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Title:Breaking Dawn

Authour:Stephanie Meyer

Publisher:Little, Brown and Company


August 2, 2008 (USA)

August 4, 2008 (UK, AUS)

Breaking Dawn is the fourth novel in the Twilight series. The first and third sections are written from Bella Swan's perspective and the second is written from the perspective of Jacob Back.The first part covers Bella's marriage and honeymoon with Edward, which they spend on a private island. Two weeks into their honeymoon, Bella realizes that she is pregnant with a half-vampire, half-human child and that it is growing at an unnaturally accelerated rate. After contacting Carlisle, who confirms her pregnancy, she and Edward immediately return home to Forks. Edward, concerned for Bella's life and convinced that the child is a monster as it continues to develop at an unnatrual, urges her to have an abortion. However, Bella feels a connection with her unborn baby and refuses.

The second part is written from the perspective of Jacob Black (who is a shapeshifter), and lasts throughout Bella's pregnancy and childbirth. Jacob's wolf pack, unsure of what danger the child may pose, plan to destroy it, also killing Bella. Jacob stubornly protests this decision and leaves, forming his own pack with Leah and Seth Clearwater. The child in Bella's body grows swiftly and Bella soon gives birth, but the baby breaks many of her bones and she loses huge amounts of blood. In order to save her life, Edward changes her into a vampire by injecting his venom into her heart.

The third section of Breaking Dawn shifts back to Bella's perspective, describing Bella's painful transformation and finding herself changed into a vampire and enjoying her new life and abilities. However, a forigen vampire misidentifies Renesmee as an "immortal child" (a child who has been turned into a vampire). Because "immortal children" are uncontrollable, creating them has been outlawed by the Volturi. They plan to destroy Renesmee and the Cullens. In an attempt to survive, the Cullens gather other vampire clans from around the world to stand as witnesses and prove to the Volturi that Renesmee is not an immortal child. Upon confronting the gathered Cullen allies and witnesses, the Volturi discover that they have been misinformed.

The Science

The science in Breaking Dawn was quite hard to find but one major feature of the text is the breeding between a human and vampire (cross breeding).

Cross Breeding

A crossbreed generally refers to an animal with purebread parents of two different species. A common example of cross breeding is between dogs. In order for two different species to interbreed, they must be closely related - for example, the mule, is a cross between a male donkey and female horse.

Being closely related basically means that two species share a greater amount of genetic material with each other than with other animals. Beyond family level, two species share enough genetic material for the egg and sperm to 'recognise' each other, which is why you can't breed animals from different families like, say, a dog and a cat - a dog sperm simply wouldn't be able to fertilise a cat egg, and vice versa.

Given that the majority of animals are in different classes and orders to ourselves, it means that we cannot interbreed with them. However, we humans belong to the same family as the great apes - gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orang-utans. Therefore, there is the possibility that we may be able to interbreed with some of them, partiucualarly the chimp and bonobo. We are in fact so closely related that genetically speaking we should be in the same genus (placing ourselves in a different genus to all other animals is more about human arrogance than it is about genetics). We are more closely related to chimps and bonobos than horses and donkeys are to each other, and it's well-known that they can interbreed.

It is still unknown if these matings produce hybrids, but there is no report that such a hybrid has ever been produced. However, the absence of evidence of human-animal hybrids would suggest that it is very unlikely.

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The humanzee is a chimpanzee/human hybrid. Chimpanzees and humans are closely related (95% of their DNA sequence, and 99% of coding DNA sequences are in common), leading to ideas that a hybrid is possible. Humans have one fewer pair of chromosomes than other apes. Having different numbers of chromosomes is not an absolute barrier to crossbeeding. Similar mismatches are relatively common in existing species, known as chromosomal polymorphism.

The genetic structure of all the great apes is similar. Chromosomes are structurally the same in all great apes. Some match between gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans. It is theoretically possible of course, but the only known experiments to produce a human-chimp hybrid failed. These experiments were conducted by the Soviet scientist Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov using human sperm, chimpanzees, and artificial insemination. No pregnancy resulted. An attempt to use human females in these expeiments was unsuccessful when the male chimp died before the experiments began. Ivanov was arrested, sentenced to prison and died there before he could conduct his experiments with a new male chimp.

However, despite speculation, no case of a human-chimpanzee cross has ever been confirmed to exist.

A Male Humans Chromosomes:

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- Wikipedia