Monday, 9 May 2011

Chapter 5: Finding Genesis

Vincent Blake sat in his team’s lab at the Hive Queen’s North American continent scientific research branch, finishing off with a cellular sample. The lab was full of scientific instruments: Compact electron microscopes, nanoscale UHPLCs (ultra high performance liquid chromatographers), genetic auto-coders and molecular bonders. He threw a slide in a glass disposal bin, and marked an X on a small tube that he placed in the grasp of a robotic arm, it manoeuvred the used sample into a large cryonic freezer. It took out the vial next in line and placed it in a cellular regenerator. Vincent rubbed his face and leant back in his chair, impatient and frustrated. The regenerator finished its cycle and Vincent went to prepare a new slide, he leant over his microscope and began watching the embryonic cells splitting. He bought up an overlay in his spinplant full of cellular statistics, rating the genetic integrity of each cell, and keeping track of the rate of mitosis etcetera. This chimera strain seemed to have an extremely high rate of mitosis. Vincent was about to discard the sample, knowing that a fast rate of mitosis normally went hand in hand with accelerated genetic degradation, but he kept watching the statistics anyway. Vincent was surprised to see that there was an average 0.0001% degradation in 20 cell generations, he went through the results again, barely able to believe what he was reading, to make sure there was not a calculation error; there was no mistake. He jumped up and shouted
”I found it” Vincent hadn’t felt like this since he developed the first artificial ASRESC cells 25 years ago.
”What have you found Vincent?” the Hive Queen’s voice seemed to echo inside Vincent’s head as he began to come to terms with just what he had accomplished.
”It’s Feline / Chiropteran Variant 0835616, its perfect,” Vincent was beginning to ramble with excitement.
”Explain,” the Hive Queen responded, perplexed.
”The rate of mitosis is phenomenal, and it’s stable, more stable than anything we’ve made before. Here look at these results” Vincent sent his results to the Hive Queen’s network.
”This is fantastic news Vincent; continue your tests and I will consider commissioning SASRESC Trails.”
”Thank you.”
* * * * * * * * * *
Vincent went back to work on the sample testing for ability to stand up to extremes. Vincent was 65 years old, but he didn’t look it, he was one of the first people to receive ASRESC treatment, during it’s initial trials in the mid 2050’s. He had been the discoverer of the phenomenon in a British woman's cells whilst working as a forensic analyst in the 40’s. The woman, believed to have been murdered by decapitation, showed no signs of decomposition or rigor mortis, even after being found headless in a ditch. On further inspection, it showed that a few surviving cells round the neck wound were showing the unbelievable ability of consuming the dead cell matter and multiplying like normal, living cells. In addition, these cells showed the traits of embryonic stem cells in that they were changing what type of cell they were, this defied normal biology, and hundreds of scientists all over the world were commissioned to find a way to harness the ability. In the end, it was his team discovered that many of the cells abilities stemmed from a never before seen sequence of mitochondrial DNA that gave the cells the ability to carry out stable metabolic reactions, an anaerobic energy creation technique seen, in an unstable form, and nowhere else, in cancer cells. They soon worked out a way to destroy the nucleus of the cell without sacrificing this ability in the early 2050s and moved onto human trials in 55. He was also the first person to find and successfully artificially replicate the nucleic genes that control the stem cell like, and phagocytic abilities in 2060 with the assistance of the Hive Queen who had taken control of the research operations. This was achieved by finding and emulating a special protein that has only ever been seen naturally in the body of what many scientists at the time referred to as “Jane Doe2.0”. However the artificially created versions of ASRESC cells could never live up to the abilities of the originals, and people treated with the prototype artificial ASRESC cells must take occasional protein boosters, still extracted, to this day, from original cell cultures from Jane Doe. At that time, no one had considered the techniques of specifying the cells to prevent contamination or introducing new DNA, things that are commonplace today. It was purely seen as a highly successful longevity treatment. It had worked fantastically though, and had met all expectations; Vincent had never aged a day over 35.

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