Genetic Engineering began in the late 1970s with bacteria and mice. Foreign DNA was placed into an embryonic or simple celled being and allowed to insert it’s code onto the template of the new host. This led to many advances in medical science throughout the following years and as a result spawned the Human Genome Project, a plan to map the entire genetic sequence of Homo Sapiens in hopes of understanding ourselves better.
The broad spectrum goals for the Human Genome Project were completed by the year 2003 but many of the genes discovered were not fully understood and so the projects continued delving into what chromosomes did what in the human body. By the year 2011 90% of the research had become complete allowing doctors and scientists to begin treating some of the worst genetic disorders including familial hypercholesterolemia, sickle-cell anaemia, cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s disease.
By this point scientists had already conducted countless genetic modifications in animals just to see the limits with which they could push DNA sequencing, danderless dogs and cats, glow-in-the-dark pigs and fish, and mice that were able to grow grafted human organs were just the beginning. By the year 2015 humanity had learned to control aging in pigs and sheep, create animals with extra appendages and even advance the IQ of higher level functioning creatures such as apes. Later that same year a radical Chinese scientist by the name of Wun Xiao (age 46) pushed beyond those limits and experimented on himself with octopus DNA creating the first human-hybrid species.
Wun gained a flexible endoskeleton and the ability to slightly alter the pigments in his own body. Much to many people’s surprise there was never any detriment to Wun’s life, he continued to live until the age of 52 when he was poisoned by anti-genetic supporters. By that time though genetic experimentation in humans was in full swing providing any person that could afford it and wanted it a new way to live their life. Many say that in the ensuing years much that was the “soul” of humanity was lost. Tensions rose over what was “right” and what was “wrong” when it came to altering the genetic code of a human being. Those who supported the issue argued that there was no harmful effect to a person’s life as the procedure had a success rate of 90%. Those who opposed the plan though argued that since genetic code was passed onto children regardless of choice the foundations of human evolution and civilization were being bastardized are destroyed.
It wasn’t long before opinions on the matter began effecting global politics as many countries were forced to take formal stances on the matter due to socialized medicine and the high cost of the procedures being too expensive for 75% of the world.
In 2017 a major set back occurred in the field of genetic engineering. The first children of genetically altered individuals were beginning to be born. These children often inherited their parent’s altered genes but infant physiology couldn’t combat the aggressive alien strains. Shortly afterward a law was passed that no human genetic engineering would lawfully be allowed unless it prevented or cured a condition that was otherwise deemed not beneficial to the human experience.
In the year 2035 an international agreement was made and then ratified into the first international-law by all countries, “No person shall be condemned by the actions of his/her/its ancestors or forbears.” This allowed those who inherited alien genomes and were unable to have them fixed to escape persecution under law.
In 2045, as public demand began threatening global supply a new super breed of wheat was manufactured and has since moved on to become a major food stuff for all Earthling. A single serving of regular wheat would now feed ten people. Genetic experimentation, although not human stood triumphant in solving the woes of the human populace.
As time passed, most bans on genetic testing were lifted as new guidelines were established for the ethical boundaries of genetic manipulation. And in 2066 the World Health Organization announces a breakthrough that eliminates the genetic markers that produce cancer. Genetic engineering was praised as an important step in purifying the human existence and allowing us to grasp the reins of our own voyage into the future.
By the 2260s genetic engineering had been accepted as a way of life for many humans throughout the galaxy. The Thuldan colonies were partially established on the foundation of purifying the human experience through genetics. As humans continue into the future, the only limits to to their genetic experimentation will be the limits of their imagination.
Playing a Mutant
Mutations are allowed for all biological species. The rules for running a mutant are available in the D20 Modern Future Handbook or can be accessed here.