66

The economy would boom! Without the need to deal with ordinary malaises all sectors would abruptly be able to reduce spending on day to day healthcare. No more losses to sick days, no more expensive medicine for chronic conditions! No more cancer to take our loved ones too soon! That said there's still always going to be call for doctors, they just get to ...


35

Viruses are highly species-specific, i.e. a human virus will only kill humans. So a biological weapon will do the job. The best virus to use is beyond my knowledge, and I am a bit concerned a terrorist would read this. If we stick to sci-fi convention, then zombie virus is the most obvious choice. But realistically, even the deadliest viruses leave some ...


34

No. As has been pointed out in the comments above, there is a distinct lack of oxygen. There also happens to be a distinct lack of air itself. Assuming you created skin that could survive the low (from our standpoint, near vacuum) pressure, you would also have to create lungs that are thin enough for air transport but will keep all of the rest of the ...


32

Yes, absolutely. At the moment they are limited and are only used for important medical issues, but yes, we already can. Gene therapy is currently used for a number of genetic disorders, and it works by replacing the old genes with new, better genes, by means of a viral carrier. If I recall correctly, gene therapy has to be performed over the course of ...


32

Will not happen in foreseeable future Let me show you this XKCD first: [White Hat, holding a laptop, is talking to Megan who looks at her smart phone.] White Hat: Biology is largely solved. DNA is the source code for our bodies. Now that gene sequencing is easy, we just have to read it. Megan: It's not just "source code". There's a ton of ...


28

The Broken Window Fallacy. The economy will BOOM Any turnaround and/or labour that goes to just keeping things and people whole and alive is a burden on the economy. No, the medical industry is not beneficial to the economy. It is a necessary evil and a net cost. The assumption that industry used for building and maintenance of basic utilities, ...


26

So, it's really hard to breathe water. The biggest problem is not where the gills are on your body but instead how gills might exist at all. The fundamental limit you'll run into when designing something like this, whether it's through biological engineering or something like artificial gills is that water only has so much oxygen in it- around 10 mg/L. ...


21

Rip it off from something that worked millions of years to get it. The bacterium deinococcus radiodurans is an extremophile. It can survive cold, dehydration, vacuum, acid, and ionizing radiation. It is, in fact, an organism with some of the highest radioresistance known. For instance, this guy can take an acute dose of 5,000 Gy. For a 50% chance of death a ...


21

1. Science/because we can The main reason we haven't already tried that in real life is moral. It is considered wrong to alter the human DNA. Remove that moral bias and there is no reason why scientists would not try to create humans that can live under water or fly or have scales and are super strong... And that is the problem with that reason. You ether ...


20

I'm going to suggest a parasitic symbiosis as the solution to this, the armoured "shield plate" on it's back is not in fact an integral part of the creature but is attached leech-like to its host. When circumstances warrant the host can send a chemical signal that loosens the shield's feeding tubes and allows it to be pulled off and used to shield the front ...


19

That they are genetically engineered is a red herring -- in the early days of Linnean taxonomy nobody has the faintest idea about genetics. H. sapiens corvus -- no way. "Cannot reproduce with humans" means that they would definitely not be put in the same species. H. corvus -- most likely not, not even today. Feathers / quills instead of hair and claws ...


18

Chimera. https://www.boredpanda.com/chimera-cat-split-face-different-eyes-gataquimera/ Quimera may be what’s known as a Genetic chimera, a rare natural occurrence whereby an individual is made up of cells from at least two different original eggs. They fuse together to become a single organism, whose DNA is from two completely different individuals....


17

If the modification happens on someone's germline cells, it becomes hereditary. Notice that modifying zygotes, or an embryo, tends to have much the same effect, since germline cells will develop from those. Once it becomes hereditary, such modified genes will follow all the same rules as any other genes. Remember, every single gene existing in nature ...


16

This already happens all the time, it's what a virus does. It infects cells and subverts them by changing the cells genetics to produce new copies of the virus. Those same pathways can be used by us to modify the virus and then use it to produce controlled modifications in humans. There are a number of problems and limitations with the method at the moment ...


16

Crustaceans do this routinely. from http://www.public-record.org/video/lobster-shedding-it-s-old-shell-for-a-new-one/TDLb5WcSREM When crustaceans grow, they outgrow their shell (their "armor"). So they split it, crawl out and grow new. There is a period once they are out when they are soft - the carapace or shell must harden over some hours. This is not ...


15

Strictly speaking, purely in terms of the question of processing the gases involved, no changes are needed to human lung physiology to process carbon dioxide. They already do process it; it's just that it's a waste product to be expelled, rather than a 'raw material' to be taken in. The challenge is really to come up with a physiological modification that ...


15

You could give your population Mild Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome and in particular the variant that reduces (but does not block) the transcription of the androgen receptor. This is done by engineering a retrovirus that increases the length of the polyglutamine tract on exon 1 of the Xq11-Xq12 locus on the X chromosome (Genetics of AIS). Do not increase it ...


15

You don't need to encrypt the DNA sequence in order for other people to be unable to use it. A DNA molecule has no intrinsic meaning, meaning that while you might be able to discern patterns, you will never get all of the information of an organism purely by looking at its DNA. Let me explain this with an analogy to language. If I gave you a book in a ...


15

Your not-quite-humans are amphibians, and reproduce via external fertilization in water. This eliminates any need for males to physically penetrate females, and thus any reason to evolve a desire to do so. It also significantly restricts the environments in which sexual activity is even possible, let alone forcible. It also reduces the impact of ...


13

As I understand it, your parthenogenetic species reproduces solely through cloning, since you said that "the daughter only inherits direct DNA from her childbearing mother." As it stands, this sounds a bit like bacterial reproduction, without any lateral gene transfers. It seems that the diversity of the species would be difficult to maintain solely through ...


13

To display wealth. Like the peacock's tail, expensive displays are indicators of health and wealth. Think of the expensive shoes, suits, outfits, watches, jewelry, and cars that wealthy people display. It's conspicuous consumption. Or the silly, colorful hats and outfits of the rich in Hunger Games. If someone, say, from a rich family, were engineered to ...


13

How would your sufficiently advanced human/alien/other-worldy scientist grow a clone in a short timeframe of a day or so? Start with the absolutely realistic concept of organ printing, make it a far more mature technology, and scale it up from an organ to a body. Given what we can do now, I believe this is absolutely possible for a reasonable advance in ...


13

This is already a solved problem, but the solution is not encryption. The current solution is to have incomplete DNA. In particular, the DNA misses the code for an essential protein in development. That's no problem for you: you know which protein is missing, so you add that to the diet of the juvenile creatures. Once they leave your lab, there's no trace ...


13

Your mad scientist is going to be very disappointed when he learns we already have a genetically engineered killer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_dog Early in recorded history there are records of dogs being trained for the purpose of attacking a target.[3] One of the most well-recorded ancient uses was in a battle between the Athenians and ...


12

It seems impossible to me. To begin with, evolution without sex (even hermaphroditic) would be a much slower (at least on earth it was) and IMO there is bigger chance of sexual reproduction evolving than sentient species evolving without it. You assume also that the society would be similar to our. It won't. There is no chance for sexual intercourse evolving ...


12

The existence of replicators means you don't need most other tools. They would carry a stock of elements to use with the replicator. If they decide they need ropes, they replicate ropes, etc. Their main provision would be information. Things they don't need to know in normal situation, such as many different ways of making tools and materials with ...


12

Can I use DNA to do this, by simply adding several codons to an existing DNA strand (assuming quick, basically immediate, and accurate Proteinas Chain Reaction - PCR)? Absolutely. A significant percentage (as high as 20% according to some authors) of DNA has no biological activity and is a leftover from ages past. Another 60% has little direct activity (it ...


12

These sort of cat and mouse games are hard to speak to on this kind of site. The answer is always the same "the military will identify a weakness in the attacker's attack, and exploit it." I would expect the MOPP suits worn in CBRN strikes to very very rapidly be improved to support use in CBRNI strikes (Chemical, Biologial, Radiological, Nuclear, and ...


11

If your starship encounters a very strong source of radiation such as a gamma-ray burst, game over. ("The crew are dead, killed by a radiation leak. The only survivors are Dave Lister, who was in suspended animation at the time of the disaster, and his pregnant cat...") Otherwise, the crew will undergo long-term exposure to moderate levels of radiation. The ...


11

This makes no sense. Artificial DNA has the same basic structure as natural DNA, to be able to interact with enzymes that produce protein. No matter if it's synthetic or not, it will function just the same, look just the same. In no way DNA can encode "confused blur between organic and mechanic." - all it encodes is protein and control instructions. So ...


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