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HomeEpoch of Twilight Chapter 416: Gene Modification Efforts

Chapter 416: Gene Modification Efforts

    Chapter 416: Gene Modification Efforts

    Translator: EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor: EndlessFantasy Translation

    Luo Yuan’s instructions were quickly carried out by the staff in the lab. Everyone had put down what they had on hand and immediately helped to move the documents from the archives over to his office. Although many of the researchers were unhappy with his order, they did not dare to disobey Luo Yuan as he was the vice-captain of the Firearms Bureau and the strongest evolved human in the Reconstruction Area. As someone who was against the idea of genetic research on evolved humans, Luo Yuan’s presence in the lab was placing a huge amount of stress on the staff that served him.

    The researchers were valuable to the Reconstruction Area but their value depended on what/who they were researching on. Perhaps to them, the common evolved human was nothing more than a test subject, however, they could not say the same for the vice-captain of the Firearms Bureau. Though they did know much, they knew for a fact that when an outsider such as Luo Yuan was given special permission to manage the highly profound genetic lab of the country, he had to be someone powerful.

    Luo Yuan’s office was approximately 50 square meters which was definitely not small. However, it was becoming harder and harder to move around as more and more documents were brought into the office. Luo Yuan gave a gesture of gratitude and closed the door after everyone had left. He was not bothered that some of them were unhappy with him. He knew that there would definitely have been people who would be unhappy with him even if he was nice to them. Imagine yourself taking orders from an outsider who did not have a single clue about running a lab. He decided that it was better if he was just straightforward with them as long as he did not screw things up on his part.

    After making himself a cup of tea, he flipped through the piles of documents. His Intelligence (currently at 15) allowed him to read at a fast speed and he was able to retain every piece of information he had just read word for word. However, most of the documents were useless in his opinion and he tossed them aside after scanning through a few pages. For instance, one thesis report was about the discovery of a new gene splicing method which made a virus lose its contagiousness after a group of genes had undergone mutation.

    After reading through the piles of documents and thesis reports, he realized that the gene research in the Reconstruction Area had not made any groundbreaking discoveries. The research direction that he had wanted to go on was like finding a needle in a haystack where everything depended on luck and there was no way that he could have directly reconstructed the gene with their current knowledge.

    For someone like Luo Yuan who was able to observe the genes directly with his naked eye and even conduct a minor operation on it, he knew that it was an energy and time draining process for the specific enzyme gene to splice and be carried into the acceptor cells through the circular DNA. The efficiency of the procedure was pathetically low and it felt like the process was from the Stone Age. He could have altered any of the cells or virus genes in any way that he wanted in the blink of an eye.

    However, to be fair, not all the documents were useless as the knowledge and findings regarding the functions of genes were relatively accurate. There was a total of three billion bases in the human body whereby 98% of them were occupied by invalid DNA. The remaining 2% was approximately made up of 30,000 genomes and among them, 50% were identified as functional by the researchers that had conducted the experiment. The information had saved Luo Yuan the trouble of screening through each and every one of them, which would have otherwise cost him a lot of time. However, details regarding the functions of the genomes were not stated accurately and the lack of accuracy in observation, operation and control management of the experiment had made the judgment unclear as there were many uncertainties involved. Besides that, through the documents, Luo Yuan noticed that the 98% of the invalid DNA was not entirely useless as some of the evolved humans came about from them.

    However, the cloning of humans was perfect. An artificial embryo could potentially grow into a baby within 10 days by mixing them with nutrients which were rich in active energy. The baby would have turned three years old within the first month. The intelligence and physical strength of a clone would have been no different from an ordinary human even after they had stopped taking the nutrients as long as they had been given the proper care and teachings required. In addition, because the clone had been fed with active energy since it was an embryo, it would gradually excel to become better than an ordinary human which had been developed through the pregnancy stage for 10 months even at birth.

    It was coming close to the afternoon when Luo Yuan was scanning through the last pile of documents. Once he was finished, he tossed the documents to one corner and stood up. He then walked over to Professor Fei’s office which so happened to have just been next door.

    "Get everyone to the human clone cultivation zone now."

    Professor Fei did not hesitate and immediately went around to inform everyone. Within minutes, more than 200 people who were working in the lab had gathered in the cultivation zone. Luo Yuan did not expect that there were so many of them working in the lab and only realized when they had gathered in the cultivation zone.

    The cultivation zone occupied 10,000 square meters of land which was rather massive and spacious. It was filled entirely with clone pods and just by glancing around, Luo Yuan knew that there had to be at least 30,000 of them. Most of them were not empty. A majority of them had been used to contain the fetus of clones while a minority of them was carrying clones which were still in an embryonic state. It would have been a terrifying sight for an ordinary human as the fetus in the clone pods occasionally twitched.

    Seeing how stunned Luo Yuan was at the sight of the clone pods, Professor Fei immediately explained, "Captain Luo, these are not experimental materials. We researchers have a conscience as well and even if we were using them as experimental materials, we would certainly have not used so many of them. Am I right?"

    Somebody coughed.

    Professor Fei laughed awkwardly and went on explaining, "Do not take this the wrong way. This is a common practice for a biological research facility as it was not only an experiment lab but also a factory to produce human beings."

    He then added in some jokes to the conversation before he continued to explain, "You should have known that the population in the Reconstruction Area has been constantly decreasing and that reproduction through natural means had been very low. Cloning is currently the best way to replenish our population growth. We have estimated a monthly target that we would like to hit and so far we have already produced roughly 250,000 human clones. Do not worry as the genes we had used for the cloning process had come from dead bodies. There would not be any…"

    "Enough, you do not have to explain any further!" Luo Yuan stopped him. He then asked, "How many of the clone pods are empty?"

    "The cultivation zone is under Professor Guan. I will get him to explain the details to you", Professor Fei replied. Even though Professor Fei was the person in charge of the lab, he usually left the minor details for his colleagues to handle.

    "There are around 5,000 of them but we are planning to utilize them soon for the next batch of cloning…" Professor Huan said as he adjusted his glasses.

    "Cancel that plan!" Luo Yuan interrupted and continued, "There is no need to clone anymore."

    "But, what about the monthly target…" Professor Guan attempted to question him but he was immediately signaled by Professor Fei to keep quiet. He realized what this meant and he was pissed.

    It was funny how he was so worried about the monthly target when the bigger issue was that the entire lab had become a playground for Luo Yuan. All he could hope for was that Luo Yuan would soon grow tired of the lab and return the authority back to him.

    Looking at Professor Guan whose face had been flushed with anger, Luo Yuan thought that it was a funny sight but decided that he was too lazy to explain to him.

    "Are there any evolved humans among the clones?" Luo Yuan asked Professor Guan after he had calmed down.

    "There is only a fraction of them. Since their bodies were genetically stronger than average, the cultivation process was slow and the nutrient requirements for each of them were rather significant and therefore we had only been able to produce about a 100 of them. The rest are ordinary human clones", answered Professor Guan truthfully. Even though he was still pissed at Luo Yuan, he dared not offend him.

    "How many human genes are stored in this lab and how many egg cells are there?" Luo Yuan used Hint as he asked. Egg cells were the mandatory carrier of clones and therefore, the quantity of egg cells available basically determine the quantity of clones that could be have been produced.

    "There are approximately 100,000 human genes of which 5,000 of them came from an evolved human while there are only 30,000 egg cells. We could always get more from the hospitals if there was not enough as many people had donated it to them." With the help of his Hint, Professor Guan who was only an ordinary person was not able to defend himself from it and had answered honestly.

    "Are there any documented reports on the individuals to whom the cell belonged to? Maybe their personal data or even some photos of them?"

    "I am sorry but that is too much work for us and we were shorthanded during that time. Therefore, we did not collect any information on the ordinary people but we did record some personal data which came from the evolved humans"

    Luo Yuan was slightly disappointed after hearing this explanation. His primary goal had been to investigate the genes of ordinary people. If he had managed to get his hands on the genes of ordinary humans and compared them to the genes from evolved humans, he would have easily found out the technique to increase a normal human’s body strength in the future.

    However, it was not a big issue for Luo Yuan even if he did not have the documents. Worse come to the worse, he only needed to spend slightly more time conducting the experiments. He looked at the 30,000 clone pods and told himself that he had a long way to go.

    …


    During that period of time, apart from leaving home at night, Luo Yuan was in the lab most of the day. He was hardly seen at the Firearms Bureau anymore. As time passed, the clones that had been successfully cultivated in the lab were immediately sent out while new batches of clones were carefully handpicked by him.

    All the embryos came from a single carrier. While only a few of them did not have any substantial changes, a majority of them had gone through a specific minor gene modification. All 30,000 clone pods in the lab had been fully utilized to cultivate the human genomes.

    The genes that were used for modification came from ordinary people. There were 10,000 ordinary gene samples which roughly covered most of the gene mutations that could be found in a human. Luo Yuan slowly identified the functions of each gene by carrying out various experiments. He then proceeded to change the base of the genomes after he had identified them. As Luo Yuan made more and more major changes to the genomes, he realized that there had been an increase in the quantity of deformed fetuses formed, which he was not able to find a solution for. After conducting an analysis and recording the data that was collected, the deformed fetuses were killed before they could be fully formed. Though it was cruel, it was a normal practice in the science field.

    Many new results had been discovered over the experimentation period and as time went by, the researchers began to have a change of heart towards Luo Yuan. From what began as a passive attitude and an unwillingness to help him, they became more enthusiastic and passionate about working with him and did not mind following his lead. Luo Yuan also noticed that there had been a major change in their attitude.

    Their faces displayed an indescribable excitement as the clones developed into babies, the functions of genes and the effects due to a change in its base were identified with precision so that they had not missed out any details. The secrets of the human genes were slowly unfolding to them.

    Rumors about the experimentation caught the attention of the Reconstruction Area over time. There was a significant increase in the amount of researchers that wanted to join the project and even politicians involved themselves. The land surrounding the lab had been emptied to make way for the expansion of the cultivation area of the lab. Many clone pods had been added, increasing the total clone pod count to 1,500,000. Luo Yuan was rather happy with the decision to expand as this meant that he had more resources to utilize which increased the rate of progress of his experiment.

    The analysis of ordinary people and evolved humans were completed within two months. Luo Yuan started to clone himself as he had understood how the genes worked; their functions and even the effects of a change in its base was all in his head. In order to avoid having too many clones that looked the same as him, he altered the features of the clones such as skin color, height, gender and even the shape of their face.

    He stood in the passageway of the cultivation area and looked at all the clone pods. The tiny embryos were growing. Luo Yuan, who used to have no feelings towards his mundane work at the lab, had become much more enthusiastic about his work. Soon, the human modification project would officially commence. Most of the clones had been implanted with a variety of superpower genes. Their superpowers were not limited only to the initial 5,000 gene types that had been identified at the start of the project but had increased to over 20,000 different types which included most of the gene types that could be found in an evolved human as more resources had been pumped into the Reconstruction Area.

    He noticed that even Xu Zhiqiang, Ling Zhong-an and his own genes had been included though he was unsure of when those had been collected. Of course, there were still more evolved humans that had not been found by Luo Yuan and though they were not as strong or as famous as the ones he knew, he was sure that they would still come in handy.


R: Way of Choices(Ze Tian Ji), The cultivation of the rebirth of the city, The martial arts master, Horizon-Bright Moon-Sabre, Hidden Marriage, Romance of Three Kingdoms, I Came From The Mortal World, Absolute Choice,