Guide to cytology

From /tg/station 13 Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Gelatinous cube living 64px.gif
Gelatinous Cube says:
"Why are they welding the vents, father? I didn't even eat that many of them."

This is the guide to cytology, science of living cells. Understanding cytology will help you grow a whole ass animal from as little as a single cell.

Getting started

In order to grow a creature we need a sample of cells, a reagent mixture to grow the creature in and a special growing vat.

Biopsy Tool Hunting for cells

The first and most straightforward way of doing this is using your biopsy tool on a creature, if it is able to be cultivated, a green light on the tool will indicate you have collected a viable cell sample. The drawback of this is of course you have to obtain a living or dead specimen of the creature you want to create.

The second and perhaps more exciting method is using your sterile swabs to swab objects for cell samples. A successful swab will often yield a mixture of cell lines from different organisms.

Thanks to the excellent janitorial staff aboard the station, most objects are quite clean and thus unfit for this purpose. Fortunately enough, the grimy, cold and dank maintenance shafts provide the perfect environment to hunt for biological samples.

Try swabbing anything that looks gross. There is a good chance such objects are covered in precious biofilm, a thin coat of microorganisms as well as cells from various earth and space creatures.

When you swab a piece of maintenance filth and a splotch of biofilm collects on the swab, you know you have done it right, because this means you have a mixed cell sample, ready for cultivation in the lab.

Microscope Devising a culture medium

Once you have collected a sample, deposit it into a petri-dish.

Now we need to figure out what kind of cells we have, and how to grow them. To do just this our lab is equipped with a microscope.

When a dish is inserted into the microscope, it tells us what kind of cells we have and three lists of reagents for each cell type.

  • Required reagents; we need all these reagents for the specimen to grow at all, it takes at least 10u of these to grow the specimen to completion, more if other cells compete for the same reagent.
  • Complementary reagents; each of these helps the cell line grow, but are not strictly necessary, but you might want to add some of these if you have mixture of cells to ensure other cell lines does not outgrow your target cell lines.
  • Suppressive reagents; these chemicals inhibit growth, or even kill off, this type of cells. You want to avoid contaminating your growing broth with reagents that suppress your target cell line, but they are very useful for suppressing undesired cell lines when growing a creature from a mixed sample.

Once you collect the reagents needed to grow your specimen we can move on to the next stage.

Research Plumbing Device Growing your specimen

Use your research plumbing constructor to create (and wrench) a growing vat. This is a plumbing connectable machine which you can fill with your cultivation broth. To fill a growing vat with reagents you must connect it to a wrenched down input gate, and then fill the input gate with your mix of reagents. See the Guide to plumbing for details about how to use a plumbing constructor. Once you have filled the vat with your medium, simply take your petri-dish and pour in some of your cell sample into the vat. If the nutritional requirements of any of the cell lines are met, the cultivation medium should start to bubble.

After some time, if you got your cultivation medium right, your target organism should emerge from the growing vat. If you screwed up, you might receive the wrong type of creature, a bloody mess or nothing at all!

Plunger.png To empty a growing vat use a plunger on it.

How do i get chemicals i need?

It is worth noting that many of the reagents you need have to be liberated from the item that contains them by grinding. Since our vat is a plumbing machine, we can easily use the grinder, filter and tank plumbing machines to process and store our reagents.


Protein, a class of biopolymers made up of amino acids, is a vital component of most known forms of life. This reagent is needed to grow most mobs, and having a way to obtain it is important.

The main source of this reagent is meat, and if you just want to grow a few specimens, picking the kitchen counter clean might be enough.

However if you undertake a larger scale research project, here are some reliable ways of producing it.

  • Breeding mobs such as chickens, mice, cats or corgis.
  • Monkey cubes

Butchering animals also provides you with liquid gibs and occasionally other useful products.

Other reagents

This is the tricky part, the other reagents are produced from a variety of sources around the station.

Many products of the hydroponics lab contain reagents you want, so for things to go smoothly you might want to some connections with the botanists or relocate a plant tray to your lab.

What is the point of all this?

Currently, this mechanic serves as a way to create powerful creatures to treat with a sentience potion as well as a source of exotic meats. The feature is still in development and in the future, this technology could be used to create feed animals for other creatures, chimaeras or useful items.