Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke – TV Tropes

“Biotechnology promises the greatest revolution in human history. By the end of this decade, it will have outdistanced atomic power and computers in its effect on our everyday lives.”Once upon a time, superheroes inevitably gained their superpowers from radiation, the latest and most mysterious-yet-powerful fad of the 50s and 60s.Technology Marches On, however, and gene splicing has replaced atom smashing as the most glamorous sciencey stuff: nowadays, many modern remakes of classic superheroes go with Genetic Engineering. Be it a bite from a genetically engineered spider, or exposure to it in a freak accident, genetically engineered origins are the Phlebotinum for the 21st century. It is worth noting that in Real Life rarely are the effects of genetic engineering anything like those portrayed in speculative fiction yet.Genetic Engineering also lends itself to being weaponized to do exactly the same thing as those ultracool nukes that kill people but leave buildings standing. Now that a nuclear apocalypse is substantially less likely (or at least less likely to wipe us all out), and chemical weapons just aren’t destructive enough in terms of human life, biological weapons make a nice scary (and vague) alternative.May lead to Bio-Augmentation and Mutants. Superpowerful Genetics may either come from this, or have a hand on the engineering overall.It’s also interesting to note the other favourite sources of weirdness used by SF writers before the advent of nuclear physics.

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Dr. Lambha: “God damn you idiots in the media! I’m doing research on spider genetics, and you infer that I’m going to cure fatness or turn people into spidermen! Do you understand nothing about science?”

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Genetic engineering will eliminate some of the most horrific things that can happen to anyone, ever, and make everyone better at everything as a mere side effect. Anyone campaigning against genetic engineering is saying, “I was lucky enough not to get cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs, or any one of a hundred other unthinkable horrors, and that’s 100 percent of the humans I care about! Yay!”

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Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke – TV Tropes

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