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Hox Genes of Sangheili


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Intelligence Officer

Intelligence Officer


This is more of a design conversation and less of playability or anything like that. 

Hox genes, a subset of homeobox genes, are a group of related genes that specify regions of the body plan of an embryo along the head-tail axis of animals. Hox proteins encode and specify the characteristics of 'position', ensuring that the correct structures form in the correct places of the body. For example, Hox genes in insects specify which appendages form on a segment (for example, legs, antennae, and wings in fruit flies), and Hox genes in vertebrates specify the types and shape of vertebrae that will form. In segmented animals, Hox proteins thus confer segmental or positional identity, but do not form the actual segments themselves.

Studies on Hox genes in ciliated larvae have shown they are only expressed in future adult tissues. In larvae with gradual metamorphosis the Hox genes are activated in tissues of the larval body, generally in the trunk region, that will be maintained through metamorphosis. In larvae with complete metamorphosis the Hox genes are mainly expressed in juvenile rudiments and are absent in the transient larval tissues. The larvae of the hemichordate species Schizocardium californicum and the pilidium larva of Nemertea do not express Hox genes.

An analogy for the Hox genes can be made to the role of a play director who calls which scene the actors should carry out next. If the play director calls the scenes in the wrong order, the overall play will be presented in the wrong order. Similarly, mutations in the Hox genes can result in body parts and limbs in the wrong place along the body. Like a play director, the Hox genes do not act in the play or participate in limb formation themselves.

In addition to this and many others do you think designers take the time to study and realistically graft alien body structures? 

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