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Re: Halsey and the Librarian
Date: 6/23/13 11:32 am
In Response To: Re: Halsey and the Librarian (General Vagueness)

: well we only recently mapped out the human genome; over the next five
: centuries I agree we would probably find anything that stands out, but it
: depends on people continuing to study our genes and our genetic code as a
: whole, which could have bumps-- war, plague, famine, having people that
: might otherwise have worked together going to opposite ends of
: human-controlled space, there could be laws banning doing certain things
: with genes...

Even just looking at them? We already have whole genome sequences of a few individuals. The cost of gene sequencing keeps dropping and looks like it will continue to drop. There are new sequencing techniques coming on-line...

It would take one hell of a war to stop people examining the human genome and a political ban would have to be world wide.

In addition, L's tampering is with human intelligence. This is an area that is very interesting and is a popular area of study. For example: what are the differences between us and our nearest relatives?

In the haloverse we were more intelligent then were, somehow, hobbled then regained some degree of our former intelligence. If we discount magic then L had to use some form of physical mechanism, she had to do something to our genome to suppress then unsuppress our intellect. This mechanism will be written into our genes and so will be preserved in our genes.

L tampered with something that will be well studied over a period of centuries.

She would have to have had implemented a mechanism that deleted itself after it had done it's job. And deleted itself without leaving traces and to have done it's work a fairly long time ago.

Yet we are told that all her changes were not finished because John still had some 'evolving' to do at the time of Halo 4.

: also genes occasionally swap material; it could take a genius, a
: supercomputer, and some patience to figure out what they looked like
: 100,000 years ago-- you could study remains from that time, but they're
: not easy to come by, and you'd have to hope the DNA is still there and
: intact enough to tell you anything ( here's and estimate of how fast DNA
: degrades that, no joke, they figured out by studying moa bones)

OTOH we have, apparently, good samples of Denisovan DNA from 80,000 years ago.

This article suggests that the 80k estimate may be off. Other evidence in the cave suggests 30-50k.

Interesting quote from the above article

Hawks himself has heard from the researchers that have worked with the Denisovan samples that "the Denisovan pinky is just extraordinary" in terms of the amount of DNA preserved in it. Most bone fragments would be expected to contain less than 5 percent of the individual's endogenous DNA, but this fortuitous finger had a surprising 70 percent, the researchers noted in the study. And many Neandertal fragments have been preserved in vastly different states—many are far worse off than this Denisovan finger bone.

The new sequencing approach could also improve our understanding of known specimens and the evolutionary landscape as a whole. "It's going to increase the yield from other fossils," Hawks notes. Many of the Neandertal specimens, for example, have only a small fraction of their genome sequenced. "If we can go from 2 percent to the whole genome, that opens up a lot more," Hawks says. "Going back further in time will be exciting," he notes, and this new technique should allow us to do that. "There's a huge race on—it's exciting."

The Denisovans might be the first non-Neandertal archaic human to be sequenced, but they are likely not going to be the last. The researchers behind this new study are already at work using the new single-strand sequencing technique to reexamine older specimens. (Meyer said they were working on reassessing old samples but would not specify which specimens they were studying—the mysterious "hobbit" H. floresiensis would be a worthy candidate.) Pääbo suggests Asia as a particularly promising location to look for other Denisovan-like groups. "I would be surprised if there were not other groups to be found there in the future," he said.

Taking this technique to specimens from Africa is also likely to yield some exciting results, Hawks says. Africa, with its rich human evolutionary history, holds the greatest genetic diversity. The genomes of contemporary pygmy and hunter–gatherer tribes in Africa, for example, have roughly as many differences as do those of European modern humans and Neandertals. So "any ancient specimen that we find in Africa might be as different from us as Neandertals," Hawks says. "Anything we find from the right place might be another Denisovan."

I don't know how to reconcile the NZ guy's estimates of a ~500yr half-life with the DNA results found from specimens in the field but it looks like we can get good data from old samples.

Anyway, I agree that it is not inevitable that L's tampering would be detected. I just think that it is likely and that H is the person most likely to have found evidence of L's sticky fingers in the human genome.

OTOH H may have heard of L's work from the data she found on Reach or elsewhere. Maybe she didn't need to work anything out, maybe she was explicitly told in an old Forerunner record.

Either way: L and H's interests overlap in so far as they work with human genomes and are interested in human potential.

: I'd like to know this about everyone that has an idea what it is (which
: presently doesn't include me)

I don't really know what the mantle is either :-)

Does Halsey? My impression is that 343i thinks that everybody knows what the mantle is :-) This would include Halsey and maybe John.

: no idea, but that aspect at least should be interesting

And how does John fit in? L and H are, in a sense, trying to be or trying to act as John's mother.

In the past he looked towards H and respected authority. We see that he is starting to question his former opinions. Perhaps the Reclaimer Saga, for John, is a coming of age story. The walking in the desert wearing robes immediately made me think of a character trying to find himself. Even before I suspected that it was Halo I thought, "character on voyage of self discovery".

So if John were discovering himself and was reevaluating everything that he once believed... where would he stand WRT H and L's plans?

When he was told that L wanted to tinker with his genes, when he heard her manifest destiny spiel... he didn't appear to be all that interested. His only concern was would it help him get the Didact. Maybe John isn't too impressed with talk of Mantles.

Will he be a puppet of the story or will he forge his own path? In Bear's first 2 books the characters were less than people. They were pawns moved about by the author, they were just a way to move the reader from place to place so that the reader saw what the author wanted the reader to see. They were also fairly naked sources of exposition. Will the John character suffer the same fate?

Messages In This Thread

Halsey and the Librarianscarab6/23/13 8:51 am
     Re: Halsey and the LibrarianGeneral Vagueness6/23/13 10:04 am
           Re: Halsey and the Librarianscarab6/23/13 11:32 am
                 Re: Halsey and the LibrarianGeneral Vagueness6/24/13 1:09 am
     Re: Halsey and the LibrarianNotTheVacuum6/23/13 10:44 am
           Re: Halsey and the Librarianscarab6/23/13 11:39 am
                 Re: Halsey and the LibrarianGeneral Vagueness6/24/13 12:49 am
     Re: Halsey and the LibrarianDervish6/23/13 1:36 pm
           Re: Halsey and the LibrarianCHa0s6/24/13 2:25 am

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