The Adam Process
I would like to start by saying, if you open this thread and do not read this then you are lazy and should be ashamed of yourself.
Oh, and there may be some spoilers in here too.
So I've played both bioshock games and I totally understand everything except one thing, adam. So I get that it's a substance that is used for genetic engineering and that it requires the little sisters, but I still have some questions about the whole thing. I will put my questions in chronological order, starting from the creation of adam, to the purchase of a plasmid/tonic, to the final genetic engineering. Please correct everything I get wrong. If you can fully explain the process, please do so.
Sea slugs naturally carry adam, a substance which can be used to aid the process of changing one's genetic structure. These slugs can be surgically inserted into a young host, when they are inside of the host, the slugs produce much more adam then they normally would if they were not in a human child's body. The parasite has the ability to heal and replace the host's cells if the host is damaged at a virtually instant speed, this allows the parasite to live inside of the host for as long as possible.
Before the sister is used, she lives with the slug inside of her. A big daddy is sent to protect her at all costs so that the slug will produce adam safely. The sister sticks a needle into corpses. What are they obtaining and gathering in those needles, is it adam that the sisters are recycling in their bodies, or is it blood for the sea slug?
The adam produced by the slug is usable. With the use of a tonic (which has yet to be named) the adam can be secreted through the little sisters skin (...I think). This makes the sisters veins glow bright white and it kills the slug, this can be considered as a good or bad thing though. Because the slug is dead, the adam cannot be harvested again, but the little sister is now a normal, human girl.
Alternatively, the little sister can be harvested. This harvesting kills the little sister, but it releases a lot more adam than using that unnamed tonic. It is believed to me that one must reach their hand into the little sisters stomach to pull the slug out... through the mouth, perhaps?
Question! How do you harvest the adam directly from the sister and kill her in the process if she can heal fast enough to survive a shotgun blast to the head at point blank range?
After all of this, where is the adam supposed to go? Where were the citizens of Rapture supposed to go to buy adam? Why is adam taken directly to a gatherers garden, rather than money? It seems to me like the most practical thing would be to put adam INSIDE of the gatherers gardens and then splicers would put MONEY into the machine not adam, and in return they would get adam. Surely I'm missing something in this step, can someone explain it better?
Once the plasmid or tonic has been purchased, the users genetic code is rearranged at either gatherers garden where it was purchased, or at a gene bank, where tonics and plasmids may be exchanged and equipped.
Well first off nice post! I'll try and answer what I know.
1. When a little sister sticks her needle into a corpse she's looking for unused adam. Remember she'll say stuff like " I see light coming from his belly" I believe it comes out as blood, that is swallowed and the slug recycles out the adam.
2. When you heal a sister and and turn her human again. It seems that the tonic acts as a cleanser. Maybe flushing her veins and body and riding her of the slug and the slug's unstable cells. When you harvest her, we don't really know the process, but you end up with a slug in your hands- so either you reached into her mouth or perhaps, this is pretty sick, went straight into her belly.
3. Remember in the first Bioshock when you discover Dr. Steinman's audio diary? "Not only are those little girls veritable ADAM factories, they're nearly indestructible. They regenerate any wounded flesh with stem versions of the dead cells. But their relationship with the implanted slugs is symbiotic... if you harvest the slug, the host will die. "So you see, it's not like killing," Tenenbaum said. "It's more like removing a terminal patient from life support." Yes, she can survive a fall, gun shot...but once you remove the slug, she will die, it feeds off of her.
4. If you look at a Gatherer's Garden there appears to be a funnel at the top right corner with a little switch to pull down. From what I can guess, maybe you put the adam in and it filters it out into the different available plasmids. Perhaps at one point you paid with money, but once everyone started splicing up and later killing each other and little sisters, they found a way to get direct plasmids. I'm not really sure on that part. Perhaps Gatherer Garden's have become obsolete at this point and really only the player can access them, I've never see anyone else use it.
Thats the best I can do
Thanks, I believe that number four was your best answer, but they were all really helpful.