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Designer Babies (Terra Futura)

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Designer Babies were babies that were created that were perfect. The best hereditary traits were chosen.

(Note: The background section of this page uses most of the same words as the cloning page of Terra Futura to save time.)

Background

The secret to replacing organs was with stem cells. Stem cells were the mother of all cells. They could become any cell in the body. Each cell had the complete genetic code of the entire body inside it. There was a problem. As cells matured, they would turn off certain genes and become a certain cell. Embryonic stem cells could still turn into any cell. There was a problem with that, too. Embryonic stem cells were controversial. An embryo had to be sacrificed in order to get the stem cells. The solution was Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. This worked by turning stem cells into embryonic stem cells. To avoid cancer, one of the genes used in the process had to be eliminated before the stem cell was transplanted. After that was achieved, IPS cells were used to cure many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's, Huntington's, etc. Soon, they would be used to grow organs.

In July 2011, the first transplant of a cloned organ occurred. A 36-year old man suffering from cancer in the trachea received a new trachea. This used a nanotech scaffold made of flexible polymer that was then covered in stem cells. The transplant was a success. There was no chance of rejection. Transplants became far quicker and more accessible. There was no need for a human donor in the simplest of organ transplants. As the decade continued, more complex organs were created in the same way. By 2020, scientists finally discovered how every part of the heart worked. This eliminated the need for external donors. The new heart would be a genetic match to the old, like a clone. Transplants were now even more successful. Other complex organs were also being cloned like the lungs, the liver, the kidneys, the spleen, the stomach, the pancreas, and even the entire reproductive system. The cost of healthcare was reduced. Internal organ became a thing of the past. Not only that, but new cryoprotectants were made to protect organs from ice crystal damage. By 2030, it was possible to create full clones.

In 1997, a scientist by the name of Ian Wilmut created the first clone of a mammal: Dolly the Sheep. The experiment was so successful that since then clones of other mammals such as mice, goats, cats, pigs, dogs, horses, and even cattle. Animal husbandry was revolutionized as perfect livestock was being created. However, the implications for humans were not clear at first. This was controversial and opposed by the Roman Catholic Church. When scientists started cloning primates in the 2020s, the arguments really started. Then, along came World War III in 2040. The United States started experimenting on the idea of a clone army. Inspired by Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, the project aptly named Project Kamino. At the beginning of World War III, the first human clones were created. As time went on, growth acceleration was perfected. Some of the clones became supersoldiers. After World War III ended in 2055, the technology used in creating the clone army entered the mainstream. After a few advances, this led to the creation of designer babies.

Description

Tech Level: 11

By the 2050s, wealthy people had the option of creating "perfect" babies. Like in the movie Gattaca, the egg of the mother would be fertilized by the sperm of the father. Genetic disorders would then be eliminated. The couple could then pick the best hereditary traits. Gender, height, skin color, hair color, eye color, etc. could then be programmed into the embryo which was then grown in an artificial uterus. The couple could enhance physical and mental abilities in their baby. Many religious groups were angered at what they saw as the commercialization of the human body. Despite that, the technology was there and would eventually reach the lower classes.  The technology was not only being used for humans. Extinct life-forms were coming back.

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