Biologist claims to have studied alien bodies (EBOs - Exo-Biospheric-Organisms)

I hear what you're saying here and I respect it, but what we have here in this post is all circumstantial and the only thing even close to something we can talk about and discuss as a claim is the biological description of the EBE. That's what we do here. I would bet that very few of us on MB are aeronautical engineers, but we talk about claims involving those concepts. If we can't speculate on what's possible because we aren't biologists, then why can't we throw out this whole Reddit post because some anonymous stranger made? Just because he claims that he was a biologist doesn't mean he is one.
Perhaps you're right. I just think it carries very little weight to speculate on things that humans have not yet studied. We (humans) understand biology very well... but only biology on Earth. Earth is just one sample size.
 
Maybe their planet is very cold and they need "pee" to warm them... who knows.
I just think it carries very little weight to speculate on things that humans have not yet studied. We (humans) understand biology very well... but only biology on Earth.
Why do you speculate, then?

Thermoregulation via sweat has been studied, the physics of it are known and apply anywhere in the universe. These same physics say "pee to warm yourself" is impossible—you need actual energy input to achieve that, not just a transfer of heat from inside to outside (which is easier and better achieved by regulating blood circulation).

The claim that the pee pores are for thermoregulation is actually in the reddit post, claimed as an analytical result from those clandestine exobiologists. And it's as @beakflip wrote, pore peeing when they're cold makes them colder, so that wouldn't work. As a result of design, it makes no sense. In no conceivable world. Because physics.

I'd go even further:
. It is assumed that, given the high metabolic needs of their brains, this food would have a high carbohydrate concentration. In order to meet other metabolic needs, there must also be a high protein content in the food consumed. These two statements are supported by the type of enzyme secreted by the digestive organ. It is therefore speculated that the food consumed is a sort of broth rich in sugar and protein, which probably also has a high copper content.
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As there is no urea cycle, the ammonia concentration at the exit of the hepatorenal organ is very high. This ammonia is carried to the pores and gives the distinct odor I mentioned earlier.
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Compare:
Article:
The primary excretory product arising naturally in the animal body is ammonia, derived almost entirely from the proteins of the ingested food. In the process of digestion proteins are broken down into their constituent amino acids. Some of the amino-acid pool is then used by the animal to build up its own proteins, but a great deal is used as a source of energy to drive other vital processes. The first step in the mobilization of amino acids for energy production is deamination, the splitting off of ammonia from the amino-acid molecule. The remainder is oxidized to carbon dioxide and water, with the concomitant production of the energy-rich molecules of adenosine triphosphate (ATP; see metabolism).

Since excessive levels of ammonia are highly toxic to most animals, they must be effectively eliminated. This is no problem in small aquatic animals because ammonia rapidly diffuses, is highly soluble in water, and escapes easily into the external medium before its concentration in the body fluids can reach a dangerous level. But in terrestrial animals, and in some of the larger aquatic animals, ammonia is converted into some less harmful compounds (detoxication). In mammals, including humans, it is detoxified to urea, which may be considered as being formed by the condensation of one molecule of carbon dioxide with two molecules of ammonia (though the biochemistry of the process is more complex than that). Urea is highly soluble in water but cannot be excreted in a highly concentrated solution because of the osmotic pressure (see below) it would exert.

For the same reson, highly concentrated ammonia cannot be excreted through a capillary system with a comparatively large surface area: the "nutrient broth" must be diluted because the pee must be dilute.This means the aliens must drink even more than humans, as we have a solid waste excretion system that saves water.
Whoever wrote that analysis was producing bunk.

Undigestible food components (such as fiber) accumulate in the alien's body as there is no way to excrete them. Another huge design problem. Too much kale smoothie could possibly kill them by clogging the digestive tract.

This is a direct consequence of the claims in the post. No speculation needed.
 
Perhaps you're right. I just think it carries very little weight to speculate on things that humans have not yet studied. We (humans) understand biology very well... but only biology on Earth. Earth is just one sample size.
I guess I am confused about the point of this post, then. You presented a community of detail-oriented science nerds with an anonymous post on a UFO enthusiast subforum of Reddit, where people go viral all the time for disclosing knowledge of alien contact. There isn't a specific claim of evidence (but to be honest, lots of our threads don't have that these days--even my aforementioned post on the Riviere-Rouge alien isn't super specific, but there is evidence to examine). There's no way we can actually look into the person who is making this claim because they're anonymous. All we can go off of is what the poster claims about the alien body he supposedly looked at, using the scientific data we can find. That scientific data is going to be based on the biological systems we are used to on Earth. If that, too, is not applicable regarding aliens, then why bother taking this Reddit guy's views at any kind of face value? Even assuming this is a true story, he would also be comparing his earth-based biological knowledge to alien lifeforms and he'd be just as likely to not understand their biology as we are here.
 
@fizzBuzz But what is described is the biology of earth. Engineered humanoids. Almost the same machinery, slightly different code. He even goes as far as to say that the codons are compatible, they just result in different proteins than what the same sequence would produce in our ribosomes. And there are also basic facts about reality that even exotic biology would have to conform to. Thermal regulation and excretion of metabolic byproducts just don't go together... Too hot? Sweat away. Too cold? You can't sweat, therefore you likely die. Evolutionarily, that's just an extremely high cost for peeing, when you can just dump the load, and as a "superior design", that's just a stupid choice to make...
According to Wikipedia Ammonia is a highly toxic compound for living organisms (and this is relevant since he links their biology to ours) ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urea_cycle ... Just the fact that the organism has worse ability to buffer the ammonia (as he said it doesn't go through the urea cycle as well, hence the smell) means that the designer would be a chump.
 
but imagine aliens were really visiting Earth
"Imagining aliens" is for science fiction. Speculating about things that are known to be true according to the known laws of physics, chemistry, and terrestrial biology, however, is a thing well within our power to do. Metabunk, by the way, is home to physicists, chemists, and biologists as well as non-scientists.
 
I guess I am confused about the point of this post, then. You presented a community of detail-oriented science nerds with an anonymous post on a UFO enthusiast subforum of Reddit, where people go viral all the time for disclosing knowledge of alien contact. There isn't a specific claim of evidence (but to be honest, lots of our threads don't have that these days--even my aforementioned post on the Riviere-Rouge alien isn't super specific, but there is evidence to examine). There's no way we can actually look into the person who is making this claim because they're anonymous. All we can go off of is what the poster claims about the alien body he supposedly looked at, using the scientific data we can find. That scientific data is going to be based on the biological systems we are used to on Earth. If that, too, is not applicable regarding aliens, then why bother taking this Reddit guy's views at any kind of face value? Even assuming this is a true story, he would also be comparing his earth-based biological knowledge to alien lifeforms and he'd be just as likely to not understand their biology as we are here.
I've stated this multiple times - I posted this in case people were interested in the read. That's all. And it has been buzzing on Twitter by some of the prominent figures in this space.

I've even reached out to Mick to move this thread to another forum is it's better suited there.
 
But what is described is the biology of earth. Engineered humanoids. Almost the same machinery, slightly different code. He even goes as far as to say that the codons are compatible, they just result in different proteins than what the same sequence would produce in our ribosomes.
The way I read anonymous' post was that it was assumed the aliens were biologically altered so that they could survive on Earth. Not in those exact words, of course. Anonymous said they couldn't confirm that the aliens were engineered but it seemed that way because of the uniformity of their genes (and other things).
 
And myself, a non-scientist, would never claim to say something is impossible within some discipline of science
But there are times when you must rely upon people who DO know the science, just as you call upon a dentist, a plumber, or an automotive mechanic to fix things that may be outside your field. If you get an explanation of a law of physics and how it applies to something unknown, accept it as coming from someone who knows that law to start with. Trust me, when someone here gets it wrong, there are always experts who will correct them. It's a learning experience.
 
But there are times when you must rely upon people who DO know the science, just as you call upon a dentist, a plumber, or an automotive mechanic to fix things that may be outside your field. If you get an explanation of a law of physics and how it applies to something unknown, accept it as coming from someone who knows that law to start with. Trust me, when someone here gets it wrong, there are always experts who will correct them. It's a learning experience.
I respect any expert's opinion on this, because it's better than what I can add. I just don't (and won't) accept anyone saying that some detail about an alien biology is impossible. That seems like a silly, non-scientific thing to say.

I could be mistaken... Do scientists say things like "that's impossible" about things they've never studied? Because I equate that to Garry Nolan saying he is "100% certain" that we have alien craft based on anecdotal evidence. The level of certainty just seems absurd to me.
 
Do scientists say things like "that's impossible" about things they've never studied? Because I equate that to Garry Nolan saying he is "100% certain" that we have alien craft based on anecdotal evidence. The level of certainty just seems absurd to me.
Let me propose an analogy -- admittedly analogies are not perfect, but maybe it will be helpful in this conversation.

Assume an Alien Expert anonymously posting on some UFO forum, making a set of claims about aliens he claims to have seen and studied. Among the claims is that "they are powered by internal, biologically based 'over-unity' energy devices," living perpetual motion machines! Without knowing anything about biology at all, especially alien biology which so far is a study without a subject, I can state with certainty that this cannot be correct. We don't know everything, but we DO know some things, and among those things is that over-unity machines can't exist.

UFO or Alien (or anything else) claims that cannot be correct, which are ruled out because of things we DO know, can be confidently set aside as wrong. Whether by misunderstanding or misreporting in the claim, or because it is all a fake story created for anonymous notoriety on the Internet, or for some reason I'm not thinking of at the moment, they are not true statements.
 
The way I read anonymous' post was that it was assumed the aliens were biologically altered so that they could survive on Earth. Not in those exact words, of course. Anonymous said they couldn't confirm that the aliens were engineered but it seemed that way because of the uniformity of their genes (and other things).

You would not need to have Earth-like biology to visit Earth. The fact that our DNA machinery is essentially the same as theirs means that
1) there is a common ancestor between our species and theirs, post eukaryotes (he said that they had mitochondria as well, though for no reason whatsoever they just didn't study their genome) and close enough to hominids to be anthropomorphic, that never showed up on the fossil or historic records and they eventually went on to colonize exoplanets (how?)
2) They independently emerged from the "primordial soup" in some faraway solar system and evolved this way... not just the same DNA machinery, but also humanoid (both anatomically and physiologically)
3) They were engineered by themselves or a third party, but with fatal flaws, the kinds that even average Joes such as myself can identify...

Am I missing another option here? There is no hard requirement to have THE DNA machinery to survive in Earth's atmosphere and there are serious disadvantages to tweaking yourself such that you do have it and are now vulnerable to all the pathogens on Earth (War of the Worlds, anybody?), when you are expected to have a technological solution to any hurdle, given that you are advanced enough to routinely travel the mind boggling vastness of the galaxy.

... Then again, their ships supposedly crash down all the time, so maybe they aren't smart enough not to pee through their armpits...
 
I just don't (and won't) accept anyone saying that some detail about an alien biology is impossible. That seems like a silly, non-scientific thing to say.
But the quote you give from @Mendel has to do with earthly physics, not "alien biology". Earthly chemistry tells us that carbon-based life is by far the most likely, with a very few other forms possible. Earthly biology tells us that the mechanics of ingesting a fuel source and excreting waste products must be dealt with by any organism of whatever type of alien. Earthly physics tells us that any object whizzing through our atmosphere at extremely high speeds must leave a heat signal.

"Alien biology" (or its cousin, "alien technology") simply isn't a magic wand we can wave to make science go away.
 
don't you think their biology, culture, technology, etc. would all sound like fiction to us even though it would be true?
No. If we were allowed to study any of these aspects, it would sound like science. ( :D ! )

Clear images and other recordings would be taken, in multiple, and copies made immediately for safe storage .

Every artefact, every scrap and trace that they allowed us would be examined and measured in every conceivable way, many times.
If we had samples that were redundant- say, two panels of a novel material that they'd assured us were identical- one would eventually be tested to destruction. Even items of seemingly the most mundane nature would be studied, photographed and described to an extent rarely undertaken before. Our findings would be internally consistent *.
Vast amounts of data would be generated, most of it of little interest to most people.

*Unless we receive an artefact that behaves inconsistently and which we have no explanation for- maybe we should return it.
 
Obviously it sounds like fiction and sci-fi, but imagine aliens were really visiting Earth and they were real... don't you think their biology, culture, technology, etc. would all sound like fiction to us even though it would be true?
I'm genuinely asking this, not trying to be rude or sarcastic, I promise, but have you just been paraphrasing Clarke's 3 laws this whole time? From Wikipedia:
British science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke formulated three adages that are known as Clarke's three laws, of which the third law is the best known and most widely cited. They are part of his ideas in his extensive writings about the future.[1]

The laws are:

1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
 
No. If we were allowed to study any of these aspects, it would sound like science. ( :D ! )
Maybe I should use an example. If aliens landed here from some distant star and were friendly and could communicate with us somehow, I would imagine we would ask them "how did you get here?"... Whatever their answer was, and you can make one up, it would sound like sci-fi to us. It would include some type of technology/method/whatever that we've never discovered that's probably many years more advanced than we understand.

This is all I mean. Which, fittingly, can be found within Arthur C Clarke's three laws that I just learned - #3 Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
 
Do scientists say things like "that's impossible" about things they've never studied? Because I equate that to Garry Nolan saying he is "100% certain" that we have alien craft based on anecdotal evidence. The level of certainty just seems absurd to me.
You misunderstand what it means to have studied something.

Imagine a geologist finds a new type of rock (perhaps on Mars?). Would this geologist be in any way uncertain about the fact that if he places 2 rocks in a box, and then another 2 rocks, that there are going to be 4 rocks in that box? and that their combined weights will add up? She won't be, because this type of knowledge pertains to enumerable mathematical sets, and to persistence of mass, and it is obvious that this existing, extremely well-establshed knowledge applies as soon as the rocks are identified as rocks.

Similarly, there's a huge body of knowledge that applies as soon as the EBOs are identified as carbon-based life-forms comprised largely of known cell and tissue types. You are trying to label that knowledge as out of bounds, but it's not. With the caveat that the reddit post is likely fictional, it claims there is enough knowledge about these aliens that it takes a PhD biologist weeks to assimilate, so the facts the post relates are considered authoritative, and as with the Mars rocks, well established existing knowledge that we have can be applied to them.



You also do not understand what "anecdotal evidence" means. I am 100% certain that the Eiffel Tower exists, based on anecdotal evidence, including my own. Nobody has systematically searched the Earth for Eiffel Towers. There hasn't been a controlled study, nor a laboratory experiment, to confirm that the statement is true.

The actual reason why Nolan's confidence is misplaced is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and hearsay doesn't rise to that level.

If we claimed that the aliens from that reddit post exist, based on that post, that would be misplaced confidence. But that's different from hypothetically assuming that the post is true, and then applying established knowledge to it. (It's kinda like arguing about the physics of Star Trek: we know that Star Trek is fictional, but physics is not, and can therefore be applied.)
 
Maybe I should use an example. If aliens landed here from some distant star and were friendly and could communicate with us somehow, I would imagine we would ask them "how did you get here?"... Whatever their answer was, and you can make one up, it would sound like sci-fi to us. It would include some type of technology/method/whatever that we've never discovered that's probably many years more advanced than we understand.

This is all I mean. Which, fittingly, can be found within Arthur C Clarke's three laws that I just learned - #3 Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
But that's not the situation we're discussing.

The situation laid out in the reddit post is that scientists have studied "the answer" for years, and found they're familiar with most of it.
 
Maybe I should use an example. If aliens landed here from some distant star and were friendly and could communicate with us somehow, I would imagine we would ask them "how did you get here?"... Whatever their answer was, and you can make one up, it would sound like sci-fi to us. It would include some type of technology/method/whatever that we've never discovered that's probably many years more advanced than we understand.

This is all I mean. Which, fittingly, can be found within Arthur C Clarke's three laws that I just learned - #3 Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

I think Mendal answered this pretty well:

The situation laid out in the reddit post is that scientists have studied "the answer" for years, and found they're familiar with most of it.

There is no mention of how the aliens got here or their technology, so there is nothing to discuss about it.

Likewise, there is no "sufficiently advanced technology" that appears "magical" in what is described in the OP. In many was what is described is rather mundane: A carbon-based life form that uses the DNA molecule to encode its form and function. Just like every living thing on earth.

The only thing "alien" about the described entity is the claim that it's alien and its resemblances to the now standard "Grey" alien of UFOlogy and popular culture. One could argue that, giving it's almost complete likeness in underlying structure to every other living creature on earth, it's just as likely the result of an unknown and advanced terrestrial genetic engineering program.

This was the strange idea set forth in Annie Jacobson's Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base. In it, she suggests the Nazi's had "bread" or genetically engineered grotesque miniature humans to fly the Luftwaffe's equally miniature secret flying saucers.

Additionally, since Anonymous has described what is essentially a carbon-based life form that uses DNA and presumably extracts ATP (adenosine triphosphate) from food sources for energy, then discussions about how inefficient it's digestive and excretory functions are fair game. If it were truly alien and maybe silicon based with a unique genetic encoding process and used something different from ATP for energy, then maybe "it's alien and we don't understand it" argument mighty work.

But that's not what is described. What is described is basically a terrestrial entity with some unique DNA sequences and modified terrestrial organs that appears to operate like all other terrestrial entities. Just not as well.
 
presumably extracts ATP (adenosine triphosphate) from food sources for energy,
that's confirmed, quote:
It should be noted that the proportion of type 1 and type 2 muscle fibers is different from that in a human. Indeed, type 1 outnumbers type 2 by about a factor of 10.
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This says their muscle fibers are of the same type as ours.

Compare:
Article:
Two criteria to consider when classifying the types of muscle fibers are how fast some fibers contract relative to others, and how fibers produce ATP. Using these criteria, there are three main types of skeletal muscle fibers. Slow oxidative (SO) fibers contract relatively slowly and use aerobic respiration (oxygen and glucose) to produce ATP. Fast oxidative (FO) fibers have fast contractions and primarily use aerobic respiration, but because they may switch to anaerobic respiration (glycolysis), can fatigue more quickly than SO fibers. Lastly, fast glycolytic (FG) fibers have fast contractions and primarily use anaerobic glycolysis. The FG fibers fatigue more quickly than the others. Most skeletal muscles in a human contain(s) all three types, although in varying proportions.

So that's identical but for the proportion of the fiber types: ATP confirmed.

Edit: There's also a known possible reason for this proportion difference:
Article:
Analysis of rats exposed to microgravity initially led researchers to believe that spaceflight degraded slow-twitch fibers more rapidly than fast-twitch fibers, but more recent human studies indicate that both types of muscle fibers undergo significant atrophy.

Surprisingly, spaceflight alters the balance of fast- and slow-twitch fibers. "Not only is there a change in the amount of protein synthesized but also the type synthesized," says Fitts. "During extended flights, about 15 to 20 percent of slow-twitch muscle fibers become fast-twitch fibers."
This means it's not "something surprising we learn from the aliens", but rather an existing public research result.
 
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He even goes as far as to say that the codons are compatible, they just result in different proteins than what the same sequence would produce in our ribosomes.
Well, in that case they are not compatible. If the codons produce different proteins, then the genetic information carried by the DNA would be totally different. The coding within the DNA needs to be translated into proteins in order to construct a living cell, and if the codons are different then there is no overlap in data. It is like trying to decode one encrypted message using a different key - it can't be done.
 
The coding within the DNA needs to be translated into proteins in order to construct a living cell, and if the codons are different then there is no overlap in data.
We need to stop thinking of DNA as a "code", when it is really a template. Codes can be redefined ("retranslated") to produce a different result; templates cannot. It's a shame that the word "code" was applied to it right from its discovery. It's a thing that many people don't comprehend. (Not meaning you, of course! :) )
 
As well as the so-called 'standard code', there are at least 15 other codes, which are incompatible with each other (but which are all variations of the standard code'.
While there is much commonality, different parts of the tree of life use slightly different genetic codes.[1] When translating from genome to protein, the use of the correct genetic code is essential.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_genetic_codes

I'd expect an alien biosphere to have a completely unrelated code, or (if the organisms concerned shared a common ancestor with Earth life, as implied in that Reddit post) then they could have a variant code that was recognisably related to ours. What I can't imagine is a situation where 'the codons are compatible, they just result in different proteins than what the same sequence would produce in our ribosomes'. That seems to be a contradiction in terms.
 
From the original text: "Their genetics are not only based on the same genetic system, but they’re also even compatible with our own cellular machinery. This means that you can take a human gene and insert it into an EBO cell, and that gene will be translated into protein, and this of course works in reverse with a human gene inserted into an EBO cell. There are important differences in post-translational modifications that will make the final protein non-functional, but I'll discuss these later"

What I had in mind is compatibility with the machinery, such that translation even happens. Saying "different protein" was a mistake on my part, though, as it's not quite the same thing as "non-functional protein". Too bad that he never goes back to further discuss the genetics in more detail.
 
What I had in mind is compatibility with the machinery, such that translation even happens. Saying "different protein" was a mistake on my part, though, as it's not quite the same thing as "non-functional protein". Too bad that he never goes back to further discuss the genetics in more detail.
How would they even determine that a protein is nonfunctional if all they have is dead bodies?
Article:
Dunker et al. [3] have shown that specific functions can be assigned to 98 out of 115 disordered regions described in the literature. The remaining 17 have no known function. They also point out that proving ruling out a particular function does not rule out all functions for a given protein or disordered region, whether they be specific, conditional or general. Similarly Zuckerkandl [22] suggests that a stretch of DNA that is non-functional on one level may be functional on another or in conjunction with an apparently unrelated set of cellular components (that is, it may have conditional functions). The same arguments can be applied to proteins. Of course, simply because we are ignorant of a function does not mean that they are non-functional.

At best, they could have determined that some proteins do not have the same function.
It's an obvious conjecture that if you insert a foreign gene into the genome, the protein it produces is unlikely to have a function in that organism, but it's by no means a certainty, especially with so many similarities.
 
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"Biologist claims......"......

That's the problem with the entire UFO field these days. Claims, and more claims, eyewitness reports, blurry videos, yada yada.

When do we finally get to see an unmistakable alien craft close up enough to see the rivets on the damned thing ? I am fast losing interest in the entire topic until that moment arrives.
 
Some thoughts on the "EBO" Reddit post.

Quotes are from the Reddit post brought to our attention by fizzbomb, link here, unless otherwise stated.

The author and their workplace

The author of the EBO post says,
I believe that every human being has the right to know the truth, and that to progress, humanity needs to divest itself of certain institutions and organizations that will probably not survive these revelations in the long term.
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The author has a political motivation. Even if these are the words of a fictitious narrator (which I very much believe to be the case), I think it's worth considering that these are the actual beliefs of the author.

...to protect my anonymity, I will be purposely vague or even contradictory about any information that could identify me
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...so we should disregard anything said about the author's background, recruitment or work location. So why did they include it?
Well, it adds to the narrative, and maybe the author thinks it adds to their credibility. But they've told us it might not be true.
This gives the author some up-front protection against facts that might disprove their story, e.g. in the (admittedly unlikely) event Fort Detrick published a thorough site plan that didn't show basement laboratories in the timeframe mentioned.

The clandestine operations are carried out in a restricted part of the basement, out of sight from regular workers.
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Is their canteen there as well, or do they eat with the other staff? How do the 25 or so staff, plus contracted security, get in or out of their workplace, over several years, without some interaction with other Fort Detrick personnel?

...there were security guards working for one subcontractor or another.
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...Who were presumably visible to other Fort Detrick staff, at least when arriving or departing. Over a period of several years.
Fort Detrick will have had military personnel providing security, they would need to be aware of the contractors if only to know not to challenge them.
I'm not American, but I'd be confident that there are US military units that could provide protection better than any contractor, plus you have the security benefits of keeping the operation "in house" (and with personnel subject to military law).

Genetics

Their genetics are like ours, based on DNA.
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The author states that this might be because
...our biosphere and theirs share a common ancestry
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and seems to run with that hypothesis.

Terrestrial life emerged relatively soon after the cooling of Earth's crust, and is DNA-based. Ann K must be correct when she says
Earthly chemistry tells us that carbon-based life is by far the most likely
Maybe DNA was the molecule most likely to emerge as a gene conveyor on the young Earth. From our biosphere we've never identified an alternative (excepting, arguably, RNA in some viruses). If so, we might expect a similar outcome on a planet with similar chemistry and similar conditions. We don't know enough about abiogenesis to rule out the separate emergence of DNA-based life on different planets.

EBO geneticists can insert or remove a gene from a cell in a way that is far more targeted and efficient than our technology allows.
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Hasn't the author heard about CRISPR?
By delivering the Cas9 nuclease complexed with a synthetic guide RNA (gRNA) into a cell, the cell's genome can be cut at a desired location, allowing existing genes to be removed and/or new ones added in vivo.[1]
The technique is considered highly significant in biotechnology and medicine as it enables editing genomes in vivo very precisely, cheaply, and easily.
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Wikipedia, CRISPR gene editing, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CRISPR_gene_editing


To my knowledge only one individual genome has been sequenced
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Their genetics are not only based on the same genetic system, but they’re also even compatible with our own cellular machinery. This means that you can take a human gene and insert it into an EBO cell, and that gene will be translated into protein, and this of course works in reverse with a human gene inserted into an EBO cell.
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There are also many genes which are not found in our biosphere whose role has not been identified.
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(1) Re. that last line: So how do we know they're "compatible with our own cellular machinery"?
(2) This team have identified, or have access to, a checkable database of every gene in our biosphere? Nonsense.
(3) The second line (above) ignores the rather important fact that not all genes are protein-coding
(although this was once part of the definition of a gene in many settings, and is sometimes said in introductions to genetics):

However, many genes are noncoding: the HGP’s original paper, in 2001, acknowledged that “thousands of human genes produce noncoding RNAs as their ultimate product,” although the paper itself reported just 706 noncoding RNA genes [2].
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"How many genes do we have?", Salzburg, S.L., 2018, BMC Biology 16. (HGP= Human Genome Project).
https://bmcbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12915-018-0564-x

Finding the purpose of these novel genes is one of the aims of the program.
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Considering the difficulty in finding the "purpose" of individual genes in humans, when we have countless (living!) potential subjects, and the fact that the author's team were apparently unaware that some genes are not protein-coding, well, "good luck with that" as they say.
The fact that the team only genome-sequenced one (dead) individual, even though they had access to others, will render the task of finding "...the purpose of these novel genes" effectively impossible.
Mendel anticipated "the next bit",
How would they even determine that a protein is nonfunctional if all they have is dead bodies?

Even if we take "gene" to mean a protein-coding gene, finding what protein a gene encodes for does not necessarily show the role(s) of that gene (or protein) in a living body.
The functions of some genes are known only because living people (or animals) with unusual behaviours (in the broadest sense) have been found to have altered or missing copies of a particular gene. FOXP2 was found to be important for speech after genetic analysis was performed on members of the "KE family", a British family in which several members had severe speech impediments. The language role of FOXP2 could not be found by studying cadavers.
Initially identified in 1998 as the genetic cause of a speech disorder in a British family designated the KE family, FOXP2 was the first gene discovered to be associated with speech and language...
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Wikipedia, FoxP2, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FOXP2

Digestion, thermoregulation, etc.

I think metabunker Mendel provided a useful and accurate critique of the "EBOs" nutritional, excretory and thermoregulatory functions, available on his post which I've selectively quoted below;
Whoever wrote that analysis was producing bunk.
Because physics.
Beakflip also deals with these topics, concluding
the designer would be a chump.

The only thing I can add is that human patients dependent on total parenteral nutrition (TPN), where all nutrition is received via a central venous line directly into the bloodstream, do indeed continue to defecate some solid(-ish) material
(Link to viewable PDF), Patient information factsheet Parenteral nutrition, University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust.

We don't know if the most recent common ancestor of all terrestrial bilaterians had a blind digestive tract (i.e. no anus) or not, see Wikipedia, Urbilaterian https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbilaterian, but the relative success of bilaterians compared to animals with blind digestive tracts is evident.

The lack of nipples, genitals and anus are all highly significant- it means a model EBO can be shown on primetime TV :)

Olfactory bulb slip-up.

There appears to be no equivalent to the olfactory bulb in the nasal cavity.
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This is a big "oops!" line.
O.K., the author claims to be a molecular biologist, and need not necessarily be a specialist in anatomy.
They might be quoting details they've read in fellow professionals' reports about the "EBOs".
(You probably wouldn't want a molecular biologist, who hasn't, as far as we know, got experience as a surgeon or forensic pathologist, performing an autopsy or primary dissection of such an incredibly valuable specimen).
But whoever performed the original autopsy would not write,
"There appears to be no equivalent to the olfactory bulb in the nasal cavity" if they were halfway qualified to do their job.

The olfactory bulb is not, and never is, in the nasal cavity. There's the small matter of the ethmoid bone
(more specifically the cribriform plate) and its soft tissue coverings that separate the nasal cavity from the brain.

(Incidentally, we speak of "the olfactory bulb" like we speak of "the eye"- there are two olfactory bulbs).

The olfactory bulb is part of the forebrain, and you don't want parts of your forebrain in your nasal cavity.

This is a subjective opinion, but I don't think that any practising medical doctor, forensic pathologist or suitably specialised nurse (acute ENT, Max-Facs, neuro settings) would make this mistake. For me, this one gaff in itself is evidence that the story is nonsense.

Wikipedia, Olfactory bulb https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olfactory_bulb

file-20200624-133008-11fgzgj.jpg olf blb under.jpg

If you looked around someone's nasal cavity with an endoscope, you wouldn't see the underside of their brain.


Eyes

"...a more traditional eye is revealed. It's about three times larger than a human eye"

The very large eyes of some "Grey" descriptions are difficult to understand in terms of mammalian anatomy.
Eyes are not spherical, but their dimensions in each axis are similar,
approximately 24.2 mm (transverse) × 23.7 mm (sagittal) × 22.0-24.8 mm (axial) (axial=visual axis, front to back of eye)...
This means that a "Grey's" eye, if following the pattern of homo sapiens (and our ancestors, and most other mammals) would extend back into the head at least as far as its maximum visible "length" on the face, reducing volume available for other structures-such as the brain.
(Dimensions from "Variations in eyeball diameters of the healthy adults" [Sic], Bekerman, I., Gottlieb, P., Vaiman, M., 2014, Journal of Opthalmology, link from PubMed, National Center for Biotechnology Information)
BEMs.JPG

There is no mention that this "traditional eye" deviates dramatically in shape from the (very roughly spherical) human eye, so the fact that
The lens is rounder than a human['s]
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-will cause focussing problems, particularly as the lens-retina distance is much increased.
Myopia results from the length of the eyeball growing too long or less commonly the lens being too strong.
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Wikipedia, Near-sightedness, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-sightedness

The responsiveness of each of these 6 types of cone is specific to a wavelength band, with a minimum of overlap between each other. The result is a broader visible spectrum.
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The wavelengths concerned- which would be of great interest- are not stated.

Many (non-mammalian) creatures have four cone types enabling tetrachromacy, in some cases allowing vision into the ultra violet.
Most mammals are dichromats, having two cone types, some of these (e.g. reindeer) can see into the ultraviolet range.
Some humans have four types of cones, but the "additional" cone (IIRC) is sensitive to a range just offset from the "L" type (sensitive towards lower wavelengths in the "normal" visible spectrum) without sensitivity in the infra-red: Different cone types might produce better colour discrimination without allowing a broader visible spectrum.
Even if the "EBO" cone types have minimal overlap, if their range of sensitivity (the upper and lower wavelength detected by each cone type) is narrower than that of humans' S, M and L cones then their visible spectrum need not be broader.
A larger number of cone types does not automatically mean a broader visible spectrum.

The size of their eyes suggests they have excellent night vision.
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...My eyes are larger than those of a fox, or a tarsier, or a barn owl, but my night vision isn't as good.
Having gone on about retinal cone cells, the author seems to forget about the relationship between rod cells- which are not mentioned- and low-light vision.

The description of the eye might suggest that these creatures are always staggering around in an unfocussed world of extraordinary colours; maybe this explains why they're crashing their saucers all the time. Or coming off their motorbikes, if that's what their injuries suggest (according to the author).

The brain

The description of the brain is straight from D-grade science-fiction: It's big and strange.
Apart from the usual pulp SF obsession with brain size and weird gross anatomy, there is little detail.

What is the estimated number of neurons? Are axons myelinated? What commissures exist (connections between the major substructures)? What other structures are present within the five main brain areas? How many cranial nerves? If there's no brainstem per se, what do most of the cranial nerves lead to- the surface of the central "lobe"? (This would make no evolutionary or biological sense, you need reliable circulation and respiration before you can develop a big brain). What is the nature of the cerebrospinal fluid (or its equivalent)? There is more to a brain than just the cortex.

There are neurons and glia- so the cytology is the same as on Earth.
By definition an ETI would have to have some system giving rise to intelligence, and that system would presumably be complex, comprising many functional sub-units which might be analogous to neurons. But to actually have neurons and glia- so similar to ours that no further comment is made- seems unlikely to me.

Ratio of glial cells to neurons is higher than in humans- ooh, a famous (and reasonably disputed) finding was that Einstein's brain showed a higher ratio of glial cells to neurons. This has led to theories that a "rich mental life" is allowed by, or causes, greater glial numbers.
I'm reminded of Mendel's observation regarding the origins of another "finding" about the EBO,
This means it's not "something surprising we learn from the aliens", but rather an existing public research result.
But unfortunately for the EBO author- and maybe for those suggesting that Einstein had unusual neurology- the ratio of glia to neurons increases with age, glia continue to divide. 76 year-old Einstein's 11 controls had an average age of 64. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_of_Albert_Einstein


The sections are separated by transverse and longitudinal fissures and are connected to the central lobe, which acts as brainstem and cerebellum.
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The use of the term "lobe" for a central structure might not be wrong per se, but would be, I suggest, an unusual term for a neurologist or neuroanatomist etc. to use for this structure as described.
The lobes of the brain are the major identifiable zones of the cerebral cortex, and they comprise the surface of each hemisphere of the cerebrum.
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Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobes_of_the_brain
Neither the brainstem or cerebellum are considered lobes or parts of lobes of the brain. They are not part of the cerebral cortex.
It is not mentioned if the absolutely essential structures (in human brain functioning) of the diencephalon are present in the central lobe, or are represented by analogous structures in the four "actual" lobes, or are absent altogether.

All Earth vertebrates have a common underlying brain architecture (hindbrain, midbrain, forebrain).
Components of the midbrain and hindbrain form the brainstem. The cerebellum is part of the hindbrain (but not brainstem).
The EBO brain does not have this architecture.

It has been suggested that the hindbrain first evolved in the Urbilaterian—the last common ancestor of chordates and arthropods—between 570 and 555 million years ago.
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(Wikipedia, Hindbrain, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindbrain).

The "EBO" author states,
The inner ear has all the characteristics of a typical vestibular and cochlear system, although the curvature of the cochlea is more pronounced than a human.
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So the EBO has, in effect, a human inner ear- with its tiny, specifically-shaped structures. Even within mammals, anatomy of the inner ear varies. Birds and crocodilians lack a coiled cochlea. The anatomically modern human inner ear must be a relatively recent evolutionary development- but the EBO ear is nearly identical.
Yet the EBO's brain architecture is less like ours than that of any vertebrate that has ever lived on Earth.

This doesn't make much sense- convergent evolution does occur, but finding an inner ear with "...all the characteristics of a typical vestibular and cochlear system" of a modern human, in a creature whose gross neuroanatomy (if it were a terrestrial organism) would have diverged from ours before the evolution of fish is unlikely.
The strange mix of features in the "EBO"- some essentially human, some different, some implausible- are "explained" as being the result of being DNA-based, and subsequent genetic engineering (e.g. the brain).
The genetic engineering in this case conforms to Clarke's third law, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic", already mentioned in this thread.

But it does not follow that something "indistiguishable from magic", particularly in a spoken or text narrative, is the result of a "...sufficiently advanced technology". We imagine the FTL starships of science fiction not because they are plausible, even if their drives are described, but because we suspend disbelief, and if we're enjoying the story we don't waste time criticizing the science.
The EBO narrative is presented as fact; we should maintain disbelief (or at least scepticism) and criticize its science.

It's obvious that the author put some time into the Reddit EBO post, it's a shame it's been written to deceive people. But that's what fraudsters, propagandists and the like do.

Almost forgot to mention, 1974 novel Wild Card, by Raymond Hawkey and Roger Bingham.
A near-future USA is riven with violent factions. To recreate a sense of unity, the President and aides arrange for a small team of specialist scientists, drawn from their normal work, to go to (IIRC- if anyone can confirm this I'd be grateful) Fort Detrick, where they secretly build a mock "UFO" and an organic model of an "ET", and a bio-engineered pathogen. The fakes have to be good enough to pass expert investigation after the saucer is crashed into L.A., releasing the pathogen (and killing 10,000 people).
I wonder if the EBO author read this.
wild card 1974.JPG
 
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It appears that Fort Detrick has some (at least) private security.

https://www.indeed.com/q-security-g...S5brG9OaiD5dAUuIrrsaAoApEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

I get the impression that the Supervisory Security Guard position linked to would be a US Federal employee, in the employment of the Army. "Private security contractor" for me implies a "Blackwater"-style organisation.

A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.
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Must wear the Department of Army (DASG) uniform and maintain a high state of appearance and hygiene.
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Agency contact information
Army Applicant Help Desk
Website
https://portal.chra.army.mil/hr_public?id=app_inq

Address
BB-APF-W3HVAA USA ARMY GARRISON FT DETRICK
DO NOT MAIL
Frederick, MD 21702
US
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-From the above link, Indeed website.
 
I get the impression that the Supervisory Security Guard position linked to would be a US Federal employee, in the employment of the Army. "Private security contractor" for me implies a "Blackwater"-style organisation.

A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.
Content from External Source
Must wear the Department of Army (DASG) uniform and maintain a high state of appearance and hygiene.
Content from External Source
Agency contact information
Army Applicant Help Desk
Website
https://portal.chra.army.mil/hr_public?id=app_inq

Address
BB-APF-W3HVAA USA ARMY GARRISON FT DETRICK
DO NOT MAIL
Frederick, MD 21702
US
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-From the above link, Indeed website.
I misspoke in that I should have said civilian. Your claim was that they were military implying members of the the military. As a retired federal official and a previous member of the military, there is a difference.
 
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I misspoke in that I should have said civilian. Your claim was that they were military implying members of the the military. As a retired federal official and a previous member of the military, there is a difference.
Apologies- I understand the importance of the difference.
TBH I assumed that the "baseline" physical security at Fort Detrick would be provided by serving regular Army soldiers, and I realise now the meaning of your post with the link to the Supervisory Security Guard recruitment ad in disproving this.

The point I was originally trying to make was that the "EBO" author claimed they had
...security guards working for one subcontractor or another.
which I took to mean a dedicated, separate security team for the EBO researchers, who were not part of Fort Detrick's "normal" security measures- which I won't pretend to know anything about.
The relevant authorities might think a secret research project into retrieved ETI bodies and artefacts warrants a higher level of security than "the norm" for a military base as a whole; my contention is that there are US military personnel (maybe special forces, field intelligence or military police close protection units) who might be a better "fit" for the role than a contractor team.
(Which is of course supposition- please don't tell me off!)
 
Apologies- I understand the importance of the difference.
TBH I assumed that the "baseline" physical security at Fort Detrick would be provided by serving regular Army soldiers, and I realise now the meaning of your post with the link to the Supervisory Security Guard recruitment ad in disproving this.

The point I was originally trying to make was that the "EBO" author claimed they had

which I took to mean a dedicated, separate security team for the EBO researchers, who were not part of Fort Detrick's "normal" security measures- which I won't pretend to know anything about.
The relevant authorities might think a secret research project into retrieved ETI bodies and artefacts warrants a higher level of security than "the norm" for a military base as a whole; my contention is that there are US military personnel (maybe special forces, field intelligence or military police close protection units) who might be a better "fit" for the role than a contractor team.
(Which is of course supposition- please don't tell me off!)
I saw security at domestic DoD installations range from unarmed rent-a-cops to fully kitted out combat forces manning pill-box style defensive firing positions. Security provided at an installation is a function of multiple variables.....budget, mission/assets, force structure, location, domestic and international situations, service policy, etc.

A few years prior to 9/11, the DoD (or at least USAF and USA) employed what was called the "open base/post policy" where open gates were left unguarded and anyone who cared to could come onto a base. Security was maintained at/around individual facilities within the base as required. I don't know how widespread this was, but I saw it first hand at several bases/posts across the country. Not surprisingly, security at DoD installations increased markedly after 9/11.

I have seen security personnel (contractor/DoD police/military) assigned to protect individual buildings/organizations, usually manning what amounted to a "reception desk" to control entry where IDs are checked against visit requests.

Editorial comment--I felt safest visiting USN stations because their security was provided by US Marines. Those guys/gals meant business.
 
There are probably literally millions of stories people have claimed are true over the history of humanity, I presume you are neutral on Vampires, Werewolves, Ghosts, Witches, Zombies, Sasquatches, Loch Ness Monsters, Chupacabras, Yetis, Mothmen, Jersey Devils, Banshees, Wendigos, Krakens, Mermaids, Unicorns, Dragons, Centaurs, Goblins, Trolls, Leprechauns, Fairies, Phoenixes, Gorgons, Minotaurs, Bigfoots, Thunderbirds, El Chupacabras, Jackalopes, Manticores, Sirens, Gargoyles, Djinn, Voodoo Dolls, Doppelgängers, Skinwalkers, Banshees, Kelpies, Selkies, Yetis, Black Dogs, Mothmen, Wendigos, Krampuses, Headless Horsemen, La Lloronas, Jersey Devils, Wendigos, Zombies?

Yet here you are on Metabunk, a site with the stated goal posting this story in the non social forum, "just asking questions" I presume?
You forgot Batboy and the Daleks.

Has anyone debunked H. G. Wells' Time Machine yet?

(Yes, this is just a long-winded way of doing an "agree", but doing an "agree" requires turning on javascript, and I'm too lazy to do that.)
 
That, specifically, was not covered in my high school education and the abstract sweat = cooling was enough for me for a pretty long time. Maybe that is a detail that is explained in highschool where you are from. Then again, if it's reasonably expected of a biologist to know this, then I am inclined to think that he doesn't have a higher education in biology.

Sweat providing a mechanism for cooling does not mean that all sweating causes cooling. I've just come back from the heatwave in the Balkans, and I can assure you that 90% of the sweating I did provided no cooling to me, as it simply ran off before it could evaporate. If the drops that ran - streamed - off me evaporated after hitting the ground, at times all that would do would be to increase the humidity where I was sitting, and make me less likely to be able to lose heat through evaporative cooling. (Which is why a 50C steam bath feels hotter than a 120C dry sauna.)

So technically, the peeing through your pores for temperature regulation isn't particularly contradictory at all. If you want to lose heat, pee very slowly, but if you need to lose fluids without losing heat, just purge it quickly. Humans purge excess nitrogen through uric acid and urea (which are named after "urine") through sweat, for example, this aspect isn't far fetched at all. As all good fictions should be, unless you prefer good old-fashioned fantasy, that is.
 
We need to stop thinking of DNA as a "code", when it is really a template. Codes can be redefined ("retranslated") to produce a different result; templates cannot. It's a shame that the word "code" was applied to it right from its discovery. It's a thing that many people don't comprehend. (Not meaning you, of course! :) )
I disagree, it's very much not a template. The copying of it isn't what makes it work, it's the following of the recipe it describes that creates the things that will lead to subsequent replication of the DNA, but the intermediate stages are very much not DNA, and much more a code. It is programattic, is has "if-then" tests, it can even relies on stored states that are referred back to later. It's code. (I used to work with this guy: https://berthub.eu/articles/posts/dna-the-code-of-life/ , some of his stuff is on youtube. Of course, we're both viewing things through the eyes of coders, but we both recognise it as code from that perspective.)
 
Sweat providing a mechanism for cooling does not mean that all sweating causes cooling. I've just come back from the heatwave in the Balkans, and I can assure you that 90% of the sweating I did provided no cooling to me, as it simply ran off before it could evaporate. If the drops that ran - streamed - off me evaporated after hitting the ground, at times all that would do would be to increase the humidity where I was sitting, and make me less likely to be able to lose heat through evaporative cooling. (Which is why a 50C steam bath feels hotter than a 120C dry sauna.)

So technically, the peeing through your pores for temperature regulation isn't particularly contradictory at all. If you want to lose heat, pee very slowly, but if you need to lose fluids without losing heat, just purge it quickly. Humans purge excess nitrogen through uric acid and urea (which are named after "urine") through sweat, for example, this aspect isn't far fetched at all. As all good fictions should be, unless you prefer good old-fashioned fantasy, that is.

Good point, and now that I looked at the original text again:

Waste is excreted into the equivalent of a ureter, which branches out into four. Each branch flows towards one of the four limbs and in turn these branches divide until they end up as thousands of excretory pores.
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Since only the limbs would be peeing, core temperature should be largely unaffected by constant sweating (which would make more sense than the "sweat all at once" strategy that you presented, since they are supposedly bad at buffering the ammonia). That solves the problem of the basic physics implication, but still leaves the problem of bad design. Sweaty hands? That's quite bad for dexterity. I'm amused by the cultural implication of offering to shake hands as a sign of good will. "How dare you! This means war! Eradicate the humans!"
 
Since only the limbs would be peeing, core temperature should be largely unaffected by constant sweating
Only if they don't have blood circulation. Put your feet in a tub of cold water when it's hot and see if that doesn't affect your temperature.
 
Only if they don't have blood circulation. Put your feet in a tub of cold water when it's hot and see if that doesn't affect your temperature.
It's definitely less than the whole body sweating, and, at least in humans, blood vessels constrict as they get colder, reducing core heat loss. My saying "largely unaffected" was misguided, but I think that, as far as body heat implications go, this is quite a bit more plausible than before.
 
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I'm not going to believe in pee pores for thermoregulation
EXACTLY what stood out to me. And worse it's focused on the LIMBS...not the head or the core that would need the extra cooling. Man, I wouldn't want to stand too close to one of these guys...or shake hands.
 
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