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[DRAFT]The Right To Bear Legs

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Blue Nagia
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[DRAFT]The Right To Bear Legs

Postby Blue Nagia » Tue Jan 19, 2021 3:47 pm

Old draft:

[TITLE]The Right To Bear Legs

[DESCRIPTION]Scientists have successfully brought to term a hybrid embryo that is 50% @@DEMONYMNOUN@@ and 50% @@ANIMAL@@, and the people are up in arms. Some of those arms are distinctly... furry.

[VALIDITY]The nation must be sufficiently scientifically advanced. Religion must not be banned.

---

[OPTION]"Now that science has unlocked the secrets of hybridization, I can finally live out my dreams of becoming an @@ANIMAL@@-girl!" enthuses @@RANDOMFEMALENAME@@, her animatronic fursuit tail knocking one of your favorite mugs off your desk. "People have the right to a body that suits them, even if that body has paws and whiskers and an adorable little twitchy nose! Plus, imagine all the tourists who'd flock to our conventions to see real, live anthropomorphs! Hybrid gene therapy must be made available to the public!"

[EFFECT]Tourists reject hugs from @@DEMONYMNOUNPLURAL@@ due to fear of getting fleas.

[STATS]Boosts tourism, scientific advancement, and ideological radicality. Decreases health, safety and employment.

---

[OPTION]"Are you insane?" huffs @@RANDOMMALENAME@@, wiping his brow with a cloth dipped in holy water. "This abomination should never have been created - it's an affront to @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ kind that we even allowed it to happen! We should ban the creation of hybrid embryos... and quickly, before one of those @@ANIMAL@@-girls decides to take a whiz on my lawn!"

[EFFECT]Promising disease treatments have ground to a halt due to the banning of genetic hybrids.

[STATS]Boosts religiosity, safety, and social conservativism. Decreases cheerfulness, lifespan and civil rights.

---

[OPTION]"Actually, why not take it all the way?" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, leader of the radical environmentalist group Trees Need Hugs Too. "Thanks to our ballooning population's love of concrete and demands for housing and electricity, our precious natural resources are more threatened than ever before! I say if the people want to become @@ANIMALPLURAL@@, then give them the option to become fully @@ANIMALPLURAL@@, and frolic in our forests and oceans as nature intended!"

[EFFECT]@@DEMONYMNOUNPLURAL@@ are indistinguishable from @@ANIMALPLURAL@@.

[STATS]Boosts primitiveness, death rate, eco-friendliness, and environmental beauty. Decreases safety, intelligence, and various industries.

---

(This is my first issue, so tossing it at people to look over!)


Second draft:


[TITLE]The Right To Bear Legs

[DESCRIPTION]Scientists have successfully brought to term a hybrid embryo that is 98% @@DEMONYMNOUN@@ and 2% @@ANIMAL@@. As the issue makes headlines across @@NAME@@, the fur is beginning to fly.

[VALIDITY]The nation must be sufficiently scientifically advanced.

---

[OPTION]"With this breakthrough, we're seeing a very real chance that we could end organ donation shortages, as well as developing new cures for zoonotic diseases," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, leader of the team that developed the embryo. "And it's all been made possible thanks to your generous funding of the sciences, @@LEADER@@! Now if we could only have a teensy bit more cash, we could make these dreams a reality. Maybe studying the brains of these hybrids will even give us some insight into why some people on our team like to dress up in full-body @@ANIMAL@@ suits."

[EFFECT]Some pediatricians' offices now have a veterinary department.

---

[OPTION]"Now that science has unlocked the secrets of hybridization, my dream of an @@ANIMAL@@-girl utopia is finally within sight!" enthuses @@RANDOMFEMALENAME@@, another member of the team, jumping onto your desk in her full-body @@ANIMAL@@ suit. "People have the right to a body that suits them, even if that body has fluffy paws, an adorable twitchy nose, or wiggly eye-stalks. Plus, imagine all the tourists who'd flock to our conventions to see real, live anthropomorphs! Let's not only put money into this research, but make it legal for adults to volunteer as test subjects!"

[EFFECT]Tourists reject hugs from @@DEMONYMNOUNPLURAL@@ due to fear of getting fleas.

---

[OPTION]"This is preposterous!" huffs @@RANDOMMALENAME@@, waving a 600-page manual on ethics in medicine. "The creation of these chimeras challenges our very notions of sanity and decency. Why, imagine how such a wretched creature might feel when it grows up, and realises that all of society is laughing at it? We should ban the creation of hybrid embryos... and ban those @@ANIMAL@@-girls too, before one decides to take a whiz on my lawn!"

[EFFECT]Promising disease treatments have ground to a halt due to the banning of genetic hybrids.

---

[OPTION]"Actually, why not take it all the way?" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, of the anarcho-primitivist group Back to the Wild. "Thanks to our population's ever-greater demands for housing and electricity, our precious natural resources are more threatened than ever before! I say if the people want to become @@ANIMALPLURAL@@, then allow us - I mean, them - to leave society and live as @@ANIMALPLURAL@@ do, frolicking in our forests and oceans as nature intended!"

[EFFECT]@@DEMONYMNOUNPLURAL@@ can submit a form to the government permitting hunters to shoot them on sight.
Last edited by Blue Nagia on Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Lelscrep
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Postby Lelscrep » Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:08 pm

Just an initial heads up, issue authors do not determine the stat changes an option will produce, that is up to the editors.

I don't actually think religiosity needs to play into account with this issue, as I'm sure there are many non-religious folk who would be against allowing people to become animal hybrids, but that's not really a deal breaker here.
Additionally, I think the description could be a slightly smoother read by making it all one sentence, instead of stopping and starting again to include the pun.
"Thanks to our ballooning population's love of concrete...

This quote reads a little funny to me, as concrete has been a staple in construction within the global north since the 19th century - this line could instead be about the general resource cost of the population?
Final nit-pick is as to why some random furry has been allowed into your office. Overall though, this is a pretty solid draft for a first attempt. :)

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Blue Nagia
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Postby Blue Nagia » Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:43 pm

Noted, and thank you for the help!

I was reading issue guides that said you should/could suggest stat changes, so I put them in just in case. Of course editors would get the final say.

I can give the random furry a reason to be there; she could be part of a civil rights group representing freedom to be yourself. And I wasn't trying to suggest concrete was new, rather than the more people a nation gets, the more people start paving over stuff to make room for homes and roads and things. I'll change that.
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Fauxia
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Postby Fauxia » Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:47 pm

Blue Nagia wrote:Noted, and thank you for the help!

I was reading issue guides that said you should/could suggest stat changes, so I put them in just in case. Of course editors would get the final say.

In the past, you would submit those effects as you sent drafts in, but that was removed a few years ago. Some guides have not been fully updated :P

This doesn't need the religious validity. In the first place, you can toggle the validity of options, so create an option for nations where religion is legal, but an equivalent option for nations where religion is illegal. But, yeah, I think there are enough secular reasons to be against this.

I do question whether the premise is just a bit too out there, though. NationStates is slightly ahead of the real world, scientifically speaking, but this is kind of extreme (besides the fact that it basically seems to be science for the sake of science without even thinking about it... but whatever)

I also find issues that focus on the national animal like this are generally a little questionable. Some nations have squids as their national animal, others have bugs, others birds. This generally seems to assume that the animal is mammalian, and I'm not sure it works.

I'm not an editor, so don't take my word as final. Your writing is promising, so I definitely hope you'll keep writing here in GI. Just not sure about the premise here.
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Terrabod
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Postby Terrabod » Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:05 pm

Fauxia wrote:I do question whether the premise is just a bit too out there, though. NationStates is slightly ahead of the real world, scientifically speaking, but this is kind of extreme (besides the fact that it basically seems to be science for the sake of science without even thinking about it... but whatever)

Yeah, this sums up my thoughts exactly. Perhaps the hybrid could be a proposal by some giddy scientists (you might even have mainstream scientists oppose this proposal because of the lack of ethical considerations, including that the hybrid kids being born might not want to be hybrids).

From a scientific standpoint, there are a couple more issues with this. Firstly, a 50/50 hybrid of human-cat wouldn't be a cat-girl, it would be very weird-looking and in terms of brain function might not be very human at all. If you were just looking for a couple of @@ANIMAL@@ traits I guess you'd want maybe a 98% human hybrid or something similar to that.

Secondly, using the method you describe you'd be able to birth hybrids but you wouldn't be able to make an already-born girl into a hybrid, sorry! The @@ANIMAL@@-girl might not realise that (deliberately, to make it funny) but if that's the case she probably wouldn't be your strongest "for" argument, she'd be a more extreme argument that comes later in the list of options. Alternatively, she might realise she won't be able to become a hybrid but might envision a future utopia where hybrids are normal or something. Theoretically speaking, there are ways to change living people's genetics in real life but (1) that scientific technology is not very advanced at present, (2) there are ethical concerns about how the technology is used and (3) it really doesn't work very well in practice. As Fauxia says, there are some weird things in NS issues but at the end of the day there's a limit to how much you can bend the workings of the real world.

I really enjoyed reading your issue, by the way - it's a very well-written first attempt! Sorting out the premise behind the issue is normally the hardest part of issue-writing, but hopefully we can come up with a solution. If not, at least you know you have the Magic Touch for issue writing haha.

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Postby Trotterdam » Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:13 am

Terrabod wrote:From a scientific standpoint, there are a couple more issues with this. Firstly, a 50/50 hybrid of human-cat wouldn't be a cat-girl, it would be very weird-looking and in terms of brain function might not be very human at all. If you were just looking for a couple of @@ANIMAL@@ traits I guess you'd want maybe a 98% human hybrid or something similar to that.
Practically, I think a 50/50 hybrid of human-cat would probably be a mess that miscarries before reaching macroscopic size.

Genes aren't LEGO blocks that you can just interchange at will. If the various parts don't fit together, the whole system doesn't work.

Terrabod wrote:Theoretically speaking, there are ways to change living people's genetics in real life but (1) that scientific technology is not very advanced at present, (2) there are ethical concerns about how the technology is used and (3) it really doesn't work very well in practice.
The problems are that firstly, it's very hard to change the genes of every single cell in a person's body (it's easier at the newly-fertilized embryo stage when there's only one cell to work on), and secondly, changing genes which describe the growth process won't change the appearance of an already-fully-grown adult.

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Postby The Free Joy State » Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:29 am

Blue Nagia wrote:Noted, and thank you for the help!

I was reading issue guides that said you should/could suggest stat changes, so I put them in just in case. Of course editors would get the final say.

I can give the random furry a reason to be there; she could be part of a civil rights group representing freedom to be yourself. And I wasn't trying to suggest concrete was new, rather than the more people a nation gets, the more people start paving over stuff to make room for homes and roads and things. I'll change that.

There's no space for stats in submissions anymore. We prefer you to just think about your submission's topic and text.

Which brings me nicely to... why?

Fauxia and Terrabod basically sum up my thoughts on this issue. This premise seems a little out there, and I'm wondering why anyone would want to -- practically-speaking -- create a half-human half-animal hybrid. That's even without the scientific impracticality which, as Trott says, would lead to a high -- probably total -- incidence of spontaneous abortions.

I mean, arguably, there are a natural hybrids, for instance mules (a horse mare and a donkey jack), but they occur among the same sub-family (the sub-family of equus in this case). Mules are also generally sterile.

Perhaps it wouldn't bend believability so much if the issue discussed cross-breeding two animals from within the same sub-family to create a new animal with preferred traits (I think that may exist though) or animal cloning (it took years for that to work).

EDIT: As Fauxia said, your writing has promise. I'm just not sure this is the right premise.
Last edited by The Free Joy State on Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Terrabod » Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:33 am

The Free Joy State wrote:Perhaps it wouldn't bend believability so much if the issue discussed cross-breeding two animals from within the same sub-family to create a new animal with preferred traits (I think that may exist though) or animal cloning (it took years for that to work).

What about if the issue instead focused on making @@ANIMAL@@-people (like people who wear car ears/tails/whatever) more accepted by society or normalising that subculture in some way?

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The Free Joy State
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Postby The Free Joy State » Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:39 am

Terrabod wrote:
The Free Joy State wrote:Perhaps it wouldn't bend believability so much if the issue discussed cross-breeding two animals from within the same sub-family to create a new animal with preferred traits (I think that may exist though) or animal cloning (it took years for that to work).

What about if the issue instead focused on making @@ANIMAL@@-people (like people who wear car ears/tails/whatever) more accepted by society or normalising that subculture in some way?

I think any issue about the acceptance of any subculture needs something more than an accept/don't format. It needs a real narrative driving force to differentiate it from others in the base. Otherwise, we could have a lot of issues that basically just ask "X-subculture: yea or nea".

I think it's worth considering one of the suggested scientific angles.
Last edited by The Free Joy State on Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Draikos » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:13 am

The Free Joy State wrote:Which brings me nicely to... why?

This is relevant readan: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morphological_freedom

One would assume that any society that is sufficiently advanced in both science and social progressiveness would seek out any means to deal with any form or cause of dysphoria or dysmorphia experienced by any number of their citizenry, as a simple act of civility, decency, and kindness. The issue—as is the case with many NationSates issues—is presented in a humorous light but I feel that it does touch upon an issue that approaches us in the real world in the centuries to come.

More recommended readan: https://www.dailydot.com/irl/otherkin/

There are concerns that as we move forward we will need to become more increasingly accepting of divergence and diversity, a future society would have great difficulty remaining stable in a tribalist state which excludes functional numbers of its own. Thus, by ensuring that you can allow these freedoms you also grow the number of functional members of your society who'd be able to finally work past their traumas and enter social spaces and the workforce once more.

This does come down to ethics within a future that has this capacity. If a person or group exists who desires morphological freedom and it is within the potential of society to provide, should it be denied? What we have here in Blue Nagia's issue is the very first steps that would be taken towards developing the sciences that would eventually allow for morphological freedom.

Another perspective one could take regarding this is how persons with multiple consciousnesses inhabiting one body have been treated over time. Initially, this state was demonised as multiple personality disorder and considered unhealthy for the person in question and those around them—this became dissociative identity disorder, and where we're at now is a recognition that statistically integration techniques don't work, there's far greater success found in helping those in this condition have successful relationships with these other consciousnesses, and to raise public awareness to create acceptance.

Any status that was once considered taboo, inhuman, or incorrect that has caused no harm to the person or those around them has, in time, come to be seen otherwise. Whether that be gay, trans, genderqueer, et cetera. I feel that Blue Nagia's issue deals with how a nation moving further into exploring the expression of self deals with that potential. Do we draw the line at a person desiring to exit their species—or, out of kindness and decency, do we do whatever we can to enable and help them?

I think I've done all I can to cover the why of it, as I find this issue to be particularly compelling as well.

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Blue Nagia
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Postby Blue Nagia » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:02 pm

Fauxia wrote:Some nations have squids as their national animal


Like mine, actually! I just thought it was amusing to have the girl not really understand the animal, the same way people will come up with wolf characters who are all "alpha" when that's not how real wolves work. But it might be a bit too much, yeah.

My main reason for not making it a secular decision was that, if it comes down to "people want to be x-hybrids" vs "that's scientifically unethical", I think most people would just pick the reasonable-sounding science option because it's most "normal". I hoped to make it so that all the options are kind of "out there" from the average player's perspective, rather than having one be the obvious choice.

The "hybrid could be a proposal by some giddy scientists" thing is a promising idea. I can work with that, I think.

As for the "why"... Draikos said it well. Morphological freedom. Not everyone wants to be a human, and you'll notice I specifically avoided using the word "human" in the text, in case someone's nation (like mine) is supposed to be more of a fantasy one. I tried to allow for that while also making it workable within the "real world", but I can see where it needs some tweaking, now.

Thank you everyone for all your help!


[EDIT] Posted a second draft, which I hope addresses some of the concerns people had with the first one. I changed the religious option to a secular one, and now the archaeotuthis-girl (as she would be in my nation) doesn't necessarily get to be one within her lifetime, but the result is the same, because the ability of scientists to do research on volunteer adults makes people nervous that any random @@DEMONYMNOUN@@ will be part-animal.

Plus, the person who was advocating for people to become full animals now isn't saying that they should necessarily change physically, but that people should get to run off into the wild and live as animals if they want to.
Last edited by Blue Nagia on Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Australian rePublic » Tue Jan 26, 2021 6:40 pm

This is too unrealistic
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Sun Feb 07, 2021 5:09 am

I agree the premise is too much of a stretch.

For fun though, here's something that has 50% the same DNA as a human.

Image

As for 98% human DNA...

Image
Last edited by Candlewhisper Archive on Sun Feb 07, 2021 5:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Frieden-und Freudenland » Sun Feb 07, 2021 3:20 pm

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:I agree the premise is too much of a stretch.

For fun though, here's something that has 50% the same DNA as a human.

(Image)

Fun fact: all Cavendish bananas have the exact same DNA, they are technically clones of a single fruit.
https://www.wired.com/2017/03/humans-ma ... f%20aspens.
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Postby Terrabod » Mon Feb 08, 2021 4:38 am

Frieden-und Freudenland wrote:Fun fact Not-So-Fun Fact: all Cavendish bananas have the exact same DNA, they are technically clones of a single fruit.
https://www.wired.com/2017/03/humans-ma ... f%20aspens.

...which is worrying because if one banana plant is susceptible to a disease, they all are. The Fusarium fungus that wiped out the world's previous favourite banana (Gros Michel) in the 50s has adapted to Cavendish bananas and could have serious economic impacts if the spread of the fungus isn't carefully managed. Scary stuff, if you're into bananas; I'm an apple guy.

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Blue Nagia
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Postby Blue Nagia » Mon Feb 08, 2021 6:17 pm

I agree that the old version was too much of a stretch. Do people still think so even though I changed it from "a person thinks we can actually make X hybrids from adults" to "we made a 98%/2% hybrid embryo" (possible today, changed from 50/50 because you were all right about the ratio, and I should have known that), "and now some people want experiments to go further"?

We already have several issues with free-roaming dinosaurs, outer-space petting zoos, and the like, and there are already people in this world who would like to see radical morphological freedom become a thing. It's true that option 2 and 4 are extreme positions, but not that much more extreme than "let's make a dinosaur theme park".

As for option 1, the idea is not that the public would freely be allowed to roll their own hybrid babies, but to grant additional funding to people working on hybrid embryo projects for diseases, like the ones that exist today. These embryos would still be people, so you get the silly idea that there'd be vet services in pediatric hospitals, because someone has to care for these offshoots of science when they get sick. 2 and 4 are philosophical offshoots of that, while 3 is the "ban the research" conservative option.
Last edited by Blue Nagia on Mon Feb 08, 2021 6:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Trotterdam » Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:22 pm

Blue Nagia wrote:We already have several issues with free-roaming dinosaurs,
Resurrecting a formerly-existing species is actually pretty simple conceptually. Dinosaurs might be hard, because it's unlikely that any viable DNA survived those 65 million years, but resurrecting mammoths (some of which are fairly well-preserved in permafrost) is actually one of those things that, while we can't do it yet, I think isn't even that far off into the future. (The biggest hurdle in bringing back mammoths is actually finding a womb to grow the cloned embryo in. They're not quite perfectly compatible with modern elephants.)

Creating outright new species or subspecies through DNA customization is harder than that (DNA code works on the level of proteins, which does not translate easily into phenotype features like cat ears), but still something I could see us doing in the more-distant future. Compared to other technology in NationStates like growing people in vats (which also neatly solves the mammoth problem) or programming sentient AIs, it's not too farfetched.

Changing adults to a different species, though? Just not gonna happen. The best you can do is plastic surgery to look more animalistic on a superficial level - and actually there are people who already do that today.

Even if technology to make catgirls becomes available, people will be like that if their parents thought it would look cute, not if they thought it would look cute. Which is actually a worthwhile argument against allowing it: you'd end up with people stuck their whole lives with some weird body based on some last-generation fad they don't care about, or a subculture they're not comfortable participating in. People have less room to grow up to be themselves if their parents already made such an important choice for them before they're even born.

I'm not sure what medical advantages the first speaker is expecting, either. Ending organ donation shortages? Someone who's 98% human and 2% @@ANIMAL@@ isn't going to be able to make use of @@ANIMAL@@ organs. And quite possibly isn't going to be able to make us of human organs, either. You'd actually have worse organ shortages because of all the people with a rare species that only a handful exist of, meaning very few possible donors. (Also, vat technology, which again exists in NationStates, is a much better solution to organ donation shortages, so those shortages already shouldn't exist in the nations that have embraced the more futuristic parts of NationStates technology.) Developing cures for zoonotic diseases? Only if you're doing unethical stuff like deliberately infecting your human-animal hybrids with the disease to see what their immune system does with it. If the disease already affected @@ANIMALPLURAL@@ before it jumped over to humans, then wouldn't making humans with some @@ANIMAL@@ DNA make them more succeptible to the disease?

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Postby Blue Nagia » Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:44 pm

Coming back to this very belatedly to try and polish up this draft!

Trotterdam wrote:Creating outright new species or subspecies through DNA customization is harder than that (DNA code works on the level of proteins, which does not translate easily into phenotype features like cat ears), but still something I could see us doing in the more-distant future. Compared to other technology in NationStates like growing people in vats (which also neatly solves the mammoth problem) or programming sentient AIs, it's not too farfetched.


Yeah, that was my thought exactly. The first option, partially animal embryos, is done today.

https://www.kqed.org/futureofyou/166037 ... al-embryos

Changing adults to a different species, though? Just not gonna happen. The best you can do is plastic surgery to look more animalistic on a superficial level - and actually there are people who already do that today.


*nod* That's why I changed that option to be "someone hoping it was possible", with the response being "people are scared to hug (people from your nation) because they fear they might have fleas". No actual change has happened here, but the rumour spreads.

I'm not sure what medical advantages the first speaker is expecting, either. Ending organ donation shortages? Someone who's 98% human and 2% @@ANIMAL@@ isn't going to be able to make use of @@ANIMAL@@ organs. And quite possibly isn't going to be able to make us of human organs, either. You'd actually have worse organ shortages because of all the people with a rare species that only a handful exist of, meaning very few possible donors. (Also, vat technology, which again exists in NationStates, is a much better solution to organ donation shortages, so those shortages already shouldn't exist in the nations that have embraced the more futuristic parts of NationStates technology.) Developing cures for zoonotic diseases? Only if you're doing unethical stuff like deliberately infecting your human-animal hybrids with the disease to see what their immune system does with it. If the disease already affected @@ANIMALPLURAL@@ before it jumped over to humans, then wouldn't making humans with some @@ANIMAL@@ DNA make them more succeptible to the disease?


The link I gave is an example of how science is creating hybrid embryos right now to help study diseases and create organs-- organs for humans, not for the 98% human and 2% @@ANIMAL@@ people. In the first scenario, they're not expected to be brought to term en masse, but rather as proof of concept that they can survive and thus, the humans that the organs are implanted into will also survive.

As for the cures, they would be tested and refined on said embryos but intended for humans.

Harsh, yes, but there's been plenty of unethical research in the history of humanity. Many people will absolutely treat any being they don't see as 100% human as disposable.
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Left-Leaning College State

Postby Trotterdam » Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:05 pm

Blue Nagia wrote:Yeah, that was my thought exactly. The first option, partially animal embryos, is done today.

http://www.kqed.org/futureofyou/166037/scientists-create-part-human-part-animal-embryos
Interesting. That looks like it's doing the opposite of what you're implying here: not creating a mainly-human with a few animal parts, but creating a mainly-animal with a few human parts (specifically intended for organ transplants). Basically it's another approach to organ procurement that NationStates already solves using vat technology.

The opening and first option you have in the current draft definitely do not accurately represent the science behind the article you linked.

Another implementation detail is that this researcher is not actually splicing together human and animal DNA, but rather creating a chimera organism where some of its cells are derived from human stock and some of its cells are derived from animal stock. I guess you technically never actually contradicted this in the draft and we just assumed, but still.

Blue Nagia wrote:*nod* That's why I changed that option to be "someone hoping it was possible", with the response being "people are scared to hug (people from your nation) because they fear they might have fleas". No actual change has happened here, but the rumour spreads.
I interpreted that effect line as implying that @@DEMONYMNOUNPLURAL@@ have fur. Fleas aren't attracted to animals because they're "animals", it's just that fleas live in hair and so more hair means more risk of fleas.

Of course there are other factors that affect this, such as personal hygiene habits, so being furry doesn't automatically imply you have fleas, and furries may well consider the notion offensive - but at least it'd be a prejudice that makes some sense.


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