A Killing Wind
“Aggressive genetic engineering leads to an increased rate of cancer and cancer-recidivism amongst all age groups. However, the older the recipient, the more likely high rates of transcription errors will result.”
—Excerpted from Wang Lu’s “Memo Advising Against Tampering,” an Amtech report on post-birth retroviral engineering, compiled in 2089 and eventually submitted to the ASC for consideration in 2101
Genetic engineering has produced a vast array of new subspecies and through the wonders of retroviral alteration the ASC worlds have an almost endless supply of food (ignoring costs in trucking and shipping to outer-system colonies) in the form of synthetic meat and processed vegetable protein that can be grown in zero gravity agristations that orbit the major worlds.
However, human genetic engineering is much more limited in scope. There has yet to be developed a perfect cancer-suppressant, requiring lengthy gene therapy combined with chemo- and radiation therapy to reduce and remove tumors that grow as a result of adult-stage genetic tampering. Besides which, most significant changes cannot be made to adult animals because the formative stages of cell growth are already complete and the patterns are more or less set.
However, tailored genetic engineering of offspring (as well as cloning) is available to most High Citizens. This process is expensive, but can produce extremely skilled individuals. In many cases, these very bright gene-tailored children go on to become well-placed Calculators or other such positions requiring “superhuman” ability. Of course, even gene tailoring must be augmented by advanced learning techniques and neurotraining.
Gengineering is incredibly expensive, and those who can afford it generally make more capable offspring with it, thus providing for a negative feedback loop that has blossomed in the creation of powerful Genetic Dynasties.
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