2128 Darwin, the Popular Gene Construction Learning Kit for Children
*Darwin* by Jogos Ubirajara is the first gene construction kit that playfully illustrates genetics by creating artificial life forms. It is intended for children between the ages of 12 and 16.
The construction kit contains an intuitive gene designer with HUD (VR heads up display) interface. The purpose of the gene designer is to plan organisms by selecting and combining desired properties. The designer has a large library of ready-made genetic traits. It can be controlled by neuro-implants (nimps). Since many children get their nimps only after puberty, the designer can also be operated with VR-glasses and even using the panoramic wallpaper in every household.
Once a design is complete the organism is ready to be produced. A chromosome printer synthesizes the DNA. This typically takes a few hours. During that time the printer explains the genes that are being built and their functions. Children following these instructive animations learn about the development process in detail. Finally, the printer wraps the genome into an artificial nuclear envelope.
Using virtual drag-and-drop, the user then actively transfers the nucleus to the growth unit, the so-called Crescer where the organism will grow from the first cell. The Crescer is a fully automated growth system with all necessary nutritional, cleaning, and control functions. The starter set of *Darwin* contains wetware for ten runs: ten neutral basic cells and ten disposable wombs, cocoons with biological adapters for the Crescer. The starter set wombs have a capacity of 20 ml.
Also included are two liters of nutrient solution containing all proteinogenic amino acids necessary for up to 200 grams of life forms thanks to the patented recycling technology of the growth system. Consumables can be reordered easily. The integrated monitor can order new material in time. A refill subscription is recommended to ensure unrestricted fun.
The add-on module "Sequencer" is required to analyze the genome of existing life forms in order to add their genes to the traits library. For example, the genes for skin pigments can be extracted from many plants. Though, combining genes from different sources needs some practice, as genes may interact with each other. An additional software simulator that is also available as an add-on helps to avoid failed attempts, which consume resources without producing viable organisms.
For advanced users there is a protein designer module available that can create new functional gene groups. Its core component is a protein folder, that is also used in professional applications.
The base for all designs is the so called Omnipod, a completely artificial life form. It is a 2 cm high egg-shaped creature that stands on four short legs; with a white, almost transparent skin and no sensory organs, just a simple central nervous system to keep it up. The base model has no digestive system living on a built in glucose supply for a limited time. The *Darwin Omnipod is an adapted and simplified version of the widely used H8Z2(b) line, the standard platform for many scientific experiments.
Besides the Omnipod there are other platforms available as upgrades. Each platform comes with its own library of gene traits. Jogos Ubirajara takes great care to harmonize platform and feature library so as to guarantee the unlimited combinability of traits.
The combination of sequencer and protein designer even allows to design and publish new traits. Within a short time, hundreds of new traits appear on the net. Even some scientific and commercial gene templates are adapted to the *Darwin* platforms. Of course, users can also download and try out complete gene templates with functionally matching traits.
Some designs have practical applications, like the "Fluff Pod" template. The Fluff Pod is based on the Omnipod but with a discus-shaped body. The creature walks on its stubby legs tirelessly collecting dust on the ground. Having a simple digestive system, it can live permanently on the *Darwin* nutritional solution. Any household fab can produce a suitable solution dispenser from the provided blueprint.
The Meerk4t-flyer template is another remarkable design. It creates a flying creature that circles above a certain spot on the look-out and then whistles when it sees someone approaching. Though these complex functions need the CNS (central nervous system) Level 3 Upgrade for the Crescer and 100 ml wombs.
The CGC (Chaos Gene Club) shows how to hack *Darwin*. The tinkerers use *Darwin* to deceive biometric verification. They sequence their own (or foreign) human DNA to create DNA-save fingerprints. Fingerprints that not only have the correct pattern but also withstand DNA flash tests. It is called the "Goldfinger" template. They also show that it is even possible to create artificial eyes that perfectly mimic retinal patterns to trick advanced access control.
The Great Expansion
There are still lots of small an short entries. The are great ideas and great milestones. They deserve more detail and love. First results of the expansion campaign:
2136 1000 in Space
2154 New Living Space
2155 Asteroid Mining
2158 Space Patrol
2179 Private Asteroid Base
2182 End of Venus Terraforming
2187 Moon Deportations
2192 Anti-Expansionist Terror
2197 Lunar Revolt
2205 Corporate Cosmos
2222 Space Piracy