Breathing Metal

Those of you familiar with Blindsight‘s Scramblers may remember this quirk about their physiology: they didn’t keep all their metabolism on the inside. “I don’t think Rorschach’s magnetic fields are counterintrusion mechanisms at all. I think they’re part of the life-support system. I think they mediate and regulate a good chunk of scrambler metabolism… If […]

The Way Things Are.

Packing for Frankfurt.  No time for thoughtful analysis of  the Mono Lake Arsenic Monster (although I did take pleasure in watching Keith Olbermann correct the NASA scientist who screwed up  the name of Star Trek’s Horta episode) beyond saying: Cool, but I actually think that the discovery of anaerobic metazoans has more profound implications when […]

The Xenotext Experiment

A few of you may remember a throwaway bit of ecogothic ambience near the start of State of Grace: “…pure tissue was so hard to come by these days. There was always something that didn’t belong. Viral DNA, engineered for the greater good but too indiscriminate to stay on target. Special marker genes, designed to […]

Posted in: biochem, biotech, Dumbspeech, ink on art by Peter Watts 38 Comments

CuddleKill: or, Liz Cheney Explained

Well, I warned you all. A shower of oxytocin, to fill all you bickering hordes with trust and mutual love. Except, wouldn’t you know it, it’s never quite that simple. You may remember oxytocin by one of its cutesy pseudonyms (“the cuddle hormone”, “the morality molecule”) if not by its technical handle. It’s the hormone […]

Posted in: biochem, neuro, sociobiology by Peter Watts 42 Comments