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And now for a Word (most chilling line)

So biologically, the Minbari species was never "diluted." But of course he did pass his genetics on, which is how the triluminary can pick up his descendants.

This must could mean that our DNA have similar characteristics. You see, the DNA is what instructs the construction of the cells in our bodies. If Valen had Minbari children with Catherine, both their DNA had to be transformed in the chrysalis as well, so that it would build a Minbari body. Perhaps the triluminary picked up on a specific genetic remnant (inactive DNA) that came from the Sinclair family? And that part had to be kept as it was. Thus, human and Minbary DNA had to have a certain degree of compatibility in the first place. :)
Exactly. There is no way we can combine our DNA with another species. It just doesn't work. I've never actually mated with a flower but I'm pretty confident that we would not produce a rosebush with a spleen (AND that I would be in dire need of a urologist afterwards). The whole idea of different species mating is extremely attractive but just not within the realm of science; more fantasy. If it were to happen, GKar'sEye is quite correct, Delen's DNA would have to be human. So that makes her essentially a human bonehead and the Grey Council's worries were founded.

As far as Franklin's worries about carying the baby to term, I expect his concerns had more to do with the shape of Delen's pelvis since by that time she was already pregnant and has proven that conception and implantation are possible and sustainable. I expect he worried about structural issues and the competency of her cervix, uterus, and pelvic outlet.
Yeah, deaded is the resident doctor. And I have nurse level physiology and anatomy, although just as an elective subject. :)

Glomerulus - tubulus proximalis - Henle's tubulus - tubulus distalis -- dum, dee dum.. :cool:

I think the thread just entered a new level of analysis. :p :LOL:

Or at least vocabulary. My theory is that all the sciences are pretty much the same concepts, except that they have each made up such rediculously abstract words of their own that no one can possibly confirm this. :LOL:

But back to the ballgame. Do we actually HAVE any evidence that Delenn is just a "human with a bone on her head"?? I mean, we don't have any direct evidence that ALL the internals are human, do we? There is some scant circumstantial evidence, like Sinclair having Minbari offspring, and Delenn, perhaps with difficulty, having human offspring.
I don't think we can say this though without SOME kind of direct evidence provided.
But back to the ballgame. Do we actually HAVE any evidence that Delenn is just a "human with a bone on her head"?? I mean, we don't have any direct evidence that ALL the internals are human, do we? There is some scant circumstantial evidence, like Sinclair having Minbari offspring, and Delenn, perhaps with difficulty, having human offspring.
I don't think we can say this though without SOME kind of direct evidence provided.

Well in one way, as we discussed above, being able to produce offspring with a human *is* direct evidence. Of course all that means is that the DNA in her ova were the same as a human's. It does not tell us about the rest of her body, specifically the brain which (in humans) does not lay down new nerve cells once adulthood is reached (though this theory is currently being questioned). Things like brain and bone that are laid down would not necessarily change while in the cocoon. This could be why she kept her bonehead. But cells that divide frequently such as skin, hair, organs would need to access the DNA and could have changed. So there could be many possibilities, two of which are 1) All her DNA has changed to human, or 2) Only the oocytes have human DNA and the rest of her is a hybrid. Another interesting concept here is this. When a woman is born she has all the oocytes "eggs" she will ever have her whole life. Men produce spermatocytes daily but women do not make new eggs. This is ONE reason it's harder to get pregnant after the age of 30-35; because the eggs are 30 years old and the chance that any given one will be damaged grows higher and higher (there are other reasons as well). Men produce viable sperm until they die or something happens to stop it. My point is that Delen was obviously not born with human eggs in her ovaries (if she even HAD ovaries) so these things had to be new and their creation induced by the triluminary. So maybe what the triluminary is doing is making .... oh crap... I don't know. Where's Dr. Franklin when you need him? My point is that since these cells don't divide then why are they now human? Hmmm. I guess it was too much to expect JMS to consult a geneticist.
This just brings to mind JMS's answer about how fast Starfuries travel. Yeah, it would be great if the B5 universe were consistent and always understandable with our present-day science, but this is science fiction, after all.
The cocoon can be considered a womb and to have similar properties. I suspect that insects create their eggs inside the cocoon because there is no advantage in caterpillars caring them.
Let's just settle for that the Minbari and humans probably had some commonality in their DNA from the get-go, because for the triluminary to react both to a Minbari and human relative of Sinclair, it either had to
- react to a part of the DNA that remained unchanged during the chrysalis transformation
- the chrysalis was designed with a double set of traces, one for humans and one for the Minbari. That way, even with a totally new DNA structure, it could react both to Valen and the children of Valen (Minbari DNA), and to Sinclairs human family (human DNA). They could do this by collecting a sample before Sinclair got into the chrysalis.
If the Chrysalis device contained a sufficiently powerful computer, it could even exhibit a degree of universality.
Imagine for example the following: :D

<Delenn tries various ways of activating the Chrysalis device. It responds to nothing, until...>

"I want to become Human."

"Your use of my services is approved. I have successfully located and evaluated your mind. We can now speak directly. I have successfully analyzed your genetic material, and positively identified your species (from among 582 microbial parasites also present with you). Please confirm if you look like this. Please note: we are 5 steps before the point of no return."

<Chrysalis device presents an image of a Minbari.>
<Delenn confirms that she is Minbari.>

"I can transform you into any species simpler than my manufacturer, provided their body is capable of sustaining your mind. Please introduce me to genetic material from your intended target species. Please note: we are 4 steps before the point of no return."

<Delenn presents it a sample of Human DNA.>

"I have analyzed the sample. I found intact genetic material from 67 species. Ontogenetic simulations indicate two species capable of sustaining your mind, both with minor adjustments. If you desire to proceed, please select one. Please note: we are 3 steps before the point of no return."

<Chrysalis device shows two images: human and dust mite (human with minor tweakings like a headbone, mite modified to develop a size of 1.5 meters).>
<Delenn selects the human.>

"Choice of target species confirmed. Your current environment sustains life after your transformation. To recover comfortably, you will require non-critical medical aid. To calculate an optimal path of tranformation, I will require your presence for 5 hours. Do you wish to proceed? Please note: we are 2 steps before the point of no return."

<Delenn confirms, and reads a book for 5 hours, while the Chrysalis device uses its zillion-teraflops CPU to try out countless facets of Human and Minbari ontogenesis.>

"I have completed my calculation. No errors were detected. For sustainable survival in your current environment, I need to immunize your new body against some diseases. To simplify your choice, I have categorized them into classes. Please choose which class of immunity you require. Please note: we are 1 step before the point of no return. The next step is final confirmation."

<Delenn picks immunity level B.>

"I can now transform you. The process will require 2 weeks. During your change, you can always speak with me. I can provide you following information about surrounding enviroment (extensive list of sensors plus Internet access :p ). I cannot protect you against external dangers, but if you absoluterly require, I can initiate my destruct-on-disassembly sequence, equivalent to 0.001 grams antimatter. Please make your choice."

<Delenn confirms.>
But Delen didn't know she would transform into a human. Or at least I assumed that when she asked Franklin, "What am I?" Of course that could have been rhetorical if she knew she was [only] part-human. Or she could have thought something went terribly wrong when she had these black leathery scales all over her.

Or am I spacing out and we know that she knew she was going human?

Either way, a 1.5 meter dust mite would have been one SERIOUS creature. Man, I'll bet that thing could take on a Shadow.

I love the blooper clip I got off the Downbelow Sound Archive of Londo/Peter Jurasik singing "Me And My Shadow." :D
I have a feeling sleepy is or would be a huge fan of CSI.

I don't think Delenn knew what she was gonna become from the Chrysalis. She just knew that she was fulfilling prophecy under the guidance of her Vorlon gods.