a retrovirus because it is an allusion to the HI-virus which is of course the most famous one.

pre-exposure drugs for high risk roles (CDC researchers, etc) and retroviral drugs for immediate post exposure treatment.

Unless this has changed with Fifth Edition there is no working HMHVV vaccine and no suppressive drugs that could manage the viral load after transformation has set in.

Mirikon

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« Reply #17 on: (10:22:29/12-14-17) »
Based on my knowledge of viruses, it would need to be a living host of some sort.  A virus has only a single strand of DNA, where living beings have two strands of DNA

As a retrovirus HMHVV should be an RNA virus, when a DNA copy of the virus integrates into the cellular genome the corresponding opposite strand will be synthesised to form double-stranded DNA.

I would say the transformation of the host body doesn't actually fit with retrovirus biology, because these viruses do not carry a lot of information. So where does all the complexity come from? I assume HMHVV is a retrovirus because it is an allusion to the HI-virus which is of course the most famous one.
As I've often said, Magic makes Science sit at the Kids' Table while the Adults talk. Just like there aren't scientific reasons why someone should suddenly Goblinize into an Ork or Troll, or undergo SURGE into a Changeling, or how we still haven't identified just what makes a person Awakened (or why one cannot be both Awakened and Emerged). It is like trying to get Newton to explain Quantum Physics.
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lokii

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« Reply #18 on: (15:55:41/12-14-17) »
But there is quite a bit of science background interwoven with Shadowrun magic, especially in the field of parabiology. So it's more about finding out where the line between scientific explanation and magic black box runs. And actually the science is not quite as important in this as what Shadowrun authors know of it. Also when it was written. The consensus on some of the topics has shifted during the almost thirty years the game exists.

Mirikon

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« Reply #19 on: (18:24:04/12-14-17) »
True, but there are many, many areas where it is clearly written that the science goes "We know this magic thing does this. We don't know how it does this, and we don't know where it came from, and we don't know how to stop it, but we can give you a nice scientific description of what it is doing at this moment." But remember that as far as magic goes the 'consensus' started at "Beats the fuck out of me". So the fact that they have some processes identified and can show cause and effect between some things does not mean they are able to figure out what is going on. People realized that drinking stagnant, smelly water was a good way to get sick long before they had any idea about bacteria, parasites, and other such things, to say nothing of the fact that, hey, these rocks that caused the film to go black gave everyone around it cancer. You don't need to know about microbiology to know that a splint and sling can help a broken bone set better. We're basically at Civil War battlefield medicine level when it comes to understanding magic, in part because the 'rules' of magic actually change over time, and in unpredictable ways.
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lokii

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« Reply #20 on: (16:16:27/12-15-17) »
Well, there is magical theory. Now, of course a lot of it is probably accumulated practical knowledge but I think it does include theoretical models of magic. The problem is, since it is all made up, we don't have a good grasp of what scholars think they understand, what they can accurately predict and how many questions remain open. Gaps in the knowledge are sometimes pointed out, like the occasional note on a revision, but often what that means is difficult to understand for the same reason. Does a revision include minor special cases or is it a fundamental change in how something is explained. Also there are sources of knowledge like spirits or metaplanar quests that can offer deep insights into the nature of magic, but will not be incorporated easily into the scientific process. Finally the question is can magic be understood? After all there could be a Magic™ reason why we will never fully comprehend how it works.