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He still felt self-conscious and awkward, but it was an awkwardness he would gladly suffer. "I've been studying."

"Ah."

"What?"

"So that's what a lie looks like. The tech's sensors are much more powerful and varied than those in the chrysalis. Your heart rate jumped, blood flow to your skin increased, and your voice stress was a dead giveaway. You should try it."

"Lying?"

"The tech." She smiled, the conversation firmly back on her point.

He found a smile of his own forming. "Tell me more about that image you showed me of the chrysalis. The neurons. Is that what the tech is made of?"

She gave him a pointed look, then nodded. "I'm not sure about the implants, because what I used for study was my own chrysalis. Its structure changed as I used it more and more. The image I showed you was recent, after it had become fully developed. When I first received the chrysalis, it had fewer neurons and more of a different kind of cell, a generalized type. I believe they're something like stem cells. As the chrysalis is used, these generalized cells differentiate into different types of cells, but particularly into neurons."

Galen knew a fair amount about stem cells from his time studying medicine. Stem cells were the most generic cells, the precursors from which all others came to be. Embryos began as stem cells, and as they divided to produce more cells, some remained stem cells, while the majority took on different roles in the body, becoming, in Humans, more than two hundred different types of cells: nerve cells, muscle cells, blood cells, and more. "What controls their development?" he asked.

"I'm not sure. The cells in my chrysalis contain my DNA, but additional DNA as well. The DNA must guide the development of the chrysalis, just as our DNA guides our
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