Biology Department Seminar by Luisa Vander: Complementary Chains of DNA
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Luisa was in bed thinking about her seminar orientation, she got up to drink a glass of water, while she checked some messages on her cell phone so as not to forget any detail.

—Of course, it's that time of year when the newer ones come in — she noted as she sipped from he rcrystal clear glass—, at least it's a good time to introduce some basic concepts and the most recent research results.

She proceeded to sit back down on her bed as she reviewed the list of SCPs to take as examples, where biological SCPs were found, trying to include only the lowest level ones. With her anomalies selected, she decided to try to go back to sleep, but not before looking out her window with the intention of observing the moonlight and a few stars.

—At least I can rest these days —she said to herself— and at last I will be able to present a subject of utmost importance.

She gave a sigh as her eyelids covered her tired eyes, as she needed to rest from her exhausting routine. Thus, she slept for seven hours, twenty-two minutes and thirty seconds in peace.

After waking up and carrying out her daily routine, she was on her way to her place of work: the Foundation's Site-34, being the main headquarters of the Hispanic-Americans.

—Good morning to all present, surely you have already seen some anomalies that our Department deals with and you will have been somewhat surprised with the diversity of each one. But, have you ever wondered the parameter to decide if something is anomalous, or not? Will there be some engine behind these biological anomalies? Oh, I' m a bit excited and I forgot to introduce myself, I am the researcher of the Biology Department, Luisa Paola Vander Stella, although you can just call me Luisa.

Vander puts on some black fingerless gloves, then picks up an electronic device.

—Today I am here to clarify some points about the different biological anomalies and how facilitating their identification is helpful. To begin with, let me give you a little historical context.

Luisa places the small device on a table, which projects a holographic interface showing a presentation with the photograph of SCP-ES-041-01 on the right and on the left one of Dr. Von Braun.

—I assume several have already reviewed the ES-041 document, but simplifying it, it is a plant organism with the ability to alter its DNA to mutate into different types of plants, it is immune to all types of pests, among other details. Dr. Braun, on the left, initially took it upon himself to begin our department's long task, leading the way.

Vander waves her hand and the hologram moves to the next slide, showing two photographs of histological sections: one from ES-041-01 and the other from the species Olea europea1.

—Braun's first investigations focused on the morphology of the plant, recognizing the differences between ES-041-01 and common plants. As you can see, nothing really looks out of the ordinary to the naked eye, except… Yes, the cell nuclei certainly look larger in ES-041-01 and in general their parenchyma is denser. For example, in some cell groups such as neurons they have nuclei with a larger volume, the same with some cells during the process of ovogenesis, since their regulation in transcription is necessary, thus facilitating the production of a larger number of nuclear synthesis products.

—In summary, these are examples of increased synthesis of anomalous proteins, nuclear density is presented in these histological sections of serous and neuroendocrine glands. With this, Braun proposed, at least in plants, that they had the ability to create "paraenchymes," basically a pool of anomalous compounds in ES-041 and other plant types that conferred their anomalous properties.

Luisa waves her hand again, the slideshow shows a model of the compounds found in the paraenchymes of different plants, such as SCP-ES-041, SCP-ES-212-C-1 and SCP-ES-158.

—These are some examples of compounds stored in paraenchymes, although knowledge of this has not really helped us much. At this point in history, in the late 1990s, we still did not know why or how these tissues were generated, even these are only models, as the true structures of the compounds are still a matter of debate in the Department. But the breakthrough was there, in those ES-041 sections, were the answers to not only anomalous plants, but biota of this type in general.

On the next slide are again the ES-041-01 section.

—Let's go back a little bit to the cell nucleus, a little bit denser and no, not only with this photograph it was decided that this detail was significant. I went back to the Braun investigations, and I made more sections, in animals, fungi, I checked protists, eubacteria and archaea —while I was saying this, I showed in the presentation the different sections—. In all of them, the nucleus is denser. In the case of eubacteria and archaea, in general their genetic content was also denser. So, easy, right? All we had to do was check the DNA and we would have the answers we so desperately wanted.

Luisa takes from the holographic display one of the anomalous nuclei and one common one, one in each hand. She expands them and arranges them so that the DNA can be seen.

-And nothing, they are completely identical, every chain, every nucleotide, every damned nitrogenous base. Maybe I looked in the wrong direction all this time, it was just a coincidence, I analyzed it with every type of microscope and nothing; but if we have learned anything in this work, it is that everything is in the methods, in the perspective and in this case, a technique.

Luisa waves her hands and the chains disappear, the presentation moves to the next slide, titled "Electron Paramicroscopy Technique". An electronic device similar to a transmission electron microscope is shown.

—Aspect radiation produced by thaumaturgic and reality-altering sources has long been known. And the way to detect it has advanced over the years, now more than ever, what we have there, is a modified TEM microscope, a project in collaboration with the Coalition. We started the investigations a couple of years ago, we had some setbacks, some almost fatal backlashes, administrative pressures, but in the end, it was worth it to see… This:

The slide shows a photograph of a two-dimensional drawing, entitled: "Complementary Chains of DNA (CCDNA)".

—I see that several are trying to analyze the photo and wonder what we are looking at. Does anyone know Photo 51? Taken by Rosalind Franklin in 1952, so… What? That Raymond Gosgling took it? I see someone is missing some real history lessons —Luisa takes a few seconds to speak again—. I'm sorry, where was I? Oh sure, the first photograph of DNA, here we have something similar, so as not to break our heads trying to shape it, let's use the three-dimensional model!

Luisa takes the slide and puts it as if it were a table, she grabs the two-dimensional drawing and as if it were an accordion she expands it to show the 3D figure.

—Excuse my excitement, I can't resist every time I see it, the possibilities, implications, applications… —Luisa said speaking faster and faster—. Let's go on, this is a quadruple helix, compared to the double helix of non-anomalous DNA. Why haven't we been able to see it for so long? First, it is because it is not visible by common methods, such as EVE or any type of aspect radiation, however, it manifests itself a little by deforming the nucleus, that is what Braun saw at the time, it is not that it was denser, but this structure deforms the nucleus. Secondly, it was only in the middle of the twentieth century that we were even able to know about the existence of DNA, all this is so new and it is advancing faster and faster.

Luisa waves her hands to highlight the complementary chains and emphasize them.

—As expected, they are not formed by the common nitrogenous bases, not even by molecules known or already recorded in other anomalies. We have had some proposals for names: paralinins, anomalinins, although I would leave it at paramolecules, mostly to keep it general. It is not something like RNA either, because it is not a nucleic acid, we only know that it is of organic origin.

Vander again takes elements from the slide, represented as spheres orbiting the whole molecular structure. The spheres change geometric shape every certain amount of time, going through various polyhedra, both regular and irregular.

—And what is this additional structure responsible for? To simplify it and in very easy to understand terms, it is the structure from which the anomalous compounds come, they form tissues and organs that would be impossible otherwise, adaptation, modification, and basically everything that makes an organism anomalous. Again, this is already the most mundane way to understand it, but it serves to begin to familiarize us with the concept.

Meanwhile, Luisa picks up one of the polyhedra, which at this moment is a cube.

—As you can see, the surrounding structures change shape and this is to represent their varying shape, although… —the polygons are attached to the chains and their polyhedron shape is lost, passing to finer and more detailed structures, like ramifications.

—When the process of gene expression begins, they become more complex, this process is carried out by these "stabilizing factors of transcription and translation" or "sftt", where they directly decode the information of the complementary chains and produce the anomalous compounds, to later leave the cell or add information to the same cell to create from organelles to entire organs; basically they express these anomalous phenotypes. They also serve as a repair mechanism for these chains, fusing in certain specific sections to do so.

—Another concept to take into consideration is cellular parapotentiality, the capacity of cells to express the information of complementary chains. Of course, the cell must first become competent before expressing this new type of information. Parapotent cells have a higher affinity for gene expression and are much more sensitive to internal and external stimuli, the cellular organelles undergo different alterations, mainly the endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus, creating an advanced and specialized cellular machinery.

—After the appearance of this cell group, molecules similar to immunoglobulins are created, which enter target cells with little or no parapotency, being a kind of catalyst and facilitating the appearance of the quadruple chain. Just these cell types are of utmost importance for our work, the extraction and culture of parapotent cells, a new field of biotechnology, but I will talk about that later.

Luisa moves the presentation to its original form and the holographic structures disappear, and we move to the next presentation, where we see several microscopy photographs of the complementary chains and the fett.

—And yes, we managed to find more of these structures in different tissues, and even in viruses. Now, would it surprise you if I told you that all living things have the potential to form these complementary chains? Perhaps not to some, let's review an example, SCP-4583, a virus that affects people on a temporal basis, is it easier to believe that the virus restructures and is totally in charge of modifying the cells of those affected? Or that it is only a catalyst for the appearance of these chains, allowing the temporal displacement? And it is not only a matter of reasoning, we have proven it with the study of the virus.

He moves on to the next slide, showing two photographs, of two different people. Above them are the titles "thaumaturge" and "reality bender".

—To clarify, not all biological anomalies can be explained by these chains, at least not their mere origin, in some cases they are just the end result. This helps us a bit to understand more about the guys… ahem, the thaumaturges and reality benders. Your tissue samples gave us the opportunity to test a hypothesis of mine: "If the complementary chains are analogous to DNA, the more errors that occur, the more damage will occur in the organism."

—The thaumaturges succeed by certain methods, which are still being studied, to reach that state and provide the conditions for the appearance of the chains; the more intense the power they obtain, the more unstable the chains become and the less able the "sftt" are to repair their damage. Reality benders, in most cases, have lost most of their "sftt" and that is why their bodies suffer so much damage, the most affected is always the nervous system.

In the following slide you can see the file photos of SCP-1000 and SCP-4840.

—But this is not always the case, during the evolution of certain living beings, in a presumably random way, their mechanisms to make CCDNA and "sftt" appear are enhanced, giving birth to the two anomalous species on screen, the well-known "Children of the Night" and "Sky Kings", are a clear example of this. Although they are not the only ones, I know a few more, its capabilities as a species exceed what is observed in other organisms or single, isolated entities.

—This is a true example of natural selection even at these levels, where this class of organisms has an abysmal advantage against other species. So why not take advantage of this new knowledge in our mission? In closing, I would like to delve into a subdivision of our department, the experimental biotechnology area, in conjunction with Coalition staff.

Now the slide shows a representation of a prokaryotic organism.

—We have already talked about different living things, tissues and other eukaryotes, but my research now has focused on these small prokaryotic organisms, especially bacteria such as Escherichia coli. Although I have had to travel to the field to look for parapotent bacteria, which contrary to what you might think, are very scarce worldwide, just as the anomalous biota is much smaller compared to the common one.

—The search for these organisms is to take advantage of an already known mechanism such as CRISPR/Cas9 and plasmids, for genetic modification; with this we could create an analogous technique and induce anomalous chains to common organisms for our benefit, production of safe anomalous compounds, new organic equipment for missions or even inactivation of chains in extremely dangerous anomalies.

—Yes, I know what I have said and it seems to go a bit against our main mission, but I must remind you that the roots of the Foundation were laid in past centuries, even now we rely on rituals and… Magic for certain containment procedures; perhaps we cannot do without all of them, but if it is a living being, we can take full advantage of it and apply it in different ways. We are in the 21st century, we should not let certain ideals override the progress of knowledge. Now that I have explained the main idea, we can move on to some questions.

"Excuse me, wouldn't your theory be clashing with concepts such as thaumaturgy, humes, etc?"

—Not really, you could say it's a different perspective on anomalies, for example, there are areas with different levels of humes without the presence of organisms or non-organic entities capable of performing thaumaturgy. And that is an essential part of science, delimiting areas of study for a better understanding of the anomalous, just as at one time science emerged from philosophy, now we find ourselves in a scenario where we need to focus on cases rather than keep looking for an answer for every anomalous event.

"You talked about an application like biotechnology, but what other fields could it be applied to?"

—Theoretically, it could be used for a myriad of applications, from medicine to entertainment. But that's not our job, but to focus on applying them in security and containment. Although as time progresses, perhaps we may see a day when we can harness the full potential of this theory.

"If anomalous organisms have an advantage in the environment, why aren't they the predominant ones in today's world?"

—This is a question that is still under investigation. One hypothesis is that in the past that was the case, where most species had these chains activated and did so for a long time, they may even have been necessary for life to become established in the first place. But there came a time, specifically between the Permian and Triassic, the greatest mass extinction ever seen, possibly caused by the appearance of several anomalous species that destabilized the food chains, the environments and the whole ecology, resulting in the disappearance of the anomalous biota and favoring the current biota, the few anomalous living beings that we find are possibly the last descendants of those organisms that survived.

"If this theory is correct and we can modify non-anomalous organisms, would that mean we could create reality benders and thaumaturges?"

—If we could, we could do the impossible. But power does not mean duty, the bioethical, logistical, legal implications, etc… All must be considered, even when only "common" genetic modifications are involved, now imagine one with these chains. Our study focuses on understanding these organisms, knowing how to deal with them, contain them or in the worst case, neutralize them. Even if that leaves you wanting to experiment, that's why we have our biotechnology division, working with bacteria, plants, fungi and some animal, all to create equipment and tools for field agents.

"What if some other study outside the Veil came to the same conclusions, would it have to be censored? Since to some extent, this has already been explained with not-so-anomalous science."

—The key point is that we use anomalous elements to arrive at the current conclusions and it is more what we don't know to what we really know. It's as if we had discovered bacteria before the invention of the microscope, or even the structure of DNA by unconventional methods; we use anomalies to understand them.

—If the whole study had been excluded from these tools, even one of them, we would not have been able to get to where we are. Maybe in the future we will come to that conclusion, maybe not, in biology there are still a great variety of unanswered questions, we don't even have biological laws. On the other hand, perhaps the answers are anomalous and that is why they continue to endure, an interesting idea to think about is that life as a whole is anomalous, but let's not talk about it, it could put the reason for our mission in trouble.

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