Thursday, 7 October 2010

Theoretical analysis of accidental genome-splicing on multi-cellular lifeforms

Even if we take Arthur C Clark's third law as true, there are still several logical problems with genome-splicing, which can be broken down according to the form the genome-splicing takes.
  1. Random combining of the genomes of the two donor creatures at the level of individual DNA bases
  2. Random combining of the genes of the two donor creatures
  3. Random combining of cells of the two donor creatures
  4. Deliberate, non-random combining of the genes of the two donor creatures
  5. Deliberate, non-random combining of cells of the two donor creatures
Problems arising

1.  Random DNA scrambling will result in mass apoptosis, as the scrambling is interpreted as damaged DNA.  Outcome;  Systemic cell death, leading to symptoms analagous to massive radiation poisoning and death of unfortunate subject within a week at most.

2.  Random gene shuffling will lead to random changes in protein production, with a consequent disruption of cellular function.  Outcome: This will again lead to death within a short period, with symptoms again resembling radiation poisoning.

3.  Random cellular combination will cause a massive autoimmune response.  Outcome:  widespread necrosis and death within 12 hours

4.  Non-Random rewriting of the genome will lead to changes in protein production and expression, with the overall outcome determined by the methodology of the rewriting.  Outcome:  some changes in the physiology of the subject, with structural changes determined by cellular division.  non-cellular features, such as skeleton, will remain unchanged, as will cells that do not divide. such as nerve cells.

5.  As 4, but with instantaneous changes to physiology which could also extend to features such as skeleton and nervous system.

Therefore, options 4 and 5 are the only methods that could lead to an outcome compatible with this project.  However, they imply that the teleportation accident is not an accident, but rather a deliberate act by a teleportation device that has a high level of sentience, with all the logical problems this creates.


  1. uh oh - busted! You've discovered that the teleportation disaster tag is just a creative, yet wholly implausible means of getting students to merge their bodies with that of a randomly selected animal in an attempt to heighten their awareness of anatomy... :-)

  2. ... much punchier blog template by the way! :-)