Human Origins

The narrative of the transition from Ape to Man is contained within one astonishing cut in the film 2001…

…but 4 Million years of history contains a lot of potential stories. I am thinking about setting my next novel (after the Singularity’s Children series) back at the Dawn of Man.

It looks like we coexisted and even bred with many other species of Hominid and some of those seem to have been pretty smart. Recent discoveries show that Neanderthals were making cave art hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Neanderthal cave art, spain.

Haplo Groups‘ markers allow us to trace humanities deep ancestry. We (Homo Sapiens) left Africa 70K years ago to spread our seed across the world, mingling and mating with the local—as we tend to do.

We eventually replaced the ‘other‘ and history started…

But I love the gaps—into which stories can be inserted!

Maybe I will set it 12,800 Years Ago at the onset of the Younger Dryas, the fall of Eden and the interment of  Goebekli Tepe.

Anyway, I think there is plenty of material for a book set at the Dawn of Man…
…what do you think? Would you read it? Or shall I go 12,000 years the other way?

 

(image: Neanderthal with face paint – Viktor Deak)

DNA Malware compromising DNA sequencing machines

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/08/researchers-encode-malware-in-dna-compromise-dna-sequencing-software/I actually have a short story in the works about this concept-

 Malware encoded in the genome of a biological virus gets sequenced by a surgery’s diagnosis machine. The malware hacks the diagnosis sequencer, installing a computer virus, which compromises all the DNA synthesis machines it can find on the network. These start printing and churning out copies of the virus, infecting more humans who seek medical help. The infection spreads through two vectors: person to person and digitally. Every infected patient, sequenced by a susceptible diagnosis machine, creates more compromised nodes in the growing botnet… the plague spreads, its dual-mode allowing it to jump all quarantine measures and airgaps thrown up to halt it… nasty.

Substrate for Blood Music – Advanced Computation within Cells

…a team of researchers at MIT has developed a technique to integrate both analogue and digital computation in living cells, allowing them to form gene circuits capable of carrying out complex processing operations.”
We tend to make a distinction between wet organic brains and dry silicon brains. People readily accept that psychological states can exist in animals with their sloppy wet-ware, but not in huge humming data centres running simulations of the same neural circuits.
By running algorithms on different substrates, e.g. neural, silicon or on the protein machinery within cells, we will blur the distinction between organic and artificial.
It is very Blood Music. With the correct programming blooms of bacteria may be coaxed to self organize into distributed swarm intelligences… 
http://news.mit.edu/2016/gene-circuits-live-cells-complex-computations-0603