Obligatory Premise

In the year 2201, Diego OfeAde has been in control of Mars for 50 years. He has moved mankind into Valles Marineris and his aggressive population expansion program has seen the population increase to 150,000 souls. OfeAde is, at this point, fairly pleased with himself, until a young woman walks into his palac- ... er ... office, lamenting the loss of her unborn child. After much gentle consolation, he inquires the colonial doctors about the cause of the miscarriage. Having seen nothing abnormal in her pregnancy, the doctors chalk it up to a random tragedy. At first, OfeAde accepts their judgement on the matter, but then starts to lose sleep over it. What if it was caused by something in the food supply? Does it have something to do with the air pressure? Is the air content affecting this? What if it was the radiation? What if it's the gravity? Will this affect the fertility of future generation? What if humans just aren't meant for Mars?

What if the colony falls apart?

This thought mortifies him. So he gets down from his bed, puts on his slippers, and walks 20 blocks in the middle of the night to Gabriel: a colonial, pre-apocalyptic supercomputer with the sum-total of all human knowledge, and inquires of any records of the location of any gene-caches that may have been left on Mars by early human settlers. After working tirelessly through the night he can pinpoint an area of probable location; then he assembles a search party, and has Guoliang Guan (Now Dr. Guoliang Guan) ready the fastest blimps on Mars. Within an enormous lava tube under Elysium Mons, they find more than what they could have dreamed of: the frozen, intact gametes of over 1,000,000 individuals ( mostly male ) in a machine the size of a sixteen-wheeler. After extracting the machine with great care and difficulty, they transport the gene-cache back to Valles Marineris. Diego then goes to the most reputable biologist in the colony, a first-generation martian by the name of Ayer von Rotental, and commissions a machine to sequence the DNA of, and replicate, all present reproductive material. Von Rotental names his machine after the name etched on the inside of the gene-cache's first containment unit - Sandalphon

My Question is -

What biological process/processed would a machine need to utilize to copy Human Gametes?

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3 Answers 3


1. Develop human cloning.

This might seem a bit outlandish as a first step, but it really isn't. We've already cloned a wide-range of animals, including mammals such as dogs, cats, horses and indeed even monkeys. What has stopped us from having already done the same with humans today, aren't technical problems, but a lack of funding and ethical concerns. For a dictato- uh.. I mean kind and benevolent ruler, who is dedicated to his project, these things wouldn't be impactful.

2. Use the gamates to create clones.

You'll need to wait 9 months till they mature within a females body, but hey, paltry compared to how dedicated Diego OfeAde must be.

3. Extract gamates from the clones.

This means waiting till the clones have reached sexual maturity (just a decade and a half, still insignicant to assuring the future of mars) and using in Vitro Egg removal (a pretty simple procedure, quite commonly used nowadays) for the female clones, and.. ahem.. simple "stimulation" for the males.

Wonderful! With even a single clone, you'll be able to reproduce literally millions of fresh gamates.

If you allow for a slightly more broad definition to what constitutes a machine to what you had in mind, this works perfectly. Biological creatures are after all, machines, just machines which are organic, rather than mechanical.


Just ask Gabriel.

Since the computer is packed with all the pre-apocalyptic knowledge, it must have information on a rather old technique called Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) developed by human scientists at the end of the second millennium.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a technique used in molecular biology to amplify a single copy or a few copies of a segment of DNA across several orders of magnitude, generating thousands to millions of copies of a particular DNA sequence. It is an easy, cheap, and reliable way to repeatedly replicate a focused segment of DNA, a concept which is applicable to numerous fields in modern biology and related sciences

  • $\begingroup$ Citation please. $\endgroup$
    – Braydon
    Sep 6, 2017 at 5:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Braydon, it was there (link hidden in the 1, now fixed) $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Sep 6, 2017 at 5:47

I think you don't need any machine to use the gamete. You say they were intact. If you have mostly male ones, use it this two way:

1. Only from your frozen gamete pool: Do in vitro fecondation, and use the women of the colony as surrogate mothers

2. Mixing the living and frozen gamete pool : Extract gamete from the colonists, fecondate with some of the frozen pool, and re-use surrogate mothers


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