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 [Headcanon Lore] The Gifted Gene

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Queen of Lolis

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PostSubject: [Headcanon Lore] The Gifted Gene    Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:34 pm

I've actually really wanted to ramble this out for the longest time, especially while I still retained my AP Biology knowledge because everyone knows I'll be forgetting it all when the new school year comes and I've thrown out most of my notes and such for it already, so I can't rely on that. There's going to be a lot of technical terms in all of this, and I'm sorry if it gets super confusing. Oh, and take all of this with a grain of salt since I'm not exactly the most reliable source of information when it comes to genetic and Ebs' word is law; just going off of what I know. Sorry if this is hard or too long to read. It's probably a bit of a headache, if I think about it, but I'll try to simplify it as best as I can. @_@

The central dogma, when it comes to genes, is the pathway is always DNA --> RNA --> Protein. Well, unless there's reverse transcription, which makes cDNA from RNA, but there's no need to go into that. But anyway, Ebs has said before that the gifted gene is a recessive gene, meaning that you need two copies of the gene in order for it to be expressed. To make it a little more elaborate, it's an autosomal recessive inheritance, so that just basically means it's not sex-linked. More importantly, this means that both copies of the gene must be linked to gifts, which, quite frankly, it seems kind of weird that gifts aren't more common, especially considering that recessive traits - while overshadowed by dominant traits - aren't all that rare and you can find it among a lot of individuals in the general populace, depending on which trait we're talking about.

In this respect, I've always considered that the gifted gene is actually a mutation of some sort of one of the "junk DNA" that scientists are still trying to figure out; I would've pinned it down to possibly being something controlled in the brain or something, but unfortunately, the entire human genome is already mapped out, outside of that anomaly of DNA that scientists are having trouble with, only figuring that it's an on and off switch to turn on other genes. Just to illustrate a quick example, humans and chimpanzees are actually 99% genetically identical, but the on and off switches (ex. jaws, thumbs, etc.) are what make the differences between us. As a result, I'm going to believe that the gifted gene is a mutation that is eventually transcribed and translated is related to one of those on and off switches.

To further it more, DNA is eventually changed into RNA through transcription. All of those things about codons and such, they're mini "codes" on the strand that are used to turn RNA into a protein. mRNA (messenger) is formed from DNA, and mRNA is what carries the codons; tRNA (transfer) is a complement of mRNA and forms the anticodons - these anticodons are what make it so that the polypeptide/protein is formed properly while the codons are what make up the amino acids that form said protein. Mistakes/mutations are scarcely made because of how the body's fail-safe system works through the nucleotide excision repair system and DNA polymerase, which acts as a proofreader after the new strands are made; there is so much correcting involved that it's hard to be overlooked (this is why I prefer the idea that the gifted gene is a mutation, rather than just a recessive trait, since it would explain why it's so rare). So there's a few mistakes made in the mRNA and tRNA, maybe through an extra base being added/deleted/substituted multiple times, and these mistakes also get tossed onto the protein.

Alright, so I've established that the gifted gene is a mutation and the mistakes are made during the RNA phase. So what happens at the protein phase?

Before we get to that, I want to note that the whole thing about mRNA and tRNA making proteins is really complicated and it needs to be addressed. Operator, promoter, and repressor with the added on activator, enhancer, and silencer. This is actually really important because the number of proteins produced controls the expression of the gene. So the activator binds to the operator to stimulate translation and the promoter allows the activity to continue, so long as the repressor doesn't replace it and inhibit activity, resulting in the deactivation of the gene. Enhancers, more or less, bring specific promoters to the site to make specific amounts of the protein. And finally, silencers, when bound to certain transcription factors, can immediately silence the gene and result in its lack of expression. These things can change at any time of whatsoever for the most part, so long as there are enough resources. I would assume that, with puberty, growth hormones would stimulate these factors and cause the gift to appear, or we can go with the fight-or-flight response and adrenaline, seeing as people's gifts seem to surge and go out of control when they're in danger, but that's more to creating more ATP, which would give the boost of energy in the first place. Either way, a messenger would most likely be the one sending a signal to stimulate protein production.

Okay, so the number of proteins manufactured plays a huge part in controlling the expression of said gene. For example, both the eye and liver use the crystallin protein, but they're both completely different due to how much is being manufactured in each structure. And this brings me back to the point where the gifted gene is autosomal recessive; it needs two copies of the mutation to work, right? One copy isn't enough to produce the crazy amount of proteins needed for the gifted gene to play out. Two copies is what causes the expression of the gifted gene, and therefore, resulting in a gifted child. As with a number of proteins still being investigated, what this protein does exactly isn't very clear, but it is linked to the brain, which is why there seems to be so many mentally deranged students and insane AFs (Sleepy's Asylum theory is 10/10) and why the previous Headmaster went crazy from all of the gifts (besides his DNA being altered, he was creating too much of a protein that resulted in such a mental imbalance).

With that out of the way, I'm going to go ahead and now address a few other things. This is super long, I'm sorry.

Why are there so many different kinds of gifts? The best explanation for that would be polymorphism, which is basically the term that results in alternative forms of a phenotype as a result of a recurrent mutation. I'm assuming the differences would be very subtle at first, maybe only one misplaced base in the codons, but nowadays, the differences are vast with so many different combinations (so long as the mistake doesn't result in a STOP codon prematurely, the gifted gene can function properly). We can also throw in wobble base pairing, which doesn't follow the A-T/U, C-G rules which also adds in I (inosine) as a possible base. The possibilities are basically infinite now, which is why new gifts can be formed.

What's up with the sacred gifts? I'm going to go ahead and say that the sacred gifts are probably the "purest" form of the mutated gene, being that they're the ones with the less mutations and, as a result, are the root of everything.

Ebs made this earlier before, but I don't think it was ever shared outside of the chatbox that one time. I bookmarked it for future reference. Anyway, if I said before that the gifted gene is an autosomal recessive trait, then why is it that a sacred gifted + non-gifted (no gifted gene at all) can make a sacred kid? This is a bit far-fetched, but my best explanation would be that the sacred gifted genes result in powering on a switch in the junk DNA that mutates the non-gifted gene into being a sacred gifted gene in the infant; the chances of this happening are pretty abysmal though, which is why the result is that there's still muggle children and not always a gifted kid coming out from the pairing. However, it doesn't work for sacred + normal gifted because normal gifted genes are just a super mutated version of the original pure, so it doesn't work; unfortunately, it would seem that normal gifted genes are probably dominant when placed on sacred, therefore resulting in a heterozygous kid with the normal gift - it still works since there are two copies of the gene, just different versions. And like the screenshot says, the sacreds are really fickle with pretty messed up proteins and such, which is why they're awkwardly pure but can mix with each other to create new gifts.

I could add on that maybe the number of proteins being created to control the expression can probably result in what kind of gift the kids get, depending on their parents. Like... Brailynn has two elemental parents, but they're different. Seeing how fickle the sacred gifted genes are, her gifted proteins are probably being produced a bit more uncontrollably, resulting in a more unpredictable gift (energy manipulation) then something that is a combination of her parents'.

Normal gifted genes probably mix the same way as the sacreds do, but... just not as random and such. Probably. I'm running out of ideas on what to say. Well, this about sums it up. If you read through all of this, then congratulations and thanks for reading this jumbled up mess.

For Magic and Vince's situation (just as an example)... Magic's father has sound manipulation (I think), Magic has the same gift, Vince has fire manipulation, Magic's mother most likely has a copy of the gifted gene somewhere (which is why Magic is born with sound manipulation) while Vince's mother did not have a copy of it, resulting in a sacred gift. I don't think normal gifted genes are as fickle, but there could be the possibility that Vince's was one of those cases where the gifted gene mutated back into a purer state, resulting in his fire manipulation. I'm not sure. I don't remember how exactly this works. Maybe I'll think about it more when Ebs has clarified. @_@

Again, take this all with a grain of salt. I haven't looked at my AP Bio stuff in awhile, so there may be inaccuracies here and there.

tl;dr: echo is a complete nerd, please excuse me


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[Headcanon Lore] The Gifted Gene
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