Research

The Freedom of Form Foundation is interested in extending the accessibility of safe and customizable physical alteration to as many people as possible. Enabling true morphological freedom, to let people outwardly express their sense of identity, has the potential to improve the lives and happiness of tens of thousands of people.

We’re directly undertaking and supporting research to help make this possible.

Our research activities are targeted to strategically and permanently advance the field. We focus on building systems and translatable knowledge, because the ultimate validation comes from real-world results.

What will be needed for a full-body transformation? A lot, and there are a lot of overlapping options that may or may not be useful. To make sense of things, in 2018 we wrote two keystone whitepapers: (1) broadly describing anthro anatomy and physiology, and (2) covering four distinct classes of biomedical research, consisting of bioprinting, gene therapy, advanced surgery, and neuroprosthetics. Those whitepapers formed the basis of our research strategy by broadly classifying the general types of tissues that need changed, and what technological areas might accomplish those changes if given enough research.

Since then, we’ve been quite busy, and we’re researching both technical areas as well as social and legal considerations. We’ve helped make an academic article about legal considerations around body autonomy get published through one of our $4,000 grants. We’ve helped Hugh Herr accelerate his lab’s research as well through another $4,000 award. And, our in-house technical research has progressed to where we’re producing useful, functional deliverables we can continue building on top of.

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 won’t be represented. This is because project teams have to do a lot of groundwork before it’s possible to concisely and accurately represent their work in the public eye. We want to give our researchers space so that they can 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 ->

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 description is being written now and will be online soon.

Volunteer position available – Scientist in transcriptomics and/or genomics. Please give it a look! ->

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 an academic article 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, Freedom of Form Foundation, Inc itself cannot directly pressure or call for specific legislation).

Read more about the research and get a link to the article ->

Guidance documents/whitepapers

What’s in a transformation, anyway? 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.

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 are continuing to 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. 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.