What would happen if one (and only one) human could magically modify their genes, while everybody else and the laws of physics and biology remained the same? That effect wouldn't appear immediately. The change rate would be slow, taking weeks and months to see the difference.

I can think of some scenarios:

  • They can make their brain work more efficiently, but the consequence is that they need to absorb more energy (and get more tired, but I don't know if this is biologically necessary).
  • With a salient brain, that one can process on more information, therefore they can rule the world. I think this one can only be stopped if they are required to sleep longer, so that the world changes fast enough while they are sleeping.
  • In order to be able to work without sleep, they decide to upgrade their meat brain to a silicon brain. Ultimately, they will transform to a self-coded super computer.
  • But a computer is only free in the World Wide Web. In a physical world, it needs to depend on the electricity supply. So they (or it now?) face two choices: self supply or seeking help. Which one should they choose?
  • And because they have watched the I, robot movie, and because they are not a production of anyone, they decide to not kill a vast majority of humanity at the same time.

How else can the story go? Which idea above can go in a different way?

  • $\begingroup$ Is the assumption that brain efficiency is dependent on genes valid? $\endgroup$
    – Twelfth
    May 19, 2015 at 21:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Twelth I guess so $\endgroup$
    – Ooker
    May 20, 2015 at 2:38
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Glad to have you aboard the worldbuilding stack exchange. Unfortunately this fit into what has been called "idea generation." While it has long been argued that everything is idea generation, the question in the form of "what else could possibly happen" puts it into a category where there is just too much freedom to fit the stack exchange format. Consider opening up several individual questions such as "Is there any reason upgrading an organic brain into a silicon brain would have any effect on the need for sleep at all?" That helps narrow it down for us and make it easier to answer. $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    May 20, 2015 at 4:51

1 Answer 1



You listed "some" scenarios that were really just one scenario; using genetics to expand the processing ability of the human brain. Here are some other scenarios (by no means an exhaustive list).

  • Respiratory: The Changer can alter his ability to breathe oxygen such that he does not need to breathe as much, for extended periods of time. He could give himself superior skin-breathing, or near-invisible gills to breathe underwater.

  • Skeletal: The Changer can alter his own skeleton, allowing him to reform his joints at will, become double-jointed, collapse his rib cage to fit through very narrow spaces (helpful with the enhanced breathing ability listed above), or even shapeshift.

  • Reproductive: The Changer can alter his own gender so that she is no longer male. This is the ultimate disguise, because she's certainly not him, she's just his sister... Isn't she?

  • Circulatory: The Changer can give her conscious mind the ability slow or stop/restart her heartbeat at will, without needing to achieve a meditative state to do it.

  • Nervous: The Changer can increase her nervous system's ability to detect sensations, or to filter those sensations (to dull pain when necessary, without needing painkillers). She can change the positions of common nerve clusters and pressure points, so trained assassins won't be able to paralyze her without serious effort. But with such heightened reflexes, she knew the assassin was coming all along. She can also fool most lie detectors, and get rid of all that unnecessary nervous twitching or body language that would otherwise give you away... Assuming she was familiar with it...

So yeah, just about anything. And this is just the small stuff. There are various ways the bodily systems can play off one another, and of course, other bodily systems to explore. Could she alter her endocrine system to exude poisons at will, like a dart frog? Could she improve her olfactory senses to tell you exactly what chemicals were in the air, like a mass spectrometer? Could she split into two, and have that sibling she always wanted? Why not!


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