Well, in my story both combat robots and super soldiers coexist alongside the actual armies, now the enhancements that super soldiers undergo can be divided into three main groups: surgical, biological and genetic. The improvements are applied in 3 rounds spaced in time and with a lost of training, the list of improvements in order of application is as follows:
- Standard physical training (similar to the training of a Marine) this stage aims to make the applicant's body support as well as possible what follows.
- Genetic modification: production of active telomerase, the gene encoding telomerase is modified by replacing its primer with a permanently expressed one (i.e. the body is forced to produce active telomerase continuously) this prevents cellular senescence, redundant p53, p21, rad51 genes, rad52 and recA redundant (backup copies of these genes are placed at multiple points to avoid mutations that would result in cancer), continuous expression of rad51, rad52 and recA, continuous production of antioxidants (i.e. at a much higher rate and scale than normal), increased production of igf 1. Modification of the FST gene causing the striated muscle to produce follistatin in large quantities, but protecting the myocardium (in theory this would prevent cardiac hypertrophy, but still this is the main cause of death of aspirants).
- Surgical: Human growth hormone catalytic implant. A platinum implant is placed in the pituitary gland that produces a high level of human growth hormone, although the treatment is intense it only lasts 6 months during which the level of growth hormone is more than 40 times normal for a human.
- Intense physical training, mainly lifting and throwing weights, series of a thousand squats/lunge/flexes, running 10km in less than 10 min carrying 120kg, this training is given for 4 months and starts 2 days after the catalyst implant.
- Bone lengthening, this is simple, only the long bones of the applicant are broken, 5 cm are separated and bone patches are placed. This process is repeated until a minimum height of 2.57 meters is reached and takes advantage of the effects of human growth hormone to shorten regeneration times.
- Surgical: Implantation of artificial crystalline lens. Basically the natural lenses of the eyes are replaced by lenses containing rare earths, these lenses are more efficient than those of human eyes and thanks to the rare earths it changes frequencies invisible to the human eye to visible and also increases the energy of faint sources thanks to this the aspirants acquire 200/20 vision and night vision like that of a cat.
- Biological: Second heart implantation. A DNA sample is taken from the applicant and used to create a "clone" as a source of highly modified organs, the second heart is a heart 4 times larger than a normal human heart but unlike a hypertrophic heart the second heart does not have excessively thickened walls so the internal volume is much larger than that of a normal human heart, the second heart is necessary for the normal functioning of the super soldier given its high oxygen consumption also the super soldier can survive in battle to the loss of one of his two hearts. Implantation of the third lung, a third lung is connected to the respiratory and circulatory system, this third lung is similar to the lung of a condor being extremely effective breathing in low oxygen environments (such as the Everest chasm) this lung allows to increase oxygen uptake to compensate the oxygen demand of the super soldier and allows him to survive the loss of 2 lungs and minimizes the effects of pneumothorax and hemothorax allowing a high survival. Implantation of the third kidney, a kidney highly improved in its capacity and speed of filtration and with the capacity to eliminate toxins that normally cannot be eliminated.
- Recovery of 3 months
- Implantation of the second liver, a highly efficient liver capable of employing non-human enzymes and metabolic pathways as a result the ability to eliminate toxins and substances is greatly increased (an effect of this and an earlier genetic enhancement is that the super soldier cannot get drunk and drugs have no effect on them, including anesthetics, if the applicant cannot be sedated from this point so instead of anesthetics steel shackles are used to restrain the applicant on the operating table).
- Surgical: Neuronal stimulator implant, this consists in the implantation of a mesh of electrodes in the frontal, temporal and motor lobes that electively stimulate the neurons increasing the speed of propagation of electrochemical impulses, as a result the speed of thought and reaction increase enormously and also increase the speed of learning and improve memory even more. Pain inhibitor implant, this implant blocks part of the limbic system by means of a controlled electrical stimulus, the result is that, although you can still feel pain it is not unpleasant, basically the pain is no longer painful, this improvement can be activated or deactivated at the will of the wearer. Empathic blocker implant, blocks part of the limbic system eliminating emotional rations such as fear, empathy or remorse basically turns the carrier into a highly functional psychopath who does not feel anything when killing, this implant can be activated or deactivated at the will of the carrier (the field guide recommends not to deactivate the inhibition before a week after a battle to avoid traumatic stress disorder).
- Recovery time 3 weeks.
- Biological: Implantation of the bio-cudendum , an artificial organ, basically an artificial uterus intended to create stem cell "clone" of the aspirant, this organ is basically the size of a full bladder and when prepared contains a solution of stem cells in plasma being a very viscous pinkish-white liquid, in response to a sufficiently severe wound the biocudendum releases its contents rapidly regenerating tissue and healing life-threatening wounds, another use of this fluid is to regenerate lost limbs or damaged organs (obviously this is not instantaneous, it takes several months to regenerate a limb). Implantation of the demigod maker, a modified version of the pituitary gland that produces hormones and substances to maintain the optimal state of enhancements (it is a fairly simple enhancement of the endocrine system to maintain optimal augmentations).
- Recovery time 3 weeks.
- Surgical: Implantation of a boron carbide coating on the bones, a 3d impression is made of pieces to place on each major bone of the applicant, these stiffs have micro and macro porosities to allow the growth of capillaries and arteries through this coating, the implantation is performed by scraping the outer cartilaginous layer of the bone and placing the implant directly in contact with the outer layer of classic hydroxyapatite where the osteoblasts are located, the porosity in the piece allows the new bone to grow inside the piece which is kept fixed in place by resorbable ties that are removed inside the body after 6 months, the pieces obtain their porosity by adding salt granules to the material during the impression and after drying the pieces are immersed in hot water dissolving the salt causing the porosity and high energy lasers are used for the pores that go through the whole material.
- Training: fine motor skills, agility and strength control are trained. To this end, applicants are trained in ballet, embroidery, sewing, gymnastics, and chess so that they learn to perform fine and precise high-speed movements and develop their strategic thinking.
The genetic modifications are performed using crisper cas9 on guide strands customized for each applicant, the protein is administered by a virus with the RNA removed and loaded with the crisper with the guide strands and recombinant in single-stranded DNA format, the serum with the modified virus is injected into the body in the arms, legs, torso and carotid artery modified much of the cells of the body and let cell reproduction is responsible for 100% of the cells to be modified, and obviously each crisper carries a guide strand and a recombinant strand in a single stranded DNA format, The serum with the modified virus is injected into the body in the arms, legs, torso and carotid artery modified most of the cells of the body and the cellular reproduction is left to take care that 100% of the cells are modified, and obviously each crisper carries a guide strand and a recombinant strand and each virus can carry only one set of these so several treatments are required to integrate all the recombinant genes required for the genetic modification step.
And this process is separated by several weeks because it must be given time for recombination and it is required to take tissue samples after a few weeks to sequence them and check that the introduced DNA has not been expelled (if that happens it is urgent to redo the gene therapy with a modified recombinant strand, otherwise the alteration could be fatal) if everything went well and the DNA is integrated it is passed to the next step of genetic modification (this process can easily take a whole year). More relevant data: both men and women can be applicants but women must be treated with testosterone for 6 months before starting the process and also require more physical conditioning than a man (due to the anabolic effects of testosterone and the limit imposed by estrogen), the average age of applicants is 31 and you cannot perform the modification over 45 (if attempted it is 99% fatal in phase 2), the statistics 2 out of 3 applicants die in phases 2 and 3 (if they get the biocudendum it is practically impossible to die from the enhancements), although the genetic enhancement greatly increases life expectancy it is not immortality it is expected that in 2000 years they would die of old age on the other hand the projected life expectancy is 400 years and it is assumed that no one will die of old age given their very violent lifestyle.
the question is whether the set of improvements listed as a whole would result in a true super soldier considering real world biology and technology? I am not asking about each enhancement individually just try to mention as summarily as possible each individual enhancement to give context of what processes were performed. what I want to know is if doing that to a human would indeed make them a super soldier or if it would just waste a lot of money.
some important clarifications the p53 and p21 genes are anti-tumor genes that normally prevent cancer, rad51, rad52 and recA are enzymes that repair DNA damage, igf 1 is a hormone with hypertrophic effects on striated muscle and myocardium, follistatin allows the increase of muscle volume and density (I will not go into the biochemistry here because it would be off topic).
And if these super soldiers are highly indoctrinated to be extremely loyal and not question any orders, it is something less like propaganda and much more like mk ultra.
As for the cost, it is really expensive to create each super soldier costing about 10 million dollars for each generation (about 100 applicants) but this program is more an experiment than a broad use, the objective is to study the effect of genetic modification to use it in a future project of super human clones much cheaper than converting humans.
The last important detail is that this occurs in the near future, 10 to 15 years in the future.