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Getting Started with the Genetics Kit

Tutorial Seven

Organ and Receptor Genes: Food Allergy, Anyone?

The organs are a vital part of Norn anatomy. All biochemical reactions are divided up into different organs. The different organs can function at different rates, according to demand.

For instance, the Liver Catabolic is involved in breaking down energy stores to liberate energy. The Liver Anabolic, a separate organ, is involved in the exact opposite- making energy reserves for the long term. In a Norn that has just eaten, the anabolic liver works faster than the catabolic. This can be reversed in a Norn that has excess energy stores and hasn't eaten in a long time.

The organs can also be damaged by various environmental factors. Most organs start off 100% health when the Norn is born, then very slowly lose health as the Norn ages.

The life force of the organs is made up of two parts- short term life force, and long term life force. Short term life force is reduced easily by damage and accidents, but can be healed. Long term life force cannot be healed - it can be thought of as how much of that organ is left in the Norn. When long term life force reaches zero, that organ is dead.

Depending on how important the organ is, the Norn might be dead, too! Organs can be examined in more detail using the biochemistry kit, available from the CDN.

The receptor genes can be thought of as the interface between the Norn's chemical and physical systems. It is a way in which the chemical state of a Norn can affect non-chemical attributes. For instance, a receptor can make a certain level of a chemical cause a particular walk. Receptors are also used to transmit the current state of the Norn's drives (hunger, pain, etc) to the brain. Without these drive receptors, the Norn couldn't learn from past experiences when that emotion was high.

Receptors also affect organ health. They can affect organ health either positively, or negatively- for instance, a receptor for the heavy metal poison in the immune system organ causes heavy metals to slowly degrade that organ. However, many organs have positive receptors for prostaglandin, and these receptors help the healing process, and the recovery of short term life force.

In this tutorial, we'll make a new organ, and add a receptor that causes the Norn to sneeze when it eats fat. Over time, this organ will be detrimentally affected by fat, until it loses all life force, at which point, the Norn will return to normal.

  1. Start the genetics kit, and load the genome 'Norn.civet46.gen.brain.gen'.

  2. Switch to the gene editor page, and press the New Gene button. Choose an organ type gene, and press 'create and close', since you only want to make one organ in this tutorial.

  3. The Genetics Kit will ask for a caption for this organ. Call it 'Food Allergy'. The organ gene editing window will appear.

  4. You'll see that organs have a number of sliders that can be set. The values each of these sliders represent can be seen in the bottom bar of the main genetics kit window.

    Set the Clock Rate to 0.5.

    Organ Vulnerability alters how fast the organ will naturally decay. Set this to about 0.35.

    Life Force Start Value represents how healthy the organ is in a new born Norn. Set this to 0.5. Most organs start off entirely healthy, for obvious reasons. This one will start already down to half its maximum possible health.

    Biotick Start represents the initial rate the organ will work at- set this to around 0.5.

    Finally, set the ATP damage coefficient to about 0.5 as well. The ATP damage coefficient alters how much very low energy levels damage this organ. These alterations will give us a fairly delicate organ that is easily damaged. However, as yet there is nothing specific that will damage it.

  5. Organs contain receptors, emitters and chemical reaction genes. To make a gene part of an organ, it must appear after it in the gene list, before the next organ gene. Genes between two organ genes in the genome are neatly pigeon holed into the first organ.

    Our receptors must be in the organ gene, so if we create them immediately after the new food allergy organ, they will be part of that organ. Genes can be moved from organ to organ using the move up-down buttons by the side of the gene editing window.

    Click the new gene button and choose the Chemical Receptor gene type.

    Click Create, and call the gene 'Fat Sneezing'.

    The receptor gene editing window will open. As you can see, you can specify what action or area of the Norn the receptor is attached to, which chemical it is affected by, and three other sliders: threshold, nominal, and gain.

    Without getting horribly mathematical, Threshold controls how high the level of chemical has to be before the receptor is activated. Nominal controls what minimum level the receptor attachment point is set to when the receptor fires, and gain controls how quickly the intensity of the receptor firing increases as the level of the chemical increases. If the 'digital' checkbox is marked, then the receptor works in an on - off fashion - the attachment point is either set at the Nominal level, or is not firing. If the other 'Output Reduces' checkbox is ticked, the receptor works in the opposite way - low levels of the chemical will cause it to fire, rather than high levels.

    Set the receptor attachment of the gene to Creature, Sensorimotor, Involuntary Action 2. Involuntary Action 2 is sneezing.

    Other involuntary actions include coughing, laying eggs, and dying! Next, Specify the chemical to be Fat. Set the threshold to about 0.01, the nominal to 0, and gain to 1. This means that for any amount of the fat chemical above 0.01, the 'Involuntary Action 2' value will be set to the same value as the amount of fat. A non-zero value for this attachment point will cause a sneeze.

  6. Close the 'Fat Sneezing receptor, and you'll find the new gene box still open behind it. Make sure it is still set to 'Chemical Receptor' and choose Create and Close this time.

    Name the new gene 'Fat Damage'.

    Set the receptor attachment point this time to Current Organ, <no tissue>, Injury.

    Set the chemical to Fat, and then set the threshold to about 0.01 again, the nominal to 0, and the gain to 1. This means that the more fat there is in the Norn's system, the more damaging it will be to the Fat Allergy organ. You may notice that the organ is specified in a box at the top of the receptor editing window, and it says that this is the food allergy organ.

  7. Close the receptor editing window, and export your Norn. Try feeding it some cheese. You'll find that as it grows up, there will come a point where cheese or other food types no longer affect it in this way - the organ has died.


Tutorial 1

Tutorial 2

Tutorial 3

Tutorial 4

Tutorial 5

Tutorial 6

Tutorial 7

Tutorial 8

Tutorial 9

Tutorial 10

Tutorial 11

Tutorial 12