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A Late Yoiul Gift for the Jovians

Zerisi Madeveda
Pator Tech School
Minmatar Republic
#1 - 2017-01-05 05:27:03 UTC
I know this is late for Yoiul, and not nearly as detailed as I'd like it to be, but there's something I thought up when mulling over information on the Jovian Disease.

From what I understand, the Jovian Disease is a genetic condition the Jovians accidentally brought on themselves by tampering with their own DNA. The symptoms start out as chronic depression, followed by catatonia, and then death by organ failure and dehydration. Now, I'm not as smart as the Jove,. I know this. I know that I don't have my college degree yet, IRL, either, but I still wanted to do my best to help, as I'd hate to see one of the races of New Eden die of an illness.

So here's what I do have, in terms of my current level of education and research.

I study computer science and biology in college, IRL, and I plan on being a prosthetist or maybe a prosthetics engineer (someone who makes prosthetic body parts) so I can make real-life cybernetics. Since I study things that are going to be put into and onto someone's body, I've studied both computer science and biology.

I took a look over some Jove lore, and based on what I've read, the Jovian Disease came about when the Jove decided to try to remove their instincts for aggression. This made me think of dopamine; the Jove might have damaged the ability of the nerves in their brain and spinal cord to use and/or generate dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain. It aids in triggering the circuits of the brain that control various parts of emotions but also plays a role in motor functions and motor control.

For instance, the ventral tegmental area of the brain, a section of the brain stem, and the prefrontal cortex both utilize dopamine-triggered pathways that affect mood and behavior. According to Dr. C. George Boeree, a former professor at Shippensburg University, Pennsylvania, USA, "the ventral tegmental area of the brain stem (just below the thalamus) consists of dopamine pathways that seem to be responsible for pleasure. People with damage here tend to have difficulty getting pleasure in life". Doctor Boeree also wrote, "the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the frontal lobe which lies in front of the motor area, is also closely linked to the limbic system. Besides apparently being involved in thinking about the future, making plans, and taking action, it also appears to be involved in the same dopamine pathways as the ventral tegmental area, and plays a part in pleasure and addiction".

I have not gone to Shippensburg University, however the information is similar as what is presented in all biology textbooks that I have utilized in my classes (multiple editions of Campbell-Reece Biology textbooks).

As to how this relates to the Jovian Disease:

A lack of dopamine in the brain, or perhaps an inability to use dopamine successfully, could lead to depression, as without a neurotransmitter trigger, the dopamine circuits would fail to fire. Being tied into the spinal cord and motor control for the brain, a lack of dopamine and/or a lack of ability to it, might cause of lethargy, and if allowed to progress, coma, from a lack of will and ability to move, followed by death via dehydration and malnutrition.

High amounts of Dopamine can also trigger anger and aggression in the brain. If the Jove wanted to remove their own aggressive tendencies, then perhaps this is the motivation to do such a thing.

The end result is the mess they're in.

My idea as to a treatment is this:

A specialized implant designed to go into the limbic system in much the same way our capsuleer implants do; nano-filaments of nanobots that link into the dopamine circuits of the spinal cord, brain stem, and limbic system.

What do they do?

They act as middle men. The base postulate of this design is that the Jovian Disease is caused by a lack of ability of neurons in the Jovian limbic system to repair the receptors on their neurons' synapses that receive dopamine, causing them to degrade over time. The solution are these nanobots that link onto the ends of the dendrites and axons themselves (the root-like bits that stick out of neurons). When the signal to release dopamine travels down a neuron's axon, it would normally go to the synapse, cause a release of dopamine, the dopamine would be taken up by the recipient neuron's dendrites, and then cause the dopamine signal to travel down the line as far as it was intended to go. In the Jove, their neurons can't pick up dopamine anymore, so these nanites work as middle men.

In this case, when the neurons fire off the signal to release dopamine, instead of that, the electrical charge is picked up by the nanite-wires of the implant. This then runs to the implant's CPU to determine where the signal needs to go and at what strength. A "synthetic dopamine signal" is then sent back from the implant to the recipient neurons that would normally be taking in dopamine. The recipient nerve's dendrites receive a tiny electric shock that's pulsed in such a way that it mirrors the signal caused by dopamine being received. The end result: the circuit continues to work, and although some depression may persist, catatonia and death should not occur.

In short, with this implant, the Jove might need to live actively and seek emotional therapy, but other than that, it might wind up buying them more time, better health, and a chance at finding an actual, gene-therapy based cure for the disease.

Now, I did have a design in mind for this, but I don't have a CAD program to make this on my computer, and autodesk is expensive, so even though I've been taught how to use it in school, I can't make a blueprint for this. All I have is a wall of text (appologies). I know it's not much, but it's what I could manage to think up. I hope it helps, even if slightly.
Elmund Egivand
Sebestacny Circle
#2 - 2017-01-05 06:48:35 UTC
Considering that in Eve Online, gene splicing and gene therapy is common enough that the upper echelons of Federation society actually have designer babies with artificial traits that are in-fashion for that particular season, is there any reason why the Jovians haven't already figured out how to fix their dopamine deficiency problems? Does this genetic disease have one specific gene marker or are there multiple gene markers responsible for this disease?

A Minmatar warship is like a rusting Beetle with 500 horsepower Cardillac engines in the rear, armour plating bolted to chassis and a M2 Browning stuck on top.

Zerisi Madeveda
Pator Tech School
Minmatar Republic
#3 - 2017-01-05 07:28:27 UTC
Elmund Egivand wrote:
Considering that in Eve Online, gene splicing and gene therapy is common enough that the upper echelons of Federation society actually have designer babies with artificial traits that are in-fashion for that particular season, is there any reason why the Jovians haven't already figured out how to fix their dopamine deficiency problems? Does this genetic disease have one specific gene marker or are there multiple gene markers responsible for this disease?

We have no idea. Whatever the Jove know about their condition, they've not told anyone.

The only reason why I, from an RP perspective, can even claim that my toon, Zerisi, was part of coming up with the idea for the implant is because she was flying a Gnosis out of a wormhole whilst carrying a sleeper mainframe in the cargo hold. When she exited the wormhole, she leveled up in her biology skill (which actually did go on) and this triggered some latent information still stored in the Gnosis' data core.

The idea is this: Zerisi flew out through a wormhole whilst flying a Gnosis battlecruiser. On board, she was carrying some sleeper mainframes that she'd collected after fighting the notoriously difficult sleeper frigates, and also finishing up some studies on biology that she'd had her pod's CPU mulling over during the fighting. The shock of going through a wormhole, coupled with the sleeper data acquiring tech and her pod's computer's current focus on biology shocked the Gnosis' data core, and opened up a few remaining files on the Jovian Disease that still lingered around in the Gnosis' mainframe. An AI that Zerisi is familiar with (Galatea, who currently is plugged into the ship--it's a long story in on itself as to why Zerisi knows the AI from a sentient rogue drone) opened the file up, and they both learned information about the Jovian Disease. When Zerisi took this information back to her half-brother Eimar, they read over it, felt terrible that the Jove were dying off, and being Minmatar who love to build things and solve problems, took a crack at curing the Jovian Disease via a cybernetic implant, with the aid of Galatea's rogue drone nanites.

The characters, other than my toon, are going to be characters in a machinima I'm working on, Eimar is Zerisi's younger half brother, and Galatea is a sentient rogue drone they happen to have come across/befriended after a big fiasco involving the Amarrian Purity of the Throne faction. Other than that, I got the idea of how I could explain this, in an RP sense, from what really did happen when I exited a wormhole one night, in a Gnosis (a Jove ship), whilst carrying sleeper parts, and having my biology skill level up almost exactly as I went back into high-sec through the hole, but I digress.

To make a long story short, both OOC and IC I know what we all commonly know about the disease; the Jove have it, they're stuck with it, it's more or less their own fault they have it, the symptoms are depression, coma, and death, in that order, and that it's genetic-based. What genes, how they're broken, and so on, Zerisi, Eimar, and Galatea don't know, just like the rest of us, and to that end, they/I came up with a cybernetic work-around; if you can't fix the broken DNA, at least try to restore functionality to the neurons via a cybernetic "third-party" device.

IE: there's a pacemaker to help regulate a faulty heart, there's dialysis for faulty kidneys, and there's a hearing aid for faulty ears.

This is the same sort of thing, only it's an implant for neurons that have lost the ability to use dopamine properly.

So, as a pacemaker is to a faulty heart, this implant is to dopamine-faulty neurons.
Freedom Resources
#4 - 2017-01-06 18:31:31 UTC
If you are going to roleplay this, or create a story or machinima with that idea, one question might be how your characters even make contact with the Jove. To me, this would be the most interesting part whether you can set this up in a convincing manner.

The Jove of the Third Empire (the ones who were living in those northern regions of the cluster) "are indeed, for the most part, gone" (Matshi Raish in Inheritance) and nobody knows what the restriction "for the most part" and what "gone" exactly means. But I consider it as the definitive end of the Jove as an empire that, even though elusive and detached from the rest of the cluster, was helpful and had a minimum of interest towards the other empires. I believe this part of the storyline has come to an end and your characters might be too late to offer them any medical help.

Of course, the Sleepers are Jove as well (the "Inheritance" chronicle calls them the "Survivors of the Second (Jove) Empire"), but they are in a permanent state of panic and self-defense and seem to have little interest to get in touch with any of the empires, let alone capsuleers.

I could imagine that a story that isn't too much in conflict with the lore could play a bit in the past (when contact with members of the Third Empire was a more likely option, perhaps via the SoCT) and is about how your offer of medical help failed, either because the Jove rejected it for some reason or due to biological or technical issues that prevented the implants to work as expected.

Anyway, what you are writing is quite interesting and these are just my 2 cents!

BTW: About your search for voice actors (if you're still searching) you could try to contact Zendane who is recording readings of many of the EVE chronicle, for example also Inheritance together with a few other players as voice actors.