Monday, February 8, 2010

KEVIN GEEKS OUT - Mutants #1

A couple weeks ago I presented a lecture on mutations in the variety show Kevin Geeks Out. The theme of the evening was Visions Of The Future! My contribution was to describe the future mutations of human kind that will eventually and inevitably happen, as predicted by many futuristic movies.

Happily, the show was sold out, so some local readers (sadly) didn't get a chance to see the show. I thought I'd post a version of my lecture here. Check out the link to KGO, below. There were some really great guests! I was lucky to be among such esteemed company. Plus, they served Dippin' Dots!

Here's the first installment of my presentation. You'll notice that there are some style changes from the usual blog entries. There is much less text and many more pictures. It turns out that blogging and public speaking require different writing styles.


In our examination of The Future, it is important to consider what will happen to the human species on a molecular level as we navigate an undending seires of collisions between meddling scientists and naturally occuring events.

The future is soon! As a matter of fact, according to some film sources, actions that will shape the future are happening right now!

Chemical wastes, various forms of radiation, and viruses are just a few of the mutagens acton on our genes. At any moment we should expect to hear about a variety of mutant groups and sub-groups emerging into our public awareness.

Future mutation may be the result of genetic engineering, as with Rachel from Blade Runner...

... or chaotic accident, perhaps instigated by a genetically engineered measles virus run amok on human populations(2).

I Am Legend is about genetically
engineered measles viruses in the future.

Therefore, our discussion of the future will examine the inevitable mutation of human beings into monstrous future super-species. So let's get down to the mutation breakdown.

A mutant organism is the result of a genetic mutation. What is a mutation? The alteration of genes, chromosomes, or DNA (more on that later).

Some mutations of the future will be bad for you but won't cause an external variation in appearance. An example would be a genetic blood disorder like hemophilia. Alexei Nicholaevich, son of Tsar Nicholas II was a hemophiliac. He is pictured here in a still from the movie Nicholas and Alexandra.

Hemophilia in the movies.

Some mutations will cause altered external appearance and will be bad for you too. An example here is a series of mutations caused by viral vampirism in Daybreakers.

Drink your human blood. Don't let this happen to you!

In the present and the future, some mutations or variations in DNA may influence the risk of developing the risk of developing certain disorders like Alzheimer's disease.

Some mutations won't help or harm you physically, like a generalized hypertrichosis a.k.a. Wolfman disease. Here is Robert Downey Jr. acting hypertrichosis for the camera.

Some genetic mutations change appearance and give your super-human skills. Here we see Hank McCoy's altered appearance as a result of mutation.

Exuberant hair + superhuman strength + blue pigment

What is the difference between chromosomes, genes, and DNA? Stay tuned(3) for the next installment of my lecture from Kevin Geeks Out: Visions Of The Future!

1. Yes, this really was my title.
2. We are so coming back to I Am Legend in a couple of weeks. There's a gold mine of mutation information here!
3. I just dated myself, didn't I?

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