Questions tagged [genetic-engineering]

For questions about artificially modifying the DNA of a life form.

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34
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5answers
35k views

Is it possible to genetically modify a being after birth?

In many stories we hear about people whose genetic structure is modified after they're born (Spider-man, The Fantastic 4 and practically any other superhero you care to mention). However current ...
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13answers
4k views

Real DNA encryption (or at least making it hard to decode/change)

So I'm the owner of a startup which is going to make our lives easier with custom-DNA creatures! Our few first products are selling very well and nothing was wrong until last week's events. Another ...
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13answers
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How would the (US or world) economy recover if healthcare became unnecessary?

The year is 2019. Someone has taken the most cutting-edge AI technologies to create a machine. It was tasked with studying the DNA humans, and making them indestructible. A virus was created that ...
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19answers
3k views

Why might it be desirable to engineer aquatic humans?

Consider a space opera sort of universe in which there exist communities of water-dwelling humanoids. These ocean people are derived from rootstock humans, descendants of genetically engineered human-...
16
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5answers
5k views

Is it possible to genetically modify human lungs to breathe Martian air?

I was wondering if it would be possible for humans to be genetically modified enough to the point where they could breathe Martian atmosphere? Could you alter lungs to process CO2 into O2? Would a ...
16
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7answers
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How can I make humans not negatively affected by radiation?

My people are traveling in a generation ship. For some reason they can't make the ship radiation-proof. Their solution: genetically modify their descendants to be radiation proof. How could one modify ...
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6answers
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Constant acceleration as artificial gravity. Would flipping over halfway still be comfortable?

My question isn't about whether constant acceleration can create artificial gravity, as I know that it can. I am thinking more about worldbuilding in the sense of a practical transportation system ...
15
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9answers
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Could a Weapon of Mass Destruction, targeting only humans, be developed?

Specifically, if deployed on a town. The buildings, animals (flora and fauna) would be completely untouched, but not a single human would survive the blow. Secondly, if this is possible, what gene, ...
14
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8answers
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Anatomically reasonable respiratory system for human-derived merfolk

This question considers the respiratory apparatus of an aquatic (or amphibious) species descended from engineered humans. The history of the species provides a relevant constraint. While the science ...
14
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5answers
745 views

Is there any likely reason why personal DNA tinkering machines would become widespread?

Say we're in a world where it is possible to tinker with biology as easily as it is to tinker with programming nowadays. For feasibility, refer to How soon will tinkering with biology be as simple as ...
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3answers
2k views

Would it be possible to genetically engineer Unicorns?

Using today's (real) genetic engineering methods, would it be possible to engineer a horse with a single spiral horn? Maybe rub a horse on a narwhal? I know mythical Unicorns have other "powers", ...
13
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8answers
997 views

Is it possible to have detachable natural armor?

This is a partial extension to this question: What kind of natural armor would stop bullets? I was wondering if a creature could grow armor in such a way which would allow for it to detach a portion ...
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6answers
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How CAN we scale up living creatures to be giant sized?

Piggybacking on this question: Can you simply scale up animals? how CAN we scale up living creatures to be giant sized? What would need to done to make truly giant animals (Dragons, Kong, Godzilla, ...
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4answers
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Could you give a human chromatophores?

We all know the usual staples of genetically-engineered super-soldiers. Rattlesnake DNA to see in the dark etc etc. But what about a modification that's a little more exotic, and far more advantageous ...
12
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8answers
1k views

What's the most plausible way to bio-engineer an underground ecosystem, without photosynthesis, to produce oxygen?

Here's the full question: What's the most plausible way to bio-engineer an underground ecosystem, without using photosynthesis, so a mine system would not need an active air exchange system? (It was ...
11
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6answers
3k views

Ending “Natural” Reproduction

Quick Overview Here's the situation: your species, under directive of your friendly world government, has been informed that all "natural" (aka reproducing like your normally would and having a child ...
11
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3answers
5k views

How do you produce fast grown working clones?

In story after sci-fi story you have images of clones stepping out of some sort of gooey bathtub or cloudy coffin type device. Be they a single doppelganger or whole clone armies. MY SETTING I am ...
11
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7answers
1k views

A human civilization genetically altered themselves to specialize in certain roles, why would it be naturaly undone after said civilization vanishes?

Architects were a rather weird civilization. You see, not only did they create servant races like demi-humans, but had also engineered themselves to be specialized in various areas. Here is the ...
11
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4answers
1k views

Myelination in cephalopods

I am a complete amateur regarding biology, so please forgive me if this question is a little stupid. Could we ever create squids that have human-level intelligence and could serve as a replacement in ...
11
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3answers
449 views

Creating an organism without evolution in a lab environment

It's hard to create a new animal from scratch. If you genetically modify an existing species until it becomes a drastically different species, then implant the fertilized embryo in a female of the ...
10
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12answers
2k views

Genetically engineered de-evolution

Why might a species advanced enough to develop genetic engineering start a process by which their own genes, over hundreds of years, would get edited back to resemble their more primitive ancestors? ...
10
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3answers
1k views

Taxonomy of genetically engineered species

The Context I have a group of genetically engineered people known as 'crows'. Their genome has been meddled with significantly enough that they are unable to successfully reproduce with humans, but ...
10
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4answers
462 views

Could you engineer a baby for a same sex couple?

Kikazaru and Protogon have been fierce rivals in the designer baby industry/artificial wombs since time and memorial, but Kikazaru is looking to finally best its rival by introducing a new scheme: ...
10
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5answers
420 views

How could someone use genetics to place a skin tattoo on their descendants?

Imagine a world quite like our own, except where technology took a different turn. Instead of researching communication, transportation, the cosmos, and the general nature of the universe, scientists ...
10
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1answer
317 views

How to Give An Ordinary Man Vampire Strength

One of the most overlooked traits of vampire biology is superhuman strength. In fact, Dracula himself was described as having the strength of twenty men. Now, this description posed a physical ...
10
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3answers
422 views

DIY Genehacking: What can I do with it?

Assuming an average, fully developed adult man, what sort of changes could be made to his genome that would have a noticeable effect on his mind or body? To the best of our current scientific ...
10
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2answers
291 views

Best kind of creature to be capable of biologically spawning an 'ecosystem' with borrowed organic tissues?

In an old story of mine, there happened to be a species of humanoid who could produce a variety of mutants and hybrids from stolen and harvested DNA, sperm, and biological tissues. They would produce ...
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6answers
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What would be in a shuttle's survival kit for aliens trapped on a primitive planet?

The scenario: an alien crew has a shuttle landed on Earth in the 1980's. Their main ship is extremely damaged and beyond reach somewhere in the Milky Way. Their shuttle cannot escape Earth's ...
9
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5answers
1k views

Bioengineered reversible sterility

The Humern empire is vast, unbelievably powerful and (in certain matters) brutally authoritarian. One such issue is that of reproduction. In order to ensure that all subjects of the Empire remain ...
9
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10answers
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What changes would we see in humans genetically engineered for combat?

I've got a group of humans who believe as a central tenet of their religion that humans should be as physically perfect as possible. In pursuit of this goal, they've spent a few hundred years applying ...
8
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14answers
1k views

Why would a species of intelligent parthenogenetics invent males?

In this hypothetical world, evolution occurs as it should. (Not to run afoul of any genetic diversity requirements of evolution; some simple viruses have aided in the genetic shifting process). But ...
8
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6answers
1k views

Killer Swarm Bio-weapons?

So I recently had this bizarre idea on using Swarming Wasps as Bio-weapons. (I'm going to simply use Bio-engineered wasps instead of bees for sake of less confusion on what the swarm is of) The ...
8
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8answers
536 views

What would encourage multiple animal species to evolve human features simultaneously?

The setting is fifty-five million years in the future on Earth, with multiple humanoid species that have different ancestors, but share similar characteristics. Their ancestors would be animals that ...
8
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4answers
484 views

Methods to Implant Serial Numbers in/on Clones

I am writing a science fiction story with mass produced clones. Since I have a number of clone I need to tell them apart. The ID system must be: Permanent over the lifetime of the clone (call it 150 ...
8
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4answers
425 views

How big could a land-dwelling arthropod get if it wasn’t limited by oxygen consumption?

Insects and other land-based Arthropoda are stuck at the size they are due to how inefficient their respiratory system is. They were able to reach the size they did in the Carboniferous period because ...
8
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3answers
802 views

Can Genetic Engineering Overcome Inbreeding (homozygosity) Among a Ruling Family Indefinitely?

Premise In the near future, a cult-like ruling family worships symmetry and condemns asymmetry. By association, they are condemning much of nature as there are many instances of asymmetry in nature (...
8
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4answers
246 views

How could be a relatively “universal” eye?

In searching of a universal eye, I meant a photoreceptive organ which can have all/most of the best capacities of the known eyes. So, each type of eye or photoreceptive organ has a different function ...
8
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6answers
472 views

Genetically modified timber wolves with Siamese cat coloring?

Ok I'm not exactly sure how to tag this or where to ask, but... Could someone create living, breeding-viable wolf adults with the genes responsible for Siamese points (as found in the cat breed), and ...
8
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3answers
694 views

Would shortening a species lifespan increase the speed of technological advances?

So I am creating an Elven sub-species (working name is Techno Elf), these are elves that split off from the rest of the Elven society some time in the past. The reason for the split being that they ...
8
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4answers
1k views

How much genetic variation between a human and an alien would allow the human and alien to have, even infertile, offspring?

Background: Human Origins: We originated from a space-faring civilization. A breakaway faction that hates advanced space level tech traveled here and set up shop before destroying their advanced tech. ...
8
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4answers
387 views

Most effective method to prolong the life of a single person?

Let's assume that the dictator of a large and rich country is approximately 70 years old, and that signs of old age are showing, meaning that his death is not very far. Let's assume that the people of ...
8
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1answer
250 views

Keeping One's Figure - Myostatin Regulation

Background: I am working on a super soldier transhuman/posthuman concept for my fictional world. It takes the base human genome then uses genetic engineering to augment, delete, enhance, add, and ...
7
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8answers
684 views

Genetically modified fast growing Hardwood

In a near future setting (technology has progressed more or less at the current pace) would it be possible to have a genetically modified tree that has both the density and textile strength of ...
7
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3answers
709 views

Ideal large flightless bird for domesticated* cattle [closed]

Ideal large flightless bird for domesticated cattle So, just to be clear, when I mean "giant birds", I mean the families that presently consist of giant flightless birds (think moas, emus, ...
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9answers
6k views

What side effects would a genetically enhanced 10 times stronger human have?

I haven't seen my exact question answered in my research, so hopefully this is not a duplicate. I am building a world where the human race on another planet has a reason to genetically enhance ...
7
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6answers
12k views

Can a genetically modified human breathe something other than Earth's oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere?

If a human is kidnapped by an alien vessel and taken to another planet - and, for the sake of argument, let's assume that the alien life-form lives in a completely different environment from Earth's. ...
7
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5answers
2k views

Could a human receive an eye transplant from other animals? [closed]

So one of the aspects of my science fiction world is genetic manipulation and modification of humans by one of the factions. I am wanting to have a subset of humans who receive a single eye transplant,...
7
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5answers
442 views

How useful would be genetic engineers of near future to human colony?

Two ships planned to establish first human colony of 250 persons to Mars are transported by unknown phenomenon into distant planet that is barely habitable link. Left without a choice to return to ...
7
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4answers
180 views

How can I avoid scientific genetic engineering in a story about a biological creature's DNA manipulation?

I have a story based around DNA manipulation by biological creatures that evolved into what they are today, but can gain abilities by taking the DNA of other creatures. The story is set in the ...
7
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4answers
449 views

Could a humanoid be hematophagous (i.e., drink blood to survive) like a vampire?

Since blood is a fluid tissue rich in nutritious proteins and lipids that can be taken without great effort, it looks like hematophage animals would be above carnivores in the food chain. Animal ...

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