Chapter 120: Cas9
Through years of comparative research, Su Hao summarized the patterns in the gene sequences of ordinary Zhu Hua people and mutants. When all the genes are arranged in order on the same chain, it’s easy to compare the genetic differences between mutants and ordinary people. Su Hao found the mutants’ differences through this method. Mutants have more gene segments than ordinary people, with varying lengths, located in different positions.
To make a simple analogy, consider an ordinary person’s gene as a sentence like “I eat.” This sentence includes the “subject-verb-object” parts, making it complete and clear in meaning. Mutants’ genes, on the other hand, insert additional modifiers into this sentence, making it more powerful and targeted, like “My mom called me to come home and eat.” This enhanced sentence is categorized as “Tier 1,” representing the first-level mutant genes.
Continuing to add vocabulary to this sentence can result in “My mom called me to bring my girlfriend to my grandmother’s house to eat,” which is undoubtedly “Tier 3.” Su Hao observed genes in a similar way; ordinary people’s genes form the foundation, and by inserting specific segments, they achieve a unique expression, which is the source of mutants’ special abilities.
By comparing the genes of pre-evolution and post-evolution in Yashan, Su Hao further confirmed this. He knew that in this world, there’s a method for organisms to edit their genes according to specific rules, much like the mythical Anunnaki’s tool for creating humans.
So, how do they complete this gene modification process? Su Hao found the answer to this. Because of this discovery, he was excited and filled with a sense of joy on a spiritual level. What did Su Hao discover? This crucial finding was made through extensive comparisons of the genes of Zhu Hua people and the genes of past generations of ordinary humans.
It’s not that complex. Zhu Hua people’s genes are more similar to bacterial genes than those of large animals. Where is the difference? To understand this difference, one needs to know what distinguishes bacterial genes from those of typical animals.
Everyone knows a common fact: when a virus invades a human body, white blood cells in the body will actively identify and eliminate these viruses. However, the ocean is home to numerous bacteria and bacteriophages, and since ancient times, the ongoing war between bacteria and bacteriophages has never ceased. Inside these bacteria, there are no white blood cells to fight off bacteriophages. So how do bacteria defend against bacteriophages? The answer lies in bacterial DNA.
Bacteria have two specific DNA segments. One is used to record gene fragments of viruses, which can be called the database. The other is used to produce weapons, which can be called the arsenal. When a bacteriophage invades a cell, the arsenal produces a scissor-like tool, which can be called ‘Scissor 1.’ Scissor 1 cuts a fragment of the bacteriophage’s DNA and records it in the DNA database.
At this point, the arsenal begins mass-producing ‘Scissor 2,’ which accesses the genetic information of the bacteriophage from the database. Scissor 2, now carrying the virus’s information, transforms into a deadly weapon known as Cas9. Cas9 actively locates the bacteriophage’s DNA, and when it finds a matching gene fragment, it immediately cuts the bacteriophage’s DNA, effectively killing it. It’s as simple as that.
Su Hao discovered that the genes of Zhu Hua people in this world surprisingly had similarities to bacterial genes. These Zhu Hua genes contain sequences resembling a ‘database’ and ‘arsenal,’ and they also have an additional switch-like ‘controller.’
In other words, the secret of this world’s predatory evolution lies within these unique gene sequences. This discovery opened up a whole new world for Su Hao. Suddenly, he realized he could truly master the art of gene modification. All he needed was to control the synthesis of Cas9.
Can Cas9 be artificially synthesized? The answer is yes! Cas9 can indeed be artificially synthesized, but Su Hao’s current conditions don’t allow it. However, he is not discouraged and believes that in the future, he will find a solution to this issue.
Why is Cas9 so important? It’s like the cursor on a computer screen; with it, you can freely edit and modify a document. Without control over the cursor, editing becomes impossible.
Genes work similarly. With Cas9 as the cursor, you gain the ability to modify genes at will. “To fully uncover the secrets of evolution, I need to personally go through a round of evolution and collect data,” Su Hao said, prepared for this.
And he chose the same sequence as Yashan, the ‘Shenjia people’ sequence. This sequence would allow him to maximize the power of runes. As for acquiring other abilities in the future? It’s simple; as long as his genetic research makes a breakthrough, it won’t be a significant problem.
Time quickly passed while Su Hao was engrossed in his research. A year had gone by, and Su Hao was now ten years old. He walked through the city, feeling unusually joyful.
The population of Temple Forest City had surged due to people from other cities seeking refuge there. Once they arrived in Temple Forest City, they genuinely loved the city’s tranquility and harmony. All thanks to Yashan’s ‘Temple Forest Association.’
The ‘Temple Forest Association’ had now grown into a gang of more than twenty members, all of whom were second-tier or higher mutants. They handled common disputes during the day and turned into mutant ‘patrols’ at night, apprehending mutants who violated the rules, giving them a beating, and forcing them to recite the ‘two core principles and three rules.’
Now, the ‘two core principles and three rules’ were no longer as simple as they used to be. It had been expanded to include many more regulations, totaling several hundred words. Everyone despised memorizing the ‘two core principles and three rules,’ and whenever they saw members of the ‘Temple Forest Association,’ they avoided them. It had become an unspoken rule: don’t mess with them.
After some time, very few dared to cause trouble. Following Su Hao’s suggestion, Yashan had turned Temple Forest City’s rules into slogans, and they hung throughout the city’s streets and alleys. Anyone who opened their eyes could see the large characters.
“Core principle: To create a harmonious and prosperous Temple Forest City together.”
“Core principle: To ensure the well-being and happiness of ordinary people in Temple Forest City.”
Even ordinary people, after seeing these slogans so often, could recite a couple of lines. “Boss Wei!” “Hello, Boss Wei!” “Good morning, Boss Wei!” Almost everyone greeted Su Hao, who had truly become the boss of Temple Forest City. Su Hao smiled and nodded, “Well done, well done!”
(End of this chapter)