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Virtual Bioengineering

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As a game and educational tool, a virtual bioengineering site would allow nonprofessional users to view the results of their individual, online, changes to a genome. Based on existing and constantly updated knowledge of genetic structure and function, the software would enable user modifications, and then explain and graphically display the product.

The starting point could be the genetic material of a representative human, lab rat, fruit fly or other organism, as they become available. With guidance and assistance, the user could add, delete or exchange plant and animal genes, leading to final or intermediate outcomes.

Today, through DNA analysis one can predict hair and skin color and the form and size of the chin. Soon also eye color and age can be determined, and more of the DNA that we share with or that differs from that of mice or worms is being mapped. Thus, a site visitor, through virtual gene mutation and manipulation, might arrive at an animated 3D image of a 2 year old, green-glowing, ape with useless wings, blue eyes and a propensity for early Alzheimer’s.

FarmerJohn, Aug 17 2003

a biologicially exact SimGenetic ? http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/SimGenetic
[neilp, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       I'm surprised there hasn't been a SIM-bioengineer edition, it would go down a storm.
neilp, Aug 17 2003

       Surely we could combine this with a chemical synthesis machine and embryo-injector, then once a year the highest-ranked modification could be implemented for real. We could all stand around and poke sticks at it through its cage chanting "Freak!" to raise money for Chariddy.   

       Gets my vote.
dobtabulous, Aug 18 2003

       There certainly have been games that allow you to develop and breed organisms following a DNA type schema. However, the unsurmountable problem your idea faces is that we simply don't know how many, if not most, changes to an organism's DNA will affect that organism.
DrCurry, Aug 18 2003

       There was a Mac game where you played a mad scientist raising a horde of engineered monsters for world domination and access to the Playboy Mansion. Can't find a link though.
Eugene, Apr 15 2004

       We can't yet predict yet how a DNA turns out. Games vaguely based on the theme of predicting that have been produced in the real world and suggested at the halfbakery. What's new about this, other than a claim to accuracy that reality doesn't support?
jutta, May 27 2004


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