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Old 12-09-2018, 09:24 AM   #1
Astromancer
 
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Default A new twist on the setting.

While watching this TED Talk on new Crisper technologies, I saw that this had interesting implications for THS.

Basically, the Crisper technology has been put into the cells of a mosquito. This means that every descendant of that mosquito will have the chosen trait or traits. The goal of the inventor was to alter mosquitos to be unable too spread malaria. One researcher is looking into eliminating Asian Carp in the Great Lakes by inserting a gene that causes the carp to only have male offspring. Which would eventually eliminate all female births and all reproduction of Asian Carp in the Great Lakes. The TED Talk also dealt with problems, limitations, and dangers, of the technology.

Since humans and any future parahumans would also reproduce sexually, this technology would mean that a high-grade parahuman could mate with a Genefixed human and have off=spring that would be of the same parahuman type as themselves. Sure the technology as it now stands isn't ready for something like that. Still, THS is set eighty-two years into the future and makes highly optimistic tech assumptions, so it would fit.

This could lead to several things. Terrorist biohackers could use the technology to sabotage the reproduction of nations and or change whole species in dramatic ways. Small groups of parahumans could make a grab for being the dominant population. Far more benign things are possible too. Plus memetic warriors could use the fact of the technology to spread hysteria and hate.

What do you guys think?
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Last edited by Astromancer; 12-23-2018 at 04:33 PM. Reason: fixed meaning-changing typo
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: A new twist on the setting.

make mosquitoes unable to spread malaria? that's somewhere between genius and hilarious. We've always fought against the mosquitoes, not with them.


"Come little blood suckers. We shall heal you, and in healing you, heal ourselves."


I now imagine genetically engineered mosquitoes enhanced so they can out-breed the wild disease spreading ones. greater of two evils, I guess.


My understanding is that germline geneneering has some vigorous opponents even in the gene editing community because of the potential scope of the changes made. Usually not passing on genetics is seen as a feature, not a bug.
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: A new twist on the setting.

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
make mosquitoes unable to spread malaria? that's somewhere between genius and hilarious. We've always fought against the mosquitoes, not with them.


"Come little blood suckers. We shall heal you, and in healing you, heal ourselves."


I now imagine genetically engineered mosquitoes enhanced so they can out-breed the wild disease spreading ones. greater of two evils, I guess.


My understanding is that germline geneneering has some vigorous opponents even in the gene editing community because of the potential scope of the changes made. Usually not passing on genetics is seen as a feature, not a bug.
For THS the big take away is parahumans that could slowly outbreed baseline humans.
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: A new twist on the setting.

If the genetic tech is protected IP, then there is a huge incentive to keep modifications from being heritable.
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: A new twist on the setting.

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If the genetic tech is protected IP, then there is a huge incentive to keep modifications from being heritable.
However, if your ideal is bio-imperialism, you would want to make certain that chosen traits get inherited at all costs. And this technology would be a useful tool.
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Old 12-11-2018, 09:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: A new twist on the setting.

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However, if your ideal is bio-imperialism, you would want to make certain that chosen traits get inherited at all costs. And this technology would be a useful tool.
No doubt. A story seed could be that a biotech company gets wind of the plan and hires a crack team to sabotage the effort in an attempt to protect their IP for at least a few more profitable years.
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: A new twist on the setting.

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No doubt. A story seed could be that a biotech company gets wind of the plan and hires a crack team to sabotage the effort in an attempt to protect their IP for at least a few more profitable years.
Good call, corporate thugs versus terrorists. You can root for both sides to lose.

It's a good general model for games in this setting. Although a three-way struggle with the PCs up against two sets of villains with asymmetrical goals would be even better.
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