The capacity to massively alter a person's genome or their expressed geneome has advanced dramatically since the invention of CRISPR technologies. The most common genetic engineering (gengineering) for medical treatment. This is overseen and implemented by Gengineers. New treatments and extraordinary transformations take the skills of a Gene Witch.
The two most common genetic treatments are IMPORT and IMRoCC:
- IMPORT: Eliminate organ rejection using Immuno Modulated Prevention of Organ Rejection Technique.
- IMRoCC: Eliminate cancerous and precancerous cells using Immuno Modulated Rejection of Cancer Cells).
These technologies are fairly mature with side effects that are usually manageable. Both require significant expertise to customize the treatment for each individual, making them expensive - but comparable to the costs of other treatments. These treatments are designed by a Gengineer working with an SME IA (a machine intelligence with subject matter expertise in a specific disease or organ).
IMPORT and IMRoCC are based on an older breakthrough genetic engineering advance that predates CRISPR. The Lego Soldier technology was field tested on 1024 soldiers and 1024 prisoners in 2009. While short term benefits were very promising, the original technology was lethal, triggering a host of autoimmune diseases and cancers in the test populations. The ten year survival rate appears to be in the 0.1% range, with only two soldiers and one prisoner still alive and free from disease in 2029. The former soldiers remain healthy. The convict was killed in the aftermath of the Terror@Home attack.
- 1 Current State of the Art
- 2 Types of Coders
- 3 Unintended Consequences and Other Mutations
- 4 Genomec Security
- 5 Genetic Editing Baseline Packages (GEBP)
- 6 Homo Celestes
Current State of the Art
The Lego Soldier process is much more advanced in 2034. Any competent Gene Witch with access to the technology can administer with a very good chance of full implementation and no long term side effects. The process of metamorphosis is quite unpleasant at best, with a fatality rate simialar to influenza. In a clinical or hospital environment it is almost never fatal; in a back alley Splicer the upgrade kills up to 20% of the patients. The original Lego Soldier upgrade was heritable, though 80% of the recipients were rendered sterile. The latest version is not heritable and causes sterility in 3% of patients.
Despite the high risk this upgrade is popular among those who know about it; it is the necessary precursor to the Appstore (Proteome Virtualization Layer) upgrade. The Appstore provides a genetic runtime environment for execution of arbitrary genetic codes, all without altering the underlying genome. RNA can be radically changed before it is transcribed into proteins once this package is installed. This technology was developed based on how cephalopods convert genes into proteins.
Appstore installs cause fatal errors in about 1% of recipients (on a natural -4). An additional 17% end up with corrupted installations that may cause disease and may not accept genetic apps (on a natural -2 or -3). Removal is possible, though very difficult (DC5). Correction of a corrupt install usually demands the skills of a Gene Witch with a specific ability in that domain along with a team of Gengineers.
Types of Coders
There are different levels of skill add focus in the Genetic Engineering profession. Only the simplest changes can be made without customization by a Genetic Engineering IA.
Gene Witches are the very small subsection of the genetic coder population with truely deep knowledge of the underlying fundamentals of genetic codes. A good Gene Witch can reliably edit the operational genome of almost any living thing and keep it alive while its base codes are altered. Most have a G. Eng in their academic history. Miranda was one of these rare 'codon coders.' Her deep understanding of the 'machine code' that does the actual work is analogous to being able to read machine language and write assimbir code. A good Gene Witch can reliably edit the operational genome of almost any living thing and keep it alive while its base codes are altered. Gene Witches also design new kinds of genetic therapies, xenotransfers, and radical augments. They all work with powerful IAs. Without access to the IA all work is much more difficult (-3 to all gengineering rolls).
When considering the way genetic editing and programming work, think in terms of programmers using high level languages before the advent of metaphorical programming in AR and VR development environments. These Gengineers work closely with IAs and medical teams to make changes and manage metamorphosis. They all work with powerful IAs. Without access to the IA all work is much more difficult (-3 to all gengineering rolls).
Simple genetic updates are made on a /roll 4f -4 +Clever. Consequences of failure is usually:
Increased risk of cancer (DC:X)
where X begins at +3 (not -3) vs Forceful.
/roll 4f DC+3 +Forceful
It is possible to purchase pre-packaged genetic alteration packages on the street. This is usually a bad idea with a ton of risks. People who go in for this kind of treatment are called 'street meat' and tend to not live long.
Unintended Consequences and Other Mutations
Once per major milestone each GMO player is compelled to make a roll against cancer or other malfunctions in their augments. The degree of risk in this is a GR judgment call, on the following scale:
- 0: Trivial Augment: Unaltered cloned organs; a few simple single-gene corrections.
- -1: Minor Augment: A bunch of trivial changes or one more serious augmentation, including an improved cloned organ or a complex genome alteration (e.g., installation of any package or package prerequisite).
- -2: Significant Augment: Several minor augments, or one deeper augmentation, such as a new physical structure or organ.
- -3: Major Augment: Several significant augments, or one big change, such as a capability not normally found in terrestrial organisms.
- -4: Enormous Augment: Several major augments, or one drastic change to the genome.
- -5: Radical (or more): Massive changes at GR discretion.
The character's base DC is determined by the number of failed augment rolls they have and the number of failed milestone rolls they have. The starting position is DC+3 +Forceful, so the final roll is:
/roll 4f DC+3 +myForceful -AugmentPenalty -PreviousFailCount
This is very hard to fail outright. As the number and significance of the augments increases the chances of failing a roll increase.
Characters like Droo, Sutton, or Willow are working in the Enormous (-4) to Radical (-5 or more) range. There characters also tend to have high Forceful and access to very good medical monitoring and treatment. The effects of a cancer or other malfunction can be approached many ways, based on the situation. The organ or aspect might become unreliable. The character might require painful and difficult treatment, or they might take damage as stress or consequences.
The genome is a mess of randomly generated machine code that happens to be able to replicate itself. As such it is a security nightmare. Immune systems are hugely complex because they were never designed in a coherent, cryptographically secure manner. This has left humanity desperately vulnerable to genetic terrorists such as the Directed Quantum Evolutionists (DQE). It is only the complexity and cost of creating weaponized self-delivery vectors has limited the destructive effectiveness of these organizations.
Many people carry a backup of their unadulterated genome - a tissue sample - to enable a 'full restore' in case of a malicious hack or mutations leading to cancer. The cost of this kind of treatment is astronomical and availability is very limited. Most of the people who bank their genome do so as a bet on future technology, rather than a currently viable or available treatment. Genebanks can be updated regularly to incorporate epigenetic effects, such as environmental impacts to gene expression.
Genetic Editing Baseline Packages (GEBP)
Installation of these package is illegal in most jurisdictions, and always risky.
- /roll 4f -4DC vs Clever (medical team)
- /roll 4f -4DC vs Forceful (character)
Once a package is installed the character can use the package description as an aspect. Failure is normally transferred into success at cost, often with a consequence of several days to serious illness. These packages are heritable, unless specifically modified to be not heritable.
TreadStone/Situational Awareness and Speed Learning
- Quick Mind: TBD
Immunological compatability and transplant acceptance
- Simple Battlefield Transplants: TBD
Proteome level modification of genetic expression for (relatively) simple installation and removal of non-heritable functional upgrades.
- Simpler Genetic Installations: TBD
The installation process builds on GEBP, but does not use the same IP. It includes the MRO, an inspired bit of nanotech that no one understands.