Anti-Black Panther Group Shut Down, Stan Lee is OK & More MCU NewsThe Future of Marvel’s Stars, Possible New Arrivals & More MCU News Stay on target As we get closer to Logan‘s release, we’ll surely start to see even more clues from the visual and cryptic filmmakers, who’ve been hinting at the film’s plot for months.So it’s unsurprising that director James Mangold tweeted a video Wednesday morning providing even more clues to what’s going to occur. In this one, we get more insight into Laura Kinney, or X-23’s, back story, which involves some grizzly experiments and, in typical R-rating fashion, a lot of blood.In the purposely grainy, NSFW video (also putting a trigger warning here for self-harm), we see Laura during experimentation, going through a surgical procedure that we can assume is what gives her the adamantium claws. There are machines hooked up that monitor cellular and tissue regeneration, which we see in action at the end of the clip as Laura slices her arm open, only to watch it heal instantly. …laura.mov pic.twitter.com/ZbcNiN8Jzl— Mangold (@mang0ld) February 15, 2017One of the more intriguing aspects of the clip comes right before she is ushered into her cell. Behind her, we see a couple of other test subjects roughly around the same age. This implies that Laura isn’t the only one being experimented on, although whether the other kids are a part of the same tests to replicate Wolverine or not can’t be determined. But it’s possible they’re a part of the same project. She is called “X-23” after all, meaning she’s the 23rd attempt to make a Wolverine clone.It’s doubtful this is a Weapon X facility, since by now in the timeline (the movie takes place around 2030), the project wouldn’t exist anymore. Efforts had been made to bring the project back throughout the films, but with no success.However, the project that resulted in X-23 has some of the Weapon X team, including some of the original members from the comics. This includes Dr. Zander Rice (played by Richard E. Grant), who is the scientist in charge. In the comics, his father was killed by Wolverine when he escaped from Weapon X, which greatly impacted how he treated Kinney. He poisoned her at a young age to awaken her mutation. During the adamantium binding process, he didn’t use anesthesia, putting her through great pain.We know that the process was inhumane, causing her mother to break her out of the facility, which leads into the events of Logan. The titular character, now more like Old Man Logan, is off taking care of an ailing Charles Xavier when he gets roped into a job to help his clone.It’s unclear if we’ll see the rest of what happens in the video in the film, or if it’s just supplemental material, but either way, we’re excited to see what they do with X-23’s story.Logan hits theaters on March 3.
Deoxyribonucleic acid is the ultimate multi-tool: forensic scientists exploit it to identify a perpetrator, geneticists rely on it to interpret evolutionary history, researchers employ it to store information.And soon, even trace amounts of DNA may be capable of envisioning an entire human face.DNA phenotyping—the process of reconstructing physical features from genetic data—is not exactly new.In 2010, forensic biology researchers Manfred Kayser and Susan Walsh developed IrisPlex, a system that uses six DNA markers to determine the shade of someone’s eyes; additional markers can now predict hair and skin color.A similarly cutting-edge program analyzed the genome of the UK’s oldest complete human skeleton (nicknamed “Cheddar Man”); results suggest the Briton from 10,000 years ago had dark brown skin and blue eyes.But while machine learning techniques have helped advance DNA phenotyping, “the extent of our current capabilities is still hotly debated,” University of Queensland research fellows Caitlin Curtis and James Hereward wrote in a recent article for The Conversation.Companies like 23andMe, which sell direct-to-consumer DNA testing kits, sometimes share genetic data that has been “anonymized” by removing subjects’ names.But, as Curtis and Hereward pointed out: You don’t need a name when you can simply predict the face of the genome’s owner.“Despite the controversy around what we can do now, the science of DNA phenotyping is only going to get better,” the authors said.“What the rapidly developing field of DNA phenotyping shows us is how much personal information is in our genetic data,” they continued. “If you can reconstruct a mugshot from genetic data, then removing the owner’s name won’t prevent re-identification.”Virginia-based Parabon NanoLabs’ Snapshot DNA Phenotyping Service, for instance, creates composite sketches based on DNA samples. Based on a predictive model, the company claims it’s able to infer skin, eye, and hair color, freckles, ancestry, and face shape from a single specimen.Without open-source code or a peer-reviewed methodology, however, Parabon’s system has been subject to concerns about bias, error, and abuse.“As with any type of DNA evidence, there is a risk of miscarriages of justice, especially if the evidence is used in isolation,” the authors said. “The utility of DNA phenotyping at this point may be more in its exclusionary power than its predictive power.”Look no further than identical twins to see how much of our face is in our DNA; a pair of look-alike siblings share the same genetic code that establishes eye and skin color, among other traits.In the future, protecting the privacy of our genetic code—much like our online data—will require innovative actions: Curtis and Hereward tipped methods like genome cloaking, genome spiking, or encryption.“The more we understand about our genetic code the more difficult it will become to protect the privacy of our genetic data,” they added. Stay on target Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. We Now Know the DNA of GuacamoleDNA From Tooth Solves Shark Bite Mystery, 25 Years Later