The Science of Twilight

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Re: The Science of Twilight

Postby Amanda Beth » Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:06 pm

wow you just put a hole in one of my stories. I too thought a hybrid's nails and hair grew normally, but in TPC I have Renesmee open an old wound of hers (a la Bella in Eclipse) with her finger nail thinking it was one of the few things that could puncture her vampire skin. Hmmmm. Good thing my readers don't think as much as you do haha.
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Re: The Science of Twilight

Postby Chernaudi » Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:41 pm

Could it be a halfway house, an intermediate between the two ideas. After all, hair and nails are comprised partly of old skin cells, which contain DNA (hair is used in foresnsics to extract DNA). Vampire and Hybrid DNA is what makes their skin so hard. Maybe their hair and nails aren't hard to them, but realtive to humans, they are.

It that's the case, wouldn't hybrid need special nail clippers and scissors to trim their hair and nails--made out of like tungsten carbide or diamond tipped instruments (of course, if Bella was a hybrid, she could just chew her nails like in real life)?

Besides, I though that Stephenie said that a vampire better be happy with her hairstyle because once she's changed, she's stuck with it as it was when changed?
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Re: The Science of Twilight

Postby ringswraith » Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:41 pm

I can't seem to locate the reference now, but I seem to recall Meyer saying something like Rosalie being able to try different hairstyles, but never one that cut her hair because it'd never grow back. That tells me it's possible to cut their hair, and I understood it to mean via regular scissors. (Of course I could be wrong, that's just my interpretation of things.)

As far as the whole DNA thing, hair and nails (at least, the portions you'd normally cut) are not just old cells, but dead cells. There's nothing vital there to impart the same kind of resilience that say their skin has (which technically speaking was alive at the time of transformation). Would they be tougher than normal human hair and nails? I can't say for certain. I don't think their nails would be tough enough to pierce their own skin (just going by the fight scenes in the books, all attacks have either been grapples/throws or bites, no real clawing). But nothing's stopping them from taking a bite or using a simple swipe of their teeth. :)
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Re: The Science of Twilight

Postby Chernaudi » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:13 pm

Also, can hybrids get sick like humans can, and if so, how sick can they get, since they're basically immortal?
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Re: The Science of Twilight

Postby Openhome » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:53 pm

This was something we talked about about ten pages ago, so you might want to go have a look. However, and I hope Pharm comes by sometime to sort it all out, here is what he determined. I think.
1. Pathogens are usually fairly species specific. Not only does the germ have to be able to invade a host, it must be able to utilize the host's body to feed on and procreate. Since hybrids have blood and normal tissue, a fairly general pathogen, like the common cold, might be able to get a foot hold for a little while, but the extraordinary healing of a hybrid would stop it from spreading fairly quickly.
2. A virus, which is DNA specific, would not be able to fair as well because hybrid DNA is different from human and animal. Hybrid DNA may not be able to be invaded at all. Also, if the virus did find a link it could copy itself into, it would either force the cell to replicate or destroy it, both of which the hyper healing would prevent.
3. One thing a hybrid might get is poisoning. They would heal quickly, of course, but they might get sick from bad food for a while. If enough poison were dumped into the body of a hybrid, say by one of those elephant darts, it might take them down. We know they CAN be killed.
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Re: The Science of Twilight

Postby pharmer4 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:06 am

Openhome wrote: I hope Pharm comes by sometime to sort it all out . . .



Well, how's that for Kismet, I've only been back on the board for a short while, and people are mentioning me! Nice :D

Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to go back and read the rest of the thread, (there's just so much to be done), so you might need to report some questions here for me.

Also, if you post a question and I take too long, try PMing me, and I'll get my act together!

As for the last question, regarding Hybrids and getting sick, here are a few pointers that should guide your interpretation of things:

Hybrids are, for all intents and purposes, Vampires that are born, not created. The end result is a Vampire that grows to adulthood, then continues from adulthood as if there were created like any other vampire.

from this point of view, there is not really anything that could affect a hybrid that could not affect a vampire, per se.

That being said, they are a plot device, not a real biological entity. While it is always an interested exercise to look at these things from a scientific point of view, you can only go on the observed facts. When these apply to a fictional creature such as vampires or hybrids or shape shifters, the observable facts can expand and mutate at any given whim of Stephenie, or anyone she grants licence to work with her characters/universe.

Obviously, Hybrids can die. So can Vampires. This is not up for debate, really. Can they get sick? I'd tend to think not. At such a long life, the Hybrid from Breakinjg Dawn (who I am shameful enough to admit, I can't remember his name) was pretty old, and lived in a tropical environment. If someone is going to be sick, it's someone living in that environment for extended periods of time.

You also have to consider communicability of diseases. The most numerous diseases occur in insects, because there are more insects that anything else out there. Since Vampires are rare, there'd be few diseases (if any) capable of evolving to affect them, and rarer still for hybrids.
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Re: The Science of Twilight

Postby Tiger_kitten » Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:03 am

I apologize in advance if this had been discussed before, sadly I am a little too lazy to read each page of posts and find out... :D

Something that got me thinking was re-reading Breaking Dawn, specifically re-reading when Bella wore the contacts and Alice mentioned she would have to swap them out occassionally because the venom in her eyes would dissolve them.

I thought back on the Bree Tanner book when they all swam in the ocean, they all had their eyes open I would assume, it would be rather odd for them not to have their eyes open after all, and I wonder if the circumstances were right, if a person could be transformed into a vampire from swimming in the same water shortly after they all did.

After all, there is a certain amount of venom in their eyes, which would then be in the water, and although it is a small amount, there were roughly twenty vampires... At one point in time (probably far far back) I remember reading Stephenie talking about how Edward had to be careful kissing Bella, because she could cut her tongue on his teeth and then the venom from his mouth would change her into a vampire, very slowly, but surely.

So if a person swam in the VERY dilluted venom-ocean water, with a large cut or something I suppose, minutes after the vampires did (the vampires are fast so I assume they would be far enough away that they wouldn't eat said person, but the venom is still in a general range) do you think they might very slowly transform into a vampire?
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Re: The Science of Twilight

Postby fanMNM » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:40 pm

I don't have a definite answer to Tiger_kitten's question, but I would love to know what everyone thinks about the possibility!

I'm thinking the venom would be diluted enough by the water that it wouldn't make an impact on a human who accidently swallowed some, for example.
There isn't that much venom leaking out of their eyes right? It would need to be a lot more than what might leak out into the water? (Just my thoughts!)
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Re: The Science of Twilight

Postby Tiger_kitten » Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:55 pm

fanMNM wrote:There isn't that much venom leaking out of their eyes right? It would need to be a lot more than what might leak out into the water? (Just my thoughts!)


That's just the thing, I have no idea exactly how much venom it takes for the transformation to occur. I would think that it would take more than just a single atom, you would need at least a drop... but that drop would need to go straight onto a wound.

I imagine there is about a drop of venom in each eye, and that is roughly fourty drops of venom that go into the water? So a substantial amount, but I don't know if because it is now dilluted by the water if it doesn't really work... I wonder if their venom is solluable, if water just completely destroys it... or if it is like oil and it would remain intact...

Questions that will never be answered. Ha ha.
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Re: The Science of Twilight

Postby corona » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:20 pm

Tiger_kitten. I think SM answered this before, but I am not sure exactly where I read it.

SM said (I believe) that the venom in the mouth, the "saliva" venom secreted from the salivary glands, is different that the other venom-based fluids in the body. In order to start the change process it would have to be this specific venom that directly enters the bloodstream.
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