Monday, January 16, 2012

Unlocking the Human Genome for the Creation of Psychics

Did you know that we have, on average, 3,000,000,000 DNA bases in our genome? How about if you unwrapped the DNA in all your cells it would reach to the moon 6000 times? Or that 99.9% of our DNA is the same as that of every other human?

I love genetics. In fact, I almost continued my biology and anthropology schooling to take Ancient DNA Studies. While I didn't keep up with my studies in it, simply leaving with a Bachelors of Honors in Biology and Anthropology, my writing often takes a scientific turn. 
In 2000 a rough draft of of a map of the entire human genome was completed; and then in 2003 the final draft was complete. While there are things we still don't know about what genes do what, this map has made it possible to better understand the causes and functions of disease, as well as create better preventative medicines. 
In Hunting the Shadows, my writing is heavily influenced by genetic manipulation. Using a virus as a vector, the scientists in my book create mutations (with the help of radiation) to reawaken locked up psychic abilities.

From Wikipedia: A viral vector is a tool commonly used by molecular biologists to deliver genetic material into cells. This process can be performed inside a living organism (in vivo) or in cell culture (in vitro). Viruses have evolved specialized molecular mechanisms to efficiently transport their genomes inside the cells they infect. Delivery of genes by a virus is termed transduction and the infected cells are described as transduced.
I love that anything can be possible. Yes, there are restraints, but writing paranormal means that I can stretch those limits a bit more. In the case of my characters, well, these abilities are a part of their daily lives and I try to explain as much as possible how that affects them. Their strengths as well as their problems. It's not something they can learn over night how to control. It takes years of hard training...and sometimes, that's not enough.
What do you think about psychic abilities? If you could have any ability, what would you want?

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