Expressive Augmentation (Terra Futura)

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Expressive Augmentation was a trend that began after World War III. Many younger generations of people started using genetic manipulation to change their appearance.

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


Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA is a molecule which holds the genetic information of a living organism. Frederich Mischer discovered it in 1869. However, it was not until 1953 that the double helix was discovered. The men who discovered the double helix were James Watson and Francis Crick. When DNA was discovered, few ever thought it could be used for anything. In 1984, however, Sir Alec Jeffries used DNA to prove paternity. In 1988, DNA evidence was used to convict Colin Pitchfork of the murders of Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth. In 1993, the Human Genome Project was started. It was intended to decode the entire human genome using computers. The project succeeded by 2001. It was thought that genetic engineering would soon take off. This was helped by a DNA computer.

In 1994, just as the Human Genome Project was starting, scientist Leonard Adelman of the University of Southern California demonstrated a successful DNA computer. Much of the success that followed came from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. The scientists there developed a successful DNA computer in 2002. They incorporated a module that could cure cancer in 2004. After that, the DNA computer was commercialized. DNA computers never found there way into consumer products. However, DNA computers were used to better diagnose conditions. This made for better medicine. This also helped in improving the process of genetic engineering, thus allowing genetic disorders to be cured without compromising the good parts of the genes that caused them. It was a revolution in biotechnology.

The cost of the Human Genome Project had cost $3 billion. It was predicted that by 2020 the cost would go down far enough for everyone to have their personal genome on a CD. While working at Stanford, scientist Stephen Quake perfecting whole genome sequencing. The cost went down as far as $1,000 by 2015. By that point, a whole lot of people had their genomes sequenced. Laws had been passed to ban genetic discrimination. By 2020, the cost had gone down to $100. By then, almost everyone had their genomes sequenced. Already, many people were taking medicines that were targeting specific genes. Lifespans increased as a result. Soon, genetic disorders would be cured.

In the 2020s, nanotechnology started being used to alter a person's genetic code to eliminate genetic disorders. Single-gene disorders were the first to go. The first of these to go was sickle cell anemia which was found mostly in African-Americans. There was a problem. The gene that caused sickle cell anemia also increased a person's immunity to malaria. The solution, which required nanotechnology, was to modify the part of the gene that caused the disease while keeping the beneficial part. Other genetic disorders that were eliminated included Tay-Sachs disease which was found mainly in Ashkenazi Jews and cystic fibrosis which was found mainly in Germanic peoples. The most difficult genetic disorders to cure were multiple-gene disorders like cancer. In fact, cancer was one of the most widely studied genetic disorders.

Scientists had been trying to cure cancer since 1971. There were few successes until the Human Genome Project revealed the genes for cancer. There were multiple solutions to target cancer. These included antiangiogenesis which was pioneered by Jewish physician Judah Folkman, nanoparticles that delivered cancer drugs such as bee venom to cancer cells pioneered by Sam Wickline, new drugs that targeted only cancer cells, new vaccines like the controversial Gardasil that targeted cancer-causing viruses such as HPV, and especially gene therapy. In 2005, the Cancer Genome Atlas was started to find all the exact genes known to cause cancer. One gene targeted was a gene that created a protein called p53 which protected. p53 could be damaged by carcinogens. In 2030, a scientist developed a genetic manipulation process that fixed p53 and also improved it, making p53 more resistant to carcinogens. In fact, by the 2030s, people were genetic engineering to improve a person's DNA as well. This would lead to supersoldiers.

In the movie Captain America: The First Avenger, the supersoldier serum that turns Steve Rogers into Captain America affects not only his muscles but also his cells. In the real world, scientists created supersoldiers through genetic manipulation. This was important during World War III. The United States first created genetically-modified clones as supersoldiers. Later, they modified non-clones genetically. This helped the United States win World War III. It also led to societal change. After World War III, some supersoldiers would become great leaders in the United States and the world. Humanity was also changing. People could now control their genes.


Tech Level: 11

After World War III, many of the world's youth started opting for expressive genetic enhancements. Sex organs were common at first. Some people, mostly homosexuals, chose to become hermaphrodites (See below.). Soon, many subcultures began change themselves to resemble what they would normally dress up as. Wigs, tattoos, make-up, nail polish, face and body paint, hair dye, etc. became obsolete. This was aided by nanotechnology.


  • Furries: People who modified themselves to become anthropomorphic animals.
  • Trekkies: People who modified themselves to resemble the various species in Star Trek. (Vulcans and Klingons were the most common.)
  • Sky Walkers: People who modified themselves to resemble the various species Star Wars.
  • Avatars: People who modified themselves to resemble the Na'vi in Avatar.
  • Otaku: People, mostly Japanese, who modified themselves to resemble anime and manga characters right down to the big eyes.
    • Kenomos: People, mostly Japanese women, who modified themselves to have animal ears and tails.
      • Necomimis: People, mostly women, who modified themselves to have cat ears and tails.
  • Mythos: People who modified themselves to resemble mythical creatures.
  • Tolkienists: People who modified themselves to resemble the various races in The Lord of the Rings.
  • Dark Children: People who modified themselves to resemble monsters of myth such as vampires, werewolves, etc.
  • Rainbow Children: People who simply changed their skin, hair, and/or eye colors to non-natural tones.
  • Homosexuals: People, mostly homosexual hence the name, who modified themselves to have both male and female sex organs. In a sense, they were now hermaphrodites, but were still considered men or women depending on the person.
  • Beauties: Women who modified themselves to become more beautiful. They often appeared to be wearing make-up and nail polish all the time even though they actually were not. Some women even went through a genetic overhaul to resemble the most beautiful women in history. Some female singers even marketed their appearance with ads saying, "Become me for (whatever the amount of money was)." Some even made their lips and/or breasts bigger.
  • Bearded Women: Women who modified themselves so they could grow facial hair.
  • Muscular Women: Women who modify themselves to become more muscular like a professional male wrestler.
  • Genderless Children: People who modified to become half-man/half-woman. They would have all the features of both men and women.
  • Decorated Children: People, mostly young girls, childhood adult women, and clowns, who modified themselves so that they look like they had their faces and sometimes other parts of their bodies painted. For the former two, Butterfly Mask was the most common. For the latter, they just became clowns permanently.
  • Childhood Adults: People who modified themselves to become more neotenous.
  • Human Computers: People who modified themselves to have built-in computers as part of their brains. These often connected to the Internet.
  • Sex Changers: People who changed their gender through genetic manipulation.
  • Species Changers: People who changed their species through genetic manipulation, but, in most cases, still retained their intelligence and ability to speak. By law and by nature, they were no longer human, but still sentient.
  • Biochemistry Changers: People who went so far as to change their biochemistry so as to no longer be carbon-based life. The most common was to become iron-based.

Expressive augmentation was controversial. Some religious groups were opposed to what they saw as dehumanization. The government did not heed them. Even more controversial was the fact that some people were forced to change their appearances genetically to fit specific roles. Soon, the Earth Federation government passed a law declaring that all genetic modifications were legal as long as the recipient had consent. With the vast array of genetic modifications, by the late 21st century, humanity was now made of many different subspecies. A person could switch between different subspecies if he/she wanted to. In fact, during the late 21st century, people were staying young.

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