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Genetics of WoTdom


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I know the concept of genetics in WoT abilities has come around (and around and around....) many times before.  Example: http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/topic/34770-the-genetic-theory-of-channeling/


But it's been a goodly number of years since it was rehashed, and there are new concepts to discuss, such as proteomics,  transcriptomics, and psychogenomics (the latter of which I could see evolving into a study of the soul, or manifestation of innate behavior, emotion, and personality).  Not to mention the genetics of other things WoTdom.


In regards to channeling, the consensus seems to agree that the learners & sparkers are sex-linked traits due to gender being the basis for the connection to saidar vs saidin. As brought up before, there are some merits to channeling being a sex-linked trait.  If anything, I would suggest that the sparker and learner gene is elsewhere than a sex chromosome (see the Aran'gar argument) and the half of the source the individual touches is determined by sex-linked gene control of promotor regions of the "channeling gene" which induces transcription/translation of one of two isoforms (the result being able to sense saidin vs saidar).  But that's the either/or theory, and still doesn't quite explain a female being able to sense saidin or vice versa.


But what about the genetics of other WoT abilities?  Min?  Perrin?  


What about the shadowspawn created in the War of Power?  Aginor used techniques of genetic engineering to construct animal/human hyrbids.  But he used the One Power to do so.  MIND BLOWING!  What's the science of rearranging a genome with the One Power???? How do you explain that?  (I'm totally not picturing him standing over a plate of stem cells forcing homologous recombination, inducing strand breaks and NHEJ - hahaha).



Anyways, thoughts??? 

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What about the shadowspawn created in the War of Power?  Aginor used techniques of genetic engineering to construct animal/human hyrbids.  But he used the One Power to do so.  MIND BLOWING!  What's the science of rearranging a genome with the One Power????

Actually he used the true power. The experiments were a failure up until that point.

Edited by Suttree
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Of course. He can rearrange what Creation has made. Not much different from genetic anomalies in our world, only instantly. At least in regarding to genetic experiments and constructs.


The manipulation of the world and weather and so forth...... that is much harder to look at. This post is interesting enough. 


Coming from a person whom has a genetic disorder that is not dangerous, and was born with two extra digits on both hands.

Edited by wotfan4472
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If the TP is involved, given its nasty little habit of shredding anything and everything it touches, it seems counterintuitive to use it to create a new race.  Unless by usage of that "new race" comes about by removing features from current races.  Not sure if that makes sense.  Haha.  

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The true power is corrupted from the DO's touch. So if it is used on what the Creator made, and saidin/saidar turn the wheel, the corruption would be able to merge human stock with animal stock. Fades are throwbacks to humans from Trolloc offspring. This makes sense if the true power was used in the creation of shadowspawn. Even Aginor was surprised by the discovery of Fades

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I'm going to ignore the concept of evolution in WoTdom for now because that opens a whole new can of worms.  hahaha.  Genetically speaking humans and animals are still made up of the same genetic material with the difference in phenotypes resulting from variance in genetic expression.  So it stands to reason that it'd be fairly simple ("simple") to merge two genomes and come up with a new race.  That really makes sense @carnacarn, thanks for pointing that out!  I was struggling with the concept of TP "creating" something, but as you said, it's more of a "merging" than anything else.  


The Fades!!  That's an excellent point!!  My understanding of them are as genetic offspring of trollocs yet the animal side of their merged genome is completely suppressed and only the human traits are expressed.  So logically, if trollocs are pure blends of human + animal, Fades should be completely human.  However, they clearly are not.  They have powers reminiscent of the Dark One himself - (Aginor's comment of them being "slightly out of phase with reality", the cloaks not billowing in the wind, disappearing in shadow, powers without being able to channel, etc, etc.



Crazy theory time: Perhaps Fades have an ability to influence the world without the One Power similar to post Last Battle Rand? Only as his antithesis?? For every ability in the universe there is an opposite and equal. Fades don't use the True Power nor the One Power. Rand isn't using the One Power or the True Power. Just a looney theory... :-)



The difference between a regular human and the human genome in a Fade has to be attributed to the True Power/Dark One's touch.  However, what are the genetics of that?  I've read some people explain it as they inherit the channeling gene, but I'm not quite on board with that theory, as they don't use the One Power.  Second, they are always male.  So either something is special about the male sex-linked traits that allow Fades to come into being OR the female genome is incompatible with life and the fetuses miscarry/die shortly after birth.


Following the logical progression of questions here, if Fades are representations of throwbacks to the human stock, what about throwbacks to the pure animal stock??  I don't recall ever hearing about such creatures, but it would be interesting to know if these "pure animals" have special abilities which differentiates them from the original, regular animals AND if they are only ever female.  


((Edit: I wizened up and consulted the google and remembered the animal throwbacks are stillborn.  Dang.  LOL.))

Edited by TheFirstAge
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  • 5 years later...

Apologies for the necromancy, but these future humans have clearly engineered into themselves ultra-disease resistance.

Because for a race that have no anti biotics, clearly nobody dies from a scratch from a rose thorn.

And all the aes sedai would die of cancer by 150.

To be honest, these things are just ignored in fantasy, but at least with WOT there's plausible reasons why! 8D

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The are countless herbal remedies and many drugs today originate from herbal remedies of yesteryear. Lavender was used by Native Americans for fever, Willow bark is the natural form of aspirin, pain killers come from poppies, toxic plants are uniquely used to kill diseases as well without poisoning the patient... Silver, mint, eucalyptus, blueberries, olive oil and many other things have some antibacterial properties. Also remember with no drug company antibiotics, there are no superbugs. 

Presuming cancer comes from pollutions, Randland should be fairly safe. And if an Aes Sedai were to get cancer, there is an easy fix for that, Saidar based healing.

What is interesting is that a more orderly combination of two genes can’t combine successfully, but a more chaotic weave can. You can’t shuffle in two different genomes to get a living creature, but if you allow life to coexist with Chaos, life tries to build while chaos tries to disrupt and presuming many many attempts, something living should result. All the other evil creatures in the Blight may have been failed attempts.

Fades, by contrast seem externally human-like, but deep inside they are different. It would seem that the animal genomes were completely suppressed. The Fades don’t attain animal abilities. Their abilities seem specifically to do with DO. So it would seem that the True Power itself displaced the animal’s dna and created new information, the result being that they are more magical than typical carbon based life forms.

Hazarding a guess, Fade’s teleportation can be the wolf’s ability to touch the dreamworld only the Fade can instantly travel. The Shadow slip allows them physical access to the dreamworld, they just think where they want to go and seamlessly slip back into the real world in one thought/motion. Isam/Luc can slip into the dream, though it doesn’t describe him doing a full Fade Shadow slip teleportation, the dual personality may slow transitions, or Isam/Luc hasn’t mastered the ability. How Isam/Luc was formed? No idea. 

Edited by jsbrads
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