[LMB] Terraforming and gengineering

Elin B elbju at yahoo.se
Mon May 14 11:09:23 BST 2012

OK, since it's so quiet I'll post a question that I suspect may be rather stupid: given Enrique's redesigning of butter bugs to be compatible with native Barrayaran biology, could similar things be done to humans in the Vorkosiverse? The Cetagandans particularly come to mind. If the Cetagandan empire were to stumble upon a new livable planet and decide to colonise it, would they be able to engineer colonists whose bodies are more compatible with the alien planet's biology than those of normal humans?
I'm assuming that even if they could, the economy of scale and flexibility (allowing for easy migration of people between planets) would still be heavily in favour of terraforming. But perhaps they could go for a special race à la Quaddies to work in frontier areas clearing the way for others. Though the risk of rebellion might be a lot higher than normal...
Of course, humans are much more complex than butterbugs and to change them that much may well lie far behind even the Cetagandan hauts' abilities in current canon.

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