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Avator writes...

Genetics, from Gargoyles in 1994 to now!

This isn't so much a question as general very late reply to a few things I've seen here that had been posted years ago. (about cloning, and how it was done in gargoyles)

I've noticed people mentionned dr. Severino Antinori as being some sort of real-life version of our catroon "friendly genetecist". It's interesting to notice that Severino actually said he'd have a first human clone done around 2002 and then said it wasn't true. The guy actually seems to be generally creepy and even fake-starved himself in his homeland to protest the refusal of the country to allow human cloning. Either way, it can only be assumed that this fellow who really was a genycologist to begin with (and not a molecular biologist), never did a human clone. But the fact is that he's interestingly as "scary" in his actions and words as Savarius.

To this day, few can say they really succeeded at cloning humans. Dr. Zavos is probably the only one with some credibility. But that aside, onto results...

While it's impossible to say how "well" cloning would work with humans, it's well known that it doesn't work much if at all for primates and other animals like dogs. Yes, it's been done with cats, horses, cows, mice, mules, etc--- but here's the catch. Most cloning issues have to do with the mother (the one who will be pregnant with the clone). For example, dogs only can breed twice a year and it's impossible to change that. So timing this with the making of cloned embryos is just too far out. WIth gargoyles I could see an even bigger issue here--- but Savarius luckily managed to create "in vitro" type uterus environment. I think just this would solve a whole lot in terms of cloning difficulty for gargates (or even humans or primates or canines) So already, even more than 14 years after the episodes were written, it's interesting to still see some credibility in the story of the gargoyle clones. Of course we're far from replicating the environment of a uterus and it is known that embryos implanted -elsewhere- in a creature sadly ends into the embryos becomming aggressive cancers instead of lifeforms of their own.

No matter how clones are of have been done to this day, there's always one element that is required, the ovocyte. Which means a female subject is -always- necessary for cloning (at least so far). So unless, again, Savarius had broken the mold... then it seems plausible that he could have used some from Demona. Of course that'd mean putting her under and cutting her open to get them. (would she have been willing?) And it would also mean that all the clones would have her mitochondrial genome (as a perfect clone can only be done with females, males inherit the mitochondrias from whoever the ovocyte was taken from). Now the mitochondrial genome has very important yet small things.. it basically commands your cellular breathing. What's funny about this though is that IF that's how it was made, then Thailog and Demona shared at least.. part of a genome ;)
While this is all speculations, perhaps it could explain why Bronx wasn't cloned--- because they didn't have access to garg beast ovocytes because... no female was around! (how conveniently credible again!)

As a last point... which is slightly negative though, is the usage of blood to make clones. Now the best cells one can get their hands on are stem cells, to make a cloning procedure. From embryos this works great... from adults it's still better than nothing. (when cloning females though they were able to take cells from part of ovaries that seems to give the best result so far) Adult creatures still have stem cells around, some in the spinal cord for example... and even some in the skin! So it's sort of great that "Thailog" material came from a robot scratching Goliath. It can be assumed they used the skin material and not the blood... but sadly this can't apply to the robot musquitos that they used for the others.
Now why is that--- well red blood cells simply have no nucleus so they have no genome DNA. At all. And while you can still have white blood cells... which have DNA... well those simply give -awful- result for cloning so far. It's been done, yes, but with less than 0.3% even on animals easily cloned. Now I'm not sure how much blood those musquitos took but it seems very unlikely that they found enough material to even do a successful cloning with white blood cells in there.
Now with that said, and forward to the comic, it seems Thailog took consierable quantities of blood from each gargoyle again for genetic issues.... which would probably give a better yield than just a drop or two. Still we can say they got skin cells from it to work with... I like to think, in the light of this, that there's some sort misconception about how blood carries "life" in itself... and while this falls into psychology it's sort of silly since we know that "breeding" has little to do with blood, unless you're a vampire ;)

Seeing what another person wrote on the subject, I think it is interesting to note the difference between clones and clonee. It's true "calico" female cats cloned didn't always have the color of their cloned parent. That's because female calico cats have their color on the X chromosome and they have two X chromosomes like humans... and that randomly one X is inactivated at some point thus resulting sometimes in patched colors and sometimes not. This has nothing to do with DNA on it's own, but rather is something that happens well after an embryo is made. I'm fairly sure this means cloned -male- cats would effectivly be the same color than their "father". And unless gargoyles also have their colors on a simili-X chromosome in the same way humans and cats function, then there's no reason the clone would be another color except through epi-genetics (which genes activate and which don't or chromosome inactivation etc) or... as you said... something to do with Savarius' tampering. (So I think that explanation still holds really well and is probably the best)

But what I really enjoyed most of all in the show is how clones were really perceeved as nothig more than twin brothers (or a child) whose mentality had nothing to do with the person whose genes they inherited, but really with their education. Even to this day there's so many people trying to trick the population (specially those with money to waste) in thinking that their clones will carry their spirits, which is plain out ridiculous....

So all this was my two cents, or maybe two dollars ;) To say that I really love how cloning was tackled in the show, it's far more realistic than most would have had it.

Greg responds...

I'm glad... since of course I know NOTHING.

Response recorded on May 13, 2008

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Derek writes...

I asked this question before. You said Thailog would have insisted on Delilah having an egg. "Delilah is genetically much more Gargoyle than human. She is capable of laying a gargoyle egg. Thailog would have insisted on that. But she couldn't mate with a human without some scientific or magical help."
This suprised me as Thailog doesn't strike me as the parenting type. Does Thailog want his own family? As a clone i found it odd that he would have insisted on procreating naturally. Why do you think this is, deep down does he consider himself something lesser than other gargoyles as a clone?

Greg responds...

I meant Thailog would have insisted on Delilah being CAPABLE of laying eggs.

Response recorded on January 23, 2008

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DECEMBER 31

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

December 31st...

1994
Anton Sevarius begins to clone Goliath.

1995
The Magus passes away inside the Hollow Hill.

1996
[withheld]


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NOVEMBER 28

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 28th...

1995
Elisa Maza, Broadway and Lexington are lured to Long Island after midnight by a false tip. They are assaulted by a creature that appears to be Goliath. That morning, mercenaries hired by Anton Sevarius steal a stone Thailog from David Xanatos. After sunset, they deliver their prize to Sevarius on an oil rig just off the coast of Long Island. Not long after, Elisa, Goliath, Broadway and Lex return to Long Island to investigate Goliath's mysterious look-alike. They find a Gen-U-Tech Systems tracking device. Meanwhile, Xanatos receives a ransom call demanding twenty million dollars in exchange for the creature. He and Owen Burnett quickly deduce that Sevarius is behind the gargoyle-napping. At Gen-U-Tech, Lexington and Broadway discover the truth about Goliath's clone Thailog. Meanwhile, in Scotland, Xanatos' security team begins searching for the Loch Ness Monster.


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NOVEMBER 1

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 1st...

975
Using the Phoenix Gate, Goliath, Demona, David Xanatos, Petros Xanatos and Fox come back in time from the year 1995. Demona immediately uses the Gate to disappear again. Xanatos saves the life of Princess Elena of Normandy. He is rewarded with a coin, which he gives to the Norman Ambassador, a fellow member of the Illuminati Society. The 1995 Goliath encounters the 975 Hudson. The 975 Demona is studying under the Archmage as his apprentice. He instructs her to steal the Phoenix Gate from Princess Elena, which she does. But then she is confronted by the 1995 Demona and Goliath. After a brief trip for all three to 994, the 975 Demona returns them to her time and winds up on the outs with the Archmage. She breaks the Phoenix Gate in two and gives half of it to the 975 Goliath at the wedding of Malcolm and Elena. Meanwhile, all the 1995 participants return to their own time.

1975
David Xanatos receives an anonymous gift of a medieval coin worth $20 grand. It is the start of his fortune, and was actually sent to David by his 1995 counterpart, via the Illuminati Society from the year 975.

1995
A fully-grown Thailog is released from his maturation chamber and takes up residence at the Eyrie Building. Xanatos receives a letter from the Illuminati Society. It is from himself, sent in the year 975. It explains that he sent himself the medieval coin that was the basis of all his wealth. The letter also explains how he set this all up by turning his wedding to Fox into a time travel excursion to 975.

1996
Xanatos gets a new assignment from Quincy and the Illuminati. Hudson confirms he is a gargoyle to Robbins. Thailog and the clones fight the Manhattan Clan. During the battle, Thailog gets DNA samples from Goliath, Angela, Broadway, Lexington, Elisa, Brooklyn, Hudson and Bronx. Delilah, Malibu, Burbank and Hollywood reject Thailog, but Brentwood chooses to depart with him. Thailog gives the DNA to Sevarius and gains a new personal assistant, Shari. Doctor Sato treats Goliath. Goliath and Elisa declare their love for each other.


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OCTOBER 31

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

October 31st...

1994
In part because both he and Elisa want to conceal the gargoyles' existence, Xanatos and the D.A.'s office agree to a plea bargain. He pleads guilty to the sole count of Receiving Stolen Property. He will be sentenced to six months in county jail including time served, with every hope that the sentence will be reduced to three months for good behavior.

1995
Xanatos confronts Fox and attempts to get the Eye back from her. She transforms in front of him and escapes. Xanatos intentionally involves Goliath and Elisa in an attempt to manipulate them into helping Fox and retrieving the Eye. Goliath quickly catches on and initially refuses to help. Later that night, the Trio, Goliath, Elisa, Vinnie, Brendan and Margot all attend a Greenwich Village Halloween block party. When the Werefox attacks, Goliath and Elisa agree to help Xanatos save Fox. Together, they manage to remove the Eye from the creature, which reverts to Fox. Goliath takes possession of the Eye.

1996
Matt Bluestone convenes a meeting of the Gargoyle Taskforce (including himself, Elisa, Officers Morgan & Travanti, Detectives Harris & Chung, Margot Yale and Martin Hacker). Hacker has Illuminati meetings with Matt, Xanatos and Castaway. Morgan asks Elisa on a date. After turning him down and spending time with Jason in the hospital prison ward, she goes to the Eyrie. The gargoyles awaken at sunset. Fox has Halloween costumes for Brooklyn, Lexington, Broadway and Angela in anticipation of the Masque that Xanatos is throwing later that night. Elisa breaks up with Goliath. Demona recovers the Atlantean crystal that was at the heart of the Praying Gargoyle. In, the Labyrinth, Al is showing Shari around. Goliath and Brooklyn arrive. Brooklyn wants to ask Delilah to the party, but Goliath does instead. Goliath, Brooklyn and Delilah depart. Thailog attacks. Terry Chung, Billy Greene, Susan Greene and Sarah Browne trick-or-treat at Jeffrey Robbins' home, where Hudson and Bronx are visiting. Following Illuminati orders, Xanatos takes Fox and Alexander to a party at the White House. They chat with Ambassador Chung, and David meets Illuminatus Quincy Hemings. Meanwhile, Xanatos' Masque goes on without him at the Eyrie. Attendees include Judge Roebling, Doctor Sato, Brendan, Margot, Lexington, Brooklyn, Angela and Broadway. Elisa and Morgan arrive together, as do Goliath and Delilah. Thailog, having taken the male clones from the Labyrinth, arrives to collect Delilah and stabs Goliath.

1997
Xanatos' probation expires.


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Liz writes...

Do the other clones resent Brentwood for going with Thailog?

Greg responds...

We'll have to ask them.

Response recorded on October 24, 2007

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OCTOBER 13

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

October 13th...

1996
When Demona refuses to allow Thailog to kill Angela, he reveals an additional clone: Delilah, created from a combination of Demona and Elisa's DNA. Demona frees Talon, Goliath and the clan. They manage to recapture Fang and take down the clones. But while fighting each other, Demona and Thailog seemingly perish in a fire. Talon offers to take the other clones back to the Labyrinth where he promises to teach them to think for themselves.


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OCTOBER 12

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

October 12th...

1995
Xanatos acquires the Cauldron of Life and prepares to test it by ordering the construction of a pair of Macbeth robots and a statue of Hudson. He also begins looking for a sword that will match Hudson's to be used with the statue.

1996
Relieving Talon, Goliath takes his shift guarding the Labyrinth prisoners. Thailog busts Demona and Fang out. Talon and Goliath pursue them to Coney Island. Goliath departs and quickly returns with Angela, the Trio and Hudson. All are captured by Fang, Demona, Thailog and his clones: Hollywood, Brentwood, Malibu and Burbank (made from the DNA of Broadway, Lexington, Brooklyn and Hudson, respectively).


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Anonyomous writes...

Second, could Sevarius clone Bronx. And I know this next one sound's silly but if one was clone do you think he would be named after an area in Los Angeles.

Greg responds...

He can now. As for the name... depends on the context, I guess.

Response recorded on September 06, 2007


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