Norns in the Blood?
has their own way of playing the Creatures games. Some people spend
hours trying to get a certain colour, others like to reach generation
100, or let the little darlings run amok. Jcarrcwalk
likes to get into their guts and change their biochemistry.
produced a new type of Norn for Creatures 3,
the Immune Norns. These Norns feature much more
biologically realistic immune systems than before. Rather than just
having antigens and antibodies, as normal Norns do, they have a true
blood system, containing platelets and red and white blood cells.
where do we start, explaining how it all works? The platelets are
as good a place as any. In our blood, platelets are little bits of
cells that gather around wounds to seal them. Norn platelets do the
same thing. When an Immune Norn is injured, it bleeds until platelets
clog the wound. This means that a Norn could bleed to death if it
evolves to produce less platelets - a true haemophiliac Norn! Norns
can also bleed to death if too injured.
what's the positive side of this genome? So far, they sound like delicate
Norns that'll die in five seconds. Not true! The benefits outweigh
the problems. The red blood cells, the second kind of blood cell,
act as oxygen carriers, like the myoglobin/oxymyoglobin system in
C2. This gives the Norns an 'oxygen reserve', so they can hold their
breath (or blood, as the case may be), and stay underwater longer
without any ill effect. Unless, of course, they have lost a lot of
blood through injury. Someone care to make a bandage cob?
and this is where it gets complicated, are the white blood cells.
There isn't just one sort of white blood cell in our immune systems,
but several. In fact, immunology is coming up with new ones all the
time! The Norns have a number of these, such as the big, beefy macrophages
that wander around being bullying any passing bacteria, to T cells
that produce antibodies to prevent future infection. This is where
this genome excels - the Norns have a much sturdier immune system,
and once infected and recovered, they keep their immunity to that
particular bacterium a lot longer. They are also less prone to multiple
infections, since if they are infected, their general immunity against
all nasties goes up, just like ours does (does this mean we'd be ill
less if we always had a cold? Don't answer that!).
a genome to try out, especially if you enjoy studying biology! Next
week, Jcarrcwalk will be making Norns that are capable of writing