We’ve heard concerns about potentially harmful uses or consequences of the technologies that will develop as a result of our movement. We’ve thought deeply about these concerns ourselves, too. We believe that morphological freedom has great potential to improve people’s lives. We’re confident that, and will help ensure that, our technologies benefit society.
No weaponizable technologies:
All technologies have the capacity to be used for good, or for ill. However, some technologies will tend to be used for good purposes, such as antibiotics, while some technologies will tend to be used for harm, such as nuclear weapons.
We will take every possible step to make sure our research cannot be used for harmful purposes. We will never fund the development of weapons systems, and we will use all legal measures at our disposal to ensure that systems and components developed from of our research are not weaponized. Our interests in promoting morphological freedom stop when the capacity to hurt others is at stake.
Consenting modifications only:
We must be clear here: any and all body modifications that arise from our research will only be developed for fully informed, consenting (and enthusiastic) people. This means we’ll use all tools in our power to make sure that modifications – whether as a research project or a finished product – are only performed with fully informed consent.
We’ll keep an open dialog with basic and medical research institutes with the most outstanding ethics records to look out for potentially risky research, and work with them and any relevant authorities to police these stipulations if necessary.
No Island of Doctor Moreau stuff:
We’re all about allowing someone to express their identity and personality through appearance. We do not envision material being substantially derived from animals, beyond currently accepted surgical and scientific practice (Such as the harvesting of decellularized scaffolds, which are non-living. Think materials like gelatin!).
“Animal hybrids” imply that you’re directly copying DNA, or even mixing animal cells with human ones. Besides ethical concerns, that approach just won’t work.
Let’s imagine directly copying a few genes, say Wnt, Hh, Hox, and Bmp family members, from a fox’s genome to an adult human. Those genes are very important in the organism’s body plan – how it’s shaped, inside and out. What does that get you? Not much! Those genes’ effects on body plan are exerted in embryonic development – not adulthood.
Copying the same set of instructions for an adult will, at best, do nothing. That’s before considering cancer and immune rejection. That’s a very real danger – many embryonic genes are likewise famous for being oncogenes.
Instead, assuming we continue work with genetic approaches (as opposed to prosthetics, bioprinting, or surgery), we’ll have to engineer new gene regulatory networks that are relevant to the adult organism, and ensure that delivery mechanisms (i.e. viruses, CRISPR, etc.) reliably deliver the desired genetic contents to cells.