According to the DVD extra for The Last Ship: Friendly Fire (2015), Executive Producer Hank Steinberg stated that the 12 'o clock reports, where the orderly asks the Captain's permission on behalf of the Officer of the Deck " to strike eight bells on time", was implemented to keep mutiny in check. Eight bells signify the end of a four hour watch, with each bell marking the passage of an half hour of time.
There is a missing explanation on the need for the primordial strain. Like most mutations, they were random and various, resulting is possibly 1000's or even millions of different variants. By some chance (or perhaps by design) this process halted. Their only hope was to return to the original strain for a cure/vaccine and hope that it would be able to work with all of the mutations.
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