Throughout the mid 1970s, Tex Winters handpicked a team of scientists from around the US to study genetic modification, with the hopes of finding a way to extend his life expectancy. By 1977, it became apparent that artificially creating genes for trait was futile. Winters turned to ways of using existing animal genes to insert into foreign genomes. In 1977, the Cross Species Insertional Mutagenics Lab, or CSIM Lab, was formed at Stanford University in California.
Until 1981, the CSIM Lab found very little success. While the concept of using a donor organism's genetics to give the recipient organism donor traits was theorized to be possible, the application of such a process was frustratingly difficult. In late 1980 however, Tex Winters found a revolutionary way of inserting one organism’s genes into another’s. He created a simple virus that had the desired gene sequence of the donor organism and infected the recipient donor with the virus, so that the change in genetics carried throughout the entire body of the recipient.
The first successful virus was created in 1981. Desired characteristics from one donor bacteria strain were found in a recipient bacteria colony. This breakthrough sparked a jump in the fields of microbiology and genetics. Winters' CSIM Lab was given significantly more funding and staff as a result. The CSIM Lab extended to several research universities across North America. Over the course of the next seven years, the CSIM lab manipulated the genetics of larger and larger organisms.
By 1984, the CSIM Lab created a rat with the genes of a bird. The artificial virus allowed a rat to share genes with a bird thus creating a rat-like creature with feathers. The public did not receive this news well. The rat-like creature with feathers was seen as unnatural and its creation was seen as “playing God”. The civil movement against CSIM Lab began to gain momentum at this point.
Since the CSIM Lab’s 1984 creation of a feathered rat, the CSIM Lab was under pressure from the government and public to halt its genetics research. By 1987, universities eventually shutdown the CSIM Lab and its assets either destroyed or lost. However, with the Project 17’s success in the same year, Project 17 gained the attention of large corporations. Funding was restored and raised for Project 17, now at the mercy of several powerful businessmen and politicians.
Project 17 Edit
Founded in secrecy in 1985, Project 17 was a secret branch of the CSIM Lab that dealt with foreign gene insertion in humans. It was located at LAB5 of *****. Founded and led by Tex Winters, Project 17 was culmination of what Winters originally envisioned the CSIM Lab would achieve: human augmentation. By using animal genetics, he believed he could extend his own soon-to-end life and at the same time evolve humanity. Over 150 adopted orphans were secretly used as test subjects in experiments at LAB5 with grotesque results. Nearly 40 dead test subjects and many more left permanently crippled. Project 17 did not create a successful virus until Subject 109 . Just two years after the birth of Project 17, lion DNA was inserted into Subject 109 and afterwards the subject remained alive and healthy. Subject 109 gained many of the traits of lions, such as agility, strength, and aggression.