Questions tagged [genetic-engineering]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
35
votes
5answers
31k 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 ...
26
votes
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 ...
18
votes
13answers
5k views

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 ...
16
votes
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
votes
7answers
3k views

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 ...
15
votes
9answers
6k views

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, ...
15
votes
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-...
14
votes
5answers
710 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
1k 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
votes
8answers
3k views

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 ...
12
votes
8answers
892 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
4k 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
votes
8answers
928 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
votes
3answers
411 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
votes
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
votes
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
votes
4answers
394 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
votes
6answers
995 views

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, ...
10
votes
3answers
394 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

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
votes
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
votes
9answers
1k views

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 ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
251 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 ...
8
votes
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
votes
6answers
995 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
votes
4answers
431 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
votes
4answers
212 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
votes
3answers
636 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
votes
6answers
413 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
votes
3answers
600 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
votes
2answers
307 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
votes
1answer
201 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
votes
7answers
3k 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
votes
6answers
10k 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
votes
5answers
399 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
votes
5answers
491 views

Is the DNA base of the currently living species able to change so much that supports the existence of “fairy tale” humans and animals? [closed]

A theory about One Piece comes to my mind recently: the series contain a lot of impossible, non-existent and "fairy tale"-like elements, such as various giant animals, bizarre cross-species, giant or ...
7
votes
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
794 views

Are genetically engineered dogs that snap and become disloyal plausible?

I am imaging a world in which a minor plot device is that there is a strain of dogs that were genetically engineered so that they are even more loyal than ordinary dogs at first, but at some point in ...
6
votes
3answers
451 views

Are genetically engineered wyverns with my specifications possible?

In my post-apocalyptic iron age world meant to be a sci fi twist on fantasy tropes, wyvern like creatures simply known as fliers were said to have been originally created by a crazy billionaire as a ...
6
votes
2answers
251 views

Genetic modifications for the ultimate office drone?

In a dystopian future, genetic editing, stem cell research and cloning have become commonplace. Humans in embryo can be genetically modified and designed to a immense variation; some people can give ...
6
votes
4answers
368 views

Could an all-male society exist?

I'd like to create a sci-fi story with a country or planet where only men are allowed to live and they use in vitro gametogenesis and ectogenesis (artificial womb) to have children without any woman. ...
6
votes
2answers
284 views

Could a humonoid be hematophage

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
185 views

Genetic engineering as an alternative to magnetosphere (radiation protection)

I am trying to figure out how to build a human colony on a moon (75% of Earth size) of a gas giant. Some details of the planetary system chosen for colonisation: K-type main sequence star (about 60% ...
5
votes
7answers
278 views

How would a military counter the use of genetically modified insects used to defeat CBRN protective gear?

One military has developed insects with strong jaws capable of chewing through the weaker parts of CBRN (Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense) gear and then injecting neurotoxins ...
5
votes
4answers
695 views

What happens when genetics and popular politics collide? [closed]

Disclaimer: I understand that the question I'm about to pose has the potential, even the probability, of creating a firestorm response. I'm hoping it won't happen and thank everyone in advance for ...
5
votes
6answers
369 views

Is it possible to genetically modify mosquitoes to cause their extinction

In a story I am considering, a company modifies some mosquitoes so all their offspring will be male, and this is passed on to their children. So all ancestors will be male and eventually all the ...
5
votes
2answers
236 views

What happens when a person with some edited genetics (like say, eagle eyes) reproduces with a person with regular genetics?

If person A has had the genes dictating their sight/ the internal structure of their eyes, replaced by say, eagle eyes or cat eyes. What happens when they reproduce with person B who has regular ...
5
votes
4answers
552 views

Controlling Lab-Grown Limbs

It's not hard to imagine genetical engineering getting to the point where we can grow extra limbs, or design animals/animal parts from scratch. I was wondering how we could integrate custom designed ...
5
votes
1answer
195 views

What would happen if Aromatase turned much of a man`s testosterone levels into estrogen?

I'd like to create a story in which a genetically modified man has Aromatase Excess syndrome. For example, if a man has a genetic mutation where he produces a lot of aromatase that turns 10% of his ...