Research

At the Freedom of Form Foundation, we embrace the broad diversity of identities that people hold. We are especially passionate about research into making morphological freedom possible for those who want to become their fursona, or who have a non-human species identity. Our research is primarily aimed at addressing important, long-term needs in the biotechnology sector that are being overlooked by larger companies and impatient investors.

Our research focus, especially with building systems and integrating knowledge, is necessary for our primary goals with species affirmation, and will more broadly benefit medicine, including personalized medicine.

We undertake internal research, as well as awarding grants to outside researchers, for studies we judge as strategically valuable.

Results and projects

Below are some of our ongoing projects and publications that have resulted from research we supported or conducted.

Please note, the materials on this website are not comprehensive, and recently started projects may not be represented. Project teams have to lay a great deal of groundwork before it’s possible to concisely and accurately represent their work in the public eye. We are committed to giving our researchers the space they need in order to work effectively and prioritize obtaining results they’re confident in.

3D Anatomy project

Our 3D Anatomy project is creating a CAD-like computer application to customize characters, and is also expected to benefit medical imaging and patient-specific care more broadly. Our source code is under GPLv2, and we see the app as being critical to eventually enable the engineering required for real-world full-body transformation.

Read more about the project. New update for October 2021!

How can you grow fur, scales, or feathers and become more like your fursona? This research attempts to uncover the genetic networks required.

Integument review project

Our Integument Review project is surveying and structuring biological knowledge about how fur, feathers, scales, and skin works. That includes cell signaling, embryonic development, comparing and contrasting different integument types, and identifying cellular and genetic targets or “knobs to turn” for transformations. Academic journals and Wikipedia won’t cut it, nor will machine learning. There’s no shortcut to full mechanistic understanding if we want to actually modify tissues.

Project page is here ->

Journal publication: Ramanauskas, 2020

We’re interested in researching social and legal considerations as well. We helped make it possible for Ben Ramanauskas to publish in Economic Affairs (February 2020) about body autonomy, entitled “BDSM, body modification, transhumanism, and the limits of liberalism”. The article surveys laws and landmark court cases, makes a case for reform, and describes expected benefits from reform as well. (However, please note that while we’re sympathetic, as a 501(c)(3), we cannot directly pressure or call for specific legislation).

Read more here ->

Guidance documents/whitepapers

What will be needed for a full-body transformation? Beginning with two keystone whitepapers in 2018, we’ve continued to refine our research strategy by examining the necessary scope of such modifications as well as what technological areas might accomplish those changes if given enough research.

Diagram explaining how facial tissues will change in order to become your fursona.

Anatomical analysis

What exactly is required to transform into your fursona? Here, we break down some of our goals into anatomical targets. This isn’t some insurmountable monolith – we can all focus on solving one challenge at a time. We also invite you to read our in-depth white paper on this (PDF) for more detail.

What technologies will be necessary for transforming into your fursona in real life? Techniques involve genetic editing, tissue engineering, and gradual remodeling.

Survey of biomedical research areas

Transformations will be challenging! But we see several promising technologies that, with a bit more work, should do the trick. Please take a look at our brief analysis of a few different thrusts of research. We also have a more in-depth white paper (PDF) for those interested. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

We offer grants for external projects, especially ones with clear line-of-sight to completion. For example, if you are writing an academic article with a clear path to publishing, or need to get a few more components for a DIY project with relevance to our mission, we would be happy to help you get over the threshold and help you succeed.

So far, we have given two $4,000 awards to date. We’ve helped make an academic article about legal considerations around body autonomy get published through our first grant. We’ve helped Hugh Herr accelerate his lab’s research as well through a second award. Do you think your project could win our third award?

Please look at the grant offer and consider applying!

The Freedom of Form Foundation is, first and foremost, interested in advancing rights, ethics, and respect for individual choice. That includes a responsibility for rights and ethics during the research process itself. We are proactive in protecting the rights of research subjects, and will not fund primate studies. We also encourage researchers to open and share their data as much as possible. Please take a look at our integrated policies for responsible research.