I'm a budding mad scientist working in my backyard, with access to about 10,000 dollars' budget, a genius aptitude for genetic engineering, and garden tools. I've got some kind of backstory to avenge, and long story short, I've decided to unleash an army of genetically engineered monsters on the world.

So what can I make? I don't have any future tools, or even the most cutting-edge gene-editing equipment (unless you think I could build it?), but I have no moral reservations about stealing, murdering, etc.

This question might sound a little too open-ended, but what I'm specifically looking for is:

  • Something deadly: it can kill humans significantly better than humans can kill humans. So, trainable intelligence, speed, strength, and sharp senses are all plusses.
  • Something controllable: it's an assassin, so I'd appreciate answers that aren't 'super smallpox' or 'birdemic.'
  • Something possible: based on existing animals, plants, bacteria, protists, etc.

What's the pièce de résistance of my arsenal?

Edit: I appreciate all answers here, but for those trying for a very scientifically accurate answer, bear in mind the square-cube law, and how it relates to just making things bigger. If you create a gorilla the size of a car, it won't pump enough blood to survive. If it's the size of a skyscraper, it will collapse into a pile of meat. Also, we don't have a lot of genetic material to make stuff bigger. Gene-editing is mostly still cut-and-paste at this stage.

Edit again:

Ok, so this has been marked as primarily opinion based and too broad. Here are some clarifications I hope will help narrow it down:

  • It should start from species that can be easily obtained by my mad scientist. So housecats, dogs, birds, mice, ants, e-coli are all accessible, but gorilla DNA is a little harder to come by.
  • I have to be able to physically gestate this thing: if the fetus isn't viable, it won't be born. Also, if the creation takes 10 years to reach adulthood, I have to wait 10 years. I would prefer not having to do that.
  • Making things really small or really big is hard. If you make an ant the size of your hand, but keep the skin the same thickness, it will pop like a bubble. If you make a housecat-sized lion, but forget to shrink 1 bone, that bone will grow through the flesh of the animal.
  • Please make answers science-based. It's fun to talk about godzilla, but that's not really feasible. Realistically, small edits are much easier than big ones. As a rule of thumb, look at how much stuff an edit affects. Breathing fire doesn't work if you're not fireproof. Laser eyes need a power source and wiring.
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Jurassic Park Fallen Kingdom is your answer. Or did you think that was fake? $\endgroup$
    – Trevor
    Mar 29, 2019 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ This appears to fall into the high-concept category of questions. Voting to close for being too broad. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Mar 29, 2019 at 13:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hard to ask questions for ideas on something. It's a good question, but doesn't fit the SE one question one right answer formula. I'm not sure if there is a brainstorming SE site. But you could probably come up with a few and ask if they are viable with your restrictions. $\endgroup$
    – Trevor
    Mar 29, 2019 at 13:33
  • $\begingroup$ If the budget is only $10k, then it's more likely the parents' backyard. This implies additional restrictions against destroying mom's flowers or dad's seldom-used covered boat. Oh, and while you are back there, mow the lawn, will ya? I suppose this partially explains the madness.... $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Mar 29, 2019 at 14:11
  • $\begingroup$ (a) This question can only be answered by experienced geneticists, and their answer would likely be "nothing, in the way you mean your question." (b) The help center states Qs "must be specific and answerable: What problem are you trying to solve?" This is a vague "what are the limits of our tech?" question that is at best primarily opinion-based and is at worst inviting a discussion. There are other probs, but I'm out of space. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Mar 29, 2019 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


Your mad scientist is going to be very disappointed when he learns we already have a genetically engineered killer.


Early in recorded history there are records of dogs being trained for the purpose of attacking a target.[3] One of the most well-recorded ancient uses was in a battle between the Athenians and Corinthians, in which dogs were used to keep watch over a fortress and despite being unsuccessful in opposing an enemy attack, were able to alert the sleeping soldiers to the attack. Ancient Romans first adopted the use of dogs as a weapon after hordes of dogs delayed their victory in the Battle of Vercellae. The Romans not only trained them to attack, but also bred their attack dogs for ferocity. The effect of this was documented by Roman naturalist and writer Pliny the Elder, who wrote that the animals would not back down, even when confronted by swords. The Roman attack dogs were given metal armour covered in razor-sharp spikes, designed to force the enemy out of formation.[4]

Napoleon utilised dogs for their superior senses, putting them to work in roles similar to that of modern sentry dogs.[5] The first use of attack dogs in the United States of America was suggested by Benjamin Franklin.[6] In South Africa under Apartheid, the South African Defence Force used wolf-dog hybrids as experimental attack dogs to combat guerillas.[7]

Various modern military groups also use attack dogs, primarily for sentry purposes. The dogs are trained to defend their post and attack any possible intruders.[12] It is also reported that dogs have been used in psychological torture against prisoners of war.[13]

Additionally, attack dogs are used by almost every police force in the world for apprehending and subduing targets (see police dog). The dogs are trained to identify situations where humans are in danger and respond accordingly.[14] Police attack dogs are generally trained to hold a target rather than to inflict injury. Today attack or guard dogs with military-level training may also be used outside the military by individuals or families. These elite dogs may cost hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars.[15]

Dogs have been mans best friend for a long time. So long in fact that they are key to our own evolution and our dominance over the previous race. They are our greatest creation and we engineered them ourselves over 10's of thousands of years.

They are also very trainable, loyal, and deadly.

-Responding to your edit:

For more cinematic but without semi fake science. Your 10,000 is a small amount of money. It's barely enough to even get the car you need to go pick up your science stuff for your backyard. So your best bet is to go to a dog rescue place, get some really big dogs. Then buy some aluminum and forge armor for the dogs. It should take about a year to train them to attack on command or track their targets. You can fashion the armor similar to the historic dog armor. This should give you a bullet resistant (not proof) fast killer that looks cool and is within your budget... briefly, until you have to buy dog food and find places to get rid of the excrement.

-Edit This is actually a better wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogs_in_warfare

In ancient times, dogs, often large mastiff- or molosser-type breeds, would be strapped with armor or spiked collars and sent into battle to attack the enemy. This strategy was used by various civilizations, such as the Romans and the Greeks. While not as common as in previous centuries, modern militaries continue to employ dogs in an attack role. SOCOM forces of the US military still use dogs in raids for apprehending fleeing enemies or prisoners, or for searching areas too difficult or dangerous for human soldiers (such as crawl spaces).[32]

Sad use of dogs in war...

The Soviet Union used dogs for anti-tank purposes beginning in the 1930s. Earlier anti-tank dogs were fitted with tilt-rod mines and trained to run beneath enemy tanks, which would detonate the mines automatically. However, the dogs were trained with stationary Russian tanks and very seldom ran under the moving tanks, instead they were shot as they ran beside the moving tanks. When both Russian and German tanks were present, the dogs would preferentially run towards the familiar Russian tanks.

  • $\begingroup$ Nice, although I'm thinking something more... cinematic, perhaps? :) $\endgroup$ Mar 29, 2019 at 13:12
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    $\begingroup$ @AdrianHall Check out the movie Rampage, just make the dog bigger. Also then erase that terrible movie from your memory $\endgroup$
    – Trevor
    Mar 29, 2019 at 13:12

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